Fox FX11 Review

Last Updated on 24 June 2024 by James Bevan

Overall Rating

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Score derived from the average of these ratings:

Build Quality - 8.0

Cast & Retrieve - 8.5

Drag / Clutch - 8.5

Value For Money - 9.0

Quote Marks

Fox’s FX11 is a very popular reel in the Carp angling world and I could easily see why when I first laid my hands on it.

It’s a good looking well-balanced Big Pit reel that casts really well and boasts a number of really useful features. And what’s even better – it’s reasonably priced and won’t break the bank.

Compare Prices

8 new from £108.24
as of 24 July 2024 18:42

Features & Specs List With An Explanation

Features and Specs Explanation
Gear Ratio: 4.6:1 The spool turns 4.6 times for every one turn of the handle. This gear ratio is average for this reel type.
Weight: 590g This weight is average when compared to its competition.
Line Capacity: 0.33mm/320m Amount of line the spool can hold which is important for casting distance. This capacity is on par with similar reels.
Retrieve Rate: 95cm per handle turn Length of line retrieved per handle turn. This reel is ever so slightly slower on the retrieve than others.
Drag System: Quick Clutch with Grit Guard Allows rapid adjustment from freespool to locked drag, providing precision and control.
Number of Ball Bearings: 5+1 Five stainless steel ball bearings plus one roller bearing ensure smooth operation and durability. This is a good amount for a reel of this type.
Construction Material: Hardwearing graphite body Durable material offering strength and resistance to corrosion.
Handle: Machined solid aluminium handle Provides a balanced and comfortable grip.
Anti-Reverse System: Infinite anti-reverse Prevents handle from moving backward, ensuring better hook holds and control.
Spool Type: Large diameter aluminium spool Enhances casting performance by reducing friction and improving line flow.
Bail Arm: Rotor Brake System Reduces line twist and ensures smooth line lay on the spool.
Special Features: Super-slow oscillation, Anti-backlash system Ensures even line lay, reducing line wear and improving casting performance.

How The Reel Compares To Its Competitors

Here’s how the Fox FX11 reel compares to others I have reviewed:

NameOverall RatingPrice
Daiwa Tournament Basia 45 SCW QD9.1from £679.99
Shimano Ultegra 5500 XTD8.5from £134.99
Wychwood Riot Big Pit7.6from £39.99
Daiwa Emblem 35 SCW 5000c QD8.8from £168.29
Fox FX118.5from £112.99
Daiwa Emcast 25A8.1from £100.85
ESP Onyx Big Pit Reel8.3from £123.02
Daiwa Tournament 5000t9from £299.99
Shimano Power Aero 14000 XTC Reel9from £379.99
Sonik Tournos 8000 Reel7.9from £89.99

Build Quality

Build Quality
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What Does This Mean?

When we assess the build quality of a fishing reel, we test and review the materials used in manufacturing the reel and how it all comes together in the finished product.

To start with, the FX11s frame is built with a hardwearing graphite body that, despite being pretty standard, still offers durability and helps keep the overall weight of the reel down.

At 590g the weight is pretty average in its class but this does offer a nice balance of the power you would expect in a decent Big Pit vs it being light enough to cast and handle well.

The handle is made from solid machined aluminium that is comfortable and easy to use on the retrieve. The FX11 also comes with 2 solid line clips which are always handy. 

Inside the reel, the gearing is very good with 5+1 stainless steel bearings that not only helps keep the reel functioning for longer but also really adds to the smoothness of the retrieve. 

Finally the reel is finished with a minimalist matte black design accented by discreet silver trims which looks great on the bank.

Fox FX11 Solid Build
A lovely looking reel with a solid build

Cast And Retrieve Performance

Casting & Retrieve
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What Does This Mean?

This part of the review is fairly self-explanatory and focuses on how well the reel casts and how smooth the retrieve is.

Distance isn’t a factor in this assessment whereas accuracy and efficiency is.

On top of the actual, physical performance of the reel we also look at the number and type of ball bearings, the spool, line lay and the gear ratio in comparison to its required use.

One feature I always really like in a Carp reel is a slow oscillation system. This does really make a difference to the line lay on the spool. In turn this helps with casting distance because there is less friction from the line peeling off the spool when the line lays perfectly.

The oscillation system on the Fox FX11 is super-slow and therefore really does help achieve that perfect line lay. Fox have also complimented this with a ‘pro cast lip’ feature on the spool which further reduces friction in an aim to get those precious extra few yards on the cast.

The retrieve on the FX11 is also excellent with it feeling exceptionally smooth and well-balanced. This is no doubt helped by the 5+1 stainless steel ball bearings which for a mid-priced reel is a very nice addition. 

Fox FX11 Great Retrieve
A pro cast lip helps the FX11s casting performance

Drag / Clutch

Drag / clutch
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What Does This Mean?

When reviewing the drag system on a fishing reel we are testing how smooth the drag is and how convenient it is to use.

There is no bias as to whether a reel has a front or rear drag system, it is solely judged on how smooth it can take out line relative to the amount of pressure that it is being applied.

Fox’s Quick Clutch system on the front of the spool allows you to tighten and loosen from free spool to solid in one and a half rotations of the clutch. It also has a really well though-out grit guard feature added to it which can only help with the reels longevity.

Once in free spool mode the clutch is smooth as anything and I never encountered any problems when playing good sized fish with the FX11.

Okay so this isn’t as fluid as some of the premium reels out there but it does the job and it does the job well.

Fox FX11 Drag System
The quick clutch system on the Fox FX11

Value For Money

Value For Money
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What Does This Mean?

Self-explanatory in terms of an assessment but yet an important part of the review process. This is because it creates more of a level playing field.

Of course, the more expensive a reel is the more quality components it will have and as such will generally score higher.

Having value for money as a criterion allows us to judge how well a reel performs vs its price point and in turn allows us to recognise good-performing reels at bargain prices.

Scoring an outstanding 9.0 in the value for money category is testament to Fox’s ability to produce a really good performing carp reel whilst keeping it at an accessible price-point for the majority of anglers.

At around the £120 mark it is absolutely worth every penny and a fantastic option for both beginners and more experienced Carp anglers.


The Pros & Cons Of The Fox FX11 Carp Reel

Here is a list of pros and cons anglers have found with the FX11:



8 new from £108.24
as of 24 July 2024 18:42

If you would like to see more fishing tackle reviews as well as compare prices with various tackle shops then you can do so here.

Additional Experts & Resources Used In This Review

Here is a list of resources we have used as part of putting this review together:

AD’s Review: –

Fox’s Official Specs Page: –

About Me

About the founder

Hi, I’m James

And I have to make a confession: I am addicted to fishing and have been for over 30 years!

As part of my therapy, I’ve started to write about all things angling.

Learn more about me and my company on the about page.

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