If you are a hardcore Shimano fan, like many fisherman, you are in luck because Shimano manufactures spinning reels at many different prices and quality levels. They have some of the cheaper reels on the market all the way up to the sky-high Stella, which runs over 1000 dollars for some models. In between, you’ll find all sorts of them for great prices at a great value.
In my experience, this is actually what has helped Shimano become the world’s most popular reel manufacturer – every single reel, from their cheapest to their most expensive, seem to be great value for the price. The Sienna holds its own with reels twice as expensive, while the Stradic is the favorite of almost everyone who owns it.
Of course, this leaves a person wondering, what is the top rated Shimano spinning reel for the money? We’ll make it easy on you and go over their most popular reels from best to worst. So, starting off is our pick for the best!
Our Shimano Spinning Reels Recommendations
Shimano Stradic FK HG*** Click here for more info **
Our choice as the best value reel from the company is the Shimano Stradic! Anyone you talk to that uses the Stradic is blown away by the smoothness, the weight, the design, the durability, and everything else about it. Not only is it one of their top reels, it’s also one of the highest quality available out of any on the marketplace.
What’s so great about the Shimano Stradic? Here are a few things in review:
- 6 ball bearings – The Stradic has 6 high quality ball bearings, helping it be a very smooth reeling machine.
- 6.9-11.3 oz Weight Range – The Stradic is a fairly light reel, starting off as little as 6.9 ounces and going up to 11.3 ounces depending on the model you get.
- 6.0:1 and 6.2:1 Gear Ratio – Depending on the model you get, the Stradic is a fairly fast reeling reel. It reels between 31 and 41 inches of line per crank of the reel.
- Different Models – The Stradic is available in 5 different models, from ultralight to medium-heavy.
- 1000 model – Ultralight
- 2500 model – Medium
- 3000 model – Medium, Higher Line Capacity than the 2500
- 4000 model – Medium-Heavy
- 5000 model – Medium-Heavy
- Drag – The Stradic has a very smooth and powerful drag.
Read any review of the Shimano Stradic and you’ll be sold. This reel is many people’s go-to fishing reel for a reason, and it’s not a bad price either. Maybe a little on the spendy side for some, but it’s well worth the money.
Shimano Stradic CI4*** Click here for more info **
If you like the sound of the Stradic and want even another step up, consider the the Stradic CI4, pictured to the right. The CI4 is lighter and flashier. Here are a few specs about the CI4 that make it different from the standard Stradic:
- Weight – The CI4 weighs between 5.6 and 8.1 ounces, which is considerably lighter than the standard.
- Ball Bearings – The CI4 still has six ball bearings.
- Gear Ratio – The gear ratio is the same as the standard speedy Stradic at around 6.0:1.
Shimano Sedona*** Click here for more info **
The Sedona is the next best value for your money, and it’s quite a bit cheaper than the Stradic. It’s a great value for your money considering you’ll get one of the smoother and better reels on the market with the Sedona. Here are a few pointers about this reel you should know:
- Weight – Depending on the model you choose, the weights range from 7.1 ounces to 11.1 ounces, which seems to be about average for reels in this price range.
- Gear Ratio – 5.0:1 to 5.2:1 for the Sedona. This makes it a slightly slower reel with good reeling power for hauling in bigger lures or bigger fish.
- Ball Bearings – Though the Sedona only has three ball bearings, it’s still a smooth reel.
- Line Retrieve – This reel will pull in between 24-33 inches per crank of the reel handle.
This reel is a great reel for the money and will last for a long time as your primary reel. All in all, a great value for the price!
Shimano Sienna*** Click here for more info **
Next in line is the Shimano Sienna, the absolute, without-a-doubt, best reel on the market in its price range. Seriously, if you only want to spend about 30 bucks on a reel the Sienna outclasses any other reel in that range. It’s smooth and I know people who have been fishing with these for years with great results.
All around, this is one of the better reels in this price range, and though it’s not quite as high quality as the above two, for the price it’s hard to beat. Here are a few specs on the Sienna:
- Ball Bearings – The Sienna also has 3 ball bearings like the Sedona, which isn’t much but enough to keep this reel operating smoothly.
