Best Shimano Spinning Reels

Shimano Spinning Reels - Reviews & Guides For 2024

Our Top Shimano Spinning Reels

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Shimano Spinning Reels buying guide

Are you looking for a lightweight and durable spinning reels for your rod? Don't worry. Shimano spinning reels are here at your service.

These superb rods are highly portable and offer you a cutting edge when you reel in your favorite fish. However, at the time of purchase, you can not simply pick any model.

You have to study all the models and their key characteristics. For this, you need access to all the details under one roof.

A comprehensive buying guide provides you all the information at a single stop where you can analyze all the elements and pin down the best model. Also, you get answers to common questions and queries.

So, starting with a brief introduction, let us hunt down the best reel.

What are Shimano Spinning Reels, and why should you opt for them over others?

If you are in search of the best spinning reels, you can choose the Shimano fishing reels. Shimano is a big company in Japan that produces fishing reels and other outdoor gear, and you can use the reels for both freshwater and saltwater fishing.

Most anglers prefer Shimano reels over others because of their smooth and flawless performance. They can be an ideal choice for both beginners and experienced anglers, and you can target any size of fish with these reels.

Shimano is a very reliable brand, and they produce fishing reels that include innovative technologies, and this is how you can enjoy an ultra-smooth fishing experience.

These reels have a reliable and lightweight design. Moreover, they are known for their functionalities worldwide. Shimano fishing reels have unmatched durability, and they ensure the highest quality to enhance your experiences while fishing in the water.

Things to deem about while selecting appropriate Shimano Spinning Reels

Size and Weight

Shimano spinning reels have different sizes that can match different needs. You can use these reels both for fishing games and ultralight fishing.

The larger size reels have more line capacity, so they are appropriate for saltwater fishing, where the smaller sizes can be used for ultralight setups to catch crappie, bream, and trout.

If you need a smaller size reel, you can go for a 1000 to 3500 reel. But if you think you need something bigger, it will be better to choose between a 4000 and a 5500 reel.

The weight of the Shimano reels is also influenced by their sizes. You should also consider the reels' weight when you want to go fishing for a longer duration.

Usually, the weight varies depending on the reels' size, but Shimano fishing reels come lightweight. You can find these reels within 15 to 10 ounces.

Materials and Constructions

You must check the Shimano fishing reels' material quality to ensure their durability and overall construction quality. It is needless to mention that Shimano means quality but the material and quality construction determine the reels are strong enough to deal with bigger fish.

Nowadays, manufacturers are more likely to use alloys to keep a proper balance between the strength and the weight.

Aluminum or graphite is used in designing the reels because they are lightweight and resistant to corrosion. Graphite and copolymer are suitable for freshwater fishing because of their resilience.

On the other hand, experienced anglers look for metal construction for both saltwater and freshwater, corrosion-resistant.

If you are a beginner, you can choose plastic for freshwater fish or river trout. Plastic is also less expensive than any other material.


The spool is one of the essential external parts of the spinning reels, determining how smoothly the reel can perform. Besides, it will define your casting ability as well.

The primary function of the spool is to hold the fishing lines. As the spool remains fixed, it does not turn around when you collect the lines. But sometimes, it can move backward if the line tension increases to a great extent.

Moreover, you can move the spool up and down when you turn the handle, and it will make sure that the fishing line is in place.

The spool has a significant impact on the performance of the fishing reel, especially on casting. Put simply, if the lines come off the spool easily, you will be able to cast longer distances.

Some manufacturers change their spool's profile for this reason. For instance, you will find some spools that are specifically designed to increase the casting distance. They are longer but shallower, so you can easily retrieve the line when needed.

Usually, the Shimano spinning reels come up with aluminum spools, ensuring better durability and less weight. You can also choose graphite spools instead of aluminum.

Reel Foot

The primary function of the reel foot is to keep the fishing reel attached to the fishing rod. It works as an anchor, and you should check it properly when you are buying the Shimano fishing reels.

The foot creates a base that can fit into the specific area on the fishing rod. The handle of the rod is tightened correctly to keep the reel locked into the right place.

Typically, the reel feet come like an extended part of the reel body, containing the same construction material.

When you select the reel foot, you must check its durability and fit so that the reel seat can hold it securely. Shimano reels never fail to meet these criteria.

Reel Body

Reel body refers to the base where different other components remain attached. While choosing the Shimano spinning reels, you should consider whether the reel body fits your hand comfortably or not.

Also, it should be stable enough to provide a strong base for the overall reel effectively. You should choose the reel body according to your fishing style.

Typically, graphite or aluminum are used in designing the reel bodies. Aluminum can be an excellent choice if you are after durability, while graphite made reel bodies come with lighter weight.

You will find some aluminum reel bodies designed with a hole to decrease the weight of the reels. If you choose this design, you should make sure that the reel body is sturdy enough and it does not flex easily.


