Top 5 Best Shimano Reels For Walleye Tested By Expert In 2024

The best way to catch a walleye is by selecting an ideal combination of rod, reel, and line. You will need a reel that gives you the ability to use a variety of techniques.

Catching a walleye will require finesses, and spinning reels are the best when it comes to finesse tactics. Hence, with the best Shimano spinning reel for walleye, tackling it will be much easier.

I have tested and reviewed some of the best available Best Shimano Reels for Walleye in the market that offer you the versatility to use a wide range of fishing tactics.

Top 5 Best Shimano Reels For Walleye

Acquiring one of these reels and using them with a compatible rod and line will increase your odds of catching a walleye quickly.

So, let’s get to the details of these amazing Shimano reels.

Top 10 Shimano Spinning Reels for Walleye Compared in 2023

Top 10 Shimano Spinning Reels for Wall Eye Compared in 2023

1. SHIMANO Stradic FL—Best Shimano Spinning Reel for Walleye in 2023

  • Material: Metal
  • Size: 1000 HGFL
  • Drag Limit: 7 lbs.
  • Gear Ratio: 6.0:1
  • Line Retrieve: 30 Inches
  • Bearing: 6 + 1
  • Weight: 6.5 Oz

Shimano Stradic FL is the flagship edition of the Shimano spinning reels Stradic series that has been brought to absolute perfection through continuous evolution.

With the new Module Gear II upgrade, this reel allows you experience rotational smoothness and power transfer unheard of at this price point.

Combined with the Silent Drive feature, the tolerance levels of the internal components are taken to the highest point, ensuring flagship-level performance.

Adding to this, Shimano X-Protect technology has a water-repellant coating and specially designed water channeling labyrinth that stops water penetration to key areas ensuring top-grade performance for a lifetime.

Stradic has incorporated G-Free Body technology to move the center of gravity point of the reel closer to the rod. This feature reduces fatigue and enhances user comfort while casting a line.

To further enhance the casting performance of the reel, X-ship technology was incorporated to improve gear durability. The pinion gear was supported with bearings at both ends to ensure it remains in the same position even under the heaviest of loads.

1. SHIMANO Stradic FL—Best Shimano Spinning Reel for Walleye in 2023

If you choose to purchase a 3000 or larger size reel, you also get access to the Cross Carbon Drag system of Stradic FL. It ensures the smoothest drag performance with a wider range of drag settings.

With Hagane Body construction, the reel has a full metal body with high rigidity. Flexing is reduced with high stiffness and rigidity, which increases the cranking power and efficiency of the reel.

At the very heart of the reel, special 3D-designed Hagane gear is placed to ensure the smoothest performance. No cutting work is done on gear teeth, rather it is designed to minute details and then formed using Shimano cold forging technology.

Last but not the least, the bearings incorporated in the reel are of the highest quality and feature shields on both sides to prevent rotational inhibition by sand or salt. You may also like to check Best Shimano Spinning Reels.

Why Consider SHIMANO Stradic FL?

Shimano Stradic Fl is without a doubt the best Shimano spinning reel for Walleye. The reel offers performance and finesses that exceeds every expectation of an angler at this price point. A highly recommended and reasonably priced option.

What We Like
  • Flagship Level Performance
  • Perfect Rotational Smoothness
  • Highest Water Resistance
  • Cross Carbon Drag System
  • Hagane Body and Gear
  • Minutely Designed Gear Teeth
  • Shields on Bearings
What We Don’t Like
  • Limited Sizes Available
  • No Other Cons

2. Shimano Sedona FI—Best Budget Shimano Spinning Reel for Walleye

Shimano Sedona FI
  • Material: Aluminum
  • Size: 1000
  • Drag Limit: 7 lbs.
  • Gear Ratio: 5.0:1
  • Line Retrieve: 26 Inches
  • Bearing: 3 + 1
  • Weight: 7.6 Oz

The Sedona FL offers flagship-level performance at the lowest price. So, if you are looking for an economical spinning reel option for walleye, this is the choice to go.

Besides walleye, Sedona FL can also be sued for a variety of other inshore and offshore fishing applications. It is one of the most versatile fishing reels.

