We anglers always compare different reels and fishing brands to find the most appropriate gear for our adventures on the water.
Lately, I have seen plenty of discussions surrounding Piscifun vs. Shimano reels. So I decided to write an in-depth article and compare these two brands.
To be honest, it’s not an entirely fair comparison because Shimano is basically unbeatable when it comes to fishing reels.
Nonetheless, I’ve tried my best to give an honest opinion based on my experiences with Shimano and Piscifun.
Shimano is one of the best fishing reel brands out there, and most anglers agree that they make the best reels that money can buy. Piscifun, on the other hand, is growing in popularity thanks to a wide range of affordable and qualitative entry-level reels.
Keep reading and find out more about Piscifun’s and Shimano’s best lower-tier and beginner-friendly reel models.
Shimano or Piscifun: Which Brand Makes the Better Reel?
Comparing a well-established reel brand to a newcomer is always a challenge, but as I’ve seen many posts and threads about this topic, I wanted to cover it with an in-depth article.
Without question, Shimano makes the better fishing reels. There really isn’t any debate about it!
The problem is that Shimano pretty much knocks out any other reel brand out there, so the comparison isn’t really fair, in my opinion.
Shimano is a giant in the world of fishing gear and extremely popular worldwide. And rightly so. They do make some of the best reels in the world!
Shimano reels exceed in both performance, material quality, weight, design, durability, and strength. They are the best of the best.
Here is the thing, though! High-end fishing gear like that is expensive. Many of Shimano’s reel models are in the $100 to $200 range, and the more advanced reels can cost a lot more than that.
That’s a lot of money, and not every angler can or wants to afford high-end gear like that. And to be honest, not everyone needs to own top-of-the-game reels like that, either!
And that’s where Piscifun enters the picture.
Piscifun may produce less advanced fishing reels, but they have managed to make very affordable entry-level reels of decent quality.
These reels have made them hugely popular over the last decade, which is noticeable, considering that they were founded in 2013.
For the money, most of their spinning and baitcasting reels are really decent pieces of fishing gear that perform well on the water.
Honestly, nowadays, brands don’t get away anymore with subpar gear that performs poorly and becomes unusable after a short time! The consumers (we, the anglers) just don’t put up with that anymore.
In the case of Piscifun, cheap really doesn’t equal bad, and thousands and thousands of anglers can attest to that.
Will those reels last forever? No! Are they of the same quality as more established brands like Shimano or Daiwa? Certainly not! But they really don’t have to be!
Look, if you’re a beginner or an occasional angler, you don’t want to spend several hundred dollars on one fishing reel.
If you’re fishing for small bass or crappie in your local pond, do you really need a $200 or $300 spinning reel? Most likely, the answer is no!
Or say you’re a 15-year-old youngster who just started out fishing. You want to get to the water and start fishing! And a $30 or $40 budget reel will get you there faster than having to save up 200 or so dollars for that higher tier Shimano reel.
We all have different motivations, possibilities, and goals. Because of that, it’s a good thing that there are reel brands for every budget and level of experience out there!
Some of you may want to fish with Shimano gear right from the start, while others want to use basic and cheaper equipment initially. And that’s fine! We’re all different!
There is no one-size-fits-all, which is also why I wanted to write an objective article on this topic, to get the discussion going and to help you make the best gear decision. Hopefully, I have accomplished that goal!
Of course, it’s always best to check out different reels for yourself and to have a few options to choose between. So let’s take a closer look at some of Shimano’s and Piscifun’s best entry-level fishing reels.
What Is a Good Piscifun Entry-Level Spinning Reel?
Since this article mainly focuses on lower-tier reels, I thought I’d recommend a few of Piscifun’s and Shimano’s cheaper models, as most beginners will use entry-level gear like that.
Piscifun especially has a whole range of really affordable spinning reels. Quite surprisingly, most of these reels are of very decent quality and can last you for quite some time.
So many people who are relatively new to fishing and have gone with a Piscifun spinning reel have told me that they’ve had their reels for several years and that they’re still doing a decent job out on the water!
What spinning reel model should you choose, then?
Undoubtedly, one of their most popular and cheapest models is the Piscifun Flame Spinning Reel.
This reel sells for around $25, which is pretty much as cheap as it gets! I haven’t seen many reels that sell for a low price like that and still manage to collect thousands of 4 and 5-star ratings on Amazon. That’s extremely rare!
So the quality is there! Normally, I wouldn’t expect much of a budget reel for under 30 bucks, but Piscifun has proven me wrong here. Very much so!
For an entry-level fishing reel, this is the real deal!
