Tench are powerful fish and in order to be able to play and control them, you will need the right type of reel.
What reel you should be using for your tench fishing depends entirely on the way you are targeting them, as float fishing, feeder fishing and a bolt rig setup all require different reel models.
In order to help you find the perfect reel for each of those methods, I wrote this helpful in-depth article on the best tench fishing reels so that you can optimize your fishing, catch and land more and bigger tench.
The article is broken down into three main sections, covering each of the above-mentioned methods to catch tench and their respective fishing reels.
Best Float Fishing Reel for Tench
Daiwa stands for excellent quality and very affordable prices, and their Ninja series is a brilliant example of that. For tench on the float, I am using the Daiwa Ninja Match & Feeder LT (light and tough) and I cannot stress enough how satisfied I am with that reel.
When float fishing for tench, most anglers will be using a rather lightweight rod that won’t be a pain to hold in your hand for a longer period of time. Naturally then, your reel should hence not add much weight either.
The Ninja Match & Feeder LT, with its weight of a mere 0.2lb, is an absolute featherweight and has the perfect size for the typical tench float rod. It will make for a great combination and almost feels as if you’re not even holding a rod and reel in your hand.
And that’s exactly the type of gear you’ll need for such sensitive and delicate fishing.
I actually use several models of Daiwa Ninja reels for all of my coarse and spin fishing and every one of them is the perfect reel for the job!
The clutch on the Match & Feeder LT especially is something noteworthy, as it has been manufactured to absolute precision and perfection.
You can set it precisely and quickly, which allows you to adjust your clutch while playing a fish, no matter its size. And believe me, this is a feature you’ll most certainly appreciate during a hectic tench fight on rather light gear!
It also has a really cool design and looks very modern and professional on your rod. Not the most important feature, of course, but it’s nevertheless a nice feeling you get when you fish with gear that also looks good, isn’t it?
Conclusion: Based on my own experience and honest opinion, you won’t be able to find a better reel for tench float fishing!
Best Feeder Fishing Reel for Tench
Surprise! It’s yet another Daiwa Ninja! As I mentioned above, I have a whole range of these exceptional reels and for ledgering tench on the lighter feeder rod and cage or method feeders of up to 1oz, I am fishing with the Daiwa Ninja 3000A.
Using a slightly larger reel model for feeder fishing can be a good idea, as you both tend to fish at a greater distance and closer to possible snags on the bottom. This, in turn, demands both more and thicker line.
Hence, a 3000 or 4000 model is just the right size for such a fishing method. Personally, I prefer the Ninja 3000A, as it has a big enough spool for my 8lb mainline.
Of course, a thinner diameter will fit this reel just as well. So if you are fishing a less snaggy venue, you can use a 6 or 7lb line and will get on even more metres.
For its size, it is yet another really lightweight Daiwa reel, which will give you the perfect feel and balance when actively feeder fishing for tench.
Playing a large and angry tench on a lighter feeder rod and the Ninja 3000A is such a pleasure and you will be able to fish with absolute confidence!
Here are some of the Daiwa Ninja 3000A’s most important features and specifications:
- Hyper-sensitive front clutch
- 4 ball bearings
- Made of durable aluminum
- Infinite anti-reverse backstop
- Air bail roller bracket
- Long-life bow spring
- Soft-touch handle knob
- 1x spare spool
I cannot tell you enough how great it is to always have a ready spare spool with another line diameter on it with you on the bank. Imagine fishing with just one rod and 8-10lb line and suddenly you realise that the tench are extremely careful and moody today and that targeting them with a 6lb mainline would perhaps increase your chances of catching them.
Well, thanks to the spare spool, all you have to do is take off your end tackle, quickly exchange spools, put the end tackle back on and then you are all set to get those impossible fish after all! It can really improve things immensely and I always think it’s great when a reel comes with an extra spool, as it’s such an important and welcome feature.
Conclusion: The perfect lightweight, yet strong reel for your tench feeder fishing, for both short and long-distance casts.
Best Reel for Tench on the Bolt Rig
This last category is for those specimen anglers and more passive tench fishing fans among you.
And despite it being a more passive approach to catching tench, targeting them with a bolt rig or heavier method feeders of 1.5-2oz is extremely fun and very effective, especially when fishing longer sessions or overnighters.
For this type of fishing, which is usually executed with the help of a rod pod and bite alarm setup, I can strongly recommend the classic and never-failing Shimano Baitrunner ST 4000 FB. I have used those reels for my tench fishing for over ten years now and they are still going strong.
I have caught many of my very biggest tench on my Shimano Baitrunners and have really put them up to the test with those fish; they will always land you that huge tench, no matter what!
Here are some of the Shimano baitrunner reel’s most important features:
- Weight: 355g
- 1 shielded stainless steel ball-bearing
- Very precise and sensitive baitrunner 2-way clutch system
- Power roller
- Vary speed oscillation system for the perfect line lay (fits superbly with both braid and mono)
- Extremely durable (will literally last you forever if you take good care of it)
You may ask why I use a size 4000 baitrunner model. Well, the answer is simple; this specimen-type of fishing is usually targeting really big tench and these fish demand heavy-duty gear.
Trust me, 8lb+ tench are like small tanks! They are such powerful and energetic fish. Such sizes are a lot of fun when you play them, but if you want to be able to land them successfully, I recommend using a somewhat bigger and stronger reel model.
And man, when that baitrunner goes off and the tench is in a full run, you know what life’s all about!
Plus, should you be fishing in venues that also hold bigger carp, the Shimano Baitrunner ST 4000 FB will also manage to best those, usually even stronger fish with ease.
Conclusion: The Shimano Baitrunner is the best and most reliable reel when fishing for big tench on the bolt rig or heavy method feeder. And the price is just unbeatable!
Best Rods for Tench Fishing
It goes without saying that you will also need different types of rods for the three different tench fishing methods. Because if you are using the right kind of rod for each method, not only will you improve your chances of catching and landing more tench rather significantly, but you will also have a lot more fun doing it.
So, if you also want to read up on the best tench fishing rods, which will be the perfect fit for the reels covered in this article, make sure that you also check out this article I wrote: Best Tench Fishing Rods (for Ledgering and Float Fishing)