Shimano spinning reels are usually awesome, and a lot of anglers would agree, but they also come in so many versions and alternatives, that it’s hard to choose the best Shimano Spinning Reel for you.
However, we’ve got you covered. We’ve gone out there, looked high and low, and came up with a list of the top Shimano reels on the market right now. They are stunning, an absolute joy to fish with, but with any great thing, they also have their shortcomings which we’ll further discuss down below. So, shall we?
Table of Contents
- Comparison of 10 Best Shimano Spinning Reels in 2020
- Top 10 Best Shimano Spinning Reel Reviews in 2020
- 1. Shimano Sienna FE Spinning Reel
- 2. Shimano Sedona FI Spinning Fishing Reel
- 3. Shimano Syncopate Front Drag
- 4. Shimano IX Rear Drag Spinning Reel
- 5. Shimano Ultegra Spinning Fishing Reel
- 6. Shimano NASCI Inshore Spinning Reels
- 7. Shimano Sahara FI Spinning Reels
- 8. Shimano Thunnus CI4 Spinning Fishing Reel
- 9. Shimano Sienna 500 Front Drag
- 10. Shimano Spirex Fg Spinning Reel
- So, Which is the Best Shimano Reel?
Comparison of 10 Best Shimano Spinning Reels in 2020
|SHIMANO Sienna FE||Check Price|
|SHIMANO Sedona FI||Check Price|
|Shimano Syncopate Front Drag||Check Price|
|Shimano IX Rear Drag||Check Price|
|SHIMANO Ultegra||Check Price|
|SHIMANO NASCI Inshore||Check Price|
|SHIMANO Sahara FI||Check Price|
|Shimano Thunnus CI4||Check Price|
|Shimano Sienna 500 Front Drag||Check Price|
|Shimano Spirex Fg||Check Price|
Top 10 Best Shimano Spinning Reel Reviews in 2020
Whether you’re looking for the best Shimano spinning reel for the money or the best heavy-duty Shimano spinning reel, these Shimano reel reviews will help you make the right decision. With decades of experience under their belt, Shimano deserves an honest review for some of their high-end fishing products, and here’s one!
1. Shimano Sienna FE Spinning Reel
If you are a very methodical person, analyzing every little option all the time, then what you’re probably looking for right now is the best Shimano spinning reel on the market at the moment. We’ve got you here, as well! This Shimano Sienna FE Spinning Reel has got a series of amazing specifications and features that make it the favorite of many anglers today.
First off, the vast majority of fishermen who are using it say it is very easy to handle and maintain. Although it is specifically made for freshwater, you can also use it in saltwater, with a fair amount of care and cleaning afterward.
The build looks rather lightweight, while its propulsion line management system is bound to help cast longer than you’d expect. Its Super Stopper II technology can provide instant anti-reverse with no back play, and eliminates almost all wobble during the retrieve.
The build is quite a durable and reliable one, with materials such as graphite, and aluminum being employed in the manufacturing process. All things considered, this Shimano spinning reel has got a lot of potential to stand tough conditions and be your fishing partner for a long time.
- Ease of use
- Light body
- Durable materials
- A quite versatile product, that can last for long if you take good care of it
- The instant reverse technology is an absolute hit
- The instrument might seem too small for some people
2. Shimano Sedona FI Spinning Fishing Reel
If you are a beginner or just a little bit on a tight budget, but still want to choose a Shimano reel, then the Sedona FI might be the best cheap Shimano spinning reel for you. The whole Sedona range is a good low-cost choice.
The Sedona comes with Shimano’s well-known AR-C spool design for improved casting distance. The line will come off more easily, for less resistance and more distance on the cast. The body is very compact, nothing too large or bulky, and it has been designed with the weight-reduction in mind.
However, some sacrifices have been made in this department, and Shimano has used some plastic to make certain components like the drag knob. Nevertheless, I don’t think durability will be a problem with this model. It’s a good combination of some performant Shimano features such as Power Roller II and Propulsion line management systems and a good price for everybody’s budget.
- Lightweight and good quality of materials for its price range
- Strong and nice design
- Smooth and performant operation
- It comes in a variety of sizes for each taste and style
- The plastic handle knob might seem uncomfortable…and yes, a few corners have been cut in terms of the materials used
- It does not have an anti-reverse lever
3. Shimano Syncopate Front Drag
We’re not saying this is a cheap Shimano Spinning Reel. No, this is the best budget Shimano spinning reel on the market right now, or at least very close to that. For those moments when you don’t want to spend all your savings on the best of the best, choose this Shimano Syncopate Freshwater Spinning Reel.
It looks quite lightweight and more expensive than it actually is. On the plus side, its features tell the story of a potentially powerful performance to go well with its good looks. It can provide a long cast without much effort, and easy, smooth retrievals.
Its Propulsion Line Management System helps prevent any nightmarish backlashes or wind knots from forming. The maximum drag is 7 lbs. on this one, while the gear ratio is 5.2:1. In terms of bearings, it’s got 4BB and 1RB. It looks like a promising fella’.
