Are Baitrunner Reels Worth It?

Last Updated on September 22, 2023

Are Baitrunner reels worth it? This question has sparked a lively discussion among fishing enthusiasts. Whether you’re a seasoned angler or just starting your fishing journey, understanding the true worth of Baitrunner reels is crucial. In this blog post, we delve deep into the world of Baitrunner reels to explore their relevance and help you determine if they are truly worth the investment.

Understanding Baitrunner Reels

Baitrunner reels, also known as bait-feeder reels, are a specialized type of spinning reel that offers unique features not found in conventional spinning reels. What sets them apart is the inclusion of a secondary drag system, allowing anglers to adjust the tension independently for the main drag and the Baitrunner drag. This dual-drag system distinguishes Baitrunner reels from their traditional counterparts and opens up a whole new realm of fishing possibilities.

The primary feature of Baitrunner reels is the Baitrunner drag system. When engaged, this system allows the line to be released with minimal resistance, enabling fish to take the bait without feeling excessive tension. This feature is particularly useful when targeting finicky or cautious fish species.

Baitrunner reels are also favored by anglers who prefer using live bait, as the secondary drag system enables fish to take the bait with little resistance, resulting in better hooksets. With Baitrunner reels, anglers can adapt their fishing technique to match the specific requirements of their target species, making them a valuable asset in the tackle box.

Top 3 Choice: Baitrunner Reels

Okuma Ceymar Baitfeeder

Okuma Ceymar Baitfeeder

  • 7BB+1RB stainless steel bearings
  • On/Off auto trip bait feeding system
  • Multi-disc, Japanese oiled felt drag washers
  • Quick-Set anti-reverse bearing
  • Rigid metal handle design for strength
  • Heavy-duty solid aluminum bail wire
  • Precision machine-cut brass pinion gear
  • Corrosion-resistant graphite body and rotor
  • RESII: Computer-balanced Rotor Equalizing System
  • Machined aluminum, 2-tone anodized spool with LCS lip

The Ceymar is at the very top of the entry-level price category, yet it includes features that are more likely to be found in more expensive reels.

7 (+1) bearings, a machined brass pinion, an alloy grip, and a heavy-duty bail arm are included.

These features may not appear to be extensive, yet they are. They do, however, provide core strength and smoothness, which provides not only great performance but also durability.

These reels are great for setting cut natural baits as well as live minnows and shiners. This is an excellent reel for live baiting for largemouth bass at a reasonable price.


  • The price point that is affordable
  • Inshore adaptability
  • Value for money


  • While the oiled felt drag is effective, it is time to retire the outmoded technology.
Shimano Thunnus CI4

Shimano Thunnus CI4

  • Hagane Gearing
  • Dyna-Balance
  • Fluidrive II
  • One-piece bail wire
  • Super Stopper II
  • A-RB (bearings) 6+1 System
  • Thunnus CI4 Construction body
  • SR-Concept
  • Shimano Baitrunner system
  • Propulsion Line Management System

The Thunnus is a stunning reel that is packed with features and adaptability. The performance across all critical parameters is exceptional, and the pricing reflects this.

The Thunnus is not a cheap reel and is unlikely to fit within most anglers’ budgets. You do, however, get a lot of reel for your money.

The crank will be tight, smooth, and powerful. The drag is consistent and smooth, and the Baitrunner system is simple to use.

This is an excellent reel for larger live and dead baits.

Casting techniques ensure that individuals who want distance will be well served while casting heavier baits, depending on the rod used.


  • Outstanding performance
  • Smooth and powerful crank
  • Feature-packed Cons


  • Better if a metal body
Shimano Big Baitrunner Xt B Lc 

Shimano Big Baitrunner Xt B Lc 

  • High crank power rating
  • Manual Bail Close System
  • Bearings 4+1
  • X-SHIP / Hagane gearing system
  • Long cast spool
  • Baitrunner / front drag

Shimano receiving two rankings in a best-of list should come as no surprise. After all, Shimano designed the Baitrunner feature.

I couldn’t leave this reel off the list because it exemplifies what the Baitrunner function is all about letting huge fish run off with your big bait so you have a better chance of hooking up.

This reel is ideal for the job because it is massive, sturdy, and capable of throwing large baits a great distance.

It’s vital to note, though, that the balance of your clothing and rig will affect your casting distance.

You can’t rely on the reel to compensate for an unbalanced or mismatched rig or rod.

The Baitrunner system is fluid, seamless, and simple to use, with plenty of adjusting options.

The adjustability is great for the surf and ocean rocks, where conditions can change dramatically during a session.

While it won’t hurt your cash as much as the Thunnus, it’s still decently priced.

However, chasing big fish in challenging conditions necessitates dependable firepower.


  • Ideal for live bait
  • Use many rods to catch fish.


  • Only two drags to keep

Which type of reel is the most accurate?

Reel for Baitcasting. The bait caster is the most sophisticated sort of fishing reel. This reel is frequently used by seasoned fishermen and fishing pros since it is unrivaled in terms of power and precision.

Are Baitrunner Reels Worth It?

After examining the benefits, considerations, and real-life experiences, it becomes clear that Baitrunner reels offer significant value to anglers. The ability to present bait more effectively and increase fish landing rates has been consistently praised by experienced anglers. Their positive experiences validate the worthiness of investing in Baitrunner reels for certain fishing situations.

It’s important to consider both sides of the equation when assessing the worthiness of Baitrunner reels. While the benefits, such as enhanced line control and the ability to tackle larger fish, are compelling, it’s crucial to also acknowledge the considerations and limitations associated with these reels.

To determine if Baitrunner reels are worth it, anglers should carefully evaluate their fishing needs, preferences, and budget. Reflect on your fishing style and the species you commonly target. Consider the features and benefits of Baitrunner reels that align with your fishing aspirations. By conducting this self-assessment, you can make an informed decision about the worthiness of investing in Baitrunner reels.


As you contemplate whether Baitrunner reels are worth it for you, it’s essential to consider your own fishing goals and requirements. Every angler is unique, and what may be a valuable tool for one person may not be as crucial for another. Take the time to reflect on your fishing style, the species you target, and the specific features you prioritize in your equipment.

Tight lines!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *