Fishing Tackle FAQ

Carp Tackle

What is a freespool reel?

In carp fishing, a freespool feature is typically a switch or lever that allows the angler to disengage the standard drag setting and switch instead to a much lighter resistance without changing the main drag setting. When a fish takes the bait, the freespool allows it to pull line freely from the spool – giving the angler time to pounce on his run while ensuring the rod and reel aren’t pulled into the water. Depending on the reel, the freespool can sometimes be set to different tensions and usually disengages automatically when the angler turns the reel handle ready to connect with the fish. If you’re fishing in open water, you’ll probably want the freespool set with minimal resistance, but if you’re fishing near to snags, it may be worth adding a little more resistance.

Which Is Better – Baitrunner or Big Pit?

While some people will tell you to buy a big pit reel every time, others swear by their baitrunners. For me it all depends on the type of fishing you’re doing and how you feel about the benefits of freespool. If you’re fishing at long range and need to cast a long way, you’ll almost certainly want a big pit reel. The line comes off the spool a lot more easily and you’d be surprised at the difference it can make to your casting distance. What’s more, the bigger spool creates less twist in your line, which can add further distance, as well as leaving your line less ‘kinky’. As I said before, there are plenty of big pit freespool reels out there now, so there’s nothing to stop you having the best of both worlds.

What is the difference between Freespool / Baitrunner Reels vs Big Pit Reels?

These days carp reels fall into one of two categories; these are freespool reels, otherwise known as baitrunners, and big pit reels. The latter is not much more than the name given to reels with large line capacities – often bigger in size than standard freespool reels, and with large spools designed specifically for casting long distances. More often than not, especially with more expensive reels, big pit carp reels will incorporate some kind of freespool mechanism, making them freespool reels as well. if this isn’t the case, you’ll need to loosen your drag manually after casting, thus allowing a taking fish to run. When striking, most people simply grab the spool, then tighten up the drag to play the fish. Not as quick as a freespool but, in the hands of an experienced angler, can still be fairly swift.