- Stainless steel ball bearings
- Dyna-Balance system
- Sleek and elegant design
- Nice casting abilities
- Depending on your style of fishing, it might wobble a bit until you get used to it
4. Shimano IX Rear Drag Spinning Reel
This IX Rear Drag reel might be the best Shimano spinning reel for the money on the market right now. It features the Quick-Fire II bail system which is loved by many anglers. Most of its components are made of graphite: the frame, rotor, spool, and side plate.
This choice of materials should give it very lightweight and comfortable handling. The rear drag system can be tuned very easily and offers an overall decent balance for longer casts. Casting, reeling, or tripping the bail should feel like a very smooth process.
The gear ratio is 4.1:1, and it usually works well for streams, rivers, or creeks. In general, this Shimano reel presents a solid and reliable build, and some decent corrosion resistance, so you could use it in saltwater as well, but not for long periods. The max drag is from 7 to 15 Lbs. It comes in three sizes. The here has got a max drag of 7.
- Lightweight body
- One-handed easy casting
- The drag system can be adjusted easily
- It features a quick trigger which makes it a good fit for beginners
- The trigger levels might seem weird at first
- The retrieve is not fast enough, so long casting might be a challenge
5. Shimano Ultegra Spinning Fishing Reel
On the list of the best Shimano Spinning reel, you will always find the Shimano Ultegra. It offers an overall smooth performance in a broad range of conditions. Its versatility makes it the perfect choice for most professional anglers.
Its strong points are freshwater fishing in rivers, ponds, and creeks, but it can also handle some inshore action. It comes in various sizes, with the largest ones being able to handle redfish, red drum, or even speckled trout.
It also features a G-Free body design, which is famous for its lightweight and well-balanced scheme. As with every high-end Shimano spinning reels, this Ultegra features Hagane gears, Aero Wrap Oscillation, and X-Ship technologies.
The friction that appears between the spool shaft and gear is diminished to the minimum, the five ball bearings and one roller bearing make the casting and retrieving incredibly smooth and also strong, giving you the ultimate feeling of quality. It also features CoreProtect sealing technology to keep harmful water deposits away from the internal components.
- High-end smooth performance
- Durable cold-forged Hagane gears
- X-Ship, and Aero Wrap Oscillation technologies
- G-Free ergonomic and well-balanced design
- Protective technology which prevents water intrusion and damage to the internal components
- No reverse
- Despite all the high-end technologies, you might find the line loosens in some cases of light lures
6. Shimano NASCI Inshore Spinning Reels
Looking for some more best Shimano Spinning Reel reviews? How about this Shimano Nasci product? The Nasci range has been launched in 2016, and it is now among the most quality Shimano Spinning Reels. Its main characteristics are the smooth drag and efficient retrievals. Power and precision also make the list.
The drag is not bad either, 24 lbs for this specific model featured here, but you’ve got a whole range of sizes to choose from. The Nasci reels are not as lightweight as the Stradicones, but they’re still pretty comfortable. You could use them for prolonged periods of spin without feeling tired.
- A lot of top-notch, top-of-the-line Shimano technologies
- Smooth and powerful retrieval
- Impressive drag
- Pretty lightweight for a medium-timed use
- You might find the lack of an anti-reverse lever pretty annoying
7. Shimano Sahara FI Spinning Reels
We continue our top Shimano reel reviews with this Shimano Sahara FI Spinning Reel. If we were, to sum up, this product in just two words, that would be top-notch performance and durability. Many anglers love this one because its smooth casting and retrieval are a dream.
Moreover, it features Hagane gearing and X-Ship technology. It is made specifically for freshwater fishing, but it can also handle some saltwater inshore action. This is due to its perfectly-sealed body which keeps any water intrusion at bay.
The Hagane gears are well-known for their strong rigidity in aggressive fights. The design on this one is named G-Free, due to the comfortable and lightweight experience it provides. This product is an intriguing combination of performance, good value for money and ease of use, that any fisherman, beginner or not, would enjoy using.
- Overall top-notch performance in a durable body
- Hagane gears and ergonomic G-free design for comfortable fishing sessions
- Water resistance
- It can handle both freshwater and some inshore action
- At some points, you might find out that it binds up and cannot be turned
8. Shimano Thunnus CI4 Spinning Fishing Reel
We cannot end our list of top Shimano Reels without featuring a Thunnus as well. This specific CI4 can handle a maximum drag of 20lbs, has got 6 BB and 1 RB, and a gear ratio of 4.8:1. Many anglers call it one of the most versatile spinning reels on the market right now.
By the look of it, you can say it has been built to offer maximum performance in even the toughest of situations, and you’re right, it has. It isn’t called CI4 for no reason. Actually, this reel is made out of Shimano’s CI4 special compound which they say offers more strength, while also keeping it lightweight and comfortable to use.
