Shimano Baitrunner DL 10000 RA

Previously, I’d made the mistake of buying a set of ‘baitrunner’ type reels from a company who specialise in rods and alarms and not from Shimano; it was an error I’d regretted from the minute I fitted them to my rods, so it was a joy to replace them recently with a set of shiny new shimmy’s!



Like many anglers on a budget, (or married!) I cannot justify spending huge amounts of money on new kit, so for what I do spend, I like to know my purchase will last and do what I require of it. The Baitrunner DL 10000 RA is priced at a very respectable £69.99, with online reductions available. All of my other reels are from the same stable, so I know that I’m buying into a quality brand and the DL10000RA is no different.

On first inspection, the reel is finished to the high standard normally associated with any Shimano product; subtle branding and dark, almost black paintwork provide a smart yet functional appearance to satisfy the image conscious user. It is a fairly weighty reel coming in at 580g (20.5ozs) which allows the angler to achieve exceptional rod/reel balance, especially with a heavier rod if handheld by the angler rather than placed in rod supports or on a pod.

I much prefer to use a double handled reel as I feel it gives much better balance when winding in or playing fish, and the handles on this reel are sufficiently spaced to allow me to get my hand comfortably around the ergonomically designed finger pads even when wearing gloves; as expected, the reel handle can be folded down and locked for storage or changed over for left handed anglers. The handle arrangement works equally as well in backwind mode too with no discernible wobble or deflection. Top marks!



The anti reverse is instantaneous and has no slippage or ‘give’ when pressure needs to be ramped up to tame a strong running fish or the rods placed on a pod if sensitive bite indication is required. The simple changeover switch at the base of the spool can easily be flicked across to disengage if required, or reinstated instantly should the need arise. If you prefer to play your fish ‘off the clutch’ then the range from light to tight is forgiving and easily adjusted by using the rear mounted drag.

These reels are packed with features; a cold forged aluminium spool is fitted as standard with a spare to allow a quick change over should the situation warrant a change of plan, and each one will take 545 yards of 10lbs or 325 yards of 14lbs mono if needed. The spool is simply ‘popped’ onto the reel spigot and engaged ready for use. Line lay is excellent and it is easy to achieve a uniform load with the assistance of the oversized roller fitted to the bail arm and the unique ‘Dyna-Balance’ system which maintains an even displacement across the spool. The internal gearing gives a retrieve rate of 4.6:1, and a line clip comes as standard.



The reel body contains three stainless steel ball bearings and one roller bearing to give smooth operation even under extreme load and a regular drop of Shimano Bantam oil will ensure effortless recovery for the lifespan of the product. Shimano are respected for the inline gearing and braking arrangements, and after going elsewhere, it becomes apparent just how good these reels are; the ‘freespool’ (baitrunner) facility changes over almost instantaneously as the reel handle is turned to engage the gears and it can also be adjusted in minute increments to provide optimum sensitivity to any bite indication assembly; Shimano are synonymous with the term ‘baitrunner’ and the effectiveness and ease of use demonstrate why!

Overall, as a reel priced in the mid range of the market, it is an outstanding buy. It has all the features most anglers would either want or need with the integrity and reliability of any Shimano product. I’ve used them for reasonably large pike and carp and found no issues whatsoever in the few months I’ve had them; would I recommend them? You bet!

My new trio of reels were kindly supplied by Homeleigh Garden Centre in Launceston, Cornwall (


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