14 Best Shimano Spinning Reel Reviews and Ultimate Buying Guide in 2021!

Shimano is one of the leading brands in the fishing industry for generations. The original company started back in the year 1921, which means this brand is a century-old! 

It takes more than just cool designs to survive for so long in a competitive marketplace.

Shimano does it quite effortlessly with their well-crafted products that last a lifetime if you take proper care. That’s what they are known for — quality. 

Funnily, Shimano started as a bicycle parts manufacturer. It wasn’t until the late 60s that they started experimenting with fishing equipment. You can read the full history here. It’s really fascinating!

From a small Japanese Iron company to the leading fishing reel manufacturer in the US, Shimano has come a long way. All this happened because they care about customers’ comfort and satisfaction.

We have gathered in this article some of our all-time favorite Shimano fishing reels. It was quite hard to make a compact list as they have a very wide range to choose from. We compiled them into this top 14 best Shimano fishing reels list.

Before we jump into the top spinning reels review, let’s take a quick look at what we picked. 

The 14 Best Shimano Spinning Reels of 2021 — An Overview

Top Pick01. Shimano Sienna 4000 Spinning Reel
Key Features
:
01. Rear drag reels
02. Propulsion line management system
03. Graphite side plate and rotor
04. Full aluminum spool
05. Proprietary gear coating
06. For both freshwater and saltwater fishing
9.9Check Price
Most Impact-Resistant02. SHIMANO Stradic FL Spinning Fishing Reel
Key Features:
01. G-free body technology
02. X-ship for improved gear durability
03. Hagane metal reel body
04. Cross carbon drag
05. S A-RB bearings
06. Micro module gear II
07. X-protect water resistance
9.8Check Price
Editor’s Choice03. Shimano Stradic Ci4 Spinning Fishing Reel
Key Features:
01. G-free body design
02. Magnumlite rotor
03. Advanced CoreProtect 
04. Cold-forged aluminum spool
05. X-ship pinion gear
06. 7-bearing system
07. CI4+ carbon body
08. 6 S A-RB shielded stainless steel ball bearings
9.7Check Price
Best for Professionals04. SHIMANO Curado K Baitcast Reel
Key Features:
01. Micro module gear system
02. X-Ship for improved gear durability
03. Hagane body for high rigidity 
04. SVS Infinity spool control
05. CI4+ material with 250% stronger 
06. Super free spool
07. Super stopper anti-reverse
08. A-RB stainless steel ball bearings
4.8Check Price
Best Value05. SHIMANO Sedona Fi Spinning Reel
Key Features:
01. G-free body
02. Hagane gearing
03. Propulsion line management system
04. Double anodized machine cut spool
05. Varispeed oscillation system
06. Single paddle handles 
07. Power handle all other models
9.6Check Price
Budget Saltwater Pick06. SHIMANO Sahara Fi Spinning Reel
Key Features:
01. G-free body
02. Hagane cold-forged gear cutting technology
03. X-ship technology 
04. Full graphite frame, rotor and sideplate
9.5Check Price
Best Lightweight07. SHIMANO NASCI Inshore Spinning Reels
Key Features:
01. 4 ball bearings for smoother retrieve
02. Front drag for more control
03. Approved for use in saltwater
9.2Check Price
Best for Kayak Fishing08. SHIMANO SYNCOPATE Freshwater Spinning Fishing Reel
Key Features:
01. Quick FIer II technology 
02. Built-in varispeed technology
03. Dyna-balance 
04. Propulsion line management system
9.0Check Price
Best for Beginners09. SHIMANO Sienna Spinning Fishing Reel
Key Features:
01. Propulsion spool lip design
02. Reduced wind knots
03. Super Stopper II for instant anti-reverse 
04. Durable and long-lasting
05. Ideal for freshwater and inshore fishing
06. Propulsion line management system
8.9Check Price
Higher Drag Efficiency10. SHIMANO Sahara Rear Drag Spinning Fishing Reel
Key Features:
01. High-efficiency rear drag system
02. Fightin’ Drag II lever
03. Solid hooksets without losing your drag setting
04. Graphite body and rotor
05. 1-piece bail wire
06. Durable cold-forged spool
07. Propulsion line management system
08. 3+1 bearing system
8.6Check Price
Best Premium11. Shimano Baitrunner D Spinning Reel
Key Features:
01. S A-RB anti-rust bearings
02. Aluminum cold forged spool
03. Dyna-balance 
04. Fluidrive II
05. Varispeed technology
06. Propulsion line management system
8.5Check Price
Best Heavy-Duty12. SHIMANO NASCI Compact Spinning Reel
Key Features:
01. Comes in 1000-5000 size
02. Hagane gear and CoreProtect
03. X-Ship technology
04. G-free body design
05. Aluminum cold forger hand;e
06. Felt drag washers
07. 4+1 shielded stainless steel bearings
8.3Check Price
Best Smoothness13. SHIMANO Nexave FE Spinning Fishing Reel
Key Features:
01. Updated version of the FD spinning reel
02. Adjustable front drag system
03. 3 shielded stainless steel ball bearings + 1 roller bearing
04. Patented ARC spool design
05. Varispeed II oscillation system
06. Single machined aluminum handle
8.3Check Price
Most Versatile14. SHIMANO Ultegra Spinning Fishing Reel
Key Features:
01. Hagane cold forge technology
02. Aero Wrap Oscillation technology
03. CoreProtect water-resistance 
04. X-Ship technology
8.0Check Price

