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Shimano Nexus Baitrunner 5000 GTE

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Staff member

Hmmm tricky this how to introduce the one reel that really needs no introduction?


Shimano Nexus Baitrunner 5000 GTE​

How about it is a Baitrunner? The reel in one guise or another is more likely than not attached to your rod. The reel that is on your rod has a lot of similarities, cough, to a Baitrunner if it is not. See my quandary?

My introduction to the Baitrunner was around 1985ish when I discovered a pair of 2500 Triton Seaspins in a tackle shop. After a little play they no longer had them and I first discovered debt! They served me fantastically up until someone decided to relieve my car of them in 94. By that point Shimano had released their first Aero range of Baitrunners and I had already had a pair of GT4500's for carp fishing for two years. Still have a pair in fact I have three of them.

Around the time of the theft Shimano had launched the Aero GTM reel and so I went for a pair of 4010's out of the insurance money. These reels were amazing. Not a single complaint have I had out of them despite all the abuse I put them through and I did put them through some abuse.

I would still be using them for all my barbel fishing except for one minor thing. They have a gear ratio of 6.2:1. This means that the rotor turns 6.2 turns per revolution of the handle. More of that gobbledygook in a minute but why was this an issue?

My fishing was changing. I was using heavier leads so not to miss out on the bonanza that a flood can bring. This meant that I was hauling back up to 6 ounces of lead and whatever flotsam had caught up in the line. Now the GTM's are great reels but their relatively fast gearing meant they were struggling to cope with that kind of weight and I wasn't about to miss out on fishing floods because of them.

As I had owned the GTM's for 8 years or so I had a look at the updated models but found that the majority also have that high gearing so another type of reel was needed.

Have you gathered yet that I am a bit of a Shimano fan? Taking that into account I really did not take too long to decide that the then new Nexus Baitrunner was the only way to go. OK I went for the more expensive GTE version, as I do like double handles. There was also little consideration which size to go for as I had my old 4500's for carping and catfishing so the 5000's it was.


Another thing I like about Shimano's is that it is obvious that they are believers in if it isn't broke don't fix it. You can tell this just by looking at the reel. While there are a few changes over all it does not look all that different to the original Aero. Here is the technical stuff:

With the equivalent of 10 ball race bearings (the previous Baitrunner GT had only 4) the Aero GTE is amongst the smoothest specialist reels on the market today and features both Stargate and Stress Free Systems.

A lightweight XT7 graphite and aluminium hybridised body provides power without excessive weight gain.

Aero system supplies perfect line lay which is an essential attribute for longer casts, smooth controlled runs on the Baitrunner and fish played using the rear drag clutch.

The Rotor Cast Control means more confidence when casting extreme ranges without risk of accidental line breakage which when combined with Positive Bail means that the bail arm only closes when its supposed to.

A new double handle comes as standard for instant playing access and superior balance with improved tactile soft touch rubber grips.

The Hyper Gear provides more transmitted torque per crank making it ideal for hit and hold snaggy situations when the angler has to be in total control.


In Use

The first thing I noticed about the GTE was how absolutely smooth it was. Not a knock or wobble.

As a braid user I tend to get a bit paranoid about line lay. The reason for this is that if a coil gets caught behind another this can lead to line not being able to be given and therefore lost fish as braid does not have the stretch of mono. Happy to say that this has never even been a consideration with the GTE and to be honest after a few trips I never thought about it again until now.

The Baitrunner works as it is supposed to do which in the whole for me means that I can flip it on while pouring coffee or dealing with a phone call. One of the truly great rod saving gadgets of barbel fishing!

What about the reason I changed reels? Flood fishing? This reel has dealt with leads up to 8 ounces including the one in the picture. This lead is one borrowed is an apt term from Andy Davies's tackle box and quickly got named Scud. Not certain how much it weighs but Andy used to use them for fishing the Severn Channel.


You may have heard some bad things about this version of the Baitrunner. Indeed I had as well but after two years of abuse the original pair show no signs wear and tear apart from being liberally coated with mud and scratches.

For me the true test of an item of tackle is not whether it performs but if you can put a lost fish down to that piece of kit. As with all my other Shimano reels the GTE has never let me down.

The best way I can put this is to say that from the first two at one point I owned five but am back to three as she whom should be obeyed took an altogether unnatural interest in the amount of tackle I owned during a recent house move.

Still think it is fair to say if it isn't a Shimano it isn't a reel!


The GTE has a retail price of £129.99 but if you have to pay that you need help! With a little bit of searching you should find them available between £80 & £75.


Most tackle shops.

Andy Thatcher
April 2004
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