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.

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Price: £249.99