Top 14 Best Shimano Spinning Reels Review

01. Top Pick: Shimano Sienna 4000 Spinning Reel

The whole Shimano Sienna series is filled with some exceptional reels for regular fishing. The 4000 model, however, is one of the strongest ones out there. 

Made specifically for large freshwater fishes, you can use this for inshore species as well. This reel is super sturdy and made using some of the best materials available. The overall construction is top-notch.

The Sienna 4000 fishing reel is destined with a graphite frame with side plates. The best thing about graphite is, it can handle a lot of pressure while being extra lightweight. 

Most of the metal reels tend to become very heavy. Heavy reels slow down the retrieval rate. So having such a lightweight spinning reel can be of great benefit. 

As it’s built specifically for larger fishes, it comes with an aluminum spool to provide extra strength. It also casts further and is super straight. 

The Proprietary gear coating of Shimano Sienna 4000 provides extra protection from rough usage. You can use this rel for years without worrying about any performance decrease. 

With its 5.1:1 gear ratio, you can fish faster and smoother than any conventional options. Even the rotor is made out of graphite for added durability. This means you hardly need to put muscle power into retracting your catch. 

Specifications:

  • Mono Capacity: 4kg/219m
  • Powerpro Capacity: 15lb/265yd
  • Gear Ratio: 5.2:1
  • Retrieve per Crank: 82cm
  • Bearings: 3+1
  • Max Drag: 8.5kg
  • Drag Type: FD
  • Weight: 320g

Pros:

  • Suitable for both freshwater and saltwater fishing
  • Very affordable
  • Can handle large fishes
  • Rust-proof frame
  • Smooth and fast retrieving
  • Provide further casting
  • No line tangles

Cons:

  • Has quality control issues

Best for:

This is a superb Shimano reel that has become a classic among anglers of all skills and age. Shimano 4000 spinning reel is great for basically most fishing activities. 

02. Most Impact-Resistant: SHIMANO Stradic FL Spinning Fishing Reel

Shimano Stradic FL is a full metal fishing reel that’s made to be highly rigid and solid. You get a HaganeBody with impact-resistant construction. The whole thing is super strong for high-pressure angling.

The X-Ship is known for its ability to provide precise alignment of the gears. Due to this, the Shimano Stradic spinning reel is super durable. As the pinion gear gets proper support on both ends, you can use this for the largest fishes without losing the position. 

The G-free body technology of this spinning reel is a very unique feature. You don’t see this type of design on affordable reel options. 

Shimano Stradic spinning reel has been structured to shift the center of gravity towards the rod. This helps to reduce hand fatigue as you don’t have to move too much. It’s very comfortable.

The X-Ship features S A-RB bearings that come with shields on both sides. This not only makes the reel more solid but also prevents saltwater or sand damage. 

The Hagane gear is basically the heart of this fishing reel. Made with well-calculated 3D design and Shimano’s cold forging technology, you get an incredibly smooth performance. And this does not change even at your 100th use. 

The gear tooth surface design and micromodule of Shimano Stradic spinning reel is a very elusive feature that makes the gear updated to fit your needs. The X-protect coating makes the whole reel water repellent. Overall, this is a very good choice for anyone who fishes on a regular basis.

Specifications:

  • Line Lay: Aerowrap II
  • Body Material: Aluminium
  • Bearings: 6+1
  • Family Type: Spinning
  • Extra Spool: No
  • Models: 1000, 2500, 3000, 4000, 5000
  • Spool Material: Cold Forged Aluminium
  • Waterproof Drag: Yes
  • Handle: Machined Aluminium Single Handle

Pros:

  • Well-balanced reel
  • High-performance rotor
  • Durable construction
  • Lightweight body
  • Great value for money
  • Instant anti-reverse
  • Reduces friction and knots

Cons:

  • Makes noises while casting

Best for:

Shimano Stradic spinning reel is great for travelling as it’s very lightweight and portable. It can handle medium to larger fishes so it is quite versatile too. This reel is also super smooth!

03. Editor’s Choice: Shimano Stradic Ci4+ Spinning Fishing Reel

If you are an angler who wants to broaden your abilities and learn new techniques, the Shimano Stradic Ci4 spinning reel is a perfect upgrade. 

Stradic Ci4 is a great balance of the latest technology with familiar features that makes it easy for any anglers to adapt to. 

This shimano ultralight spinning reel is made using carbon infusion technology, which is shortly referred as Ci4 hence the name. This specific construction style makes this reel incredibly lightweight while being super strong and sturdy. 

The magnumlite rotor used in this reel is 25 times lighter than its previous models. This means you get an added advantage for further casting.

Due to this lightweight feature, you can cast really well even if you lack skills. It is smooth, straight, and linear in its casting. The propulsion line management system keeps it tangle-free and smooth. 

One key thing that attracts a lot of us to this reel is it’s Aero Wrap II technology. The spool on this reel is designed to create a criss-crossing pattern that reduces line friction. 

The X-ship technology makes this reel very durable and well-designed. So if you struggle to adapt to new gears, this one will feel very familiar yet advanced.

Specifications:

  • Max drag: 20 lbs
  • Gear ratio: 6.0:1
  • Weight: 6.7 oz
  • Line retrieve: 35″ 
  • Ball Bearings: 6
  • Roller Bearings: 1
  • Models Offered: 4

Pros:

  • Super fast drag system
  • Very powerful
  • Great for saltwater fishing
  • Smooth performance
  • Lightweight body

Cons:

  • The anti-reverse switch is small

Best for:

The smooth pinion gear with X-ship technology makes handling heavy catch a breeze. This is one of the best saltwater fishing reel for inshore fishing.

04. Best for Professionals: SHIMANO Curado K Baitcast Reel

Almost all anglers have heard of Shimano Curado K fishing reel due to its avid fanbase. It’s a very popular and well-reputed option. People seem to love it and for good reasons.

Baitcasting reels are not cheap. They are very complex to use and require a premium budget for a decent one. An exception is the Shimano Curado K baitcasting reel. This one comes with a long list of features but within a reasonable price range. 

This fishing reel gives you the freedom to finely tune it according to your needs. The macromolecular gearing of Curado K is usually found in premium options. 

This type of gear has very small teeth compared to average ones. This helps to give you a smoother, refined experience with no technical interruptions. 

The whole design is very lightweight and compact. The power AL aluminum frame makes it very impact resistant. So if you are tackling a larger bass, this can handle the pressure.

Casting is often the weakest point for most beginner anglers. With this Shimano ultralight spinning reel, you don’t have to work hard to get a strong cast. It’s easy to use as the super free spool comes with tons of adjustment options. 

Due to this micromodule gearing, you get a very smooth performance. The spool reduces vibration which also adds to the smoothness. 

The X-ship makes it very durable as it has higher bearing support. It also comes with solid side plates to protect the reel from water damage. 

This Shimano open face reel has so many features that we can talk about it the whole day. If you’re looking for a reliable baitcaster within budget, there are really no better ones. 

Specifications:

  • Gear Ratio: 6.2:1
  • Weight: 7.6 ounce
  • Mono Line Capacity (lbs/yd): 8/180, 10/155, 14/110
  • PowerPro Line Capacity (lbs/yd): 30/190, 50/120, 65/80
  • Line Retrieve: 26 inch
  • Max. Drag Force: 11 lbs
  • Bearings: 6+1 

Pros:

  • Lightweight and compact design
  • Further line casting
  • Quick and easy line retrieval
  • Super smooth 
  • Great for professional fisherman

Cons:

  • Not for beginners

Best for:

This is one of the top baitcasters from Shimano. If you are looking for a baitcasting reel with some high-end features. This is great if you are a skilled or professional angler. 

05. Best Value: SHIMANO Sedona Fi Spinning Reel

Not all of us want to spend hundreds of dollars on a fishing reel. But we still want high-quality and powerful fishing gears. To solve that dilemma, Shimano has created their Sedona Fi spinning reel. 

Even though it’s a budget option, you still get the signature Shimano G-Free body style that makes the center of the reel closer to the rod. This means fishing and reversing is more comfortable and easy. 