Their bait runner system that enables you to fish live-lined bait with no adjustments to the main drag, and without flipping the bail is amazing. It also features their pretty good propulsion line management, one-piece bail, and Hagane gears.
- Good build and design
- It features the Shimano bait runner system
- Good, smooth cast and retrieve experience
- Even though they advertise it as lightweight, it’s not that light; it’s a lot heavier than other Shimano spinning reels
9. Shimano Sienna 500 Front Drag
The drag knob is placed at the front of the reel on the top of the spool; this is why it’s called a Front Drag, but you probably already know this. Most of the time, this is a matter of preference. For some, the front drag systems are easier to adjust in the middle of a fight.
The main features of this Shimano Sienna are the power roller (reduces the line twist), the Dyna balance (for as less wobble as possible), the Fluid Drive II system (for better retrieval), and the Varispeed technology (can maintain a constant spool speed for an even distribution of the line on the spool). All these advanced Shimano features make it a very easy-to-use reel for beginners, but not only.
- Good for beginners
- Strong and robust build
- Good value and good Shimano technology features for its price range
- There’s not much I can say here; it’s a perfectly-rounded Shimano spinning reel, which does a good job for its price range; however, if you’re a real professional, you’re not going to choose the Sienna range
10. Shimano Spirex Fg Spinning Reel
This heavy-duty Shimano spinning reel called Spirex FGis designed for some good one-handed casting, thanks to its awesome QuickFire Clutch II. Furthermore, it features the Shimano propulsion feature for a better casting range; it also keeps the line twist and backlash to a minimum.
However, its most important characteristic is that it’s built to last. It’s that fella’ that can take a beating with no loss of enthusiasm. The cold-forged aluminum spool and the graphite rotor and side plate make it a good heavy-duty Shimano Spinning Reel.
- High-quality, high-end features
- Cold-forged aluminum spool
- Lightweight, but also strong
- Fantastic drag system you’ll fall in love with
- It might not be a good choice for beginners
So, Which is the Best Shimano Reel?
This is not a universal question with a universal answer. We cannot answer it for you, but what we can do is help you decide for yourself without much fuss, by walking you through the main characteristics of a spinning reel, especially of a Shimano spinning reel.
Size and Drag
Shimano Spinning Reels come in a plethora of sizes. From the craziest ultralight reels to the most heavy-duty best Shimano spinning reel, the buying journey can be a daunting one. So, ask yourself what type of fish you’re going to catch, and start from there. Usually, the Shimano spinning reels specifically made for saltwater are the largest.
For crappie, bream, trout, you will be fine with a lightweight, medium-sized Shimano reel. Shimano provides spinning reels between 1000 and 5000 sizes. What do these numbers mean? They tell you the spool diameter that you can use. The larger the diameter, hence the bigger that number, the more line your spool can hold. So, for example, a 2000 reel can hold up to 150 meters of size 2 nylon line.
A 1000 reel can hold 150 meters of only size 1 nylon line and so on. You will find these characteristics under the product descriptions. So, read the additional descriptions. They are there for a reason. Next comes the drag value which is also very important, because it tells you how much fish stopping power you have.
Usually, the maximum drags of the Shimano reels are between 7 to 25 pounds. You choose the drag after you decide on the type of fish you’re aiming for. Now, apart from the max drag, there is also the drag system type which you need to decide on. You need a system that can offer a smooth, steady drag, easy to tune to your liking, and fishing style.
Shimano is a well-known manufacturer of multi-disc drag systems that can last for a lifetime and offer top-notch performance as well. As a rule of thumb, front drag systems are more enduring and can operate better than the rear setups. However, the rear drag systems are easier to tune on the fly, since, for obvious reasons, they offer easy access to the controls.
Gear Ratio and Ball Bearings
Shimano reels with a gear ration between 5.5:1 and 6.3:1 will offer a fast retrieve, but less power. For an increase in cranking power, look for something around 4.1:1. Shimano A-RB bearings are high-end, offering a silk-quality performance, especially in the case of the Super Stopper II mechanism.
Materials Used and the Shimano Special Technologies
Shimano has got some of the best spinning reel features and technologies on the market. Their cold-forged Hagane gears are synonyms with smoothness, sturdiness, and durability. Their gear technology called X-Ship helps eliminate the unbearable friction between the spool shaft and gear.
Not to mention their Propulsion Line Management System which lets the line flow smoothly and offers a longer, accurate casting performance. Also, look for best Shimano Spinning reels that feature the Dyna-Balance technology which prevents any kind of wobbling in the rotor during the retrieves.
The materials are also important for the long-term durability and weight of the spinning reel. Usually, Shimano uses aluminum, graphite, and carbon fiber as materials, and they are strong, high-quality, and corrosion-resistant. Also, don’t forget about stainless steel bearings.
Honestly, if I had a big budget, I would go and buy all of these options, but you cannot fish with more than one spinning reel. So, which Shimano Spinning Reel is it, then?