Fixed Spool Reel Guide

There's a wide range of reel types within the fishing industry including baitrunners, big pit, freespool and fixed spool. The different types of reels will perform better in different situations and types of fishing. 

The fixed spool reel is used for many types of fishing including Sea fishing and a common choice when it comes to Carp fishing. They are versatile and often slightly cheaper then other types of reels which makes them so popular.


The fixed spool reel consists of specific features including the spool, front drag, anti twist roller, bail arm, reel seat, reel handle, support arm, reverse switch and a spool skirt.

A fixed spool means the spool will not rotate. Instead, The reel has a roller attached to the bail arm which the line will pass through and while rotated the spool can release or lay the line.

Reels are created using ball bearings and typically the more expensive reels which run smoother have more bearings than the cheaper ones. The lower end reels can be created with the use of only one bearing whereas the higher quality reels can contain up to ten.


Fixed spool reels are fitted with either rear (RD) or front drag (FD). Both rear and front drag have the same objective which is releasing the line at a required force. The tighter the drag, the more force will have to be placed on the line for the reel to release it. 

The drag will usually be adjusted the most while playing a fish. Typically for most fishing situations, once you have casted it's best to keep a low drag so the fish can pull the line and reduce the chance of snaps. 


These types of reels can have either a single or double styled handle. The reel handle can be adjusted and added to either the left or right side of a reel. Most commonly, anglers will use their weaker hand to crank the reel so they are able to hold the rod more comfortably in their dominant hand.


Fixed spool reels are grouped in thousands. Smaller reels are between 1,000 and 3,500, medium sized reels range from 4,000 to 5,500 and anything above 6,000 is classed as a large reel. 

For most UK Carp fishing medium to large reels will be perfect. The weight of the reel is important for the type of fishing you will be doing. If you're doing lure fishing then using a lighter reel will be better as it requires constant casting. 

Whereas if you're carp fishing with a pod setup then you can get away with using heavier reels. Also, it's best to match the size of the reel with the size of the rod so that it's balanced correctly. 

All reels will have a ratio rating. For example, a reel with 5:1 means that with one full rotation the spool will turn five times. The higher the ratio will mean a higher retrieval rate. 


There's a wide range of fixed spool reels on the market including popular brands such as shimano, shakespeare, Daiwa and more. This list will include tried and tested fixed spool reels that work great for Carp Fishing.


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This top selling reel from Fox is designed with the strength that'll help land big sized Carp. With 9 ball bearings and a ratio of 5.5:1 the reel runs smoothly. With a line capacity of 0.33mm/320m this reel is great for short to medium styles of fishing. The reel also has a slow oscillation which contributes to the great line lay.




The Daiwa crosscast has a big pit design and is great for longer distance casting. The reel has a ratio of 4.6:1 and works well when trying to reel in big carp. The front drag allows micro adjustments while playing a fish and helps prevent line snaps. This reel also features an anti reverse handle.




This is another great big pit reel for Carp fishing. Featuring an oversized roller and super slow oscillation creates an immaculate and tangle free line lay. This reel is also constructed using five stainless steel bearings allowing for smooth casting.


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