Here are some of the Flame’s most important specs:
- Gear ratio: 5.2:1
- Extremely lightweight
- 10 ball bearings
- Super smooth performance
- 19.8lb drag
- Comes in sizes 1000 through 5000.
This means that you can cover a wide range of species with this reel, and it has some impressive power to it.
This is money well spent! And as Piscifun spinning reels are fairly basic, they allow you to really learn how to operate and control them, which will help you improve your fishing skills over time!
I always think it’s much better to start with lower-tier gear, learn the basics, and then upgrade as you go along!
What Is a Good Shimano Entry-Level Spinning Reel?
Some anglers want to fish with more established brands right from the get-go.
And why not? Shimano reels can last for many years and are a good fit for both newbies and seasoned pros.
I have Shimano reels that I bought ten or so years ago, and they still run as smooth as butter! That’s a timeframe that Piscifun has yet to surpass, as most of their reels simply haven’t been around for that many years.
And if the price is right, why not get a Shimano right from the start, right? The choice is yours!
Now, Shimano isn’t known for having too many entry-level reels, but they do have a few that sell at a very reasonable price. And the Shimano Sienna Spinning Reel is probably the most popular of them!
This reel sells for around $45, which is really cheap for being Shimano gear!
In other words, you’re getting a lot of gear for your buck.
Here are some of the Sienna’s most essential features:
- Gear ratio: 5.0, 5.2, or 6.2:1 (depending on the reel size)
- Lightweight (8.6 ounces)
- 7 ball bearings
- Max drag: 4, 7, 9, or 19lb (depending on the reel size)
- Casts very long
- Great durability
- Comes in sizes 500 through 4000
A great budget pick that has all the great features, power, and durability of the Shimano brand. Enough said!
What Is a Good Piscifun Baitcaster for Beginners?
Now, let’s go through a few decently priced baitcasters as well. Baitcasting reels have become very popular lately, and more and more anglers use them to target various predator species.
They do take some getting used to, and quite a few anglers end up switching back to spinning reels because they don’t like using baitcasters or simply don’t need them for their fishing.
While I have quite a few baitcasters in my arsenal, I can relate to that! Baitcasters can be great for larger predators like pike, musky, or big largemouths and walleyes, but they’re not for everyone.
And in my opinion, you really don’t need them for smaller species like perch, crappie, or bluegill. It’s just not necessary, and you can finesse fish so much better with a smaller spinning reel. But that’s just my opinion!
That’s why it can be a smart idea to start with a budget baitcaster; if you end up not liking or needing it, you didn’t spend a huge amount of money and can move on!
The Piscifun Torrent Baitcaster is, by far, the cheapest entry-level baitcaster I have seen on the market! It’s almost too cheap to be true, as it sells for around $35. That’s insane!
I have yet to try out this one myself, so I cannot tell you much about its performance, quality, or durability, but the Amazon ratings speak for themselves!
Right now, the Torrent has over 5,000 ratings with an average of 4.5 stars. That’s unheard of for such a low-tier piece of gear if you ask me.
Here are some of the Piscifun Torrent’s most important features:
- Gear ratio: 5.3:1 (standard retrieve) or 7.1:1 (high-speed retrieve) (BIG plus right there!)
- Surprisingly lightweight (at only 8 ounces)
- Double-bearing supported pinion gear technology
- Very smooth performance
- Max drag: 18lb
- Special feature: a side plate oil port (very beginner-friendly for easy maintenance)
All in all, this sounds like a superb bass and walleye baitcaster that can probably also handle the occasional northern pike or big trout.
What Is a Good Shimano Baitcaster for Beginners?
Last up is a beginner-friendly Shimano baitcaster. This reel isn’t all that cheap, but if you’re into baitcasting and plan on doing it a lot in the future, this reel is a keeper!
The Shimano SLX Baitcaster sells for around $100, so it’s not really an entry-level reel.
On the other hand, it’s a basic and easy-to-navigate baitcasting reel that is a great fit for anglers who’ve never used a baitcaster before. I started out baitcasting with the SLX myself, and I’m glad I chose this reel.
In fact, I still use it to this day, meaning you don’t really have to replace it with a more advanced model later on if you don’t want to.
It does a phenomenal job and performs really well, even after now 5 years of baitcasting. That’s Shimano for you!
Here are the Shimano SLX’s most essential features:
- Gear ratio: 6.3:1 (standard), 7.2:1 (high gear), 8.2:1 (extra high gear)
- Very lightweight for a baitcaster (7.1 ounces)
- Small and compact design
- Incredible strength
- Easy control for quick adjustments during fishing
- Very smooth performance for medium to medium-heavy lures
Again, not the cheapest of entry-level reels, but, on the other hand, an excellent performance reel that’ll keep on giving and last for many years.
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