4 Best Shimano Spinning Reels

Are you an angler that’s sick of reels with inconsistent performance, uncomfortable handles, and subpar designs that keep you from catching fish? Having an efficient and comfortable spinning reel is key to enjoying your experience out on the water.

You’ll also end up paying more money if you continuously have to replace your reel. There are many reels to choose from, and we know it’s tricky to find the best one to match your needs. We strongly believe the Shimano has some of the best reels on the market, and we set forth on the mission to find the best once.

After looking at over 30 different Shimano spinning reels online, we determined that the Sedona Fi Spinning Reel is the all-time best. This spinning reel performs smoothly, is compatible with fresh and saltwater, and comes in multiple designs. Moreover, the spinning reel features advanced technology such as HAGANE gears. 

We picked three other Shimano spinning reels that we felt were the best alternatives to our number-one pick, the Sedona Fi Spinning Reel. Here’s a look at each reel and the core features:

Product Salt and Freshwater Anti-Reverse Multiple Designs Smooth Performance
Shimano Sedona Fi Spinning Reel Yes No Yes Yes
Shimano STC3000XGFL Stradic C3000 FL Spinning Reel Yes Yes No Yes
Shimano Sienna Spinning Fishing Reel Yes Yes No Yes
Shimano Sahara Fi Spinning Reel No Yes Yes Yes

Do you want to learn more about the top four Shimano spinning reels? Keep reading to see our review of each product’s core features and what we do and don’t like about each one.

We’ll also present a detailed buying guide that helps you understand what to look for when you’re spinning reel, along with some of the most frequently asked questions. 

Top Shimano Spinning Reels

1.Shimano Sedona Fi Spinning Reel– The Best Overall

The number one product on our list is the Shimano Sedona Fi spinning reel. We hand-picked this product because it has a very competitive price given its quality and numerous features. The spinning reel has an average rating of 4.7 stars out of hundreds of reviews.

Most customers love the reel’s smooth performance, durability, and reliability. Let’s look at some of this reel’s features and why we decided that it’s the best Shimano spinning reel. 

Strength

With a maximum drag of 7 lbs. and a 26-inch line, this spinning reel boasts tremendous capacity, all within a compact design.

The Shimano Sedona Fi spinning reel features a proprietary Propulsion Line Management System that works against wind knots that could ruin your catch.

Reviewers note that the product is an “easy reel to maintain” and has a “large spool capacity.” Thanks to the Sedona Fi’s strength, you can catch various fish, including bass, northern pike, salmon, and walleye. 

Design

The Shimano Sedona Fi spinning reel comes in two different styles: gold and graphite. Both colors look super sleek when paired with the silver metallic finish. Shimano recently re-engineered the design to include HAGANE gears to support the performance and longevity of the spinning reel.

With a weight of .2 lbs. and dimensions measuring 8 x 7 x 3 inches, the product is inarguably lightweight and compact. Anglers describe this reel as “super smooth” and think it’s an excellent value for the money. 

Performance

There’s no doubt the Shimano Sedona Fi spinning reel has a striking design, but how does its performance compare? The product boasts double-anodized machine-cut spools to maximize the line capacity and enhance your overall fishing experience.

Anglers say the spinning performs well in saltwater and freshwater environments. Although there isn’t anti-reverse functionality, most customers overlook that aspect thanks to the product’s competitive price-to-quality ratio. 

Long-Lasting and Durable Materials

The Shimano brand is a staple in the fishing industry with a reputation for creating long-lasting and durable products. The Shimano Sedona Fi spinning reel is no exception for quality.

This spinning reel has cold-forged HAGANE gears that enhance performance and protect the device from the elements. Anglers love that they can purchase the Shimano Sedona Fi spinning reel at such a competitive price point and get years of use out of the product. 

