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Baitrunner style reels, The Good, the bad and the ugly


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Hey Raides, 

Just acquired a Baitrunner OC 4000 for giggles and to test.

I started his thread to find out stories, who loves them and who hates them. Any information on any style of bait runner reel would be great, this is not exclusive to shimano branded reels.

Maybe this thread could be used as good advice for those with bait runners or those starting out.

I certainly look forward to using mine.

i have a few questions though.

Would anyone use the, during live baiting? 

Do you prefer them with braid or mono?

How do they go with soft plastics?

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I have a few bait runner reels and quite like them.  A Penn liver liner 560 and a Shimano D 8000.  I generally use the Penn as first preference probably due to the smaller size.    I have also used the OC 6000 and  Thunnus 4000.  I have been considering purchasing a Thunnus but the CI4 seem to deflect more at the base when a fish is on.  I am not sure I like it. 

I like having using the bait runner function when feeding a floating bait out into a burley trail.   I like them for downrigging and trolling.  In all of these instances it’s just easier having that slight resistance rather than freespool.

Another thing I like is when flicking the bait runner on when baiting the hook or having just boated a fish it allows you to remove extra line in a controlled way and also reduces the chances of a crazy fish impaling you on a hook.

Funnily enough I never use the function to allow the fish to run with the bait.  The few good snapper I have caught floating baits down when it hits I just turn the handle to turn it off and strike.  Let’s not talk about my jewfish record!!

To answer your questions.

Livebaiting yes but don’t use the function much as I generally have other lines out and keep the lively pretty contained.   Live baiting under a balloon definately use the function drifting it out.

Braid or mono.   Braid  I fish from a boat and never use mono.

Soft plastics no not really.  No reason why you couldn’t but for that style of Fishing I’d use a nice Stradic or similar which is much lighter in a similar sized reel.  

Are you fishing land based or boat?



Edited by Welster
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Good insight, I certainly like the idea of that sudden power of drag change. I'm sure it will no doubt greatly help in setting a book!

fish mostly from the boat, I find braid and mono both serve two different purposes. When trawling I prefer mono due to stretch.

i used smaller reels when chasing flatty a with plastics, but I have been doing a lot of drifting with plastics these days. I have found I can cover more ground doing so. Some of my videos on you tube demonstrate this. I don't do to much bait fishing these days but I thought having a bait runner handy may help out on the off chance I might want to set some bait.


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