Why Shimano

smiffy

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I was sold on Shimano from when they 1st came into the UK and would not have any other brand, however that changed about 6/7 years ago when I dropped a reel into Felidre for a small repair , the reel was less than 5 years old, yet they informed me that it was beyond repair as the required parts were no longer available and suggested that I buy a new reel (and were kind enough to supply a current catalogue when they posted it back) I did buy a new reel ......it was a Daiwa and to be honest it was every bit as good as what Shimano had to offer with the added bonus of it seemed to fit my small hands better than any of the shimano's that I had. Consequently I sold all of my Shimano's on and replaced them with Daiwa's which have all performed brilliantly since I have had them. When I needed a small baitrunner I like many others went down the Shimano route and bought a DL2500 which could at best be described as agricultural it was sold very quickly and replaced with a Daiwa Black Widow which was a far nicer reel for about the same money. My view is Shimano are no longer the market leaders that they used to be and the quality is not as good as it used to be also. All of my fixed spool reels are now Daiwa apart from 2 which are a Rive MF Pro which I got as part of a deal with a Rive rod and a DAM Quick 5 which I took a punt on for £25 in the AD sale and to be fair both of these reels are also very good and every bit as good as the Daiwa's I have and feel well put together, the Rive has had quite a bit of use so all good there, the DAM however has not been used yet so I can't really comment other than it feels OK. I have also tried other manufacturers reels in Tackle shops such as Preston, Browning and Mitchell and to be fair these also feel like they offer decent quality products (the Mitchell Mag Pro's felt very nice). In short for me the quality of reels in general has progressed massively over the years with all major manufacturers now offering perfectly usable products and it is just a case of choosing what you are comfortable with and that for me is Daiwa as they are good quality, seem to sit well in my hand and have a very good aftersales reputation
I think you’re right, which is why the older shimano reels command pretty high, second hand prices. I heard a few things regarding their drop in quality. Something to do with moving manufacture of many reels away from Japan? Perhaps.
If I were to go and look for brand new reels I don’t think I’d have any brand loyalty and would give Daiwa a good look. But,,,,,the older Shimano’s are just great reels.
 

Dave Spence

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Shimano have always made great reels but the other manufacturers have now caught up and I suspect a lot of the parts such as the gearing are shared anyway.
As for popularity Shimano is the same as Maxima in that they will always be preferred by some because they always have been.
A bit like cars Lee, people my age still shy away from Skoda’s, Fiat’s etc but, they are just as good as all the others now.
 

RMNDIL

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Thing is pick up 10 Identical reels from any make/brand and go through and compare them one by one. You will get variation. You'll be able to line them up in order of 'best' to 'worst'. Compare 'Best' Daiwa to 'Worst' Shimano and that tells you to buy the Daiwa. Compare the 'worst' Daiwa to the 'best' Shimano and that would tell you to buy the Shimano. But it's just 1 reel.

You get this even with reels of £400, £500 and £600.

Generally reels today are so much better & more reliable (even with them having many more parts) than 40+ years ago. My old favourite Mitchell 320 would not stand up very well today.
 

Total

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Thing is pick up 10 Identical reels from any make/brand and go through and compare them one by one. You will get variation. You'll be able to line them up in order of 'best' to 'worst'. Compare 'Best' Daiwa to 'Worst' Shimano and that tells you to buy the Daiwa. Compare the 'worst' Daiwa to the 'best' Shimano and that would tell you to buy the Shimano. But it's just 1 reel.

You get this even with reels of £400, £500 and £600.

Generally reels today are so much better & more reliable (even with them having many more parts) than 40+ years ago. My old favourite Mitchell 320 would not stand up very well today.
^^ Purely because of machine/manufacturing tolerancing, (if materials used are a constant).....Drennan probably never had a decent reel because they wouldn't pay for any tooling in the first place...(y)
 

RMNDIL

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^^ Purely because of machine/manufacturing tolerancing, (if materials used are a constant).....Drennan probably never had a decent reel because they wouldn't pay for any tooling in the first place...(y)
Yes.

But we did. Paying for tooling wasn't/isn't the problem but the machines themselves.
 

TiggerXFM

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I used to use shimano 8010s for piking and 5010s for legering for barbel etc. The only thing I didn't like was the little bit of backward movement when you put the anti reverse on. I let them go and got the next generation of the same reels which had instant anti reverse. I looked at the next generations but found no imprivement so have stuck woth the ones I have, i'm glad I did.
I have got some smaller x aero shimano baitrunners in sizes 2500 and 4000 sizes and they are great but imo don't hold a candle to my older ones.
 

