Best Shimano Spinning Reels 2019 – Compared & Reviewed

Last Updated on December 14, 2018

Shimano has a wide range of reels products including Spinning reels, Low profile, Surf, Conventional, Saltwater, Electric, Round. With the specifications, quality, and features, Shimano is considered as the ‘Gold Standard’ in fishing reels and if you try one you’ll agree.

Many hobbyist fishermen have been using Shimano gears for decades!

So, what is the best Shimano spinning reel?

Let’s dive in to see what Shimano is offering in spinning reels in 2018 that are really popular. (There’s a lot of stuff under $20)

Company Background

Established in 1921, Shimano is a Japanese company based in Sakai, Japan. Its primary manufacturing plants are in Kunshan, China, Malaysia, and Singapore.  Its manufactures cycling components, fishing tackle, and rowing equipment. It also has been producing golf supplies and snowboarding gear in past.

Shimano offers a vast range of fishing reels, rods, fishing line, fishing lures, as well as various fishing accessories clothing and electronics. The most popular fishing reel series is spinning ones.

Shimano Spinning Reels Comparison

With a lot of spinning reel with different features and specifications, It may be difficult to choose which Shimano model is best suited for your fishing needs. This review will take an in-depth look at the top-rated Shimano spinning fishing reels to examine the unique traits of an array of reel models and styles, providing a valuable guide for any fisherman looking to add a Shimano reel to their angling arsenal.

The table compares the different Shimano spinning reel models and their different specifications range and features.

Reel ModelBearingGear
Ratio
Weight
(Oz.)
Max DragLine
Retrieve
Features
Shimano IX4000R
Cheapest
Bushing4.1:111.415 lbs24 inQuick Fire II
Shimano IX2000R ClamBushing4.1:18.67 lbs21 inQuick Fire II
Shimano Stradic FK6+16.0:16.9-11.37-24 lbs31-41 inX-Ship
Shimano Spirex RG5+16.2:19.9-14.56-9 lbs28-33 inQuick Fire II, Rear Drag
Shimano Syncopate4+15.2:17.6-12.77-13 lbs25-32 inQuick Fire II, Front Drag
Shimano Sienna FE1+15.0:17.4-11.89 lbs24-32 inM-Compact Body
Shimano Stradic CI4B
Best Rated &
Expensive most
6+16.0:15.6-8.17-24 lbs31-39 inMagnumlite Rotor,
Front Drag
Shimano Baitrunner D4 +14.8:113.5-3015-25 lbs28-37 inBaitrunner system
Shimano Baitrunner OC3 +14.8:113.4-20.815-25 lbs28-36 inVarispeed Oscillation

Only IX4000R, IX2000R Clam & Baitrunner reels are Saltwater. Others are Freshwater reels

Quick Checklist to help you choose one

  • Gear ratio is the number of times the bail rotates around the spool during one rotation of the handle. If you are using lures that need fast retrieves, a higher gear ration is recommended. A 4:1 gear ratio is considered slow, while a 6:1 is considered fast. For a good all-around reel, go with something in the 5:1 region.
  • Ball Bearings: More bearings means the smoother the retrieve in your spinning reel. The ideal number is 5 because you’ll get plenty of smoothness at an affordable price. The “+1” refers to the needle bearing which is used for the infinity anti-run-back (more comfort during striking).
  • Line retrieve number, tells you how fast you can get the line back, which for some types of fishing can be an advantage. (Inches of the line you get back on the spool, for every full turn of the handle)
  • Drag power refers to how much resistance the hooked fish feels when it pulls on the rod. It allows the lie withstand pressure from the fighting fish. An appropriate drag power prevents the rod from breaking during the tussle.
  • Drag Systems: front or rear drag? Front-drag features multiple, large drag washers that offer increased performance in comparison to rear-drag models. Whereas, Rear-drag controls are easier to access yet they don’t stand up well to large, hard fighting fish species.
  • Reel body can be made of graphite or aluminum. Aluminum housing is stronger and lesser flexible; however, graphite is lighter in weight. The highest quality freshwater reels tend to have aluminum bodies; however, if your fishing field is saltwater, graphite is the way to go due to its corrosion-resistant qualities.

Top 9 Shimano Spinning Reels – Reviews

1. Shimano IX4000R: Cheapest, Best for beginner

Its frame, side plate, rotor, and spool is made up of graphite. Hence, they don’t tarnish when used in salt water as quickly as many metal reels. You can use it with Mono, Fluorocarbon and PowerPro lines.

The 4:1 gear ratio is excellent for spoon and spinner retrieval in moving water. As they are at 4:1, so long as you choose the proper weight of lure for your water, it’s very comfortable to get spinners like panther martins running as intended or to get the right action on a spoon like a krocodile etc.

A good little reel especially for beginners. You will also not be worrying about damaging it because it’s so cheap (under $20). One of the cons is that this reel is very slow meaning retrieving a lure seems to take forever but that’s not all bad depending on the type of fishing you do.

