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Is Shimano a Good Fishing Brand?

Is Shimano a Good Fishing Brand?

I have used Shimano gear for many years; spinning reels, baitcasters, baitrunners, spinning rods, casting rods, carp rods. I have fished with them all and have yet to be disappointed by their gear.

So, to me, as well as millions of other anglers, Shimano is undoubtedly one of the best fishing brands! 

Being one of the world’s largest fishing gear manufacturers, Shimano produces excellent reels and rods and enjoys enormous popularity worldwide. They offer gear for all budgets and give you the best value for your money every time. 

Keep reading and find out what makes Shimano such an exquisite brand and about some of their best rod and reel series. 

PRO TIP: If you want to check out Shimano’s very best fishing reels and rods, you can check them out on Amazon.

They’re very cost-effective, durable, and will get the job done every time!

Does Shimano Make Good Fishing Gear?

an image of a shimano stradic spinning reel
A Shimano Stradic

In my opinion, Shimano is the best fishing brand out there! They make high-quality gear with the best materials and are used by millions of anglers worldwide.

Shimano edges out most other fishing brands for a variety of reasons: 


At the same time, most of their rods and reels are actually pretty affordable, which further increases their popularity and status.

Sure, they have really high-end stuff that costs a lot of money, but they also offer excellent mid and low-range gear, which many anglers seem to appreciate and use. 

I mean, who wouldn’t want to buy a cheap fishing reel that has incredible quality and practically lasts forever?


Durability is another of Shimano’s strengths, as their gear is virtually unbreakable (if you take good care of it, of course). 

I have yet to repair one of my Shimano rods or reels, and I have used that gear extensively over the years! 

Especially the reels’ performance is simply incredible! They keep on going and run as smoothly as on day one, even after many years of fishing. 

Material Quality

a close-up of a shimano spinning reel
Shimano Vanford Spinning Reel

Shimano uses the highest-quality materials for its rods and reels, which, of course, goes hand in hand with its gear’s fantastic durability. 

Take the ball bearings that are used in their spinning reels, for example.

Shimano only uses high-quality stainless steel bearings rather than the less qualitative chrome-steel bearings that can be found in other brands’ reels. 

The result is steel bearings that won’t rust over time and will run smoothly for all eternity. 

Additionally, using high-performing ball bearings means both longer casts and a much better performance when you’re fighting a fish. 

That’s why Shimano gear gives you the ultimate fishing experience! 

DID YOU KNOW: More ball bearings in a reel doesn’t always equal better performance! Fewer high-quality bearings usually equal a much better reel performance than more low-quality bearings. 


Another great strength of Shimano’s is its wide range of rods and reels.

They really have something for every angler out there; be it spinning reels, baitcasters, baitrunners (or baitfeeders), they’ve got it all.  

So, whether you need a big game saltwater fishing rod, a powerful baitcaster, a sensitive spinning reel for freshwater fishing, or a durable baitrunner for carp fishing, Shimano’s got your back!

Naturally, such a wide array of products also allows for different price ranges, which brings us back to the affordability aspect and the brand’s overall popularity.


All the above aspects make Shimano an extremely popular choice among anglers. 

Whether you ask anglers from North America, Europe, or Asia, most will tell you that Shimano is their number one pick. 

In fact, I did a few polls in some of the biggest fishing groups on Facebook, asking members what fishing brand they prefer. 

Here are the results I got:

This is an average percentage from five fishing groups (bass, trout, musky, pike, and walleye). Shimano took first place in all five polls, ranging between 40 and 50%.

The next sections of the article will cover Shimano reels and rods in more detail, so make sure to keep reading!

RELATED ARTICLE: Shimano vs. Okuma (How Do the Two Brands Compare?)

Are Shimano Fishing Reels Good?

A Shimano reel in action

Shimano has always been a big player in the fishing reel market. Over the years, they have made hundreds of popular high-quality reel models, and they continue to pump out excellent gear to this day!

While Shimano is mainly known for its spinning reels, it has also introduced more than a few excellent baitcasters, baitrunners, and trolling reels.

All of these reel types offer features that enable Shimano to edge out its competition, both when it comes to fresh and saltwater fishing.

Shimano reels are both super lightweight, have a compact and intelligent design, are visually appealing, are incredibly durable and long-lasting, and, for the most part, sell at a very reasonable price.

The technology and engineering behind Shimano’s reels can only be described as art, or perhaps magic, as it gives every one of those reels a highly increased performance.

No matter if you’re spin fishing, ice fishing, jigging, trolling, or float fishing, a Shimano reel is a fantastic piece of gear that will improve your fishing and give you the very best of experiences on the water!

RELATED ARTICLE: What Are the Best Reel Brands for Fresh and Saltwater Fishing?

What Are the Best Shimano Reels on the Market?

There are dozens of excellent Shimano reels out there, but I decided to focus on some of their most popular freshwater spinning and baitcasting reels. 

Partly because I use them myself (and love them) and partly because so many other anglers do so as well. 

