Updated: May 29, 2015

REVIEW: Best Shimano Fishing Reels - Shimano Fishing Rods

The Scoop on Shimano Fishing Gear
Run out of Japan, the Shimano company is best known for its cycling equipment, which make up 75% of the total sales of Shimano every year . It may make a sort of sense, though, that the company has also branched out into fishing gear, and Shimano fishing rods and reels use some of the same scientific and engineering principles which apply to bicycles. Fluid gear workings, great aerodynamics, and light engineering are important to the sports of cycling and fishing alike. And based on productivity alone, it appears as though Shimano knows what it's doing when it comes to fishing tackle; most of the rest of the company's remaining 25% of sales come through its fishing gear. How do you go about determining which Shimano fishing reel is best for you? What are the real users saying about Shimano fishing rods and Shimano reels? What are some of the different types? We took a look around to see if people thought Shimano's fishing lines offered the same quality found in their biking gear or if they needed to find a smaller pond. In this guide we will take a look at some of the best-selling Shimano fishing rods and reels.

shimano fishing gear


A Lot of Reel Choices - Best Shimano Fishing Gear

Experienced anglers know that there are at least two different major categories of fishing reel, and these can be further broken down into dozens more categories. Shimano reels cover all the bases; there are low profile reels that take up less room on the rod, round reels that give that seasoned angler appearance as well as a bit more lug against the big fish, casting reels, spinner reels, and reels designed for offshore and shoreline fishing. The type of reel you choose will depend a lot on your experience as well as the kind of fishing you like to do. Don't get caught up in the main titles either; a casting reel such as the Shimano Cardiff Baitcasting Reel can be used for casting but also for trawling offshore. It can also be used for both fresh and saltwater, another consideration when it comes to buying the best fishing reel. Keep in mind that most of the time, reels which are made from or even contain metals such as magnesium are easily corroded by salt water, so you don't want to buy a $200 Shimano baitrunner containing this metal for saltwater fishing. On the other hand, there are some models such as the Shimano Stradic C14F which are made of magnesium for strength, but protected from the effects of saltwater through a kind of protective coating. Reviews on the protection that coating offers are split however; both Tacklefiles.net and Tackletour.com suggest that the alternative non-magnesium reels are light enough to feel like magnesium and strong to boot, but without any chance or becoming corroded by the effects of saltwater. Further, the Stradic C14 has a waterproof drag, something which was not included in more expensive lines of Shimano reels such as the Shimano Sustain and the Stella.


The Shimano Stella spinning reels are not for beginners - they START at about $650. This reel is Shimano's premiere offering. It's beautiful to look at, functions smoothly and perfectly, and at 8.9oz it is nice and light to boot. Tackletour.com says there really is no better reel for freshwater fishing, and it is guaranteed to last for a long time. When used for casting, this spinner reel works perfectly according to TackleTour, although at that price tag you should expect nothing less. It's also been proven durable in all its model lines; there are many reviews on numerous sites from fishermen who have owned Stella brands for years, worry-free. So, if you are a beginning angler looking for a great economy Shimano fishing reel suitable for fishing under all circumstances, check out models such as the multi-purpose (but heavy) Shimano Baitrunner. The Stradic line will cost a bit more, about $300, but it's lighter and a coating protects it for salt water anglers. For those who know exactly what type of fishing they prefer and who are ultra serious about their experience, the Stella is the freshwater spinning reel from Shimano for you. No tangles, easy casting, and durability are the hallmarks of this Shimano fishing reel.

Choosing the Right Shimano Fishing Reel for the Job

Of course, you can't use a Shimano fishing reel, no matter how high quality, without a rod to match. Like the reels, the entire line of Shimano fishing rods come highly recommended from expert sites from fieldandstream.com to our favorite tackletour.com. Worth the most attention (and probably the most money) is the Shimano Cumara, a freshwater rod that comes in spinning, casting, and other variations. The rod in all its manifestations is lightweight, made of graphite, and has specially designed reel seats for any reel you want to attach. At $240 the Shimano Cumara is certainly not the most affordable rod on the market, however with maintenance it is a lifetime rod. What's more, both Field and Stream magazine and TackleTour state that this rod was the best of its year in 2008, bar none. It's light feel means that even the smallest nibbles will be detected and that may give a chance for the angler to reel in some of the smarter fish out there. Shimano makes it pretty easy for even a beginning fishermen to determine which rod is most suitable; all its rod lines are divided according to water and species types. The Shimano Tallus line is the ultra heavy duty saltwater rod, Teramar and Clarus used for inshore work, Tiralejo for surf casting with a nice lightweight graphite construction, and species specific rods for salmon, muskie, and kingfish. All of Shimano's rods are built to last and come in a broad range of prices. Beginners without much use for the ultra sensitive feel of highly engineered fishing rods would probably find the Solara, Sensilite, and Sojourn Shimano rods a more fitting purchase, as they run from $15 to $45 and can be used until a better feel for angling is acquired. You can browse the entire line of Shimano fishing gear here.