10 Best Shimano Spinning Reels [2021 Review]

Shimano spinning reels are some of the best fishing reels in existance. Shimano put in a huge amount of effort and precision in their designs, materials, and manufacturing techniques. This all translates into high quality, high performance, and durable fishing equipment.

Shimano are one of my personal favorite manufacturers and I use their reels whenever I go fishing.

It can be hard to determine the difference between all of Shimano’s spinning reels so I have put together this guide to help you differentiate between Shimano’s best spinning reels to help you make a buying decision.

I have also written individual reviews on most of these products, so you can click on the title to see more detailed information.

Let’s have a look at Shimano’s best 10 spinning reels.

Shimano Stella Spinning Reel

The Stella is Shimano’s premium spinning reel. With 12+1 ball bearings, this is the self proclaimed ‘smoothest and most efficient drivetrain.’ As part of the MicroModule II it comes with the most advanced gear design and gear teeth surface.

Shimano also claim that the addition of X-Protect makes the Stella five times more corrosion resistant than their last model.

This reel is full of Shimano’s latest and greatest technology – give this reel a spin and you will notice the difference.

  • Aero Wrap II
  • Cross Carbon Drag
  • Micro Module II
  • Long Stroke Spool
  • KGN Body
  • X-Protect
  • X-Ship
  • Silent Drive
  • Propulsion Line Management System
  • MGL Rotor
Bestseller No. 1
Shimano Stella Sw C Saltwater Spinning Reels, STLSW14000XGC
28 Reviews
Shimano Stella Sw C Saltwater Spinning Reels, STLSW14000XGC
  • Platinum Premier Service Plan
  • Hagane Body
  • IPX8 Waterproof Body
MODELMONO LINE CAPACITY (#TEST/YD)WEIGHT (OZ)BEARINGSGEAR RATIORETRIEVE PER CRANK (IN)POWERPRO BRAID (LB/YDS)MAX DRAG (LB)
STL1000FJ2/270, 4/140, 6/110612+15.1:12510/95, 15/85, 20/657
STL2500HGFJ6/200, 8/140, 10/1207.212+16.0:13510/150, 15/145, 30/10020
STL4000XGFJ8/240, 10/200, 12/160912+16.2:14015/230, 30/180, 50/12024
STLC3000XGFJ6/230, 8/170, 10/1407.412+16.4:13710/200, 20/140, 40/10520
STLC5000XGFJ10/240, 12/195, 14/1659.212+16.2:14020/260, 30/235, 40/18524

Shimano Vanford Spinning Reel

Vanford is the recently released replacement for the people’s favorite Stradic CI4+. This takes all the benefits from the Stradic and eliminates its few weaknesses.

This reel is extremely versatile and is suitable for ice fishing, saltwater game fishing, bottom fishing, or inshore fishing.

It comes with Shimano’s Long Stroke Spool technology which increases the casting distance and lays the line back onto the spool more evenly during retrieves.

The MagnumLite Rotor has up to 48% less rotational inertia giving it a quicker response.

Bestseller No. 1
Shimano Vanford F Spinning Reel, VFC3000XGF
  • CI4+ Body: This material is an advanced version of the original CI4. This highly technical carbon...
  • MGL Rotor: The new design of the MagnumLite Rotor produces unprecedented light rotation. The rotor...
  • Hagane Gear: With amazing strength and durability, the HAGANE Gear is at the very heart of the reel....
MODELMONO LINE CAPACITY (#TEST/YD)WEIGHT (OZ)BEARINGSGEAR RATIORETRIEVE PER CRANK (IN)POWERPRO BRAID (LB/YDS)MAX DRAG (LB)
VF1000F2/270, 4/160, 6/1105.37+15.1:12510/95, 15/75, 20/657
VF2500HGF6/200, 8/140, 10/1206.37+16.0:13510/150, 15/145, 30/10020
VF4000XGF8/240, 10/200, 12/1607.67+16.2:14015/230, 30/180, 50/12024
VF500F2/190, 4/100, 6/604.96+15.6:1275/135, 8/105, 10/656
VFC2000HGF6/165, 8/105, 10/955.37+16.1:13210/140, 15/115, 20/957
VFC3000XGF6/230, 8/170, 10/1406.37+16.4:13710/200, 20/140, 40/10520
VFC5000XGF10/240, 12/195, 14/1657.87+16.2:14020/260, 30/235, 40/18524

Shimano Sustain Spinning Reel

Suitable for bass to small billfish, the Shimano Sustain is packed with high-end features.

It obtains its high performance from 8+1 ball bearings and a 6.0:1 to 6.2:1 gear ratio. The reel is also very lightweight with its largest model weighing 10.1 ounces.

