Best Shimano Spinning Reel Reviews – Buyer’s Guide

Best Shimano Spinning Reels

Anyone who’s into fishing must have heard of Shimano fishing reels at some point or another.

This company is well-known for its experience when it comes to fishing equipment, and they produce the best gears when it comes to quality and durability.

In this list, we’ll mention some of the best Shimano spinning reels that you can make use of for inshore or offshore fishing, either in saltwater or fresh water.

Best Shimano Reels: Comparison Chart

Spinning Reel


Max Drag


Shimano Thunnus CI4

27.7 oz

25 lbs

Shimano Saragosa 25000SW

34.2 oz

44 lbs

Shimano Sedona Fi 1000

7.6 oz

7 lbs

Shimano Stradic CI4+

6.7 oz

20 lbs

The 4 Best Shimano Spinning Reels 2019

1. Shimano Thunnus C14 - The Best Overall Shimano Reel

Shimano Thunnus 1200 C14

The Shimano Thunnus 1200 C14 does an impressive job when it comes to combining the lightweight of 27.7 ounces with the fact that it can take 230 yards of 80 lb Powerpro braid.

There are 6 A-RB stainless steel ball bearings conditioned to fight corrosion and endure up to 10 times the duration of the average ball bearing on saltwater reels and the reel turns on these bearings.

It operates quite smoothly, and with the computer-balanced rotor, everything works in perfect smoothness and with practically no vibration.

The line is smoothly released regardless of the pressure setting, and its drag washers are Daratanium III waterproof sealed ones, so they make it more durable.

The Carbon 14 in the frame and rotor strengthens the reel and adds firmness to it while still sparing it an extra 7 ounces of weight.

The fact that the Thunnus 1200 C14 is a baitrunner reel means you can use live bait to fish and make use of the long distance casting it is capable of.

It’s a suitable reel for bigger drags with slower fights as it has a relatively low gear ratio at 4.4:1. Its maximum drag weight is about 25 lbs.

Its operation is made very smooth and effortless with the propulsion spool lip, and the Varispood spool turning keeps the line smooth and free of any entanglement.


  • Casts for long distances
  • The clicker is repairable and high-functioning
  • Retrieves smoothly


  • Sits too close to the rod
  • The crank’s handle is relatively short

The Shimano Thunnus 1200 C14 is a great lightweight baitrunner reel. This makes it a good candidate for inshore fishing rather than open-water fishing.

But whatever you’re going to use the Thunnus 1200 C14 for, it’s going to gain your approval.

2. Shimano Saragosa 25000SW - The Best Shimano Saltwater Reel

Shimano Saragosa 25000SW

The Shimano Saragosa 2500SW is a saltwater reel but it still has the comfort and smoothness of the smaller reels made for freshwater fishing.

It resists corrosion thanks to its machined aluminum body and rocks a fashionable look with the blue highlights.

The leg and frame are strong and rigid and the Paladin Gearing A-RB bearings make its operation quiet and seamless while securing it. You get the best performance wheter you’re casting or retrieving a heavy-weight fish.

The X-Ship bearing system on the Shimano Saragosa 2500SW evenly distributed the bearings on both sides of the spool to give it support and therefore enable it to crank smoothly through 360 degrees, no matter what the weight of the fish is.

Its drag strength falls between a range of 22 lbs and 44 lbs, while its gear ratio is about 4.4:1 which is very convenient for reeling in the bigger-sized fish.

The Shimano Saragosa 2500SW’s line capacity can go up to 440 yards of 11 lb test braid and can lay on 44 lbs of drag brake.

It has 6 shielded anti-rust ball bearings, and in total weighs around 34.2 ounces. It’s not the lightest reel but it is durable and can live up to any challenge you face in open waters.

Its bail action can be a little bothersome at first because it’s very sensitive and closes at the slightest touch or bump, which can sometimes be accidental.

But once you get used to it, you’ll be able to enjoy the long casts and heavy-duty work it was designed for.

Its price is a bit in the high range, but the quality of the build, durability, and attention to details that was put into its making justify the price.


  • Operates smoothly
  • High build quality
  • Casts quite far


  • Heat dissipation isn’t the best 
  • Jamming of the cranking handle 

The Shimano Saragosa 2500SW provides you with strong performance in open water and a price that isn’t too much for that performance. It’s an overall good value for the money.

3. Shimano Sedona 1000 FI - An Excellent Reel for Small Fish

Shimano Sedona 1000 FI

With upgraded and cold forged Hagane gears design, the Shimano Sedona 1000 FI delivers exquisite performance at an affordable price.

The flagship Hagane gearing extends the lifespan of the reel by making it stronger, more sustainable, and very smooth that it can be used for both offshore and inshore fishing.

The Shimano Sedona 1000 FI’s gear ratio is 5:1 and it can drag catches up to 7 lbs, this isn’t a very promising number, however. Its line retrieval is about 26-inch per crank, and it weighs only 7.6 oz, so it’s quite lightweight.