What We Like

  • Available in two colors: gold and graphite
  • Features cold-forged HAGANE gears
  • Has long-casting capacity
  • Made with durable and long-lasting materials
  • Propulsion Line Management System prevents backlashes

What We Don’t Like

  • The reel doesn’t have an anti-reverse feature
  • Some reviewers say the line capacity is a little lower than advertised

2.Shimano STC3000XGFL Stradic C3000 FL Spinning Reel– The Most Advanced

After review countless Shimano products, we picked the Shimano STC3000XGFL Stradic C3000 FL Spinning Reel as the second-best. Why do we like this spinning reel so much?

The reel features various top-tier technologies – a HAGANE body, X-Protect waterproofing, Cross Carbon Drag Material, and S A-RB bearings. Furthermore, the spinning reel is lightweight and remarkably durable.

We’re confident that you can get years of use from this product. Like our number-one pick, this spinning reel has a 4.7-star rating on Amazon out of hundreds of reviews. 

Performance

Many customers dub this spinning reel one of the “best they ever bought,” and say it’s incredibly smooth. The spinning reel has a cross carbon drag perfect for seamless reeling that fights the elements. Moreover, the Shimano Stradic spinning reel boasts Silent Drive, a tool that enhances the device’s overall tolerance level.

In creating the Stradic C3000 FL spinning reel, Shimano went out of its way to create a smooth and enjoyable fishing experience. Given its vast number of positive reviews, this spinning reel is the forerunner in the crowd. 

Superior Design

Even though this spinning reel comes at a higher price point, we think the design makes it worth every penny. This device is a left-hand spinning reel that features a polished exterior. Since the Shimano Stradic FL Spinning Reel has a long stroke pool, you won’t face any turbulence while you cast your line.

There’s also a coating of X-PROTECT – water repellent that improves the reel’s overall resistance without hindering the experience or weighing down the reel.

Durability

You’ll find that virtually all Shimano products boast long-lasting and durable materials. In particular, the Shimano Stradic has a HAGANE body that features a blend of magnesium and aluminum. This stellar technology keeps the body of the reel from warping or rusting.

Not only that, but the spinning reel boasts S A-RB bearings that have shields protecting them from salt and sand. Therefore, the S A-RB features enable the spinning reel to last longer without nature hindering the bearing’s rotation ability.   

Compact

The Shimano STC300XGFL Stradic C3000 FL spinning reel weighs 0.7 pounds and measures 5.87 x 5.2 x 3.35 inches. The “C” in C3000 means that this is a compact reel, which is evident when you read the product reviews. Moreover, it features a “G Free Body” that pushes the reel’s gravity towards the center of the rod.

Many customers enjoy that this product is lightweight but, on the same token, solid and resistant. 

What We Like

  • Features Cross Carbon Drag material
  • Has waterproof coating
  • Allows for a smooth and enjoyable fishing experience
  • HAGANE Gear enhances the reel’s durability and longevity
  • The product weighs less than one pound

What We Don’t Like

  • Some customers reported minor discolorations upon receiving the reel
  • The reel’s level of smoothness varies depending on the type of water (i.e., saltwater vs. freshwater). 

3.Shimano Sienna Spinning Fishing Reel – The Cheapest

Coming in at number three on our list is the Shimano Sienna spinning fishing reel. This reel is the most affordable of the four and comes in various gear ratios, including 5.2:1 and 5.6:1. It’s relatively lightweight and features Shimano’s leading technology, such as Super Stopper II and the Propulsion Line Management system.

This product is an excellent pick for both new and veteran anglers. You can use it in both fresh and saltwater, and it has a 4.6-star on Amazon with hundreds of highly positive reviews. All in all, you can’t beat the quality and performance at such a competitive price. 

Wide Selection of Styles

The Sienna is perhaps one of the most diverse Shimano Reels. The reel comes in various gear ratios, ranging from 5.0:1 to 6.2:1 – perfect for all levels of anglers. Pricing varies depending on the ratio, with 5.0:1 being the most affordable and 6.2:1 the most expensive.

Each style comes in the same color – a combination of black and dark red. Customers confidently say that this reel is “great for the money” and an excellent reel for “crappie and bluegills.” Regardless of your fishing needs, you should be able to find a Shimano Sienna style that suits you well.

