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Fishing Reel Reviews – Summary Part One


Fishing Reel Reviews have quickly become one of the most submitted reviews during the spring and summer months. It seems everyone want to see reviews of the latest fishing reels so they know exactly what their options are on the market. We’ve received over one hundred fishing reel reviews in the last year here at Hunting & Fishing Gear Review. If you’re not familiar with our review process, all of the fishing reel reviews you read are submitted by our Readers and not by the manufacturers who have a vested interest in the outcome of their review or by the staff of this website who can be swayed in one manner or another.

Our Fishing Reel Review Summary will take the best from all of the fishing reel reviews we’ve received and summarize them for you so you don’t have to read through each and every review we have to offer. Let’s get started by declaring a winner for the 2005 fishing season.

Shimano Fishing Reel Reviews

Shimano Fishing received both the most reviews and the most five star ratings of all of the fishing reel reviews we received. Not only do people value their shimano reels, but they also love to talk about them and help others make a good choice when selecting a fishing reel.

Shimano Sahara Fishing Reel Reviews

Likes: Very smooth response and comes with a spare roll for adjusting to the days events. This is my first Shimano so I'm a little hesitant to give it my seal of approval.-Carl

Dislikes: I haven't been on the water as much as usual this year and still find myself thinking I'm using my last real from Shakespeare.-Carl

Summary: It's early and I don't want to put my name on anything until I put it through some real fishing. I have a feeling it will fair well. My son has one just like it and swears by it.-Carl

Shimano Calcutta CT400 Fishing Reel Reviews

Likes: Smooth operation, good looks, casts well.-Jeff

Dislikes: The level wind seems quite fragile, the drag is not very smooth and most of all the bait alarm button digs into your hand if you have a right hand retrieve and will eventually give you extremely uncomfortable blisters.-Jeff

Quality: One piece aluminum body, gold color with thumb bar casting.-Jeff

Summary: Any reel that causes this much pain is not worth owning. I literally had to switch to my spinning reel after a while cause I had a open wound from the button digging into my nuckle.-Jeff

Shimano Sahara Fishing Reel Reviews

Likes: This is the third Shimano I've owned, they give a precise feel to them. Almost like their electronic, for lack of better words. Let's put it this way they give me a very good feel and lots of feedback and that's what everyone is looking for. Very Very smooth. -Norman

Dislikes: I love these reels, but they seem to wear out after a few years. You can then feel the parts moving as you reel in. The wind lever on my last one seemed to have a lot more play than it did when it was brand new. When you're spinning like I do that really get irritating, not to mention it isn't providing the feedback precisely as needed.-Norman

Summary: I love these reels for a year, or two then I think they begin to give out. I should note I fish a tremendous amount, almost daily weather permitting since I retired. I would like them to make such a fine machine for a little longer haul. I keep buying them though and am happy to do it.-Norman

Shimano Calcutta 150 Fishing Reel Reviews

Likes: Everything. It will throw a country mile and hardly ever back lashes. The braking system works great.-Will

Dislikes: Nothing not to like because I get to fish when I use it.-Will

Quality: Hardcore aluminum frame. Very rugged that looks classy-Will

Summary: Its the only reel I pick up when I go to the lake-Will

Shimano TE DC 200 Fishing Reel Reviews

Likes: This is the best reel i have ever fished with. It threw great right out of the box. I was using Stren Magnathin 16lb line and throwing a 4in Finnesse worm with 1/4oz. weight Texas rigged. As of yet I was unable to get it to backlash. Smooth would be an understatement every thing I hoped it would be. I have this reel on a 6.5 foot G.Loomis IMX rod.-Mike W.

Summary: If you are putting off buying this reel because of price it is well worth it!-Mike W.

Shimano chronarch SF "super free" Fishing Reel Reviews

Likes: The size and shape is identical to the standard chronarch, which is very ergonomic and user friendly. Quality metal components, knobs, side plate cover, and drag wheel.-Mr. M.

Dislikes: The SF version uses a wiffle spool which has a little less line capacity. The SF version was very smooth but had a significant "rattle" when winding the handle/spool. Casting distance was the same or less when compared to two new standard chronarch reels. I exchanged the reel for another chronarch SF and it also rattled. Casting was also the same.- MR.M

Quality: Other than the rattle in the reel it seems to be a solid as any other chronarch. I feel that for $229 a reel should not rattle even a little. The noise is loud enough to be a problem; it could easily ruin a peaceful day of fishing and maybe even transmit some of that noise down the line and into the water to spook a fish.-Mr.M.