- Gear Ratio – The Sienna has a gear ratio of 4.7:1 up to 5.2:1 depending on the model, which is a slower but slightly more powerful ratio.
- Weight – These reels weigh between 6 ounces to 12.3 ounces. Not bad considering the price!
All in all, these are the best cheap reels on the market quite easily. Check them out today if you need a good backup or are just getting into fishing and need a decent starter reel!
Shimano Sahara Spinning Reel*** Click here for more info **
Next in line is the Sahara, another fine reel by Shimano. This reel is in the middle of the road for price and performance. It’s a great choice if you are looking for a reel under 100 bucks! Here’s a little more about it:
- Ball Bearings – 4 ball bearings, which isn’t much again but enough to help this reel perform smoothly!
- Gear Ratio – 5.0:1 to 6.2:1. The Sahara has a great range of gear ratios, with the 1000 and 2500 models being 5.2:1 for low speed and good power and the bigger models having a ratio of 6.2:1 for higher speed.
- Weight – These reels weigh between 7.6 and 10.6, which is again in the middle of the road.
All in all, the Sahara is a solid performing reel, especially if you are looking for your first or second reel! It’s a good value and will perform smoothly for years.
Shimano Spirex RG Spinning Reel*** Click here for more info **
The Spirex is a unique reel from Shimano and it can be great for those who prefer quick casting reels. It’s actually trigger operated – you can see the little black trigger sticking off of the top of the bail in the picture above. It also has two handles for easy and quick gripping. If you have issues with your hands, grip, or coordination, or if you have only one hand, the Spirex actually could be a great choice for you, and if you don’t, it’s still a fun reel.
Here are a few more things to review with the Spirex:
- Trigger – It has a unique trigger system that allows for quick and easier casting one-handed.
- Ball Bearings – The Spirex has five ball bearings, which is a fair number and it’s definitely a smooth reel!
- Gear Ratio – It has a gear ratio of 6.2:1 for the 1000 and the 2500 models and a ratio of 5.7:1 for the 4000 model.
- Weight – 9.9 to 14.5 ounces, which is pretty heavy for a spinning reel. I would imagine this is due to the extra handle as well as the trigger mechanism.
The Spirex is perfect for you if you want a one-handed spinning reel!
Shimano Stella Spinning Reel*** Click here for more info **
Of course no list of the top Shimano spinning reels would be complete without showing the revered and high-end Stella, one of the more expensive spinning reels out there! If you have the budget for it, this reel is one that should last you for the rest of your life while giving you the smoothest and best performance ever.
Here are a few more specs on the Stella:
- Ball Bearings – This reel blows any other reel out of the water with a total of 13 ball bearings. That number is unheard of with cheaper reels, and the biggest reason for making this one of the smoothest reels available.
- Models – The Stella is available currently in four different models:
- 2000 model – Ultralight, Max drag of 6.6 lbs, Gear Ratio of 5.1:1, and a weight of 6.3 ounces.
- 2500 model – Medium-Light, Max drag of 8.8 lbs, Gear Ratio of 6.0:1, and a weight of 7.7 ounces.
- 3000 model – Medium, Max drag of 19.8 lbs, Gear Ratio of 6.4:1, and a weight of 7.9 ounces
- 4000 model – Medium-Heavy, Max drag of 24.2 lbs, Gear Ratio of 6.2:1, and a weight of 9.3 ounces
- Metal Construction – The Stella is made to last.
All in all, the Stella is the top dog in the spinning reel market due to its smoothness and durability. If you have some cash to spend on a spinning reel, the Stella is a great bet.
In our experience, those are the top Shimano spinning reels on the market, especially for your money. There are others as well that are well worth purchasing, but these are the most popular ones you’ll find from Shimano and every single one of them offers outstanding value.
best Shimano spinning reel review and recommendations – Hope you liked these! Take a look at our other best review and rating fishing equipment articles as well.
If you just want the best spinning reel under 100 bucks, click here to read our reviews.