Henry Gilbey

Spinning reels - Shimano (old page)


For many anglers, it comes down to Shimano or Daiwa when it's time to choose a spinning reel.

Shimano Aernos 3000SFA (older model, discontinued)

I still can't believe that a Shimano reel like this Aernos 3000SFA can be bought for under £100. It's just a hell of a lot of decent spinning reel for the money and I love that it comes with a spare spool as well. Quality.


Shimano Aero Spin 4000

This might just be one the best value for money spinning reels out there, but for some weird reason I have yet to come across one single lure angler who fishes with this incredibly solid feeling Shimano Aero Spin 4000. It’s around half the price of the slightly lighter Shimano AR-C Aero C14+ spinning reel, but strap this roughly £150 version to say a 7-28g 9’ lure rod and I defy to to feel any noticeable difference. My gut tells me that this Aero Spin is one of those hidden gems that for whatever reason seems to be passing by UK and Irish lure anglers - which is a real shame if you ask me. Comes with a spare spool. Review here.

Shimano AR-C Aero C14+ 4000

A slightly different style and shape of spinning reel than I am more used to, but I cannot tell you how awesome this Shimano AR-C Aero C14+ 4000 reel is to fish with. Incredibly light, as smooth as I have ever come across in a spinning reel, and just so “together” – see my review of this rather special spinning reel here. Does not come with a spare spool.

Shimano Exsence C14+ 4000XGS

As of 2017, I believe these Exsence C14+ spinning reels are the first Shimano Japan (sea) bass reels being made available to the European market. How could a lure angler not like fishing with this Shimano Exsence C14+ 4000XGS spinning reel? It’s light, it feels wonderfully smooth, it’s got a really good handle, indeed the only unknown I have is how long it will stay nice and smooth via plenty of fishing - all good so far and I really like this reel. Doesn’t come with a spare spool which kinda niggles me. See my review here.

You can buy this reel in the UK here and here.

Shimano Rarenium 3000 (pre-2014 model, discontinued)

You won’t go far wrong with a Shimano Rarenium, indeed over the last couple of years this lightweight beauty is without doubt one of the spinning reels that I see the most of out and about. A lot of reel for the money. Perfect line lay, that smoothness that any Shimano reel owner knows about, and they just seem to last and last. Class. How many lure anglers out there wish that Shimano had never stopped making this reel?

Shimano Stella 4000FD (pre 2010 model)

If there is a better range of spinning reels in the world than the legendary Shimano Stella then I have been living under a rock for the last few years. Anybody who is into their spinning reels either has one (or some) of these, or wants to have one. Imagine fifteen years ago if somebody had said that spinning reels would arguably become the reels of choice for some of the most demanding fishing on this earth, such as vertical (high-speed) jigging or smashing giant GTs on enormous poppers. The Stella range changed things forever. I finally caved in and decided to get the smaller Stella 4000FD model that is a good size for the bulk of our light tackle bass spinning that we do here in northern European waters. I just can't get over how smooth and "tight" this reel feels when you use it, and the problem is that once you have used the best, there is no going back. Does not come with a spare spool.

Shimano Stradic 3000FK (2016 model)

Once again I am left wondering how much more reel we could possibly get for the price. This stunning little Shimano Stradic 3000FK is a serious peach of a spinning reel that to me sits perfectly on 9’ long and below lure rods. You know how good thing is going to feel when you turn the handle, and whilst I can’t tell you for how long it’s going to remain that way with constant saltwater use, in my mind this is a hell of a lot of reel for the dosh. Annoyingly does not come with a spare spool. See my review here.

You can buy this reel here and here in the UK.

Shimano Stradic C14 3000F (older model, discontinued)

A great reel for bass and wrasse fishing with lures. Plenty of that typical Shimano smoothness and I just love the handle on this 3000 size. Does not come with a spare spool.

Shimano Sustain 2500FG (2014 model, discontinued)

I have gone and seriously fallen in love with this Shimano Sustain 2500FG spinning reel. What a piece of kit and I love how it balances on these generally 8’-9’ lure rods I use for most of my fishing. Yes, the Daiwa and Shimano reel codes lead to a lot of confusion among anglers, but this 2500 size Sustain is essentially the same as a 3000 Shimano but with a slightly smaller capacity spool – which is fine for the kinds of braids we might use for bass fishing – and it’s roughly the same size as a Daiwa 2500 reel. Go figure !! That aside this Sustain is Shimano all over. Smooth as you like, I love the handle, very light, an incredibly smooth drag and yes, it comes with a spare spool. See my review on this reel here.

Shimano Sustain 4000FG (2014 model, discontinued)

Every single thing about these Shimano Sustain spinning reels work for me and the way I fish. I absolutely love fishing with them and this slightly larger 4000FG version has been added to my armoury. To be honest I find little difference fishing with the 4000 over the 2500, indeed both are light and so smooth and they are just everything about modern spinning reels that float my boat. The Sustain 4000FG seems to work perfectly on the 9’ 7-28g lure rods and up, whereas I can use the 2500FG on a rod like this and down in length/casting weight if that makes sense. Comes with a spare spool. See my review of this reel here.


Shimano Twin Power XD C3000HG (2017 model)

Holy cow do I like this spinning reel! I accept completely that a spinning reel costing as much as this Shimano Twin Power XD C3000HG one is not going to land me more bass or last a whole heap longer than a much cheaper one, but that’s not the point. I love lure fishing with this Shimano Twin Power XD C3000HG spinning reel and that’s it really. Smooth, light, stunning to fish with, I think I have found my perfect spinning reel - and now all I have to do is hope that it lasts as long as the price suggests! Does not come with a spare spool. Check out my review here.

You can buy this reel here and here in the UK.

Shimano Vanquish C3000 (pre-2016 model, discontinued)

Reassuringly expensive and ridiculously awesome, this Shimano Vanquish C3000 spinning reel is up there with the Stella. Plenty of spinning reels are smooth, but this thing feels like it’s running on butter. Turn that handle and feel how precisely engineered everything feels. Many anglers would argue that a reel like this is overkill for lure fishing in the UK and Ireland, but considering that it’s a free world I would rather let people make up their own minds – flat out this is one of if not the most impressive spinning reels that I have ever been lucky enough to have fished with. Does not come with a spare spool.