It comes with an improved magnumlite rotor with higher gear ratios. You can use this to catch larger bass, trout, or any type of fishes with a smooth performance. 

The gearing system of this Shimano fishing reel is classic Hagane gearing with all-metal construction. It’s very unusual for a budget reel to have a full metal body. This one can be used for both freshwater and inshore saltwater angling activities. 

The propulsion line management system of this Shimano reel makes the line flow off of the spool very easily. If you’re a beginner angler, you might find casting quite difficult. This one casts at a very far distance and prevents any types of line tangling or knots. 

Specifications:

  • Line Lay: Varispeed
  • Body Material: Xt-7
  • Maintenance Port: No
  • Bearings: 3+1
  • Family Type: Spinning
  • Models: 1000, 2000, 2500, 3000, 4000, 5000
  • Spool Material: Cold Forged Aluminium
  • Waterproof Drag: No
  • Handle: Single Machined Aluminium

Pros:

  • Super flexible
  • Smooth performance
  • Durable construction
  • Tangle-free line system
  • Very affordable

Cons:

  • The reel clicks during heavy retrieval
  • No anti-reverse

Best for:

This Shimano fishing reel is great for lure and float fishing. The durable body can handle harsh saltwater environments. 

06. Budget Saltwater Pick: SHIMANO Sahara Fi Spinning Reel

Sahara Fi is another affordable spinning reel from Shimano with unbeatable quality. Shimano shows how you do not need fancy equipment to have a smooth fishing experience. 

This spinning reel comes with some very appealing features like a classic Hagane gear system, G-free body, and 3D design. 

The G-free body of this reel makes it less likely to give you hand fatigue after using it for hours. The Hagane System makes it perform highly even for saltwater fishing. 

The drive gear of Shimano Sahara Fi is made using their 3D design along with cold forge technology. These two combined create a solid and reliable reel for any occasion or season. You can use this reel all-year long at such an affordable price. 

Due to the X-ship gear and its precise cutting technique, each reel comes out exactly the way Shimano wants them to be. There is no room for mistakes. This is why Sahara Fi gears always stay in place.

If you are a casual fisherman who enjoys occasional fishing, there is no point in spending too much money on a reel. This Shimano saltwater reel is perfect for you. 

If you are someone who wants to go for larger fishes, you can do that too with Shimano Sahara Fi. Honestly for the price you really get your money’s worth!

Specifications:

  • Body Material: Xt-7
  • Maintenance Port: No
  • Bearings: 4+1
  • Family Type: Spinning
  • Extra Spool: 0
  • Models: 1000, 2000, 2500, 3000, 4000, 5000
  • Spool Material: Cold Forged Aluminium
  • Waterproof Drag: No
  • Handle: Single Machined Aluminium

Pros:

  • Super affordable
  • Durable anodized body
  • Efficient and easy
  • Smooth casting
  • No tangles or friction on the line

Cons:

  • No anti-reverse bearing 

Best for:

One of the best saltwater fishing reel under $100. You can not find anything better for inshore fishing with high-quality craftsmanship than Shimano Sahara Fi spinning reel.

07. Best Lightweight: SHIMANO NASCI Inshore Spinning Reels

Most anglers have used at least one Shimano reel at some point in their life. But if you haven’t, the NASCI spinning reel is probably the best one to start with.

This fishing reel contains all the key features that Shimano is known for. On top of that, it’s also super affordable!

Whether you are going for freshwater fishing on the lake or to the ocean, this reel is suitable for both. 

It’s not easy to find an affordable fishing reel with quality features. Most budget reels on the market do very basic things. It can get quite frustrating especially for a beginner angler. 

This reel comes with Shimano’s signature Hagane precision cold-forged gearings. This provided one of the smoothest retrieving you will ever experience.

Shimano NASCI is known for its lightweight design and affordability. It can easily be compared to Penn Battle II, a timeless classic in the fishing community. 

Specifications:

  • Gear Ratio: 6.2:1 
  • Max. Drag Force: 24 lbs
  • Mono Line Capacity lbs/yds: 8/240, 10/200, 12/160
  • PowerPro Line Capacity (lbs/yd): 15/230, 20/205, 50/120
  • Line Retrieve Per Crank: 39.0 inch
  • Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Bearings: 4 Shielded Stainless Steel and 1 roller bearing

Pros:

  • Super lightweight
  • Compact design
  • Smooth performance
  • Very affordable
  • Strong and durable bearings

Cons:

  • The spool is not braid-ready

Best for:

This fishing reel is good for beginners as it’s very easy to use. It can be used for both freshwater and saltwater fishing. Good for when you don’t know which reel would be right for you.