Advanced Technology

One of our favorite things about Shimano is that it implements advanced technology in every fishing reel. The Sienna spinning fish reel has a smooth retrieval and responsive drag thanks to its design and numerous core features.

The Sienna reel features the Propulsion Line Management system that improves the reel’s efficiency and allows you to cast longer. Not only that, but the reel also boasts Super Stopper II, which is an anti-reverse mechanism. At a price point below $50, you get a lot of advanced features that often cost much more. 

Durable

Don’t let the affordable price fool you; this is a long-lasting and durable fishing reel that could last you years. Although Shimano doesn’t explicitly state the reel’s materials, we would bargain to say that it has a blend of aluminum and magnesium.

According to the reviews, you’ll get more life from the spinning reel if you use it in freshwater. You won’t have any problem using it in salt water, but the salt from the ocean could slightly eat at the reel’s longevity. However, given the already low price point, it won’t hurt your wallet to replace the Sienna after a few years if needed. 

Lightweight

The last thing we wanted to point out is the Shimano’s lightweight. This reel weighs under .6 lb. and measures ‎5.35 x 4.65 x 3.35 inches.

Many customers point out the reel’s weight, saying that it makes the reel as “smooth as can be.” Let’s face it: no angler wants a heavy spinning reel that will dampen their fishing experience. And even though it doesn’t weigh a ton, the reel still shines when it comes to quality and performance.

What We Like

  • Comes in different styles
  • Has an anti-reverse mechanism
  • Made with long-lasting and durable materials
  • Features an attractive design and color scheme
  • Highly affordable

What We Don’t Like

  • The longevity decreases in saltwater
  • Some reviewers say the handle is a little bit small

4.Shimano Sahara Fi Spinning Reel– The Best Deal

The last reel on our list is the Shimano Sahara Fi spinning reel. Although this reel costs a bit more than others on our list, it features some of the most advanced technology.

It has an average rating of 4.7 stars on Amazon, and many reviewers say that it’s “smooth” and that the “drag works great.”

You can purchase this spinning reel in two colors – black and gold. Furthermore, you can buy the product in two sizes – 1,000 and 2,500, with a slight price difference.

The spinning reel only has a few downfalls and is an excellent option if you don’t think any of the other reels on our list are a good fit for you. 

Power

The Shimano Sahara Fi spinning reel doesn’t fall short when it comes to consistent power and performance. Developed in 2017, this reel has all the features to maximize efficacy and provide an optimal experience for the angler.

Amazon reviewers note that they can definitely notice “a difference in casting and reeling.” Although this reel costs a bit more than some alternatives, its 5.0:1 gear ratio and 29-inch line retrieve per crank make it well worth the money. Best of all, the Sahara Fi spinning reel has a maximum drag force of 20 lbs. 

Durability

Shimano constructs this spinning reel with aluminum – a metal notorious for its longevity. Furthermore, the device features an XT 7 body that protects the reel and supports various advanced technologies.

You should be able to get years, if not decades, of use out of the Shimano Sahara Fi spinning reel. However, many reviewers recommend using the reel in freshwater. If you use the reel in saltwater, you might see its longevity decrease. 

Advanced Technology

The Sahara Fi spinning reel features Shimano’s advanced technologies that stand out from the crowd. Firstly, the reel has a GFree Body that enables anglers to fish comfortably and for more extended periods. Moreover, the reel features HAGANE gear, AR C Spool, and Varispeed II, all of which boost the reel’s performance, comfortability, and durability. Given these added features, it’s no surprise that reviewers say to “stick with Shimano.”   

Design

The last thing we’d like to point out is the Sahara Fi spinning reel’s thoughtful and attractive design. You can purchase the reel in gold or black; both colors look super polished. The reel weighs 0.5 lbs. and measures 6.6 x 5.6 x 3.6 inches, making it relatively compact. Despite its smaller size, the reel has a PowerPro line capacity of 10 lbs. per 150 yards and a monoline capacity of 6 lbs. per 200 yards. Overall, this reel looks and functions great.  

