Shimano is a Japanese company founded by Shozaburo Shimano in 1921. But Shimano didn’t start out selling fishing equipment.

He started by creating bicycle freewheels. It wasn’t until the 70s that the company added its Fishing Tackle Division.

And like with everything it deals in, the fishing equipment is top-quality. One of our favorite products of Shimano’s is its’ spinning reels. And the company has tons of different models.

This is our ultimate guide to the 4 best Shimano spinning reels of 2020.

 4 Best Shimano Spinning Reels of 2021 - The Ultimate Guide 14 Best Shimano Spinning Reels of 2021 - The Ultimate Guide 24 Best Shimano Spinning Reels of 2021 - The Ultimate Guide 34 Best Shimano Spinning Reels of 2021 - The Ultimate Guide 4
 Shimano Stella SWB Spinning ReelShimano Stradic Fl Spinning ReelShimano Ultegra Ci4 Plus Spinning ReelShimano Stradic Ci4 Spinning Reel
Weight30.9 ounces6.5 ounces15.5 ounces6.7 ounces
Maximum Drag55 pounds7 pounds33 pounds20 pounds
Line Capacity50/600, 65/440, 80/3602/270, 4/160, 6/11010/425, 12/315, 16/23010/200, 20/140, 40/105
Our Rating99             859790

Best Shimano Spinning Reels

  • Shimano Stella SWB Salt Water Spinning Reel
  • Shimano Stradic Fl Spinning Reel
  • Shimano Ultegra Ci4 Plus Spinning Reel
  • Shimano Stradic Ci4 Spinning Reel

Our Favorite Shimano Spinning Reel: Shimano Stella SWB Salt Water Spinning Reel


Weight: 30.9 ounces

Material: Metal

Bearings: 14 ball bearings and 1 roller bearing

Handle Position: Right or Left

Maximum Drag: 55 pounds

Line Capacity: 50/600, 65/440, 80/360


  • The body of the fishing reel is stiff and super strong. It’s also impact-resistant so the body doesn’t flex on you.
  • There’s no cutting work used on the teeth of the drive gear. Shimano creates the design in 3D and pays attention to every detail. Then they use cold forging technology. It’s this attention to the design that creates its’ durability and toughness.
  • The aluminum spool on the reel is made from cold-forged aluminum, making it ultralight weight to attach to a fishing rod.
  • It has Super Stopper II anti-reverse. It uses a one-way roller bearing to stop back-play.
  • X-protect is what the company calls the added protection added to the reel. It has a water repellent coating and has water channeling technology. Water is going to slide off the reel.
  • Shimano uses “X-Ship” to increase the spinning reel’s durability. It supports the pinion gear on both ends with the bearings. This causes the pinion gear to stay in alignment with the drive gear. No matter how heavy the fish, the reel isn’t going to break under the pressure.

Runner-Up: Shimano Stradic Fl Spinning Reel


Weight: 6.5 ounces

Material: Metal

Bearings: 6 ball bearings and 1 roller bearing

Maximum Drag: 7 pounds

Line Capacity: 2/270, 4/160, 6/110


  • The body on the spinning reel is made of super heavy-duty metal for durability. Since it’s impact-resistant so it’s not going to flex when reeling in a big fish.
  • It uses SA-RB bearings. These bearings have shields on each side to cut down on the sand. Sand and salt slow down the bearings’ rotation, which is never good.
  • Shimano’s G-Free Body technology moves the reel’s center closer to the rod. Since the fishing reel is closer to where you’re holding the pole, you’ll be more comfortable. It’ll be a more relaxing fishing trip than expected.
  • The drag on this reel is super smooth and easy to work with. Casting is so easy it’s crazy.
  • X-Protect for the reel includes a water-repellent coating and water channeling.
  • As you’ll see from our list, almost all newer Shimano models use their X-Ship technology. X-Ship increases the gear durability so it can withstand the pressure of large loads. Alignment between the pinion gear and drive gear is perfect. This is because the pinion is supported on both sides with ball bearings. X-Ship also stops any friction between the spool shaft and the gear.

Runner-Up: Shimano Ultegra Ci4 Plus Spinning Reel


Weight: 15.5 ounces

Material: Metal

Bearings: 5 ball bearings and 1 roller bearing

Maximum Drag: 33 pounds

Line Capacity: 10/425, 12/315, 16/230


  • The G-Free Body technology gravitates the reel towards the rod. This makes it more comfortable for you and prevents hand fatigue.
  • This reel has a cold-forged Hagrane gear for strength like no other. It’s superior to your average gear.
  • It uses Aero Wrap Oscillation. This oscillation creates perfect fishing line casting. It also lets you cast further out than many other spinning reels.
  • The reel has core-protect to make it water-resistant without making the reel heavier to work.
  • X-Ship technology improves the durability of the gear. On each end of the pinion is a ball bearing to keep everything aligned. Plus, it prevents friction between the spool shaft and gear.

Runner-Up: Shimano Stradic Ci4 Spinning Reel


Weight: 6.7 ounces

Material: Carbon

Bearings: 6 ball bearings and 1 roller bearing

Maximum Drag: 20 pounds

Line Capacity: 10/200, 20/140, 40/105


  • This spinning reel is smooth to operate so anglers can have the strength they need. It doesn’t matter if you’re inshore or offshore. There’s a built-in dyna-balance rotor and a fluid-drive ii system help accomplish this. This includes the help of the propulsion line management system.
  • The Magnumlite Rotor and aluminum spool are cold-forged. This makes for an ultralight reel, 25% lighter than their older models.
  • The X-Ship technology from Shimano boosts the durability of the gear. It also stops any friction between the spool shaft and gear. Both ends of the pinion have bearings. This keeps everything aligned and creates that extra durability.


Shimano is a superb brand for all your fishing needs. They’re spinning reels are one of our favorite fishing products of theirs.

They’re well made and have features that many other spinning reels don’t have. They use cold-forged aluminum for tough reels that are ultralight compared to other reels. They have their X-Ship technology for high durability. We had to share our 4 favorite Shimano spinning reels with you. Take this guide into consideration next time you’re looking through their reels.

Source of Featured Image: