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Shimano Baitrunner for surf & jetty ??

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Hi All,

 

I have a Shimano Baitrunner in the 4500 size

which I have used, with Spectra, for a long time even for Dorado & Tarpon. Is this reel

OK for the surf & jetty fishing? I read posts that seem to indicate that only the VS or possibly the new Mitchell are good enough for this type of fishing. Any comments will be appreciated.

Thanks,

-Elalto

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My .02 is the Baitrunner is an excellent reel for bait fishing with spinning tackle. The controlled freespool is an excellent feature for this application.

 

The reason you read posts on the Neptune and the VS is that they will get "down and dirty" in the wash. They can be immersed in a suspended sand enviorment ( the VS for sure...I have not used the neptune yet)and keep on cranking. That is their primary selling point.

 

If you fish strickly from the beach and rocks and your reel never gets dumped in the sand or the wash many, including the baitrunner series, reels will work excellently. If you go into the water and your reels are subject to exposure to suspended sand emersion then the VS, for sure, and possibly the Neptune are reels you should consider instead.

 

It all boils down to how and were you fish as to what you can use!

 

Hope this has helped!

Tightlines and favorable winds!

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The Shimru Baitrunners are very nice. A great reel in thge spring when you may fish herring then plugs when you run out. It works well both ways. Much better quality than the mitchell Orca Baitrunner I've had for years. I believe there is also a bigger size than the 4500 but the 4500 is what my friends have and it seems plenty big enough. A good value.

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I HAD the said reel, only the smaller model. The 3500. It couldn't withstand the punishment of taking a lot of water and the occaisonal sand bath. I found, which really ticked me off, was the handle construction lacked in the tightness department. It developed a lot of play and I wound up putting in a couple of thin washers to tighten it up. No big deal, but one would think that for the price, Shimano would "re-engineer" the handle/crank and gearing on this thing and make it a bit more sturdy like some of its brothers and sisters. Heck, for the same price, you can buy a Stradic 5000FG or 6000FG, you don't get the "baitrunner" feature, but at least you get the brass gearing to boot. Just my .03.

 

--Geoff

Team Laurel & Hardy

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As Jim-DE stated, the Neptune and VS are waterproof and resist the problems associated with, as Jim eloquently put, a "suspended sand envronment"...add to the that the corrosive nature of salt water...it will make mush out of white metal gears and desroy cheap bearings in a couple trips. There are many reels that will do on jetties, they just need to be strong, hold plenty of line, and handle unplanned meetings with the rocks on ocassion.

 

Jim, the Neptune is indeed waterproof..I checked redface.gif Also, it didn't require that I "grind" out the sand as I've hear is necessary with a VS...the sand just never got anywhere that would require grinding it out. It's pretty remarkable for the $$.

 

TimS

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Just some more info. Shimano has a new bait runner. They have the patented reel to set the free spool thing. Silstar makes a bait runner too but Shimano complained about Silstar's switch saying it was a rip off so Silstar doesn't have one. I think they are working on a new system though. I don't use them but I have friends that swear by bait runners.

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Tim,

 

Will the Baitrunner be one of the reels you can service? Mine gets quite a workout every spring and can a tune up?

 

Thanks,

 

John

 

------------------

 

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Jim, yes, for even I used to own a bait runner reel...but that was a different time, I was a different person then! redface.gif At the time, they were just a plain decent reel, the baitrunner feature was cool for fluking, you could drop back without have to fumble for the bail...I didn't do much livelining with it, but it was cool anyway!

 

I've taken almost every single type of spinning reel apart, repaired them, and put them back together. They were all pretty much the same...then came the fancy Daiwas...then the Sustain...these guys handled the entire spool movement thing different than anyone else ever had..but even those are a piece of cake. So, yes, I can fix 'er up for ya!

 

TimS

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I have never owned one and can't give an opinion on them, however if your intention is to fish live bait such as herring or bunker for bass don't bother with this reel. Livelining is as specialized as any other form of fishing for bass and is much better done with conventional tackle.

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The Shimano BTR series Baitrunners, now only available in 3500, 4500 and 6500 are still IMHO the best baitrunner available on the market. As previously stated, Silstar tried to copy the Shimano style, but unfortunately fell well short in the quality department. Other brands presently available include Mitchell, Surecatch and Jarvis Walker, but again I would not put any of these up against a Shimano for quality or durability.

 

Ok, getting back to the original question. Again IMHO your 4500 Baitrunner would be an ideal reel for jetty and boat fishing. Using mine I have landed fish well in excess of the line breaking strain, and the reel handled it with exceptional ease. However, I do not recommend using them in the surf, for a couple of reasons. The first and most important is that baitrunners and sand do not mix. If you have ever pulled the side plate off and noticed all of the springs inside, one grain of sand can infact render the baitrunner facility useless, as it will not function. Secondly, with the wave movement, fishing in the surf, just the pressure of the water will allow line to run off the spool, hence in some instances can be very annoying.

 

Please bare in mind that I am not a hugh fan of Shimano products, but I have been using the BTR series and personally own the whole range including the discontinued 1500, 2500 and 3000, and I cannot fault the performance of all of them.

 

Regards

Steve Barratt.

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Welcome Steve, and thanks for the first hand info on the bait runners! What is it you fine folks from down under fish for in the surf? I've always wondered....

 

Yet another place on my long list to visit, Kangaroos are cool!

 

SteveS, good point, when it comes to hard core livelining only, you can't beat a conventional rig just for ease of operation and line capacity. Yet, as Saltheart stated, for those fishing from shore, like the Ditch, when you are "allowed" only so many herring, the baitrunner allows you to then fish plugs once your herring are done. While I like conventional, there are some folks who would rather plug with a spinner...and to walk back and get the spinner to plug or to carry two rods might be too much effort. It's compromise, for sure, carry two rods, one each perfect for thier task, or carry one that will do an ok job at both scenarios. It's nearly impossible to live line with a regular spinner, the bait runner clears at lest a couple hurdles in that department! wink.gif

 

Elalto1, the sand issue that Steve brings up is the main reason why there are reels now showing up that are waterproof...keeping the sand and salt out will allow you more years of smooth service...up until now it would cost around $400-$500 for this luxury, but with the advent of the Neptune, for $160 you can dunk yer stuff and no longer sweat it...is'nt technology grand? biggrin.gif

 

TimS

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Shimano has come up with what seems to be a souped-up version of the Baitrunner, the THUNNUS. I saw it in a tackle shop and it looks to be all aluminum and solidly built. It was also about twice as costly as the Baitrunner. Does anyone have any feedback on this model?

 

I've also seen the Mitchell Neptune ...it seems great and I've seen the rave reviews, I guess the only question I have is about the durability of the yellow rubber jacket and the fact that the anti-reverse switch is located under the jacket. Any problems experienced or anticipated here, Tim?

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KOLE, no anticipate problems there. The yellow jacket is a thick, tough rubber...and it's not part of the waterproofing, but it is noted to help keep the anti-reverse button clean. The anti-reverse button being located under the rubber jacket is not a concern of mine, it's easy to reach and switches with very little effort. I'm told it has "selectable infinite anti-reverse"..I'm not sure what that means and why you would want to turn infinite anti-reverse off, but the manual notes that as a feature confused.gif

 

TimS

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I've owned four Shimano Baitrunners. All of them casted and handled fish just fine. But all of them had bail-failure. I've lost a about $200 in lures because of it and have returned two of the reels. I loved the reels except for the goshdang bail. I'll likely not purchase Shimano reels again. I'm surprised that you guys (who posted and own these reels) never mentioned that problem.

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