Shimano Sahara Spinning Reel Review


You get exceptional power and performance when using Shimano Sahara spinning reels such as the F1. Shimano reels are designed with cold forge technology and they employ a 3D design. Hence, the brand is able to produce strong reels of high performance still at an affordable price.

The F1 models come in a range of 6 sizes from 1000 to 5000, each with a different weight, gear ratio, and drag. Each of these will also carry different lengths of lines. This provides anglers with an opportunity to choose what best suits their fishing needs across these factors.

Bestseller No. 1
Shimano Sahara 2500 FI Spinning Fishing Reel Model 2017 SH2500FI , Black
  • Line retrieve per crank: 29 inch, Gear ratio: 5.0:1
  • Mono line capacity (lbs/yd): 6/200, 8/140, 10/120
  • PowerPro line capacity (lbs/yd): 10/150, 15/145, 30/100

Shimano Sahara Reel Review

Again, all of these 6 sizes are built with 3D designs, X-ship, and G-body. The Hagane gearing technology is worth a mention because it allows the angler to use less energy when cranking up. They turn out as durable reels and the performance is satisfactory for experienced anglers as well as novice ones.

The graphite construction will definitely extend the life of the Shimano Sahara spinning reel and is corrosion-resistance, meaning you get a presentable reel in and out of the waters for the duration you use it. Unfortunately, while many anglers keep praising the benefits of an anti-reverse system that keeps the spools from returning, Shimano seems to have missed the point on that one.

For some anglers, there is a danger of hurting your knuckles during the cranking up when using this reel because the handle is quite close to the foot. 

Shimano Sahara Spinning Reel


The F1, for instance, turns out to be a great tool for an angler who spends endless hours and days in the sea because they will not experience any fatigue. That’s because on the F1, the center of gravity is close to the rod using a G-free body construction. 

The spinning reel employs a state-of-the-art gearing system known as Hagane, which makes the device more useful in saltwater. Both sides of the pinion gear are supported by the X-ship gear durability. This makes the pinion better aligned with the drive gear. This means the gear can stay in place and will not flex even when the angler is dealing with a large fish.

The casts also have less friction and this enables the angler to cast longer distances. The angler can do this kind of casting even when using 500, 1000, and other smaller models. The F1 will turn out as an high performing reel at an affordable price of under $100.

It also provides a great drag. The spare parts are also easy to find and you enjoy a durable anodized body.


The F1 is six-model reel, with the smallest – the 500 – serving those who need finesse angling because it is quick enough. The speed also fits those who are interested in fishing light tackle in shallow water. With the lightest in the category, at a weight of 6.9 ounces, you get a drag of 6 lbs. There is also the option of 7.2 ounces of weight for 22 lbs.

The heaviest of the F1 category affords you a weight of 8.8 ounces, provides 20 lbs of drag, and has a gear ratio of 5.0:1. As you might see, it is not the lightest of the reels from this brand.

In between the lightest and heaviest you get 4 options at 8.8 and 10.4 ounces. All of the six sizes allow anglers a good selection of the weight, drag, gear ratio, and capacity. Just to mention, the lightest reel can handle between 270 to 110 yards of monofilament lines while the heaviest can handle from 240 to 120 yards.

Shimano Sahara Fishing Reel


1. G free body – This feature, as noted, provides less fatigue since the angler will not use much work to crank on retrievals.

2. Hagane gear – The Hagane gear system lessens the need to machine cut the gears. This helps to manufacture high quality reels that are also affordable.

3. X-ship technology – The X-ship technology on the Shimano Sahara spinning reels is valuable for those who want to avoid the feeling of friction on the casts. For instance, when using low quality reels, you can hear this happen when the lines are coming out of the spool. The pinion gears are aligned with the bearing in such a way to avoid this friction.

The above design also ensures a larger casting distance and you also feel that the reel will also be smoother to use.

4. Graphite frame, rotor and side plate – The good with the graphite construction is that you end up with a stronger and durable reel.

5. Lacks anti-reverse – Unfortunately, the reel does not incorporate an anti-reverse switch, although this is compensated appropriately by the quality drag system. Otherwise, the anti-reverse will be another area that attracts dirt and sand.

Shimano Sahara Spinning Reel Features


  • The F1 has standard features of Shimano.
  • There is no friction when casting with the F1.
  • It is still a very affordable reel.


  • Anglers complain that there is no anti-reverse system as seen in other reels in the market.
  • Other anglers have a problem with the design of the reel – in particular, the handle is too close to the foot according to some. This means it is easier to hit the knuckles during the cranking up. 

Shimano Sahara Video Review

If you want to see this reel in action then watch this review by Tyler Brinks:

Bestseller No. 1
Shimano Sahara 2500 FI Spinning Fishing Reel Model 2017 SH2500FI , Black
  • Line retrieve per crank: 29 inch, Gear ratio: 5.0:1
  • Mono line capacity (lbs/yd): 6/200, 8/140, 10/120
  • PowerPro line capacity (lbs/yd): 10/150, 15/145, 30/100


SH1000FI2/270, 4/140, 6/1107.64+15.0:12610/95, 15/85, 20/657
SH2500FI6/200, 8/140, 10/1208.84+15.0:12910/150, 15/145, 30/10020
SH4000XGFI8/240, 10/200, 12/16010.44+16.2:13915/280, 30/170, 50/15024
SH500FI2/190, 4/100, 6/606.23+15.6:1275/135, 8/105, 10/657
SHC3000HGFI6/230, 8/170, 10/1408.84+16.2:13610/200, 20/140, 40/10520
SHC5000XGFI10/240, 12/195, 14/16510.64+16.2:14120/220, 30/200, 40/16024


The F1 is your select model of reels if you are looking for a lightweight, durable, and affordable reel. It suits both novice and experienced anglers. That’s because it provides excellent technology to make cranking and casting easier for both.

The Shimano Sahara also made our top 10 rankings for the best spinning reels for bass.

The most notable features include the G-body that makes it possible to crank with less fatigue. This means you are able to use it for extended periods in the seas and oceans. The brand takes advantage of its Hagane gearing technology to manufacturer affordable but high quality systems because it reduces need for machine cutting gears. With the X-ship technology, the brand is trying to keep friction on the gearing as low as possible so you feel that the reels are smooth to use.     

Last update on 2022-01-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Photo of author

Russ Egan

Russ is an avid fisherman. He has fished all over the world for more than two decades, primarily for saltwater game fish but also for local trophy fish. Russ writes reviews for all of his fishing gear to help others achieve their own fishing goals. His favorite reel is a Shimano Curado Baitcaster. His dream is to catch a Black Marlin.