You should always opt for an ergonomic design of your fishing reel, and when it is about Shimano spinning reels, you do not need to worry about the ergonomics of the reels.

It will help you to understand how the reel exactly feels in your hands, and you can choose the design accordingly.

Not all the Shimano reels have the same designs, so they naturally feel different from each other. It is not possible to check how the reel feels when you are buying it online.

However, you can always go through the previous customers' reviews to get a fair idea of the ergonomics of the reels, and you can make your purchase accordingly.


You will find a bent wire along with the plastic or metal frame in front of the spool. It covers the spools, and you can keep it open or close conveniently.

When the bail is open, the line can move freely, but when it is closed, you will need to turn the reel handle to retrieve the line. It makes the bail spinning around the spool, and it wraps the line with its progress.

Usually, the bails come with a simple design, and they function smoothly. You should choose a bail that is strong enough and designed with a smooth and polished surface.

You can also search for the easy-close bail that helps to close the bail manually after casting. It helps to avoid damages, so most anglers prefer this feature for their reels.

If you are planning for surf fishing, you can consider a bail-less design. It does not depend on the bail for routing the line, and instead, it directly does it using the roller.

Anti-reverse Switch

The prime purpose of using the anti-reverse switch is to prevent the handle and bail from moving in a backward direction. Therefore, you will get a rock-hard hook set up, and it excellently supports the drag system to feed the fishing line.

If you put the anti-reverse switch in the off position, you will be able to crank the reel handle in both directions. This allows you to perform reverse reeling in case the fish try to leave, and you do not need to depend on the drag system for this.

If you are comfortable with reversing the reel instead of using the drag, this anti-reverse system will come in handy for you.

Presently, modern reels like Shimano fishing reels are available with a smooth drag system, which works more effectively than reverse reeling when fighting a bigger fish. Also, you will find some reels that have no anti-reverse switch for reverse reeling.

Reel Handle

By using the reel handle, you can collect the lines efficiently. Most handles of the Shimano spinning reels are built with aluminum, graphite, or plastic. Also, they are constructed with an angled arm with a small spinning grip.

You will see a wide range of grip designs provided by different manufacturers, and you can choose any of them according to your needs. It ultimately depends on your personal preference.

You need to check that the grip is comfortable enough to hold for an extended period. Otherwise, there is nothing right or wrong in choosing the reel handles.

Moreover, different handles have different sizes. There are some reels designed with bigger and heavier grips, while others have a smaller as well as lighter design.

Another important thing you should remember while choosing the grip is the weight of the handles. Having a larger handle means you will be able to grip the handle efficiently and fight a more prominent and heavier fish without having strain in your arms.

Power Roller

The power roller is commonly known as the line roller, which is a small cylinder used to maintain the fishing lines when the bail remains closed. Different types of materials are used in making the rollers, including aluminum, graphite, brass, or gold.

If you select a high-end roller, you will see a bearing presents inside the roller that will help it to spin. In general, metal construction of the roller is ideal for braided fishing lines because it may dig into the softer materials easily.

However, you should always pay attention to the rollers' performance rather than the materials or construction. You should check whether the roller is capable of spinning smoothly without sticking at different points.

If you look for high-end or intermediate spinning reels, you will not need to worry about their performance because they work very efficiently without having any issues.

Gear Ratio

Gear ratio indicates a numerical ratio which is measured according to the number of spins the bail has for a single rotation of the handle.

If you choose a higher ratio, you can retrieve the faster but, on the flip side, having a lower gear ratio, you will get more torque when you crank the reel handle.

So, if you want quicker retrieves, you should go for that 6:1 gear ratio. You will get torque from a lower gear ratio like 4.1:1 to deal with the spinnerbaits and crankbaits effectively.

Some anglers are likely to have a medium speed gear ratio such as 5:1 that offers the reels' versatility and makes you able to perform different fishing techniques at ease.

So, when you buy the Shimano spinning reels, you should choose the gear ratio that matches your fishing style the best.


Ball bearings have a vital role in determining the spinning reels' performance, so you must consider them before making your purchase.

Bearings are designed with ceramic or metal rings, and inside they have ceramic or metal balls that can reduce the friction created by the bail arms.

Spinning reels having a higher number of ball bearings are more durable and work more smoothly. Also, the quality of the bearings matters a lot to increase the reel performance.

Shimano spinning reels provide the smoothest performance because of the high-quality Shimano A-RB bearings. For a smoother hook set, you can go for Super Stopper ll ball bearings.

You should also keep it in mind that ceramic bearings deliver smoother performance than the metal bearing, and they are more resistant to corrosion.

Line Capacity

You should determine the size and design of the fishing reel in advance to make sure it can hold the size and type of your fishing line hassle-free. You should follow the specifications thoroughly to ensure that it will work appropriately with the lines you have.