Click here to check Latest Price

2. Shimano IX2000R Spin Reel Clam

Another saltwater spinning reel with a really cheap price (under $20)

Its trigger cast system feature negates the need to use your other hand to open the wire bail in order to cast. By simply pulling on this trigger with hand holding the rod/reel, the wire bail lifts on its own, simply cast, and wind up and bail returns to reeling function. It is perfect for casting out lures because you can actually cast more frequently and with less effort.

Some customers have complained about the “slack”- -This is actually another feature to ensure the right positioning of the trigger. After casting and subsequently reeling your lure, reel backward slightly and the trigger will reposition back to your index finger ready for casting.

Click here to check Latest Price

3. Shimano Stradic FK Spinning Reels

This is a great reel for bait, trolling, or bottom fishing. You can use this reel bass fishing with drop shots, shakey heads, and other small finesse fishing lures. It makes the fishing rod seem lighter which is nice for feeling light bites from bass and other fish species.

Stradic FK inherits visual design cues and features from both the Stella FI and the Saragosa SW models. It has the lines and sexy shape of the Stella, with the sharp silver and dark blue colors to match the larger Saragosa SW.

Check a Complete review about Shimano Stradic Reels Here.

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4. Shimano Spirex RG Spinning Reel

 

The action is very smooth, hardly any wobble when reeling fast and the drag is very smooth.

Some people don’t like the backpedal of the handle before it stops. I think that it should not be a problem. it is designed to have the quickfire trigger stop at the top of the reel for casting. This is a nice feature to be able to use 1 finger to cast.

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5. Shimano Syncopate Spinning Reel

The Syncopate spinning reel provides efficient and reliable performance at an incredibly low price. It has super easy and fast one-handed casting which is perfect for beginners to open-faced reels and a favorite of experienced anglers. This reels also provides longer casting distances while preventing backlashes and wind knots from forming.

There are few complaints about these types of reels not having instant anti-reverse, but this type of reel can’t work that way because otherwise, the trigger won’t stop where it needs to (near the rod). You should keep your hand on the crank. It will allow you to lightly tighten or slacken the line as needed to lure the fish to strike and bite. Its designed to stop when the bailer is aligned so you can get a finger on the bail lever for super fast cast action.

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6. Shimano Sienna FE Spinning Reel

shimano sienna reel review

Perfectly suited for everything from freshwater to inshore fishing, the Sienna spinning reel features a variety of upgrades and improvements.

A median Gear ratio of 5.0:1 makes it a good all-around reel. The number of ball bearings can be an issue and this reel is a little light in this area with 1+1 Bearings, where some other reels offered do have considerably more BBs for the same price range.

Click here to check Latest Price

7. Shimano Stradic Ci4+: Best Rated & Expensive most

Launched in 2016, Shimano Stradic Ci4+ is best lightest spinning reel. The new asymmetrical shaped Magnunlite (MGL) rotor improves reel performance due to its lighter weight and easier rotor rotation start-up. These upgraded Stradic CI4+ reels also feature Hagane Gear like Metanium & Curado casting reels, and Stradic FK & Socorro SW spinning reels.

Reel has minimal friction between the spool shaft and gear enhancing the casting performance and allowing for longer casts.  It provides durable performance and smoothness giving anglers the strength for both inshore and offshore action.

For trout fishing, use 1000 or 2500 size, since both are very lightweight reels there is not a big difference except the line capacity.

Click here to know in detail about Shimano Stradic Reels

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8. Shimano Baitrunner D Spinning Reel

You will find many cheaper baitcasting reels but it’s hard to compare Shimano Bait Runners with anything else in terms of quality. You absolutely get what you pay for with these reels. They are well worth the extra money. You are investing for the next 20+ years.

The “bait runner” feature of this reel lets you live line or drift bait with a light drag. The tension on this drag system is independent of the main drag and is controlled by a knob at the back of the reel. The “auto return” feature refers to the ability of the reel to switch to your main drag setting with a slight turn of the handle or the flip of a switch, also located at the rear of the reel.

These have the loudest clickers of any spinning reel. Louder than all of the okumas and Penns by a fair amount. I can’t really complain about anything with these reels.

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9. Shimano Baitrunner OC: Best Rated & Great reel for surf fishing

It is a great reel for saltwater fishing from snook to grouper and tarpon. You can use the larger size of this model for deep water fishing.

As compared to the D model, This reel has a better finish and drag system than my older model, very durable. The major difference is that the bait runner feature engages in the opposite direction. Other than that, it is as smooth and tough as ever.

It is not suitable for bass fishing, as it would be an overkill and the reel is heavy.

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Which Size of these models to use?

The weight of the targeted fish has a direct impact when choosing a fishing reel.

Ultra Light 1000 – 2000: A fishing reel sized 1000 or 2000 is recommended for catching fish up to 2 kg.

Light 2500 – 3000: A fishing reel sized 2500 or 3000 is recommended for catching fish ranging from 1 kg to 4 kg.

Medium 4000: A medium fishing reel sized 4000 is recommended for catching fish between 2 kg to 6 kg.

Medium Heavy 5000: A medium heavy fishing reel sized 5000 is recommended for catching fish between 4 kg to 6 kg.

Heavy 7000: A heavy fishing reel is recommended for catching fish that weigh 8kg or more.

 

So what you have finally chosen? Tell us in the comments about your fishing experiences 🙂

 

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