08. Best for Kayak Fishing: SHIMANO SYNCOPATE FG Spinning Reel

If you struggle with balancing your fishing reel especially during active fishing, having the Syncopate FG spinning reel is a great way to become efficient. 

Made specifically for beginner anglers, this reel makes fishing very comfortable and easy. The solid graphite body and side plate are super durable. Even though it is made out of graphite, the overall weight is very light. 

This reel is known for its efficiency and reliable performance. To provide that, it comes with QuickFire technology. This feature lets you cast very fast even with one hand. 

The varispeed technology is built-in to provide very consistent and tangle-free spool speeds. It has Dyna-balance that eliminates any wobbles during retrieval. This way you get higher sensitivity as well.

The propulsion line management is a very signature Shimano feature to have. This lets you cast further and longer than average. This is immensely helpful for newbies who want to prevent backlashes and wind knots. 

This fishing reel is designed to fit kayak fishing effortlessly. With its one-handed casting system, you can safely go for an all-day lake fishing trip. 

Specifications:

  • Max Drag: 7 lbs
  • Gear Ratio: 5.2:1
  • Weight: 7.6 oz
  • Line Retrieve: 25″
  • Bearings: 4BB + 1RB 
  • PowerPro Line Cap: 10/95; 15/85; 20/65 
  • Mono Line Cap: 2/270; 4/140; 6/110

Pros:

  • Lightweight 
  • Durable and solid
  • Suitable for both freshwater and saltwater fishing
  • Compatible with fluro, braid, and mono lines 
  • Quick one-handed casting 
  • Smooth and friction-free performance

Cons:

  • Reeling in is not effortless

Best for:

This is best for boat fishing or kayak fishing. The QuickFire II casting system is superb at smooth, quick, and easy casting, especially for beginner anglers.

09. Best for Beginners: SHIMANO Sienna FG Spinning Fishing Reel

Shimano Sienna FG has a lot of different models with different gear ratios. All of them are designed to provide a very seamless and effortless fishing experience. 

The best thing about this reel is its simplicity. There are no fancy features that you have never heard of, nor there is something too complex to use efficiently.

This reel has been designed to be an overall great choice for any beginner anglers. Made to be strong and durable, this is a very reliable choice if you have a small budget. Shimano Sienna FG is in no way anyway lesser than a good quality reel. 

This surely does not come with an obscure number of ball bearings or full metal construction. But for the price, you get great fishing gear that won’t disappoint you in the field. 

Specifications:

  • Retrieve: Left/Right
  • Gear Ratio: 5.6:1
  • Model Number: SN500FGC
  • Ball Bearings: 3+1
  • Max Drag: 4 lbs
  • Reel Weight (oz) 6.3
  • Line Capacity: 4/100
  • Braid Capacity: 8/105
  • Recovery: 27″ per Turn

Pros:

  • Provides longer casting distances
  • Well-balanced
  • High-performance built 
  • Reduced wind knots
  • Great value reel
  • Higher drag 

Cons:

  • The handle is a bit small 

Best for:

This is a great budget reel that casts wonderfully. Perfect for casual fishing in the lake or shore.

10. Higher Drag Efficiency: SHIMANO Sahara Rear Drag Spinning Fishing Reel

The main attraction of Shimano Sahara R spinning reel is the better drag efficiency with its rear-adjustable drag knob. 

This knob is set at the back of the reel. Due to the unique positioning, you do not have to interface with the lien at all for quick and instant adjustments. 

The Sahara R spinning reel also comes with Shimano’s Fightin’ Drag II. This feature adds a rear strike lever. You can hook solid hooksets without losing your drag setting. 

You just have to click the lever to the strike position and then tighten up for the hook-setting. After that, you can flip it back immediately to return to the original setup. 

This makes fishing so efficient and easy. For the price, this type of feature is quite rare to come by. 

You also get a full graphite body and rotor for long-lasting performance.  The 3+1 bearing system with propulsion line management makes it very easy for beginners to use as well.

Specifications:

  • Material: Stainless Steel, Aluminum
  • Hand Orientation: Ambidextrous
  • Gear ratio: 5.2:1
  • Weight: 9.0 ounce
  • Retrieve: Reversible
  • Mono Line capacity (lbs/yd): 2/270, 4/140, 6/110
  • Line Retrieve per Crank: 27 inch
  • Max drag force: 4.4 lbs
  • Bearings: 3 SUS and 1 RB

Pros:

  • Smooth retrieval
  • Great rear drag design
  • Almost water-resistant 
  • Easy to use
  • Can handle larger fishes
  • Very lightweight 

Cons:

  • The treads can get tangled

Best for:

This fishing reel has one of the most efficient rear drag systems. So if you like to have more control over your casting and line management, this is a great choice. 

