Exclusive first look: shimano compact 5500 ultegra reels

Shimano's two stunning new reels, soon to be released, look nailed on to become best-sellers. 

This is not surprising, since they will appeal to match, specimen and carp anglers alike. 

The compact ‘big-pit’ Ultegra C14+XTC 5500 (black) and Ultegra C14 XSC 5500 (pearlescent) models are based around Shimano’s hugely popular Ultegra 14000 reels that have been embraced by serious carp anglers. But technical improvements, and significant differences between the new models, are readily apparent. 

The new Ultegras are better protected against water and dust, weigh less than their predecessor, and benefit from Hi-Speed front drag systems. These allow for quick setting post-cast when targeting big carp, so big fish can be precision-played off the clutch without fear of the reel over-tightening or locking up.  

Better, stronger winding power is provided by Shimano’s top-end Hagane gearing. To that little lot you can add many technically improved parts including a C14 rotor system, beautifully balanced and completely wobble-free. 

Rounding off the specifications are a super-comfy handle knob and an improved, more discreet line guard that functions better than ever and affords a slight weight saving too. Both models come with a spare spool.

Shimano Ultegra c14 reels.jpg

Price: £249.99 


Emblem 35 SCW 5000C QD_5.jpg

Daiwa is poised to introduce its first big-pit reel with a 35mm-wide spool for use with thicker diameter reel lines. 

The new Emblem 35 SCW 5000C QD scores highly on looks and performance, with cult all-black styling and impressive features. These include a reduced oscillation speed known as Slow Cross Wrap for faultless line-lay and ideal for long-range casting and heavy-duty work. 

The reel runs wobble-free on six ball-bearings, its 4.9:1 gearing retrieving a mighty 106cm (41.8ins) of line per handle crank. The shallow spools (one spare) hold around 300 yards of line. Daiwa’s QD front drag system goes from virtually locked-up to freespool mode in half a turn of the knob. Twist-Buster 2 line management and a rock-solid Air Rotor add to the winding power.

Price: £175


Sonik Vader X 8000 reel.jpg

The Sonik Vader X 8000 reel will be snapped up by any carp angler looking for quality, looks and value for money. A long-nose spool facilitates long, smooth casts, while its 4.6:1 retrieve rate makes short shrift of rapid line recovery.  

Features include a large-diameter bail-arm with enlarged line roller, twin line clips, powerful and reliable front drag and a pleasing barrel-shaped wooden handle. It comes with a spare forged anodised aluminium spool.

Price: £49.99  

Fox Rage Prism C100, C2500 and C4000 reels

Few manufacturers of predator tackle can boast the complexity, range and depth of Fox’s Rage brand. 

Rage prism Reel.jpg

The latest Prism reels – which, unsurprisingly, complement the new Prism rods – come in C100, C2500 (pictured) and C4000 sizes, and between them are perfect for all lure fishing. 

Smooth running on six ball-bearings, with sleek clutch systems and a balanced rotor profile, they virtually guarantee a wobble-free retrieve.

From £49.99    

Black Viper MK 850 FD reel

Browning Viper FD reel.jpg

It isn't just the Black Viper Feeder rods that Browning has got right.

The latest Black Viper MK FD reels, crafted to cope with the rigours of long-distance feeder work, are their perfect partner. 

A fast 5.5:1 retrieve speed cranks in an impressive 105cm of line per spool oscillation, and the reel also boasts an oversized wide, shallow spool that copes equally well with braid and mono liines. 

It can be filled without resorting to lots of backing line, the pleasing end result being faster and longer, consistently accurate casts. 

The specialist Viper model also features a sophisticated worm shaft gearing which ensures effortless retrieval, even when winching in the heftiest of feeders or leads. 

Other key features include a non-twistline roller supported by ball-bearings, large surface multi-disc front drag system, aluminium long stoke spare spool, and CNC-made anodised stainless steel handle. You indeed get a lot for your not-inconsiderable outlay.




Looking for the perfect companion to the Daiwa Powermesh Float rod

The eye-catching new front drag Ninja Match reels in 3012 and 4012 sizes are both suitable for floatfishing, although you may find the larger one a little bit
on the heavy side if you’re holding the rod for sustained periods. 

Air Rotor, Twist Buster, Air Bail and a spare spool all come as standard, and geared-down oscillations furnish the reels with substantial retrieving power.

Price: £49.99

Nash BP-12 Fast Drag fishing reel

This great looking Fast Drag big pit reel has all-black looks, and its large capacity spool is made for challenging venues, long casts, and the boating out of baits to extreme range. 

Features include dual spot line clips, line guard spool system, level wind line-lay, and an oversized line roller to reduce line twist on the retrieve. 

The single-turn front Fast Drag system is easy to operate and precision set, while the CNC-machined ergonomic handle includes an isotope slot, something we’ve never seen before on any reel.