The spools are machine-cut and double-anodized which increases the line capacity without compromising the compact body design.

The Shimano Sedona 1000 FI can deliver long casting distances thanks to the propulsion line management system and improved propulsion spool lip design.

They also help to prevent backlashes or the formation of knots caused by the wind.

The G-Free body technology brings the reel’s center of gravity closer to the rod, which means that fatigue is reduced for the fisher and comfort is maximized as the center is near the angler’s hand position.

The oval oscillation gear maintains a uniform spool speed to keep the even line lay which ensures more control over the reel instead of having the line lay stacking up at the ends of the spool.


  • Easy casting
  • Durable and reliable
  • The drag system is smooth
  • Operates extremely smoothly


  • Drag capacity isn’t that big so you can’t fish for bigger fish using it

The Shimano Sedona 1000 FI has a relatively smaller gear ratio that makes it good for battling with fish, but the max drag capacity stops at 7 lbs which can prevent you from catching bigger fish.

It is, however, a very strong and smooth reel, so it still provides you with great fishing.

4. Shimano Stradic CI4+ - Lightweight Shimano Reel

Shimano Stradic CI4+

The Shimano Stradic CI4+ is made 25% lighter than its predecessors' thanks to the MGL or Manumlite rotor.

You get a smoother experience as you need less inertia to operate your reel because it makes the starting and stopping of your retrieve a very easy task.

The G-Free body design brings the center of gravity of the reel closer to the rod (thereby closer to your hand’s position) so it reduces your fatigue and maximizes your comfort.

The advanced CoreProtect provides you with a 360-degree water resistance throughout all kinds of weather which immensely extends the durability of the reel.

And it enhances your sensation of the strike and your fight against your catch.

The Shimano Stradic CI4+’s body is made of carbon fiber so it’s very light that you could almost forget its presence.

The Shimano Stradic CI4+’s lightweight competes with higher-end, more expensive models as it weighs only 6.7 oz. It also retrieves 35 inches of line per crank, has a 6:1 gear ratio, has a max drag as heavy as 20 lbs and is quite affordable.

It has a cold forged aluminum spool and super-hard Hagane drive gears. This means the spool is given more strength that is superior to the diecast aluminum or graphite ones.

It also means more smoothness for the drive gears, especially when they’re under a big load.

X-Ship, which is a combination of features that work together to maximize the reel’s efficiency, delivers a smoother and more accurate gear system that places a bearing on the pinion.

This addition is very useful in tough situations when you’re under a big load, and it’s when you’ll make the most use out of it.

There’s also a pinion gear close to the center line of the large diameter drive gear which works on giving more power to the rotor instead of the handle.

Furthermore, the pinion gear gets support by 2 Shimano A-RB roller bearings which ensure the reel is more stable and that that pinion gear twist and rotor deflection are absolutely reduced.

The 6 S A-RB shielded stainless steel ball bearings work on preventing any salt, dirt, or water from invading your reel and interfering with the smoothness of the bearings’ operation.

You can set the hook right away with no back play in the reel thanks to the Super Stopper II anti-reverse bearing that is utilized by Shimano.

It would be a good improvement if they make the size of that anti-reverse bearing a little bigger though.

The advanced AR-C design of the spool of the Shimano Stradic CI4+ reduce the twists of the line and the wind knots, while the power rollers reduce the twisting of the line down to half the amount.

Its line management is quite superb compared to that of any other spinning reel.


  • Drags are quick
  • Almost absolutely waterproof
  • Operates smoothly
  • Lightweight and portable


  • A little pricey
  • The Super Stopper II anti-reverse switch could use some enlargement

The Shimano Stradic CI4+ doesn’t fall short of the top-notch performance of the Stradic family. It provides you with the lightness, strength, smoothness, and durability that any fisher could be looking for.

It also does a great job at resisting corrosion and is almost waterproof. It’s an all-in-all great investment.

Which is The Best Shimano Fishing Reel Overall?

Bottom line is, Shimano knows what to deploy when it comes to their fishing equipment, so you can’t really go wrong with any of the reels mentioned in this list.

A reel that seems to have it all is the Shimano Stradic CI4+, but it might not be the most affordable on the list.

If you’re looking for a reel that can help you cast for long distances, the Shimano Saragosa 2500SW would serve you quite well.

If you’re seeking affordability above all, the Shimano Sedona 1000 FI would be a good deal for you.

If you have a medium budget and want a combination of everything, the Shimano Thunnus 1200 C14 does that for you pretty well.


Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 1 comments
herb - March 11, 2019

Is Shimano still offering long cast spinners in the USA , i know they discontinued the incredible Aero Technium XSC which blows away Shimano’s Ultegra long cast spinners since it has Oscillation 10 not the oscillation 5 system which does make a very noticeable distance difference .

The Ultegra’s in the 14000 and 5500 sizes are OK but not in the Aero Techniums league , if Shimano equipped them with the super slow 10 system instead of the 5 system that would make them amazing.


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