It comes with the combination of X-Protect and X-Ship gives it excellent corrosion resistance.

The duo of CI4+ material and MGL Rotor gives the Sustain a lightweight design without giving up on performance.

Bestseller No. 1
SHIMANO Sustain FI SAC5000XGFI Spinning Fishing Reel; Gear Ratio: 6.2:1
61 Reviews
SHIMANO Sustain FI SAC5000XGFI Spinning Fishing Reel; Gear Ratio: 6.2:1
  • Gear ratio: 6.0:1, Weight: 7.9 ounce, Mono line capacity (lbs/yds): 6/230, 8/170, 10/140, PowerPro...
  • From bass to small billfish, Sustain is built with the power and rigidity to handle a wide variety...
  • By combining our water-repellent coating and our specially designed, water channeling, labyrinth...
MODELMONO LINE CAPACITY (#TEST/YD)WEIGHT (OZ)BEARINGSGEAR RATIORETRIEVE PER CRANK (IN)POWERPRO BRAID (LB/YDS)MAX DRAG (LB)
SA2500HGFI6/200, 8/140, 10/1208.38+16.0:13510/150, 15/145, 30/10020
SA4000XGFI8/240, 10/200, 12/16010.18+16.2:13915/280, 30/170, 50/15024
SAC3000HGFI6/230, 8/170, 10/1407.98+16.0:13510/200, 20/140, 40/10520
SAC5000XGFI10/240, 12/195, 14/16510.18+16.2:14120/220, 30/200, 40/16024

Shimano Stradic Spinning Reel

For many years the Stradic was one of the most popular reels on the market. It gives so many features and high level performance at a brilliant price. It is versatile, durable, and won’t let you down when that trophy fish strikes.

It comes with Shimano’s latest technology features like X-Ship, CoreProtect, Hagane Gears, and G-Free Body.

The Magnumlite Rotor also gives it a very lightweight reel while remaining durable in its construction.

For anyone looking for their first spinning reel then I always recommend a Shimano Stradic. It will not let you down.

Bestseller No. 1
Shimano STC3000XGFL Stradic C3000 FL Spinning Reel
  • Hagane Gear - Boasts amazing strength and durability
  • Cross Carbon Drag: The ideal material for the high drag pressure setting, with smoothness and...
  • Long Stroke Spool - less turbulence going through the guides for a smoother and longer cast
MODELMONO LINE CAPACITY (#TEST/YD)WEIGHT (OZ)BEARINGSGEAR RATIORETRIEVE PER CRANK (IN)POWERPRO BRAID (LB/YDS)MAX DRAG (LB)
STCI41000HGFB2/270, 4/140, 6/1105.66+16.0:13110/95, 15/85, 20/657
STCI42500HGFB6/200, 8/140, 10/1206.76+16.0:13510/150, 15/145, 30/10020
STCI44000XGFB8/240, 10/200, 12/1608.16+16.2:13915/280, 30/170, 50/15024
STCI4C3000HGFB6/230, 8/170, 10/1406.76+16.0:13510/200, 20/140, 40/10520

Shimano Sedona Spinning Reel

The Sedona allows you to chase any sized fish – with its model range from 500 to 8000 sizes you can certainly pick a model that will suit your needs.

The G-Free body moves the center of gravity closer to the rod which makes it more comfortable and actually feel lighter. This will result in less fatigue on your forearms and hands after a long days fishing.

The Hagane cold forged technology gives it exceptional durability and performance compared to some of the other options.

Bestseller No. 1
SHIMANO Sedona 1000FI, Freshwater Spinning Fishing Reel
884 Reviews
SHIMANO Sedona 1000FI, Freshwater Spinning Fishing Reel
  • With its updated design and cold forged HAGANE gears, the Shimano Sedona spinning reel offers a...
  • Incorporates Shimano’s flagship HAGANE gearing that provides long-lasting, strong, and durable...
  • Features double-anodized machine-cut spools for increased line capacity while keeping the body...
MODELMONO LINE CAPACITY (#TEST/YD)WEIGHT (OZ)BEARINGSGEAR RATIORETRIEVE PER CRANK (IN)POWERPRO BRAID (LB/YDS)MAX DRAG (LB)
SE1000FI2/270, 4/140, 6/1107.63+15.0:12610/95, 15/85, 20/657
SE2500HGFI6/200, 8/140, 10/1208.63+16.2:13615/145, 30/1009
SE4000XGFI8/240, 10/200, 12/16010.43+16.2:13930/170, 50/15024
SE500FI2/190, 4/100, 6/606.33+15.6:12715/135, 8/105, 10/657
SE6000FI12/265, 16/170, 20/120153+14.6:13330/290, 50/195, 65/14022
SE8000FI12/345, 16/250, 20/18521.73+14.9:13740/340, 50/265, 65/21524
SEC3000HGFI6/230, 8/170, 10/1408.83+16.2:13620/140, 40/10520
SEC5000XGFI10/240, 12/195, 14/16510.63+16.2:14130/200, 40/16024

Shimano Sienna Spinning Reel

The Sienna is a well-balanced and high performing reel at a great price.

