1. View: Beginner's Guide: How to Use Baitleader / Baitrunner Reels

Beginner's Guide: How to Use Baitleader / Baitrunner Reels

Posted 3/09/2013 8:54 PM
Updated 3/09/2013 9:06 PM


Have you been out fishing and, out of the corner of your eye, seen a rod tip gracefully bend as a fish picks up the bait and starts to run? Yes you have because the bail arm was closed and the drag had been set to the breaking strain of the line, no line releases from the spool so the fishing rod quickly loads up putting strain on your whole fishing tackle set-up.

The fish meanwhile senses there is something very wrong and drops the bait. All this usually happens within a few seconds, before you have had time to grab the fishing rod and, either release the bail arm, or loosen the drag. Even if you did have the drag set on a loose setting, how do you know how much to screw it down to accommodate the line class you are using? All this whilst trying to battle a fighting fish.

This has long been a problem when fishing light baits or live baits, especially when the fishing rod is left unattended. There is however, a solution. There are fishing reels available that have a "baitfishing type" of threadline which allows a fish to pick up the bait and move off, feeling no resistance even with the bail arm closed. When the decision to strike is made, you simply wind the handle to engage your pre-set drag and fight the fish in the normal way.


The operation of these fishing reels is very simple. By activating a small lever on the fishing reel, it throws the line spool into "free spin". You are now in bait fishing mode. On some models there is a separate drag nut to control the amount of tension in free spin you want on the spool whilst the fishing reel is in bait fishing mode. As per normal, keep the main drag at about one third of the breaking strain of the fishing line. You now have a system which allows a fish to run with bait without feeling any resistance at all, while the angler is still in total control. To set the hook you can either wind the handle to cancel the bait fishing system, or flick the small lever to return the line spool to the main pre-set drag calibration.

Pelagic Extreme has several baitleader thread line series fishing reels and these are the Thunder and Xpro series fishing reels. There are several models in the range from the small Xpro 3500 series to fish 4 kilo, right through to the Thunder 10000 to fish 10 kilo and beyond.

Tag Index