Shimano Power Aero XT Reels


Every angler has personal choices when it comes down to the items of tackle that they use, and I am no different, but reels have always been a complete nightmare for me as they feel right in the shop, look right, yet after a couple of uses, they feel completely different to what you expected. Over the years it has cost me a literal fortune in reels until I have found a reel that I am completely happy with. These reels are the Shimano Power Aero XT range.

In the range, there are two models; 6000 and 10000. The difference between the two is the spool depth as the spools are completely interchangeable between the reel bodies. The Power Aero XT reels are of the big pit style and are full of all the normal Shimano innovations and features that truely aid the angler rather than add things which get in the way. The spools are constructed using Shimano's own Cold Forged Aluminium machining process that virtually eliminates any weakness in the spools. The spools have a lip in the interior of the rim at the front of the spool which allows for better exit of line on the cast. I recommend that the spools are filled to the base of this lip for best performance and the least chance of additional line coiling off on the cast creating a birds nest or frap up around the butt ring. The 6000 spools are stated to hold 200m of 10lb line and the 10000, 400m of 12lb.



The Power Aero XT incorporates Shimano's famous BaitRunner system into the front drag system without the requirements for a lever. This is built in to the spool cap at the front of the reel in the form of the BaitRunner Spool System. The BaitRunner Spool System looks complicated but is literally child’s play to set and adjust. To set up the BaitRunner Spool it is a simple task of adjusting the smaller inner dial to the drag setting that you require for normal fishing purposes, and to engage the free spool function, a simple turn of the larger outer dial lowers the resistance required to take line from the spool. Once a fish has been hooked, to disengage the BaitRunner, a quick turn of the outer dial returns the spool back to the normal fishing situation setting.

The line lay on the Power Aero XT is what anglers have come to expect from Shimano in that it is flawless. This perfect line lay is generated by the Aero Wrap line lay system and the Super Slow Oscillation of the spool which allows more coils of line to be laid along the spool per turn of the handle.

The internals of the reel have been designed to last a lifetime and also be completely reliable under heavy loads. The Power Aero XT contains 5 x A-RB Bearings which are a super corrosion resistant hi-tec bearing that during Shimano's testing have proven to be at least 10 times stronger and longer lasting than traditional bearings found in some other reels. Some reels may have literally dozens of bearings inside them, but if one goes, the number of bearings then becomes irrelevant.

The handle of the Power Aero XT has been designed to make full use of the cranking capabilities of the reel in that it has been constructed to be a perfect feel in the hand as well as giving superb grip when under pressure. The length of the handle allows for a large turning circle which means that less pressure is required from the angler to get the reel turning when a load is placed on the gearing system. Shimano have also incorporated their Super Stopper II system into the gearing which means that there is no reverse play on the handle or bail arm when the anti-reverse is set on. This can help in faster setting of the hook on a take as well as better bite indication due to no slack area due to movement of the bail arm. The gear ratio on the Power Aero XT may look low at 3.5:1, but this ratio still brings back 80cm of line per turn of the handle. A higher gear ratio would cause problems in my totally honest opinion as line twist would be inevitable due to the additional rotation of the bail arm as well as the gearing requiring higher pressure to be put on the handle to start the reeling process.

The main body of the reel is constructed from Shimano's own and reliable XT-7 material which gives superb strength to weight ratio. Although the Power Aero XT is a seriously large reel, it does not feel over heavy, nor does it outbalance the rods that I have used them on. The stem and reel foot of the reel has been designed for comfort when holding the rod for prolonged periods using the tried and tested Bio-Grip design. The reel foot will also fit on any reel seat that is used on specialist and carp rods.



Final Thoughts From Long Term Use

I have used the Power Aero XT reels now for a couple of years and is probably the longest period of time I have stuck with a set of reels, and I cannot see me ever changing them (unless a set of Aero Techniums come my way somehow, and even then I would keep the Power Aero XT's!). The Power Aero XT reels have performed flawlessly for me during any angling situations I have put them through in all weather conditions. From the first time I went out with them, the reels put several yards on my casting straight away, which enabled me to reach features that I struggled to reel with the big pit reels I had before. I had also heard stories from other anglers about taking forever to retrieve a rig from long range but was pleasantly surprised with how fast the reels retrieval was for the low gear ratio. Even after using the BaitRunner Spool System and the clutch almost exclusively when playing fish, I have not noticed any problems with line twist that some other anglers seem to suffer from on a regular basis with other reels. The clutch on the Power Aero XT is flawless and gives line smoothly without and jerking required to start it off should a fish turn suddenly, even under high tensions.

I cannot say how much I like these reels as you have to use them to experience the quality and finnesse. I like them that much that I now own 5 of them and keep looking out for more!

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