What We Like

  • Features a polished gold or black design
  • Boasts advanced technology, such as X SHIP and Varispeed II
  • Made with long-lasting aluminum
  • The design enhances comfortability, enabling you to fish longer
  • Features anti-reverse 

What We Don’t Like

  • The reel isn’t the best option for saltwater
  • Reviewers claim that the reel doesn’t work well for ice fishing

 What We Look For in Shimano Spinning Reels

Are you in the market for a new Shimano spinning reel? There’s a lot to consider when searching for the best spinning reel. You’ve already found one of the best brands on the market: Shimano. Now, it’s time to better understand what to look for in a Shimano spinning reel.

Comfortability

It’s a waste of money to buy a spinning reel that isn’t comfortable because you’ll end up having to replace it. Therefore, you should purchase a reel that has a padded knob the keeps you from developing blisters or taking frequent breaks. 

Not only that, but you shouldn’t have any challenges when you’re trying to move the handle. The knob usually features two materials – cork and rubber. Both materials are comfortable; it’s usually a personal preference. If you can’t test out the reel in person, we recommend reading the reviews carefully and noting what material the manufacturer uses to build the knob.

Material

You’ll generally find four materials used to construct reels – carbon fiber, aluminum, graphite, and plastic. As noted in our reviews, most of Shimano’s spinning reels feature aluminum, graphite, and even magnesium. If you’re an avid angler, you should avoid plastic at all costs.

Graphite, on the other hand, is just a step above plastic. However, aluminum and carbon fiber have the highest levels of durability. You can use aluminum and carbon fiber fishing reels in freshwater and saltwater environments. 

The Type of Water – Freshwater or Saltwater

Consider how often you fish in freshwater versus saltwater before buying a reel. You’ll inevitably have to purchase a costlier reel with top-tier material to withstand saltwater conditions.

It’s best to buy a heavy reel if you fish in the ocean and something more lightweight if you fish in freshwater. Moreover, you’ll also need more extended line capacity out in the ocean compared to the capacity needed for a river or lake.

A Drag System

Let’s first begin by defining a drag system. In essence, a reel with a drag system has an “internal brake” that enables the spool to slow. Such a feature is great when trying to reel in a hard catch. There are two principle drag systems – a front and rear drag.

A rear drag is at the bottom of the device but doesn’t work well with larger fish. On the other hand, a front drag is on the top and is best for maximum performance. You may have to increase your budget if you want a front drag, as you find these systems on the more expensive reels. 

Gear Ratio

Considering the gear ratio is essential for buying a spinning reel. The gear ratio defines how many times the spool turns when rotating the handle once.

A low gear ratio is best for anglers who catch larger fish. On the other hand, a high gear ratio suits anglers who want a quick catch without much of a battle. So, if you’re a saltwater angler, you should consider purchasing a reel with a low gear ratio.

Frequently Asked Questions

Want to learn more about Shimano spinning reels? Take a look at some of the most frequently asked questions.

How Much is a Shimano Spinning Reel?

You can expect to pay at least $50 for a Shimano spinning reel. However, for more advanced features, you’ll need to pay $100 or more.

Are Shimano Spinning Reels Made in Japan?

Although Shimano is a Japanese brand, it makes many of its products in Malaysia. 

What Type of Fish can You Catch with a Shimano Spinning Reel?

You can catch various types of fish with a Shimano spinning reel – salmon, walleye, bass, and so forth. Your success out on the water depends on your skill and whether you’re using the right reel. 

A Final Glance 

After looking at more than 30 Shimano spinning reels across the internet, we’re confident that the Shimano Sedona Fi spinning reel is the best. Other reels on the market don’t compare to the Sedona Fi spinning reel.

This product has double-anodized machine-cut spools that enhance the reel’s performance, making it smoother and more effective.

If you don’t think the Sedona Fi spinning reel is the best choice for you, then you can’t go wrong with any of the three other reels that we reviewed. Overall, Shimano offers top-tier products that millions of anglers love.

Leave a Comment