One of the problems most users complained about in the Shimano spinning reel was spool capacity. Sedona Fl deals with that problem by featuring double anodized machine-cut spools that have a larger line capacity.

However, the larger capacity is achieved without compromising the much-cherished compactness of the original design.

2. Shimano Sedona FI—Best Budget Shimano Spinning Reel for Walleye

The Propulsion Line Management System upgrades the casting comfort and allows users to cast at longer distances with ease.

Adding to this, this system also enhances the casting smoothness by reducing the backlashes and wind knots.

You will be surprised to know that even at a price this low, Shimano Sedona Fl features the premium Hagane gearing technology. Hagane gears increase the durability and performance of the reel beyond expectations.

Moreover, the casting comfort and efficiency are also enhanced by G-free body technology.

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However, being a budget pick, Sedona FL doesn’t incorporate some of the more refined features. All in all, it offers much more than what one expects under a price this low.

Why Consider Shimano Sedona FI?

For those who are running a bit low on budget but don’t want to compromise the fishing performance of the reel, Sedona Fl is an ideal choice. It enhances your chances with a walleye while keeping many other fishing options available.

What We Like
  • Best Budget Option
  • Amazing Performance and Efficiency
  • Bigger Line Capacity
  • Hagane Gear
  • G-Free Body Technology
  • Higher Durability
What We Don’t Like
  • Reeling Speed is a bit slower
  • No Cross Carbon Drag

3. SHIMANO Tekota—Best Walleye Spinning Reel by Shimano

  • Material: Blend
  • Size: 600HG
  • Drag Limit: 24 lbs.
  • Gear Ratio: 6.3:1
  • Line Retrieve: 38 Inches
  • Bearing: 3
  • Weight: 16.2 Oz

Shimano Tekota is a reputable series of fishing reels with renowned durability and performance.

The new Tekota spinning reels have upgraded certain features which makes them one of the best walleye spinning reels by Shimano.

Primarily, two of the most important features are upgraded in this model. The first one is gear strength and the second is line retrieval.

The newest Core-Protect technology enhances water resistance and channeling to protect against corrosion.

3. SHIMANO Tekota—Best Walleye Spinning Reel by Shimano

Adding to this, Shimano Tekota is also equipped with Cross Carbon Drag System. The advanced drag system provides you with more drag settings and higher resistance when tackling larger fish.

The Hagane body construction further increases the durability, rigidity, and performance of the reel. The reel is equipped with a loud clicker and an S-compact body design to enhance user comfort.

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However, some users have reported that the reel is a bit heavy for its size. A heavier reel might cause discomfort to some of the beginners who might face problems while casting.  

Why Consider SHIMANO Tekota?

Tekota fishing reels are ideal for those who want to go for bigger fish. The advanced drag technology helps you tackle stronger fish. So, with this reel, you can catch the bigger walleyes and reel them in quicker.

What We Like
  • Improved Gear Strength
  • Faster Line Retrieval
  • Core Protect Technology
  • Cross Carbon Drag System
  • Hagane Body Construction
  • Loud Clicker
What We Don’t Like
  • A bit heavy
  • Line Capacity isn’t very large

4. Shimano THUNNUS CI4—Most Reliable Shimano Spinning Reel for Walleye

  • Material: Carbon Fiber
  • Size: 6000
  • Drag Limit: 20 lbs.
  • Gear Ratio: 4.8:1
  • Line Retrieve: 36 Inches
  • Bearing: 6 + 1
  • Weight: 18 Oz

Thunnus CI4 adopts the carbon material system from Shimano’s bicycle division to innovate the fishing reel and improve its performance.

The carbon fiber material reduces the weight of the fishing reel while keeping the compactness and impact resistance intact.

Hence, in the CI4 series of Shimano, this model is 7 ounces lighter while ensuring the same durability, rigidity, strength, and performance if not higher.

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The smoothness of drag and casting are enhanced using upgraded equipment. With better drag control and performance, you can go after the bigger fish.

4. Shimano THUNNUS CI4—Most Reliable Shimano Spinning Reel for Walleye

Propulsion Line Management System also enhances the casting comfort and performance of the reel. You can cast at longer distances with much ease.

