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The Greatest Fishing Reels Shimano Makes: A Complete Buyer’s Guide

Shimano is a company beloved amongst the fishing community for the spinning reels they produce.

a shimano spinning reel on display in a store

There are several reasons to choose one of their reels for the next upgrade to your fishing setup. 

The Hagane concept behind Shimano reels development creates “eternally smooth reeling.”

Shimano spinning reels are crafted with cold-forged gears, a technique that creates unparalleled precision and power behind them. 

The body of a Shimano reel is formed from metals such as aluminum and magnesium.

a brand new shimano spinning reel

This creates rock-solid pieces to allow the reel to withstand shock and still have that smooth reeling action. All parts of this Hagane concept Shimano uses leads to powerful, quality reels. 

Whether you are interested in investing in a Shimano reel because of its performance, design, or quality, here are the best Shimano spinning reels. 

Top 8 Spinning Reels From Shimano

  1. Shimano NASCI
  2. Shimano Stella SW 8000PG
  3. Shimano Sedona FI
  4. Shimano Spheros SW
  5. Shimano Stradic FL
  6. Shimano Vanford
  7. Shimano Baitrunner D
  8. Shimano Saragosa SW

Shimano NASCI

The Shimano NASCI is a great reel and has a gear ratio of 6.2:1. Conceptualized with the HAGANE gear technology as all their reels, the latest iteration of the NASCI reel adds in SilentDrive.

Shimano NASCI

SilentDrive is a new addition to the latest NASCI reel and is a design carried over from Shimano’s first line of spinning reels. 

SilentDrive increases the gear tolerances to such an extreme level that it eliminates all unnecessary noise and vibrations to maximize performance.

With different size ranges from ultralight to ice fishing and everything in-between, the Shimano NASCI will impress even veteran sport fishers. 


Shimano Stella SW 8000PG

The Shimano Stella SW 8000PG is a saltwater spinning reel whose design will impress anglers.

Shimano Stella SW 8000PG

This reel has a gear ratio of 4.9:1 and 75 bearings. The Stella SW 8000PG reel introduces the new Shimano Infinity Drive technology and the HeatSink Drag to entice saltwater enthusiasts. 

The Infinity Drive was designed to augment the winding torque and increase its performance by 26 percent, making each rotation infinitely silky smooth with little resistance.

The Heatsink Drag dissipates the heat away from the reels spool to reduce line breakage and protect the spool and drag washer. 


Shimano Sedona FI

The Shimano Sedona FI spinning reel has a gear ratio of 5.0:1 with 4 bearings. This reel can handle anything from lightweight freshwater catches to heavy offshore fish. 

Shimano Sedona FI

This Shimano series of reels has enhanced drag power and higher gear ratios. These Sedona FI reels boast a specialized and optimized spool design utilizing Shimano’s Propulsion Line Management which significantly increases casting distance, so it’s absolutely perfect for surf fishing!

The Sedona FI reels also have the G-Free body design, which adjusts the center of gravity of the reel to be closer to the rod. This reduces fatigue from repeated casting. 


Shimano Spheros SW

The Shimano Spheros SW is the overall versatility king of saltwater fishing reels. These reels have the same Infinity Drive technology as the Stella SW 8000PG, improving the gears and increasing its rotation performance. 

Shimano Spheros SW

Also containing the X-Protect and X-Shield designs, the Spheros SW has improved durability in saltwater arenas with this new water resistance.

Whether being used for inshore or offshore saltwater fishing, this Shimano reel will offer anglers reliable and consistent performance in their outings. 


Shimano Stradic FL

The Shimano Stradic FL fishing reel is a powerful reel, heavily optimized for anglers who want to conquer intense sessions battling heavyweight fish.

a shimano stradic fl

This Stradic FL reel comes equipped with a wide range of Shimano features to make it a top-notch reel. 

Enhancements like MicroModule Gear II, improve the smoothness of the gear rotations, and SilentDrive improves the gear tolerances and endurance by reducing vibrations.

This reel also includes Shimano’s X-Protect, which improves the Stradic FL reel water resistance and ensures a reel that will offer a long life of high-end performance, all without increasing the weight.


Shimano Vanford

The Shimano Vanford spinning reel is a reel that is designed as a culmination of over a decade of achievements in engineering.

Shimano Vanford

The Vanford spinning reels are built on a CI4+ body, which already has the reel backed with carbon strength while maintaining a lightweight feel. 

On top of this, the Vanford spinning reel is built with a MagnumLite Rotor that decreases the rotational inertia by 48 percent, allowing faster and tighter response when you need it most. 

Also containing the SilentDrive, MicroModule Gear II, and X-Protect technologies, this Shimano reel is designed with all of Shimano’s top-tier enhancements.

Finally, adding Long Stroke Spool improvement allows a further casting distance and smoother line retrieval. 


Shimano Baitrunner D

The Shimano Baitrunner D spinning reel features a gear ratio of 4.4:1 and offers sport fishers access to the legendary drivetrain and an auto-return enhancement.

Shimano Baitrunner D

With improved casting, less friction on the line, and a more comfortable grip, the Baitrunner D is a design that will imbue its users with confidence to succeed. 

The new Baitrunner D has a higher maximum drag and a wider range of settings compared to previous iterations of the Baitrunner design.

This new and improved variation of the model is perfect for all anglers. Despite not having some of the new Shimano technologies, this remains a great choice. 


Shimano Saragosa SW

The Shimano Saragosa SW is a spinning reel that follows its legacy of being an incredibly well-rounded reel while adding in Shimano’s newest technologies to boost performance. 

Shimano Saragosa SW

The Saragosa SW spinning reel now includes the Infinity Drive technology, allowing anglers to overpower even heavyweight fish with its increased winding torque.

Additionally, with the Hagane gear and body, the Saragosa SW is powerfully rigid and exceptionally smooth. 

Also coming in with Shimano’s X-Protect to help sustain itself in harsh saltwater environments, the SW comes with Cross Carbon waterproof drag.

The Shimano Saragosa SW is a saltwater champion spinning reel for all anglers. 


Final Thoughts

With a wide range of designs for spinning reels that excel in saltwater, freshwater, or both environments, Shimano spinning reels will never lead an angler astray. 

Shimano spinning reels feature the latest in innovation for fishing and offer premier performance at some of the most competitive price points. 

No matter which of the Shimano reels you end up choosing to add to your kit, expect to get out above and beyond what you paid for with these exceptionally built reels. It’s no wonder Shimano is such a trusted name brand when it comes to fishing.

Rocco Smith

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