It comes with Shimano’s Propulsion Line Management System which allows longer casts and reduced wind knots. It also comes with Super Stopper II anti-reverse feature.

Available in sizes from 500 to 4000, this is more suited for inshore fishing than deep sea species.

Bestseller No. 1
Shimano Sienna 2500RE Spinning Fishing Reel
  • Perfectly suited for everything from freshwater to inshore fishing, the Sienna 2500RE Spinning...
  • Encased in a new M-Compact Body that moves the oscillation gear closer to the rod greatly improving...
  • Equipped with a Propulsion Line Management System that provides longer casting distances while...
MODELMONO LINE CAPACITY (#TEST/YD)WEIGHT (OZ)BEARINGSGEAR RATIORETRIEVE PER CRANK (IN)POWERPRO BRAID (LB/YDS)MAX DRAG (LB)
SN1000FG2/270, 4/140, 6/1107.23+15.0:12410/95, 15/85, 20/657
SN2000FG6/165, 8/105, 10/958.83+15.0:12810/140, 15/115, 20/959
SN2500FG6/200, 8/140, 10/1208.83+15.0:12810/150, 15/145, 30/1009
SN2500HGFG6/200, 8/140, 10/1208.83+16.2:13510/150, 15/145, 30/1009
SN4000FG8/240, 10/200, 12/16011.33+15.2:13215/230, 30/180, 50/12019
SN500FG2/190, 4/100, 6/606.33+15.6:1275/135, 8/105, 10/654
SNC3000FG6/230, 8/170, 10/1408.83+15.0:12810/200, 20/140, 40/10519
SNc3000FG6/230, 8/170, 10/1408.83+15.0:12810/200, 20/140, 40/10519

Shimano IX Spinning Reel

The Shimano IX is the only rear drag model that has made this list. This allows the angler to make drag adjustments during a fight without needing to reach over the top of the spool.

It comes with Shimano’s QuickFire II system which is a more traditional design that allows for one handed casting by putting everything without reach of the casting hand.

This reel also has a lower gear-ratio of 4.1:1 which is better suited for slower retrieving lures like a deep diving crankbait or a spinnerbait with very large blades.

Bestseller No. 1
Shimano Sahara 1000FI Spinning Fishing Reel
  • The Shimano Sahara 1000FI Spinning Fishing Reel is a powerful spinning reel with unparalleled...
  • Incorporates an upgraded drag; X-Ship and HGN Gearing; delivering enhanced smoothness; durability;...
  • X-Ship technology provides improved gear durability and eliminates friction between the spool shaft...
MODELMONO LINE CAPACITY (#TEST/YD)WEIGHT (OZ)BEARINGSGEAR RATIORETRIEVE PER CRANK (IN)POWERPRO BRAID (LB/YDS)MAX DRAG (LB)
IX1000R2/270, 4/140, 6/1108.404.1:11910/95, 15/85, 20/657
IX2000R6/170, 8/120, 10/1008.604.1:12110/130, 15/100, 20/857
IX4000R8/240, 10/200, 12/16011.404.1:12415/265, 30/175, 50/14515

Shimano Ultegra Spinning Reel

The Ultegra is one of Shimano’s premium, high-end spinning reels. It is ruggedly designed but still looks great. It is lightweight but also boasts high performance. It also has high maximum drag options given its small stature.

Some of the many technologies included within this reel include:

  • Aero Wrap II
  • Cross Carbon Drag
  • G Free Body
  • KGN Gear
  • Long Stroke Spool
  • Micro Module II
  • One Piece Bail
  • Propulsion Line Management System
  • Silent Drive
  • X-Protect
  • X-Ship

The Ultegra is a powerhouse reel available in 1000 to 5000 sizes. It has improved corrosion resistance compared with most alternate reels.

The smooth retrieve of this system is second to none and will last for years without decline in performance.