Stanley

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I’ve used Shimano reels for the last 20+ years. Back in the 90’s the white/silver rear-drag Stradic GTM was excellent then people moved over to the white Stradic Front-drag reels. I still use the front drag 4000 Technium MGS reels which are excellent and never let me down. They must be around 8 years old now and still going strong. Would love a pair of the newer wide spool front-drag Aero reels but these have been dis-continued and difficult to find second-hand.
 

grey

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Pro's: Shimano reels are always well designed (inside and out), always built well relative to their price band. They still do the hardest gears of any manufacturer (Hagane) in their top-end reels.

Cons: Shimano won't offer any 'unnecessary' information that'll put off a potential buyer, also, they make so many lines with multiple models with complex coding for the features they possess, you don't always know what you're getting or if it's suitable. Models quickly become defunct and unsupported for repairs - they have no customer after-sales personnel or procedures (having to rely on the good-will of whoever you're able to get through to). Global manufacturing has had an effect on quality since the days of the Japanese made reels, many are made to serve perfectly over a particular lifespan (rather than serve well for life) and designs tend not to be as purpose specific anymore.


My best analogy is: Shimano are great reels marketed to us by a bunch of spivs, who are as happy to sell us a reel that's unsuitable for the purpose as one that is.

So if you do your research on the individual model before buying, you can buy any Shimano reel in good confidence it will serve you well.
 

grey

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Would love a pair of the newer wide spool front-drag Aero reels but these have been dis-continued and difficult to find second-hand.
Honest opinion mate: the 2500 Aero's were great for float and light feeder work, the 4000FA were too wide a spool for any match/float rod to gain benefit, and as a feeder they were severely lacking crank power for anything above a medium feeder.

Best feeder reel were the CI4+ Arc Aero 4000, as they had much better crank power (even the high gear version), but these retailed at £250 Few anglers bought them, only the one's in the know.
 

Yeoman

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That's something I've noticed with top end Shimanos over cheaper models...very smooth cranking power.
 

BarryS

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ABU used to be the go-to reel for many when it came to quality builds, especially their Cardinal range and their sea reels
My little ABU Cardinal SX40 is one of my favourite reels. A little jewel of a reel.........has landed carp up to 17 lb....... has the smoothest front drag which is easy to change with a fish on......its unmarked. Perhaps it reminds me of the 2 ABU Suveran reels I sold to buy a camera...........big mistake. Now worth a small fortune if you can find one.
 

peterb

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My little ABU Cardinal SX40 is one of my favourite reels. A little jewel of a reel.........has landed carp up to 17 lb....... has the smoothest front drag which is easy to change with a fish on......its unmarked. Perhaps it reminds me of the 2 ABU Suveran reels I sold to buy a camera...........big mistake. Now worth a small fortune if you can find one.
I've got a Cardinal SX30 which I like and another rear drag Cardinal , can't remember the model , they are both excellent reels , well made , very free running and didn't cost the earth .
 

Dave Spence

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I've got a Cardinal SX30 which I like and another rear drag Cardinal , can't remember the model , they are both excellent reels , well made , very free running and didn't cost the earth .
I always liked the cardinals👍
 

centerpin fan

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T
Shimano has always had a good reputation for high-quality gears, not just in reels but cycles as well as other things.
This ^^^^

If it’s got gears, Shimano makes a good one, whatever “one” is.

That said, I think Daiwa is just as good.
 

stikflote

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Having a closer look at my shimano Technium 3000,its got plastic cog underneath spool and it looks its starting to wear
out ,reel still works .but i dont expect it to last its about 3 t4 years old only used on my wand
 

warrington63

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I have three or four Japanese made Shimano 4010 baitrunners,
A Shimano Aero reel again Japanese made ,
A Shimano Nasci 4000 from when they first came out a few years ago.
No complaints with any of them.
The 4010 and the Aero must be around 25 years old ?
I had a pair of 6010 baitrunners but I sold them along with a couple of 12' Tricast heavy duty rods that were used for piking.
 

Fred Davis

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I too can not understand this fascination with shimano reels, first buy was shimano open faced match reel now this was a lovely looking reel only one problem line twist, terrible problem worst I have ever encountered finding out some time later that this was a common problem I contacted shimano they advised "Oh theres an easy fix glue up the roller with superglue" I just binned this one, however my mates raved about another shimano reel a few years later stupidly I went out and bought two, I have two of the shimano stradics gtm with fighting drag, these have been hardly used thrown into storage as another bad buy, what i found was that when clipped up the plastic line clips bent out after a couple of matches this resulted in the bent line clips catching the line in a facing wind, easily rectified as the quality was so poor you could bend them back the bail arm was a stretch for my fingers, on trying to force a small ammount of pressure on the cast the bail arm shut abruptly with the feeder dropping with a loud splash or the lads singing whip crack away with a lot of unnecessary chuckling, switched to daiwa never had a problem, my veiw of shimano stick to bycycle gears.
 
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