Does size matter? The simple answer is yes. Editor Tim Hodges looks at the XT-A Longcast Medium Baitrunner from Shimano.

The modern trend is for carp anglers to use rods of 3.25lb-plus test curve and fit them with a large big-pit reel. This is fine if you fish on waters where distance casting is required but there are lots of anglers that really don’t need these great big reels for their fishing.

The Shimano XT-A Longcast Medium Baitrunner is ideally suited to the type of angler who only fishes large waters occasionally. This allows you to use a smaller reel that is lighter but still very robustly made. Nevertheless, the Longcast spool will allow you to cast some very impressive distances if the situation calls for it.

The moment you pick up this reel you get the impression that it is a serious bit of kit. It is not the lightest but it feels really solid and built to last. If you send these to Shimano’s excellent service department every couple of years for an MOT then they should last you a very long time indeed.

You get all the same features with the Medium Baitrunner as the Big Baitrunner, just in a smaller package.

Five Shielded A-RB bearings plus one roller bearing make the reel incredibly smooth with increased durability and oscillation, Aero Wrap II plus Slow 2 Speed gives you superb casting performance.
The single, machined, long aluminium handle gives improved cranking power.


A small big-pit reel with all the features of its big brother. Outstanding.


Price: £239.99