It is no brainer that a larger fishing reel can accommodate more lines compared to a smaller reel, but the weight of the reels may vary a lot. Furthermore, the spool capacity is determined by the diameter of the line.

Therefore, it will be better to spool capacity and the line diameter that can perform effectively for your targeted species of fish.

If you are after smaller fish like bluegill or crappie, you will need lightweight lines along with moderate line capacities.

On the contrary, when it comes to catching large fish like Huskies, striped bass, etc. it will be better to look for the heavier lines having decent spool capacities to withstand the battle.

How you fish

Besides your fishing techniques, you should also consider your fishing strategies, habits, etc. before buying your Shimano spinning reels.

  1. Saltwater or Freshwater

It is challenging to choose a reel for freshwater fishing because any fishing reel can serve your purpose. But for saltwater, you will require a high-quality spinning reel, which must be resistant to corrosion.

With a view to that, most saltwater spinning reels are designed with rust-proof materials and tight-fitting gaskets to protect the reel from saltwater.

  1. Species

Not all the fish species act in the same way, so it will be wise to determine ten species beforehand. Thus, you will get a proper idea of their sizes, and you can choose the reels accordingly.

For example, if you want to catch crappie or panfish, you can go with a lightweight fishing reel. But, when you are looking for walleye or bass, you need a spinning reel with heavier weight.

  1. Rod compatibility

You should also match the spinning reel to the fishing rod to make sure that they both work together seamlessly. Usually, spinning reels go well with the spinning rods. Still, you should check the specification correctly.

Drag System

You will need a steady but smooth drag system to handle a hard fighting fish. You should make sure that the drag system of the reel is more comfortable to finetune.

You can see some spinning reels show the drag pressure they are able to handle, which is defined as the "maximum drag pressure."

Generally, the drag pressure of 10 pounds is ideal for dealing with all types of fish, but sometimes, it will be better to have 20 pounds of drag pressure to withstand the largest bass or any fast swimming trout.

If you choose a high-quality reel, you will get smooth drags as silk, where you may find it a little jerky to operate the top-quality reels.

With a high-quality drag system, you can catch bigger size fish efficiently, but the later one may stop during a fight, and it will lead you to lose the catch at the end.

However, you can rely on the Shimano spinning reels for their multi-disc drag system to have a smooth and flawless performance.


Most of the manufacturers offer a warranty for their spinning reels, but you can also get to purchase an add-on warranty to have better protection.

Usually, the warranties differ from one manufacturer to others, but you must look for a higher warranty if your reel costs more than $75.

Otherwise, it is not something crucial to spend the money on getting the additional warranty. So, you can save money to get a replacement when needed.

However, Shimano reels come up with a two-year warranty that covers materials and manufacturing defects.

You must read the terms and conditions properly to know what is covered under warranty, and it will help you understand the warranty in a better way.

Line Preferences

Before choosing the Shimano spinning reels, you should consider the fishing line you want to use.

If you are likely to use the braided fishing line, you should be more careful because most of the reels work compatible with fluorocarbon or monofilament lines.

For braided lines, you must choose the reel designed with more rigid materials. Otherwise, they will dig into the spool. Also, they can slip, which may become very inconvenient while fishing.

Nevertheless, you will find most of the reels designed to work well with braided lines. You need to read the review of the products before you pay for the reels.

Right-handed vs. Left-handed

Usually, most anglers are comfortable to reel with their one hand rather than using both of the hands.

Therefore, it is essential to select the Shimano spinning reels according to your preferences so that you can use them at your convenience.

If you are a right-handed person, it will be easier for you to crank the reel with your left hand and vice versa. You can quickly look for the opposite arrangements.

Some spinning reels are available in the market that you can use with both hands, and many anglers prefer them because of this flexibility.

However, if you are a beginner fisher, you should always start to crank with the left hand as most of the Shimano reels are designed for left-handed reeling.


  1. How to clean Shimano spinning reels?

You can clean Shimano spinning reels just like your regular spinning reels to enhance its longevity. You can start with simple washing with fresh water and then rubbing some isopropyl rubbing alcohol onto it for deep cleaning. Moreover, you need to remove all the dirt and other particles using cotton swabs.

  1. Is there some specific fishing line for Shimano spinning reels?

Yes, monofilament fishing lines are best compatible with Shimano spinning reels. Also, they are commonly used with PowerPro braided fishing lines. It is just that you need to have a look at their line capacity.

  1. What is the maximum drag rating for Shimano Spinning reels?

The highest Drag ratings for Shimano reels lie in between 7 and 25 pounds.

Final Verdict

The Shimano spinning reels present an excellent way to reel in the bigger fish. All you need is to select the best-suited one.

Here, in this guide, you will find all the key elements that will aid you in your selection process. Go through the pointers and purchase an elite reel for your trip. / - © Copyright 2020