Bestseller No. 1
Shimano ULTC5000XGFC Ultegra C5000XGFC Spinning Reel, Front Drag
3 Reviews
Shimano ULTC5000XGFC Ultegra C5000XGFC Spinning Reel, Front Drag
  • Premium performance for all anglers
  • Cold-forged HAGANE Gear
  • Extreme durability and sensitivity with less weight
MODELMONO LINE CAPACITY (#TEST/YD)WEIGHT (OZ)BEARINGSGEAR RATIORETRIEVE PER CRANK (IN)POWERPRO BRAID (LB/YDS)MAX DRAG (LB)
ULT1000FC2/270, 4/160, 6/1106.35+15.1:12510/95, 15/75, 20/657
ULT2500HGFC6/200, 8/140, 10/1207.95+16.0:13510/150, 15/145, 30/10020
ULT4000XGFC10/200, 12/1609.55+16.2:14015/230, 30/180, 50/12024
ULTC3000HGFC6/230, 8/170, 10/1407.95+16.0:13510/200, 20/140, 40/10520
ULTC5000XGFC12/195, 14/16510.15+16.2:14020/260, 30/235, 40/18524

Shimano Saragosa Spinning Reel

The Saragosa has been released with new features in 2020 including enhanced capabilities and features focusing on improved saltwater performance.

It comes with higher winding torque under load compared to its predecessor. This in combination with its Hagane Gear and Body gives it more strength.

The Saragosa is very versatile and is suitable from freshwater to inshore and deep sea species.

The IPX8 Waterproof body means that saltwater will never enter the gears so you don’t need to worry about corrosion in the long term.

Available in sizes up to 18000 models, this reel is a monster hunter and is perfect for Tuna or larger fish species. It also has a very high retrieval rate which helps when fighting some of the fastest species in the ocean.

Bestseller No. 1
Shimano Saragosa SW A Saltwater Spinning Reel, SRG10000SWAPG
  • Infinity Drive: The new main shaft supporting structure improves winding torque by 30% while...
  • X-Protect: By combining our water repellent coating and our specially designed, water channeling,...
  • IPX8 Water Resistance to create long-lasting durability without sacrificing performance
MODELMONO LINE CAPACITY (#TEST/YD)WEIGHT (OZ)BEARINGSGEAR RATIORETRIEVE PER CRANK (IN)POWERPRO BRAID (LB/YDS)MAX DRAG (LB)
SRG10000SWAPG16/320, 20/220, 25/17524.35+14.9:14050/360, 65/290, 80/21533
SRG14000SWAXG16/360, 20/260, 25/19024.75+16.2:15350/400, 65/315, 80/24033
SRG18000SWAHG20/415, 25/340, 30/28032.36+15.7:15150/600, 65/440, 80/36044
SRG20000SWAPG20/460, 25/380, 30/320336+14.4:14165/90, 80/400, 100/34044
SRG25000SWA20/570, 25/490, 30/36033.96+14.4:14565/630, 80/520, 100/44044
SRG5000SWAXG10/240, 12/195, 14/16515.95+16.2:14120/245, 30/225, 40/17522
SRG6000SWAHG12/265, 16/170, 20/120165+15.7:14130/295, 50/195, 65/14022
SRG8000SWAHG14/300, 16/250, 20/18523.85+15.6:14240/340, 50/265, 65/21535

Shimano Sahara Spinning Reel

The Shimano Sahara is a balance between performance and price.

This reel comes with Shimano’s G Free Body, KGN Gear, Propulsion Line Management System, and X-Ship.

This reel is suitable for novices and experienced anglers.

The Sahara is also available in the rear drag option.

Bestseller No. 1
Shimano Sahara 4000 XG FI Spinning Fishing Reel, Model 2017 ,SH4000XGFI
  • Gear ratio: 6.2:1, Line retrieve per crank: 39 inch.
  • Mono line capacity (lbs/yd): 8/240, 10/200, 12/160.
  • PowerPro line capacity (lbs/yds): 15/280, 30/170, 50/150.
MODELMONO LINE CAPACITY (#TEST/YD)WEIGHT (OZ)BEARINGSGEAR RATIORETRIEVE PER CRANK (IN)POWERPRO BRAID (LB/YDS)MAX DRAG (LB)
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

Conclusion

Shimano are one of the world’s premier manufacturers – I would be happy to recommend or use any of their designs. I am a big fan of most people’s favorite reel the Shimano Stradic and its descendent the Shimano Vanford.

If you are looking for more information have a read through Shimano’s official website.

If you have used any of these reels yourself then please leave a comment below so that we can all learn from your wisdom and experience. I love to interact with our readers.

Happy fishing!

Last update on 2021-10-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Russ Egan
 

Russ is an avid angler. He has fished all over the world, primarily for Saltwater game fish but also for local prize fish. Russ writes reviews for all of his fishing gear to help others achieve their own fishing goals. His favorite reel is a Shimano Tyrnos for an overhead reel or a Shimano Curado for a baitcaster. His dream is to catch a Black Marlin.