Are Shimano Fishing Reels Any Good?

Are Shimano Fishing Reels Any Good?

Shimano is a Japanese multinational manufacturer of cycling components, fishing tackle, and rowing equipment. The company was founded in 1921.

When it comes to fishing, Shimano offers a range of fishing reels, rods, fishing lines, fishing lures, as well as various other fishing accessories. They have produced quality reels for the mass market since 1978, over 42 years. So are Shimano fishing reels any good? Well, yes, as their spinning reels are their best-selling product series, and the fact that they’re still here says something!

Shimano produces quality reels that are known to be very smooth, if you go and ask out anglers what reels they use, chances are high that you will hear about Shimano, no doubt about that!

The company doesn’t provide too many reel models for the entry-level price range, however, most of their products are in the mid-level price range, and they have plenty in the high-end price range as well.

So let’s take a look at the Shimano reels, and how do they fare.

Which Shimano Reel is the Best?

Shimano is active for more than 42 years in the fishing business, and they have produced some of the best fishing reels which are available on the market.

It’s hard to say which is the best since they have so many products, but as of 2020, it appears that the best Shimano reel based upon ratings, is the Shimano Sedona FI spinning reel.

It’s known for its durability and strength. Some other products such as the Shimano Stradic Ci4+ is the best when it comes to versatility and smooth performance, and one of the most affordable and good fishing reels from Shimano is the Sahara FI, or Syncopate.

With that being said, here are the top Shimano fishing reels as of 2020, and their prices. 

Fishing Reel



Shimano Stradic Ci4+

Spinning Reel

~$198 – $225

Shimano Sedona FI

Spinning Reel

~$63 – $119.99

Shimano Sahara FI

Spinning Reel


Shimano Syncopate

Spinning Reel

~$35 – $64.99+

Shimano Sienna FE

Spinning Reel


Shimano Stella SWB  

Spinning Reel

~$739 – $1,000+

Shimano Ultegra

Spinning Reel


Shimano Saragosa SW

Spinning Reel


Shimano Stradic HG

Spinning Reel


Shimano Calcutta Conquest

Spinning Reel


Shimano Sedona FI

The Shimano Sedona FI spinning reel is among the best out there! The design of its body shifts the center of gravity towards the rod, and this improves comfort, which in turn allows for more fishing time.

You can use this reel in both freshwater and saltwater applications. A thing that enhances this reel’s performance, is the Propulsion line management system, which boosts casting distance and prevents backlash and wind knots.

The double anodized machine cut spool allows for more line capacity, while the oscillation gear system protects the spool from corrosion. The varispeed oscillation system helps you to have even line lay for the perfect casting and line management.

The single paddle handle helps lower the weight of the reel while still maintaining high performance and durability. This reel comes in different models, with some having a gear ratio of 4:9:1, and others at 5:6:1 – which allows for a maximum drag of 24 pounds, and the latter at 7 pounds. This reel is among the best from Shimano, and probably its only disadvantage is the fact that it doesn’t have a reverse direction switch.

Shimano Stradic Ci4+ 

Another “flagship” of Shimano, the Stradic Ci4+ is the best when it comes to versatility and smooth performance. This reel has a G-free body, just like the Shimano Sedona FI, and a Magnumlite rotor, where the oscillating system and worm drive are positioned closer to the stem of the reel. This boosts the feather touch rotation and stability.

This reel is almost completely waterproof, having a protective water-repellent coating placed in the roller clutch and line roller which prevents water from entering key areas, making it a great saltwater spinning reel.

The reel is lightweight, has rapid-fire drag, and models range in gear ratio from 6:0:1 to 6:2:1, thus you can reel in a 24-pound fish easily.

Shimano Sahara FI

The Shimano Sahara FI is among the most affordable and good fishing reels from the Japanese company.  Like the Stradic Ci4+ and Shimano Sedona FI, the Sahara FI has a G-free body, while the Hagane Gearing provides comfort, strength, flexibility, and smoothness.

This reel experiences less friction due to its X-ship technology, and thus, this helps in long casting distance and boosts smoothness. With the graphite frame, rotor, and side plate, strength and durability are guaranteed.

All the Shimano Sahara FI models have a great weight to the maximum drag ratio. The smallest model can reel in 6-pound fish, while the largest are able the reel in 24-pound fish. The Sahara FI gear ratios range from 4:7:1 to 6:2:1.

Are Shimano Reels the Best?

The Shimano fishing reels are among the best reels on the market due to their quality and performance. Sure, there are other top-notch brands out there, like Penn, Daiwa, or Abu Garcia, but Shimano is usually in first or worst case, second place in the tops.

Some of their oldest models (around a decade or so) are still as popular today as they were back then. Their spinning reels are designed towards beginners and professionals alike, utilizing simpler yet highly efficient mechanisms, such as the ability to adjust the reel for left or right-handed users, while other adjustability features can get the right angle for each fisher.

Many of their products have anti-reverse systems that prevent backlashing or any kind of mishaps that can occur during fishing. Another advantage of their simplistic nature is the reel cost-efficiency, so while they are fairly priced, they also last for long periods of time.


Shimano fishing reels are among the top-notch fishing reels available on the market. Most of their products are intended for just about anyone in the fishing game. Their products are reliable, durable, simplistic yet efficient. Quality speaks for itself when it comes to Shimano fishing reels.

More To Explore