Hagane Gear technology also strengthens the reels by incorporating uncut gears at the very heart of the reel. The gear teeth are not cut, but rather minutely designed using 3D technology and formed using Shimano cold forging technology.

Also, Thunnus CI4 is renowned for its ability to adjust live bait. The reel gives you unmatched live bait adjustability and better control over bait casting.

However, there are no smaller sizes available. The smallest you can go in this series is 4000.

Why Consider Shimano THUNNUS CI4?

The Thunnus CI4 is one of the best walleye spinning reels for the money. Although a little expensive, the reel offers premium features that enhance your fishing experience and increases efficiency and performance.

What We Like
  • Carbon Fiber Construction
  • Hagane Gear Technology
  • Propulsion Line Management System
  • Live Bait Adjustability
  • Higher Impact Resistance
  • Smoother Drag Performance
What We Don’t Like
  • No Smaller Sizes are Available
  • A Bit Expensive

5. Shimano Sedona 2500—Best Shimano Spinning Reel for the Money

Shimano Sedona 2500
  • Material: Aluminum
  • Size: 2500
  • Drag Limit: 9 lbs.
  • Gear Ratio: 6.2:1
  • Line Retrieve: 36 Inches
  • Bearing: 3 + 1
  • Weight: 8.6 Oz

One of the most affordable spinning reels that ensures satisfactory performance with extreme finesses and durability. Shimano Sedona 2500 is often considered the best for its price point.

Although the reel lacks some of the modern and upgraded refinements, it gets the job done for a much lower price and exceeds every expectation of a walleye angler.

Shimano Sedona is a versatile fishing reel with a variety of fishing applications and is renowned as the best Shimano spinning reel for beginners.

Besides walleye, the reel is also considered ideal for reds, stripers, snook, and a wide range of freshwater and saltwater species. Both inshore and offshore anglers love and recommend Sedona 2500.

5. Shimano Sedona 2500—Best Shimano Spinning Reel for the Money

Surprisingly, even at a price, this low, Shimano Sedona is equipped with the advanced Cross Carbon Drag System that offers wider drag selection and smoother performance.

Also, the reel comes in a compact and lightweight design which makes tackling the walleye a lot easier for beginners.

No other competitor matches the performance or features of the Sedona 2500 at this price point.

The only downside is not having the more advanced or technological upgrades, which is completely understandable under the given price tag.

Why Consider Shimano Sedona 2500?

Beginners and anglers who are not looking for anything fancy should definitely give this masterpiece a thought. Shimano Sedona 2500 is one of the best on the market with excellent drag limit and smooth performance capabilities.

What We Like
  • Affordable Spinning Reel
  • Hagane Gear Technology
  • Powerful Performance
  • Versatile Functionality
  • Cross Carbon Drag System
  • Ideal for Beginners
What We Don’t Like
  • No Upgraded Technological Features
  • Limited Spool Capacity

How to Select the Best Shimano Spinning Reel for Walleye in 2023—Buyer’s Guide

Selecting the best Shimano spinning reel for walleye can be quite difficult, especially when you have so many good and tempting options available.

How To Select The Best Shimano Spinning Reel For Walleye In 2023—Buyer’s Guide

The final choice rests with you. So, to help you out in making it, I will be sharing some of the most important factors that are decisive in the choice of the right reel.

Here we go:


The construction of the reel is of utmost importance when it comes to tackling any fish. Since walleye are tricky fish and the larger variants can put up a hard fight, you will need the rigidity and durability of a heavy-duty reel.

So, I recommend that you go with Hagane body reels. Hagane is the flagship construction by Shimano that ensures the highest rigidity and durability.

Not to mention, Hagane’s construction keeps in mind the importance of compactness and lightweight design.

They provide you with a perfect reel that ensures the highest performance while remaining small and lightweight in design.

If you want to have lighter reels, you can opt for carbon fiber construction instead of metal. However, that will increase the price point.


Drag is, without a doubt, one of the most important features of fishing reels. Reels with poor drag limits are the worst and won’t let you catch any fish, let alone the magnificent walleye.

You must determine the drag limit and go for a reel that can help you catch the biggest of walleyes.

So, the ideal drag limit would be 20 pounds for a bigger walleye in freshwater. But a larger drag limit also means more cost.

