Tackle Critic

Shimano Baitrunner DL 4000 FB Review

shimano baitrunner dl 4000 fb review

When searching for affordable spinning reels, nothing beats Shimano. This Shimano Baitrunner DL 4000 FB review covers all features of the popular reel and compares it to others on the market. Overall, the Baitrunner DL 4000 FB spinning reel is a reliable and budget-friendly reel that doesn’t disappoint. This reel is highly efficient while retaining plenty of power for fighting larger fish.

The Shimano Baitrunner DL 4000 FB is best for targeting hard-fighting feeder fish such as carp and catfish. Baitrunner reels have a freespool drag system that gives anglers more time to get in position before fighting a fish. This technology eliminates crack-offs and gives tournament anglers a significant advantage.

DL 4000 FB Features

The Baitrunner DL 4000 FB has a sleek appearance with a gunmetal-colored housing. Compared to the similar ST4000 Shimano reel, this one has much smoother cranking. This smooth performance comes from three shielded stainless steel ball bearings.

One of the most annoying qualities of low-end baitrunner reels is that they often twist your line during retrieval. Shimano solved this issue by designing a “Power Roller,” which keeps both monofilament and braid from tangling on your spool.

Shimano Unique Technology

So what makes the DL 4000 FB better than other similar reels? One way Shimano stands out is by using proprietary technology to increase performance.

Shimano’s AR-C spool and Verispeed oscillation system are world-renowned for their superior performance. These components perform better than those used in other $200 baitrunner reels.

The brand has built a name around its high-end, industry-leading products that cost a fraction of the expected price.

Size Comparison: 2500 vs 4000

The Shimano Baitrunner DL FB Reel comes in 2500 and 4000 reel sizes. The chart below compares the specifications of the two models.

Reel Size
WeightGear RatioMax DragLine Capacity (LB/YDS)
DL 4000 FB410g4.8:16kg8lb-240 / 10lb-200 / 12lb-160
DL 2500 FB360g4.8:13kg6lb-200 / 8lb-140 / 10lb-120

While the 2500 size weighs 50g less, most anglers will prefer the benefits the 4000 size offers. The main difference between the two is the larger size has a stronger drag system and much more line capacity.

Anglers that intend to use this reel for carp and stronger feeder fish will get far better performance out of the DL 4000 FB. You never know when you’ll run into a massive fish and need the stronger drag system.

Additionally, most carp rods have a better balance with the 4000 size than the 2500 size.

Comparing Alternatives

You’ve probably seen many baitrunner reels made by different manufacturers. So what factors should you consider when comparing the Shimano Baitrunner DL 4000 FB with others?

Shimano Baitrunner vs Penn Spinfisher

A popular alternative to the Shimano Baitrunner DL 4000 FB is the Penn Spinfisher VI. The Penn Spinfisher has a fully-sealed housing, making it ideal for saltwater fishing. While all the components are protected from the elements, the Penn reel costs 3x the price as Shimano’s baitrunner. If you’re looking for the smoothest reeling action, the Penn Spinfisher is the best option as it has twice as many bearings.

Shimano Baitrunner DL vs OC

The Baitrunner OC is Shimano’s upgraded version of the Baitrunner DL FB. While the Baitrunner OC costs 3x as much as the DL FB model, it has some enticing features.

Shimano’s Baitrunner OC has a new auto-return Baitrunner feature, making the reel better for tournament carp fishing. The OC reel also has better casting distance, slightly improved line lays, and less backlash. The grips on the Baitrunner OC are also larger and more comfortable than those on the DL FB Model.

Is it worth paying the higher price tag for the Baitrunner OC? Well, that depends.

If you’re not fishing competitively and are looking for a high-quality, budget-friendly setup, the Baitrunner DL 4000 FB is the better option. While it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of the Baitrunner OC, they don’t necessarily justify the higher cost.

Shimano Baitrunner DL vs D

When comparing the Shimano Baitrunner DL 4000 FB with the Baitrunner D, it’s all about performance and price. The current model of the Baitrunner D costs roughly the same amount as the Baitrunner OC but has slightly different features.

The Baitrunner D has better castability, line lay, and less backlash than the Baitrunner DL. However, the DL 4000 FB performs well, to begin with, and doesn’t suffer many backlashes or line lay issues. The Baitrunner D model has the same number of bearings as the DL reel; however, the max drag is greatly improved.

The Baitrunner BTR 4000 D has a max drag of 15kg, while the Baitrunner DL 4000 FB maxes out at 6kg. If you’re targeting stronger fish species and need extra power, the Shimano’s Baitrunner D model is a better choice.

Shimano Baitrunner DL vs ST

While the other reels we’ve reviewed have been more expensive, the Baitrunner ST is the most affordable reel in Shimano’s baitrunner line-up. The ST model is designed for children and beginners who need an inexpensive reel to get them out on the water.

The Shimano Baitrunner DL series has better performance, build quality, durability, and strength than the ST series. The Baitrunner ST comes in all the same reel sizes but uses fewer ball bearings. This design means the cranking is noticeably smoother on the Baitrunner DL.

Unless you’re on a strict budget, it’s worth spending a little more on the Baitrunner DL FB. Not only will it make fishing more enjoyable, but it will also last longer and is less prone to damage.

Best Rod for DL 4000 FB

If you’ve decided the Shimano DL 4000 FB is the reel for you, the next step is pairing it with the correct rod. The best rod to pair with this reel depends on the places you fish and the species you frequently target. The DL 4000 FB is an excellent rod for catching carp, striped bass, largemouth bass, catfish, and many other gamefish species.

I like to always pair my Shimano spinning reels with rods made by Shimano. While there are many decent spinning rods on the market, you get the most performance out of a Shimano reel when paired with a rod from the same manufacturer.

Shimano carefully designs their rods and reels to bring out the best qualities in one another. The Baitrunner DL 4000 FB will cast the farthest and transfer the most vibrations with the Shimano rods listed above.

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