11. Best Premium: Shimano Baitrunner D Spinning Reel

Finding a good baitrunner is a tricky thing to do. They require more skill to handle and create.t his is why baitrunners have always been one of the most expensive types of fishing equipment. 

Shimano had this goal to create an affordable option to make baitrunners more accessible to average anglers. Their Baitrunner D is a perfect example of that.

Yes, it’s obviously not the cheapest reel out there. But for the features and craftsmanship, the price is a bargain.

This particular model is our personal favorite due to its high catch rate. This reel comes with a secondary drag system. This feature allows free spooling even when the bail is closed. 

The fluidrive II technology is a great premium feature to have for such a budget baitrunner. This basically means the main gear is precision cut to increase gear strength for smoother and faster retrieval. 

The oval oscillation gear of this reel gives you excellent casting power. You can manage the spool without much effort as it hardly gets tangled.

Due to the gear, you can cast further and faster with a straight line. This way you don’t get any backlash or wind knots. Shimano Baitrunner D also reduces friction. 

The Dyna-Balance technology of the Shimano Baitrunner D fishing reel is great for eliminating any balance issues. It uses counterbalancing to enhance the sensitivity of your reel. Needless to say, the performance is super smooth as well.

Specifications:

  • Max drag: 20 lbs 
  • Gear ratio: 4.8:1 
  • Weight: 21.7 oz
  • Line retrieve 36″ 
  • Bearings: 3bb + 3rb 
  • Powerpro Line cap: 40/295; 50/290; 65/180 
  • Mono line cap: 14/295; 17/250; 20/195

Pros:

  • Great value for money
  • Perfect for saltwater fishing
  • Strongly built
  • Rust-proof body
  • Great for larger fishes

Cons:

  • Baitrunners are not ideal for all types of fishing

Best for:

If you are looking for a reel to fish live baits from your deck or a boat, this is the best one to pick. It is ideal for surf fishing, pier fishing, jetty, or lagoon fishing as well.

12. Best Heavy-Duty: SHIMANO NASCI FB 2017 Compact Spinning Reel

The P4 series is the best selling line by Shimano. This line is specifically catered for heavy-duty conditions. The NASCI FB is a new addition to this with stronger gears and core. 

The cold-forged aluminum drive gear is super durable compared to stainless steel or zinc casting gears. This means you can use this reel for both freshwater and saltwater fishing. It can withstand a coarse environment. 

The CoreProtect makes the whole reel water-resistant. This is why it never gets rusty or slow. The G-free body design puts the center of gravity closer to the rod. This reduces reel fatigue and also keeps your hand cramp-free. 

The aluminum cold-forged handle design is really comfortable and rigid. You can use this reel for larger fishes without much effort from your side. The X-ship bearing technology makes the whole experience very smooth and easy.

Shimano NASCI FB comes in a wide range of sizes. This means you can pick one that fits your needs the most. Each size has its unique added functionalities as well. 

Specifications:

  • Size: 2500
  • Gear Ratio: 5.0:1
  • Max drag force: 7 lbs
  • Line Capacity lb/yds: 2/270, 4/140, 6/110
  • Line Retrieve per crank: 26 inch / 66 centimeter
  • Bearings: 4 +1

Pros:

  • Very fast performance
  • Great for saltwater fishing
  • Ideal for kayaking
  • Compact design
  • Lightweight 
  • Easy to use
  • Very affordable

Cons:

  • No reel-reverse switch

Best for:

This reel can cast at a very far distance. For the size and price, this is a super practical and efficient fishing reel for travelling. 

13. Best Smoothness: SHIMANO Nexave FE Spinning Fishing Reel

Shimano Nexave FE is basically an advanced version of their Nexave FD spinning reel. The best thing about this reel is that anglers of all skills and age can use this.

Whether you are a semi-experienced angler or someone who wants to teach their kid how to fish, this reel can be a great companion for any fishing adventures. 

You can adjust the front drag system to tackle larger more tricky fishes. This immensely helps especially if you like to fish a wide variety of species. 

The three shielded stainless steel ball bearings along with one roller bearing make this reel incredibly smooth in performance. 

The Patented ARC spool design not only reduces friction and backlash but also prevents wind knots. The V-Shape spool line ensures that the line will peel off in smaller loops. This results in longer and further casts. 