So, what are the best Shimano reels on the market?

Shimano Vanford

an image of the amazing Shimano Vanford
Shimano Vanford 1000

The Vanford is my personal favorite when it comes to Shimano spinning reels. I share this view with thousands of anglers, and I can honestly say that this is, by far, the best spinning reel I’ve ever fished with!

This is definitely one of Shimano’s flagships! Being a compact, lightweight, and smooth dream of a reel, the Vanford is fishing 2.0. 

Using this reel will give you a whole new fishing experience, and you will probably never want to use anything else ever again!

This reel is highly versatile and can be used for most species. It’s brilliant for drop-shotting and jigging, which I mostly use my Vanford 1000 for. 

But it works for most other spin fishing techniques as well. 

You can check the Shimano Vanford’s specifications and current price on Amazon here

Shimano SLX

an image of the excellent Shimano SLX baitcaster
Shimano SLX Baitcaster

Shimano has plenty of high-end baitcasting reels, but their best one, in my opinion, is their low-profile SLX.

This high-tech baitcaster is perfect for bass, walleye, and lighter pike fishing.

It’s the perfect combination of advanced engineering, compact design, and outstanding performance. 

I also really like that it is very easily handled, which many anglers who are new to baitcasting will appreciate. 

I’d say the best part about this Shimano baitcaster is its price, which, of course, is another aspect that beginners or anglers with a limited budget will find agreeable. 

All in all, a very affordable high-performance reel that will not disappoint you! 

Check out the Shimano SLX’ specs and current price on Amazon here

Budget Pick: Shimano FX

Buying and fishing with high-end gear is fun, but not everybody can afford that kind of equipment! 

Luckily, Shimano even has a few really cheap reels which promise excellent performance. 

The Shimano FX is probably the best budget reel you can find, and at a price of around $30, it’s a really affordable reel.

But unlike other budget reels on the market, the FX is all about quality and durability, just like the higher-end reels that Shimano makes.

Sure, it’s a basic reel, but if you’re a young angler or new to the sport, it’s really all you need!

Take a closer look at the Shimano FX on Amazon here

Are Shimano Fishing Rods Good?

While their reels enjoy immense popularity, not many anglers use Shimano rods, which is a little odd because their rods are also really great.

The fact of the matter is that most anglers seer Shimano as a top-of-the-line reel manufacturer only, and so, their rods have been largely overlooked.

But ask any angler who fishes with a Shimano rod, and they will tell you that it’s the best rod they’ve ever owned!

Shimano makes excellent fresh and saltwater rods, and their blanks are of amazing quality and design.

And why wouldn’t they be, right? Shimano makes some of the very best reels in the world, so it is only natural that their rods would have the same level of quality and excellence.

Their spinning and casting rods, especially, are ranked highly among bass and walleye anglers.

Keep reading if you want to know more about these rods.

What Are the Best Shimano Rods on the Market?

Shimano Zodias

According to most bass anglers, the Zodias is the ultimate spinning rod.

This amazing rod combines cutting-edge blank technology with a beautiful design and incredible action.

And just like most of Shimano reels, their rods sell at a very affordable price, which means that you’ll get a ton of value and premium features for an excellent price that edges out the competition any day of the week.

The Zodias spinning rods work exceptionally well with a Vanford. This ultimate spinning combo will feel like an extension of your arm—it’s that light and balanced!

You can check out all of the Shimano Zodias’f features and its current price on Amazon here

Shimano SLX

Fittingly enough, Shimano has made a casting rod that perfectly fits their SLX baitcasting reel.

This medium-heavy rod has an amazingly fine-tuned action and a solid backbone that will land you any fish without any problem!

Together with the baitcaster, the SLX combo is the perfect pick for any serious bass or pike angler.

As always, the price for this advanced casting rod is very agreeable, especially considering that the matching baitcaster reel also sells for a very low price.

So all in all, a powerful baitcasting combo that offers a lot of value for the money.

You can find the Shimano SLX casting rod on Amazon here

Is Shimano the Best Fishing Brand?

This last question is what most anglers debate and wonder about: is Shimano the best fishing brand in the world?

Having compared so many brands over the years, I’d have to say yes, Shimano is the creme de la creme when it comes to fishing gear!

But that’s really just my personal opinion on the matter, based on my own experiences and expectations.

Will every other angler agree with that statement? No! Will you agree with that statement? Maybe!

The only way to find out is to get some gear, head out to the water, and then try it out for yourself.

At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter all that much, though. There are many really top-notch brands out there (Shimano, Daiwa, Pflueger, etc.). Anglers will always have their personal preferences and different opinions on that question.

What matters is that you find the right gear for your way of fishing! High-end or budget; always use the gear you are most comfortable with.

That’s the gear you will use with complete and utter confidence. And that, in turn, will make you a better angler and help you catch more fish.

Tight lines!

RELATED ARTICLE: Shimano vs. Daiwa (Which Fishing Brand is the Best?)