Summary: Shimano reels are top notch for sure and I use them exclusively. The chronarch SF or "super-free" system seems to have a quirk. However small, it's enough for me to not want one. Maybe that is why Sports Authority is selling them at a discount. I asked if they were but they didn’t really answer. I was surprised to find any problem with a Shimano product in this price range. They have always been better than advertised in my view and worth the money.-Mr.M.

Shimano Torium 16 Fishing Reel Reviews

Likes: The first thing I noticed about this reel is that it looked a lot like the more expensive Tiagra series also offered by Shimano. I took it out to a 3/4 day trip from Seaforth Sportsfishing and had a blast with it. For the price, it casted very smooth. I would rate it about an 8 out of a possible 10 for casting. I thought the 25 lb yellowtail I was fighting was going to do a number on the drag. But the drag system performed great. And it still does. Besides and after trip rinse, it basically doesn't need any maintenance. Great reel.- Mr. D.

Dislikes: The oversized gear box made it a little difficult for me to cup the reel (personal preference). Other than that, everything was great.-Mr. D.

Quality: The construction quality of this reel is great. You can easily tell you have a quality reel for the price you paid. So far, it is my favorite reel in my fishing arsenal.-Mr. D.

Summary: All in all, the price, construction, casting and drag performance has really impressed me. I was surprised that this reel cost so little.-Mr. D.

Shimano Scorpion 1001 Fishing Reel Reviews

Likes: I like how light the reel is and how it looks. The casting is as described. It casts a mile. I tested it on the water vs my old original Chronarch (silver color) and I achieved at least 50% further casts with the Scorpion. It wasn't even close. Against the Chronarch SF, I'd say the two reels are comparable in terms of casting.-ShewDesign

Dislikes: While the reel is light, it also has a very plastic feel to it. The ergonomics of the reel are not as refined as the Chronarch. The Chronarch has a slightly lower profile and is more easily palmable. As other reviewers have stated, the handle that is shipped with the reel is too small. I found a vendor online where I could buy a replacement for $15.- ShewDesign

Quality: Again, there is a bit too much of a plastic feel to the reel for my liking. It is a solid reel though.- ShewDesign

Summary: After going through the trouble of ordering it from Japan, paying the $15 shipping fee, and the extra effort to purchase a replacement handle (and pay shipping for that as well), for my money, I actually prefer the Chronarch SF.- ShewDesign

Shimano Scorpion Quickfire II ( Castaic SF ) Fishing Reel Reviews

Likes: What attracted me to the reel was the burgundy/red wine color of the product. It's a little on the heavy side, but it is certainly a solid, well made reel. Pitching with the reel is effortless - which is the reason I bought it. But it also has great versatility - you can use it like any other open faced baitcasting reel. It has the titanium coated wiffle spool and is Super Free enabled so the casts and pitches go far. I like this reel a lot.-ShewDesign

Dislikes: The only thing I don't like about this reel is you can't get it locally in the states. I haven't compared it to the Castaic SF because I don't have one (yet). But I think they're pretty much the same.-ShewDesign

Quality: This reel does not suffer from the plastic feeling of its sister reel, the Scorpion. On top of that, the handle is properly sized for a comfortable retrieve.-ShewDesign

Summary: If you're in the market for a versatile reel that's easy to use for pitching, flipping, and casting. This one is hard to beat.-ShewDesign

Shimano Scorpion Fishing Reel Reviews

Purchase: I was looking for a mid-range reel along the lines of a Curado when I came across the Scorpions on eBay. I purchased my Scorpion 1501 from but through eBay for $135 + $15 shipping.-ShewDesign

Likes: The ergonomics of this reel are the same as that of the american version, the Curado. The super free whiffle spool is the best feature. It spins for an eternity.-ShewDesign

Dislikes: The handle is still small (same with the Scorpion 1000/1001) and it has the same plastic feel as the Scorpion 100/1001 as well.-ShewDesign

Summary: For the price, this reel was a good deal. I'm uncertain as to whether you can still purchase these reels new. The 1000/1001 is available new, but the 1500/1501's I've only seen offered as used. Hard to match at the price point.-ShewDesign

Shimano Corsair Fishing Reel Reviews

Likes: The reel has a great quality to price ratio. By this I mean that while other pricier reels are sometimes described as "bulletproof" this one gets the job I bought it for done. (I only have time for about 15-20 days per year on the water.) At the same time the $50-$80 price tag doesn't break the bank.-Prinflex

Dislikes: The first reel shipped to me had an internal malfunction. The replacement has been working great, but I sometimes worry about the sturdiness of the reel. Quite a few of the parts are plastic, and while this doesn't mean that they will fail, the reel doesn't convey the confidence of my smaller Shimano Calcutta 251.-Prinflex