Unlike a normal oscillation system that uses a constant rotation, this reel uses an oval oscillation gear. This simple change makes a huge difference. With this reel, you don’t get any inconsistent spool speed. It’s very precise and consistent thus provides even line lay every single time. 

So if you are a clumsy angler like me, this reel will be much appreciated in your hands. 

Specifications:

  • Gear Ratio: 5.0:1
  • Max. Drag Force: 7 lbs
  • Weight: 7.6 ounce
  • Line Retrieve Per Crank: 24 inch
  • Mono Line Capacity (lbs/yds): 2/270, 4/140, 6/110
  • Bearings: 3+1 

Pros:

  • Lightweight design
  • Sleek and compact body
  • Higher maximum drag setting
  • Increased handle length
  • Robust construction
  • AR-C spool
  • No tangles or friction

Cons:

  • The handle is made of plastic

Best for:

This reel is ideal for fishing trout, perch, and pike as the adjustable drag setting gives you a lot of control.

14. Most Versatile: SHIMANO Ultegra Spinning Fishing Reel

If your main goal is to find a reel that can be used for a wide range of fishing scenarios, the Shimano Ultegra spinning reel is what you need exactly!

This fishing reel is quite different from all the other ones on our list. It features Shimano’s new CoreProtect water-resistant technology that protects your reel from saltwater damage. This feature lets you enjoy your reel for years even in the roughest environments. 

The Ultegra series is a fairly new addition to Shimano’s already vast collection. Just like most reels, this one also includes Shimano’s flagship Hagane gearing system. It also has X-ship technology to give you a strong and durable reel.

The Aero Wrap Oscillation is another great feature of Shimano Ultegra spinning reel. This helps to give you the perfect line winding along with longer casting every single time. 

The core protection not only makes it water-resistant but also helps to prevent the heavy rotation feeling we get for larger fishes. 

This Japanese brand truly knows how to build higher quality products within the best budget for everyone. This Shimano Ultegra reel is just another example of precision engineering of Shimano.

Specifications:

  • Max Drag: 20 lbs
  • Gear Ratio: 6.0:1
  • Weight: 8.5 oz
  • Line Retrieve: 35″
  • Bearings: 4BB + 1RB 
  • PowerPro Line Cap: 10/150, 15/145, 30/100 
  • Mono Line Cap: 6/200, 8/140, 10/120

Pros:

  • Sleek design
  • Strong and efficient 
  • Great value for money
  • Smooth performance 
  • Easy to use

Cons:

  • Not a fully sealed reel

Best for:

If you want to purchase the Stradic CI4 but that one is a bit over budget for you, this is a great alternative. 

Buying Guide

After checking out the top 14 best Shimano fishing reels on our list, you might be feeling a bit confused about which one to pick. To pick the best one for you, you need to know what to look for.

Where are You Going for Fishing?

This is the first question you should be asking yourself. Most of us regular anglers tend to go for water areas near where we live. 

So depending on whether you live around the bay area or near freshwater rivers, you need different types of reels.

If you are planning to fish in saltwater, you need a reel that’s rust-proof and more durable. Otherwise, it will break after a few months of usage. 

SHIMANO Sahara Fi Spinning Reel is a great saltwater fishing reel to check out. 

If you are more into freshwater like lakes, rivers, ponds, and so on, something like Shimano Syncopate is a smart choice.

What Do You Want to Catch?

Where you can go for fishing plays a key role in determining the species you can catch. If you want to catch small to medium fishes, going for a smaller gear ratio is fine. 

If you are fishing in a larger water area, you need an extra fishing line and spool. So you need something that can not only provide further casting but also can handle the water pressure. 

For larger species, you need something more robust and sturdy. Otherwise, it will just break when you try to retrieve your catch.  

SHIMANO NASCI Compact Spinning Reel is a great fishing reel for larger species like saltwater bass and trout. 

Bearings:

Most fishing reels come with a ball bearing system. In general, the more bearings a reel has, the better the performance. 

Having higher ball bearings ensure you will have a smoother, faster, and quieter experience. Shimano reels mostly come with 4 or more bearings so they are always really good at maintaining quality. 

The sign of a good bearing is to notice how much sound it makes. If the reel is very loud, this means the quality is off. 

Size:

This is basically the first thing you should check before buying. If you want to catch smaller fishes, you need a lower sized reel. 

To catch a big fish like spring bass or trout, you need larger sizes. The size basically determines how much weight the reel can handle. 

For larger species, look for something with 20+lbs of weight capacity. So Shimano Baitrunner D Spinning Reel is a great option to go for.

