The reel used for saltwater fishing should be waterproof. The saltwater should not get inside the gearbox. Should this happen, the accumulated salt inside the gearbox can gradeup to form crystal, leading to reduced wheel speed and cranky sound during gearbox rotation.
Reels with “Shimano” or “X-shield” are best suited for saltwater fishing. Shimano reels have 12 o-rings and gaskets on critical parts of the wheel to block saltwater incoming.
Some Shimano reels, such as Shimano Strategic SW 2018 and Shimano Suporo SW, come with “SW” tag yet lack the x-shield. You can still use them for saltwater fishing but keep the gearbox away from the reach of saltwater.
Let’s review the top five best Shimano saltwater reels. Each model has some unique features different from its counterparts.
Before we begin, keep in mind these two technical terms.
Max Drag: max amount of friction applied when fighting a fish
Gear ratio: total number of reel spool rotation with each turn of reel handle
Now let’s get started.
Top Shimano Saltwater Reels to Buy 2022
Shimano Sienna FE
This versatile reel can be used for saltwater and freshwater, including inshore and offshore. The lightweight XGT7 graphite frame offers strength and durability. The diecast aluminum spool is corrosion-proof and adds lightweight to the design. The line comes out of the spool smoothly with smaller coils- thanks to the ARC technology and an angled lip.
Other notable features
- Power roller technologies (smooth projection)
- Dyna balance technology (reduces wobble during the retrieve)
- Super Stopper (to restrict backward movement during anti reverse)
Shimano Thunnus CI4
Do you need a lightweight yet powerful reel to catch a big fish? Shimano Thunnus CI4 would be your ideal bet. It has Shimano’s proprietary bait runner system.