If you are just going after the medium size fishes, a smaller drag of 9-10 pounds can also suffice.

Also, if you can manage to get your hands on Cross Carbon Drag System by Shimano, it would be icing on the cake.

This advanced drag system increases your drag setting options and ensures a smoother drag performance.


Tackling a fish doesn’t just depend on strength of the line or reel, but also on the durability and rigidity of every component of the reel.

Hence, you can never compromise upon the most important component that helps you fight a fish and reel it in; the gears.

Shimano is renowned for never compromising on the quality of the components they use in their reels. So, you will be good no matter which reel you choose.

However, if you want the best performance and durability then you should definitely go for the flagship gears, Hagane gear technology.

Not only do they offer better rigidity and efficiency, but also they increase the odds in your favor while tackling a fish.

The reason Hagane gears are the best is that no cutting work is applied to the teeth of the gear. Each gear piece is designed using advanced 3D technology and then formed with Shimano cold forging technology.

The design is accurate to every minute detail which leaves no room for performance leaks and ensures the best gear performance.

Speed of Best Shimano Reels for Walleye

While speed is not the most renowned feature of Shimano reels, they still offer good line retrieval when it comes to fishing for wall eye.

With an efficient drag control and a large enough crank, you can tackle the fish easily and reel it in.

Also, with Cross Carbon Drag System, fighting the fish would be much easier.

Don’t go on assuming that Shimano reels are slower in reeling. That’s not the case. It’s just that their reeling-in speed is not the fastest on the market.

But when all the stats are compared, they are the top choice of every angler to tackle walleye.

Moreover, there are a few exceptional models of Shimano spinning reels that offer amazingly fast line retrieval, but they are expensive.

Budget Matters

Last but not the least, one of the most influential factors in your choice of walleye reel is the budget.

We have shared products above that classify into a wide range of budgets. So, regardless of your budget, you can pick your choice.

Shimano is a renowned and reputable brand that has never compromised on quality or performance.

Although in some of the low-budget products, you won’t find fancy refinements or technological upgrades, still you will have enough to tackle walleye and a variety of other fishes as well.

Frequently Asked Questions

The size recommended by professional anglers is 3500 for the best performance against the biggest walleye fishes. However, if you are planning on catching the smaller ones, you can go with smaller sizes too.

The gear ratio depends on your distance from the cast line. If you are fishing under 25 feet, then a gear ratio of 5.1:1 would be good. However, some professionals recommend going with a lower gear ratio for better results.

A 4 to 5 pounds of drag would be enough for a medium-sized wall eye. However, seasoned anglers recommend going with a reel that has 20 pounds max drag capacity to increase your chances of getting a bigger fish.

A 5000 series reel is good enough for bluefish or stripers. You can also use it for catching walleyes. I would personally go lower for walleyes, but if you want to go for bigger saltwater fish, 5000 won’t be enough.

Yes, they most definitely can. Shimano spinning reels are one of the best on the market that can help you catch a wide range of fish. With the right Shimano spinning reel, you will be able to tackle any fish of your choice.

Ideally, the speed of a fast walk or a slow jog is perfect for walleye casting. If you cast too slowly or too fast, you won’t be able to attract the fish. As for numbers, 1.8 to 3.5 miles per hour is the ideal speed.

Final Takeaways: Which is the Best Shimano Spinning Reel for Walleye?

Trolling for a walleye is a passion for every angler, and landing a bigger one with each cast is the goal. With the best Shimano spinning reel for walleye, you can make it possible.

We have shared some of the best available options in the above guide that will meet the performance and efficiency needs of every angler.

If I were to pick one, I would definitely recommend you to go with our top pick, Shimano Stradic Fl, which is without a doubt the absolute best spinning reel by Shimano. The upgraded model offers flagship-level performance with exceptional features.

Shimano Thunnus CI4 is the best bang for the buck. The premium spinning reel is equipped with advanced technological features and has versatile applications for both inshore and offshore fishing.

For those who are running a bit low on budget, they should consider Shimano Sedona Fl. You will be surprised by the features you get for such a low price point. Shimano Sedona Fl offers exceptional performance and quality at a surprisingly low price.

If you have any questions or want to share your thoughts, you can drop them in the comment section below.

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