Materials:

It’s important to look for materials that can stand the test of time. You need something that makes the reel strong enough to tackle heavy pressure while being lightweight enough to not lose efficiency. 

If the material is not good, the bearings won’t function properly. Checking if the material is water-resistant and saltwater safe or not is extremely crucial too. 

Craftsmanship:

Shimano is known for its precision cut and built fishing reels. They are one of those rare brands that provide quality and value all at the same time. 

Look for options that are not wobbly, loose, or uneven. Luckily, none of the Shimano reels on our list have any issues regarding this. 

Of course, budget reels are not going to be the same quality as a premium option.No one expects them to be the same. But affordable reels still need to be good enough to be used for a few seasons.

The one we like is the SHIMANO Ultegra Spinning Fishing Reel.

Drag System:

The drag is one of the key things you need to look into. This determines whether you will have a smooth fishing experience or not. If the drag is not non-constructive, your line will become tangled. 

There are many different types of drag systems available in Shimano’s massive collection. They have both front drag aka multiple drag and rear drag. From smaller fishes to the largest, you can catch anything with these reels.

Sahara Rear Drag Spinning Fishing Reel is a good versatile one for most fishing methods.

Line Capacity:

This is important if you are going to surf fishing or something with a larger water area. The line capacity of the reel determines how far you can cast. So it is important to notice the weight of the line. 

For average anglers, there is no need for the heaviest line weights. Look for something that is in between. Something like Shimano Sienna 4000 Spinning Reel is a reliable one to try.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

01. Do Pros Use Spinning Reels?

Yes, they do. The great thing about spinning reel is that anyone from beginner to professional can use this with high efficiency. 

Spinning reels are great for bass and trout fishing. You can use crankbaits, fishing lures or any light to medium fishing rods with them. 

The reason why spinning reels are so popular is because of their versatile and easy functions. Even though nothing can beat the performance of a baitcaster, it’s really complex to use. 

You need years of skills and experience to properly use a baitcasting reel. The spincaster reels are for beginners and do not have enough features for hardcore fishing. Spinning reels are like an in-between choice that makes fishing fun and simple.

02. What Type of Reel Casts the Farthest? 

Baitcasting reels are by far the best type of reels for further casting. Baitcasters are built to be used for professional-level fishing with many unique features. 

This makes them complex to use for a hobbyist angler. Baitcasters are known to have the ability to handle heavier fishing lines. They cast at very far distances with straight, linear lines. You can catch any size of fish you want with a good baitcaster. 

There are some great Shimano spinning fishing reels that can cast quite far as well. Of course, spinning reels have their limitations, but for most non-professional anglers, you don’t need that much casting distance anyway. 

03. Where are Shimano Spinning Reels Made?

Shimano open face fishing reels are known for their incredible craftsmanship and quality. The company “Shimano Yamaguchi Co. Ltd.” originated and is situated in Japan. 

Their other line of reels/rods are manufactured in Malaysia using the same Japanese technology. 

This is one of the key reasons behind Shimano’s decades-long reputation. Japan is known for its attention to details in everything they do. That’s why each Shimano reel has a very long life expectancy. 

04. Is Daiwa Better Than Shimano?

Daiwa is undoubtedly one of the top fishing brands for any fishing gears. This brand is often underappreciated and underrated. They have some amazing fishing gears and rods within a reasonable budget. 

But to compare Daiwa with Shimano would be quite difficult. Shimano is basically a classic choice among all anglers. There are no fishing enthusiasts who do not enjoy Shimano’s products. But each of these amazing brands caters to different needs.

Daiwa uses an advanced magnetic system while Shimano uses centrifugal brakes. Both reels are great for a wide range of fishing activities. But if you are primarily into saltwater fishing, there is nothing better than Shimano reels. 

05. How Do I Clean My Shimano Spinning Reel?

Shimano open face reels require very little maintenance. All you need to do is run it through clear water after each wise and let it dry completely before storing. 

But if you are planning for a thorough cleanup, completely disassemble your reel first. Then use some cotton swabs and use a reel cleaner. The Penn rod and reel cleaner is a great choice to remove any dirt, oil, or salt deposits. 

Conclusion

By now you have a good idea about our top picks for best Shimano reels and how to find the right Shimano for you. It’s not tough to understand why this brand is at a peak in the fishing industry. 

Shimano dedicates their time to hone the craft of making quality fishing gears that will alleviate your experience as a fisherman. It’s very rare nowadays to find brands that respect the customers’ budget and provide affordable quality options. 

Hopefully, with our detailed review, you found something for your fishing adventure.

Which one is it?

Let us know down below!

Leave a Comment