Quality: While the reel is somewhat large, the rounded corners allow me to still palm the reel. The double handle feels comfortable and spins smoothly. It allows both the rapid cranking of a bucktail all day long, and still provides the power to pull big, toothy critters from the weeds. The greased plastic drag washers are very smooth, although they seem to limit the maximum drag to about 12 lbs. I have it spooled with 50lb Pete Mania braid and it has held up to the casts, follows, and strikes of the past two seasons. I have read reports that the width of the reel can cause problems with twisting of the frame among deep sea fishers, but with the limited number of hook-ups of large fish that I see, this has not been evident.-Prinflex

Summary: If you are looking for a 20-30 lb. reel that can stand up to the big boys, with Shimano quality, all for under $100, then check this reel out. After two seasons I have had no breakdowns, it still casts, cranks, and drags smoothly and even the showroom good looks have held up nicely.-Prinflex

Shimano Symetre Fishing Reel Reviews

Likes: It's very smooth. The sales person said that it was a new model for this year. I hope its better than my last one...- *tap* *tap* *tug* GET THE NET!

Dislikes: Well, I have had many reels in the past, from Quantums, Abu's, Daiwa, Penn, Shimano and all have had "wear and tear". But even with my extensive maintenance care during the winter months on all my reels, the ones I use most always seem to have some sort of problem.

The antireverse would wiggle, or it wouldn't spin as smoothly as before. Its just really frustrating because I have spent as little as twenty bucks to d*mn near a hundred and it just doesn't matter. The bottom line is reels break down. I just wanted one that I can use for the rest of my life and be proud of it.- *tap* *tap* *tug* GET THE NET!

Quality: Most of it is well made. The most of the constructed pieces are metal, but I am worried about the plastic piece covering the roller bearing. I have has those come off in the past. I'm wondering about the new ball bearings which are "anti-rust". Why would they have had ones that rust in the first place? I truly don't care about the aesthetics of the reels I use. All I care about is if its going to crap out on me during the fight.- *tap* *tap* *tug* GET THE NET!

Summary: If I were the guy that makes the reels instead of using them, I would make one helluva reel for the guy that uses them. "Give a man a fish and he'll eat for a day...give a man a reel that doesn't work after a season, then he won't eat fish after that..."- *tap* *tap* *tug* GET THE NET!

Shimano Calcutta 700 Fishing Reel Reviews

Likes: Once I tried my new reel out I instantly new that I liked my new reel. The reel cast long and smooth. There was no restriction in the cast. When I caught my first big fish on this reel (a 39" Striper)I realized how good the drag on this reel was. Mot only did it handle the fish it was smooth and the reel did not flex and twist while the fish was pulling. I knew that this was a good real. I have caught some nice fish on this reel 50lb catfish, Black drum, stripers, even nice tautogs and nothing has yet come close to straining it.- Christopher W.

Dislikes: The one thing I don't like about the reel is when you lay the reel down on something rough it really scratches the aluminum up. It is a shame to mess up a nice looking reel. Also the wooden grip on the handle has screwed off a few times on me until I fixed that with a little thread lock. Other than those two things I have little to complain about.- Christopher W.

Quality: The construction is of the finest material and is built with precision. The whole reel feels like is one solid piece of aluminum. You can tell that this is a real quality fishing reel.- Christopher W.

Summary: The Calcutta 700 is one of the best and smoothest fishing reels that I have ever caught fish with. It does not buckle under pressure. I would highly recommend this fishing reel.- Christopher W.

Shimano Shimano Calcutta TE Conquest 200 Fishing Reel Reviews

Likes: The smoothness........ of the reel. I really love this best of the best casting reel (or I would say medium bottom fishing reel which I've used it at depth of 60 to100ft and it performed as any of the top range big reels) that I ever have. Small in size and yet big in function or action. This reel has reached its perfection in design for its use.- Edwin K.

Dislikes: This only thing is the metal body is too soft and gets scratches very very very easily.-Edwin K.

Quality: Good in almost every aspect of its design accept the surface of the reel's body is not strong enough, maybe......should use Titanium. The spool corrodes easily.- Edwin K.

As you can see people sure like their Shimano Fishing Reels. We are going to end part one of fishing reel reviews here, however part two and three will be published within the next few weeks including more Shimano Reel Reviews, Abu Garcia, Bass Pro Reel Reviews and Quantum Fishing Reel Reviews. Please make sure to stop back to check out part two and three of our series on fishing reels and reviews including what’s new in fishing reels for 2006.

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