Shimano Sedona Review

This is a review of the Shimano Sedona. To review this reel, we applied a series of tests we’ve developed for assessing build quality, line lay and other aspects of a spinning reel. Of course, we also took it bass fishing on the Cornish coast. Finally, we contacted some lure anglers from the community to hear how they have found the reel to gain a broader perspective. We have no sponsors, this is our opinion.

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What size Sedona for X length rod?

We used the 4000 size Sedona on a 9ft 3″ rod – the Shimano Bassterra. This balanced very well. In the photo above the reel looks larger than it is due to how close it is to the camera – you know how it is from when you take fish pics! The 4000 size is not too large for an 8ft rod. We are still figuring out the best way to communicate reel sizes because every reel is different and brands have different sizes with the same names (e.g. Shimano Sedona 3000 is not the same as a Penn Slammer 3000).

This is a lightweight reel, so for the below rod lengths we are assuming you’re using a fairly modern lure rod.

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Shimano Sedona 30007 – 8.5ft spinning rods
Shimano Sedona 40008.5 – 9ft spinning rods
Shimano Sedona 500010ft spinning rods or heavy spinning rods (casting 100g+, with a thick blank)
shimano sedona review

How did we test this reel?

Asides from the tests we performed on the reels in the workshop, we took the reel for a spin on the local bass population here in Cornwall. We took the Sedona out on the the rocks and out kayak fishing. It took a bit of a dunking in the saltwater so we will be able to report back how it copes with that (probably not well, as not many reels do). The drag of course had no issues with bass to 5lb and the reel was super smooth and lovely to fish with. It will be interesting to compare with the similarly priced Penn Pursuit I have also dunked.

Shimano Sedona

The line lay on the Sedona is pretty average

Shimano reels usually have impressive line lay, and we turn to them when fishing with very light more expensive braids. In this case however, the line lay is pretty average compared with other Shimano reels. The line did not sit perfectly flat in the spool, instead there was a curve dipping in a bit towards the middle. The line is not winding back on itself at all – nothing as bad as that – it’s just not distributed perfectly evenly across the whole length of the spool. I highly doubt you will run into any problems. We didn’t. But the line lay is nothing special.

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shimano Sedona review

The reel has a lot of metal components and feels solid

The reel handle is aluminium and the spool is aluminium. The rest of the reel is a mixture of graphite and metal. We felt no flex anywhere in the reel, which gives you that ‘solid’ feeling. It’s a reel that is reassuring to use, because it feels like quality every time you pick it up.

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shimano sedona review

What’s this ‘Hagane gear’ talk about? BS?

The term “HAGANE” is used to describe the highly robust and durable gear system employed in these reels. The gears are designed with extreme precision and undergo a special forging process that results in a very strong and long-lasting gear component. This forging process increases the density of the metal, providing greater strength and durability without adding excessive weight.

The HAGANE Gear is intended to offer smoothness, power, and durability under the harshest conditions. It’s engineered to provide long-lasting smoothness by basically being less prone to getting damaged.

As we learn more about reels at fishmag we will be able to report back to you if this is BS or meaningful feature, but at the moment it’s a bit beyond us. I’m not going to talk about something I can’t verify through our testing. If it was some random reel company coming out with this chat, I’d smell bull shit. However, although we haven’t investigated this ourselves at FISHMAG, we do trust Shimano when it comes to design!

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How saltwater resistant is the Shimano Sedona?

If a reel is built with greater ‘precision’ it can actually make it less saltwater resistant. This is because salt forms crystals between components as it dries, and if the reel is set up with great precision messing with that fine-tuning is a bigger deal. My understanding is that Penn reels are more saltwater resistant in part because they are less precisely put together… This is hard to verify for us so take it with a pinch of…

Yeah, basically don’t dunk this reel in saltwater and try not to splash it. You’re not getting much saltwater resistance at this price but that’s fine because you don’t really need it unless you’re kayak fishing, surf fishing or fishing on a windy day with sea spray. It will be interesting to see how this reel gets on after we dunked it the other day. We gave it a warm bath in a sink and ran the tap to let the salty water flow away so the reel wasn’t sat in it. I’ll report back how the reel fairs.

Shimano Sedona review

What’s the max drag on the Sedona?

The max drag force in the 4000 size is 11kg. This doesn’t really matter for UK anglers because we don’t really need the maximum amount of drag resistance a reel can offer for shore-based saltwater fishing. Our line or rod would snap first.

The exception would be if you were wreck fishing with a really lightly built Japanese jigging rod that casts 150g that could balance with one of the smaller sizes of this reel (say the 4000) and you were using very heavy lines like 60lb braid. In that case you might actually be able to experience the kind of drag the reel is capable of. Quite a specific use case though, for most of us this drag is not going to be a limiting factor at all.

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Final thoughts

This reel appears to be a solid option from Shimano. We are still in the testing phase and won’t be able to properly compare this reel with alternatives until we’ve finished. So far, if it came down to choosing the Sedona or the Penn Pursuit, I’d reach for the Sedona on a modern bass or perch rod and the Pursuit if I was using a heavier or more traditional rod with heavier lines.

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