Best Shimano Saltwater Reels

Video best shimano spinning reel for saltwater

There are but a few hobbies that people can enjoy well into their twilight years, and fishing is one of them.

This is why Angler’s Gear provides you with the best options in fishing gear available – we want you to enjoy the fishing experience as long as possible.

Of course, it is a hope that you pass down that love to the next generation. Let’s keep the love and spirit of the outdoors alive for many more generations.

Fishing is a skill as old as humanity, and it is a skill that is in constant reflection and revision. From the first hooks of bone to today’s ultra sharp titanium, fishing continues to advance with technologies.

There are more rods, reels and lures available than ever before, and the number continues to grow annually.

The one product that seems to have more customers than any other is the spinning reel.

Easy to cast, easy to reel and a great step up from the spin cast reel for young anglers, the spinning reel will catch anything from small panfish to trophy saltwater prey.

We at Angler’s Gear stand beside Shimano as a leader in the spinning reel industry.

Shimano spinning reels are perfect for the angler graduating from spin cast gear and for good reason.

The reel handle is easily switched from left hand, the standard for a spinning reel, to right hand for those comfortable with that setup.

The drag mechanism, additional line capacity and other features just make spinning reels work and work well while Shimano leads the pack.

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Most, if not all, Shimano spinning reels on our list will feature anti-reverse that keeps the handle from spinning after flipping the bail spring.

Best of all, Shimano spinning reels run a full gambit of prices from the budget minded intro line to its flagship Stella, the reel for professional anglers, guides and those who take their fishing very seriously.

Shimano takes their customer base very seriously and offers an impressive line of products.

Their view on equipment is simple – they build reels to fish and fish hard.

For the saltwater angler, Shimano has a full line of reels. Shimano is built for the saltwater.

After all, Japan, where Shimano is headquartered, has a rich history with the sea. Therefore, this only makes sense the reels are saltwater tough.

Also, if it is tough enough for the salt, there is little to no problem with freshwater.

Shimano reels number from 1000 to 20000 going from ultralight all the way to heavy duty saltwater.

It is the Shimano saltwater reels we want to discuss specifically this time around.

Keep in mind as you read and consider your choices in reels – some of the reels featured in this piece do have a steep sticker price.

The gears have a very high range as well, and we will be discussing each ratio for each reel as a part of the review.

The first number, the decimal digit on the left side, is the amount of line per turn. The single number on the right is the reel handle turn.

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The top quality models will have the faster ratios. Does this matter in the grand scheme of fishing? Doubtful.

One of the many things you will need to remember when purchasing a new reel is there will always be compromises to make.

You may get a burning retrieve rate but a moderate casting rating. You may have a front or rear drag.

Basically, no matter how you look at it, you will make compromises across the board.

Except one thing.


Shimano is close to entering its second century of service and manufacturing. Each year the company makes small steps in improvement, primarily in the raw materials used in construction.

There is not many giant leaps forward in reel technology and engineering.

Remember, however, as you begin to use your Shimano spinning reels in the saltwater. Saltwater will corrode almost anything given enough time.

Your Shimano often comes with a 10 year warranty, enough for many anglers to be more than satisfied, but this does not excuse you from basic, routine maintenance and care.

However, in the case of a catastrophic accident, you are well covered by the warranty. (Dropping your reel into 80 feet of water is catastrophic but sadly not under warranty)

What to look for in the best Shimano saltwater reel

There are plenty of reels to choose from in the Shimano line, so many in fact some people struggle with making a decision on what is best for their needs.

Depending on your specific targeted area will help determine your reel model and size.

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Here are the best features to consider:

  • Number of ball bearings
  • Quality of ball bearings
  • Drag – measured in lbs
  • Materials
  • Weight

There is much, much more to it, but Angler’s Gear has compiled the top 10 best Shimano spinning reels for the saltwater angler.

Before we begin, there are two more important facts we want to cover – be sure to follow all state rules and regulations on size and number limits, and use good techniques for catch and release.

Lastly – why eight?

We have covered many of these reels in other pieces on here. There is no need to reinvent the wheel.