Who Makes Shimano Reels?—Here’s Everything You Should Know

Shimano fishing reels are very popular with anglers and fishermen all around the world. You will be able to find them in every fishing store in the US. 

But Wait! Did you think they are made in the US? Well, that’s not true. The question here then arises that who makes Shimano reels?

Shimano fishing reels are made either in Japan or Malaysia, and then shipped to the rest of the world.

Shimano is one of the most popular fishing reel brands that is highly recommended by pros and champions. 

Who Makes Shimano Reels

Originally, Shimano was not a fishing tackle brand but launched as Shimano Iron Works in 1921. The fishing tackle division was launched much later. 

Let’s start from the beginning.

Who Makes Shimano Reels? The Origin

In 1921, Shozaburo Shimano started a small company called Shimano Iron Works. The company was located in the city Sakai of Japan, and it has been there since. 

Shimano Reels Origins

The company was originally a cycling component manufacturing industry that achieved renown and success all over the world. 

After establishing itself as a successful brand in the world of cycling, Shimano Iron Works became Shimano Inc. and launched a fishing tackle division in 1971. 

So, while the parent company is more than 100 years old, the fishing tackle division is less than half of that. 

Shimano Fishing Tackle Division earned success right from the beginning. The very first tackle model in 1971 was a hit, not only in Japan but also in Europe and the US. 

Since then, the company has consistently evolved and launched various sub-brand series, some of which are manufactured in other countries. 

Shimano Stella and Aero along with some of the popular baitrunner models are made in Japan. These are the top-tier model, which to this day, remain the dream of many anglers.

Check What Size Shimano Spinning Reel For Bass?

Where are Shimano Reels Manufactured?

Where are Shimano Reels Manufactured

The company has its headquarters in Sakai, Japan. Most of the top-tier reels are made in Sakai including the Aero and Stella series.

Check Best Shimano Spinning Reels.

After manufacturing these reels are shipped over to the rest of the world. Being made in Japan means that products ensure the highest quality manufacturing and provide the highest performance. 

It also means that these products are highly expensive and cost a fortune to purchase. I mean, spending a thousand dollars on a spinning reel does seem like a bit much. 

But as an experienced angler, I can tell you, with Shimano Stella you get exactly what you pay for. The high-end features and performance completely justify the price tag. Check How To Clean And Lube Shimano Spinning Reels?

Malaysia and Singapore

Other than Japan, the second-tier and low-tier models of Shimano are manufactured in Malaysia or Singapore. 

Malaysia And Singapore

Although these other countries do not have a very good reputation when it comes to manufacturing. You must know that Shimano owns all the rights to design and quality assurance. 

Also, don’t think that just because these reels are not being manufactured in Japan, they will be cheap. 

Although they are cheaper as compared to the Japanese models, the price is nowhere near the word cheap. 

Malaysia, especially, has done really well in bringing innovation to the fishing tackle industry and introducing various popular sub-brands in Shimano. 

Check Are Shimano Spinning Reels Good? 

Shimano Vanford and Stradic are some of the proud productions of Malaysia that give exceptional performance and extreme satisfaction to anglers. 

Other Shimano fishing reels launched by Malaysia include the Shimano Vanford series, Shimano SLX Baitcaster Series, Shimano Stradic, Shimano Sedona, Shimano Sahara, and Shimano Ultrega. 

Although Shimano Sedona and Sahara are budget-friendly reels, they too ensure the highest quality and durability. 

Each of the above-mentioned series of fishing reels has been around for quite some time and has launched various models, each with upgraded and improved designs and features. 

Shimano Vanford, Stradic, and Ultrega are no less than premium models. Although the performance cannot be compared to Japanese models, for their own price point, their performance is exemplary. 

Are Shimano Reels Made in China?

China doesn’t have any manufacturing rights from Shimano. So, there is no Chinese model of Shimano fishing reels. 

Are Shimano Reels Made in China?

However, that is not to say that some of the parts won’t be manufactured in China. 

China has a massive industry when it comes to manufacturing. So, some of the components of the fishing reel, like drag discs, rubbers, seals, or other smaller components may be made in China. 

Where can I buy Shimano reels?

Shimano fishing reels are available all over the world and also Skunked Savvy providing the best comparisons of reels that are preferred by almost all experienced anglers and fishermen.

The best part about Shimano is that you can find a reel in every budget range. So, if you are a beginner with just a few bucks or a pro looking for the best reel for your next competition, Shimano has the perfect choices available for you. 


That is the reason for Shimano’s wide popularity. You will find a Shimano reel no matter where you are living. If there is a fishing tackle store near you, most probably they will have a Shimano reel, or they will know the nearest place to get one. 

Are Shimano reels the best?

Shimano is one of the best brands in the world, but to say it is the best would be a sort of injustice to the others. 

No one brand can outshine all the others in every feature. Shimano too has some drawbacks, whether its price or spool capacity, where other brands steal the spotlight. 

Are Shimano Reels The Best

One of the strongest competitors of Shimano is Daiwa reels. Daiwa is one of the top fishing reel brands that give strong competition to Shimano in terms of quality, material, and functionality. 

However, when compared to the tiniest detail, Shimano does take the top spot over Daiwa, as Shimao beats the brand in some of the advanced features. 

Who services Shimano fishing reels?

There are authorized service centers located all around the world that you can locate on Shimano’s official website. 

You can get your reel serviced from any local reel or tackle store. If there is a professional there who provides the service, he or she can service your reel for you. 

Also, you can service your reel at home. Just get some cleaning equipment, and a couple of basic tools and you can service your own Shimano reel right at home. 

Frequently Asked Questions

The top-tier Shimano reels are made in Japan. Stella, Aero, and bait runner reels are mostly made in Japan. Other countries that produce Shimano reels include Malaysia and Singapore. They have also manufactured some popular Shimano reel brands. 

Yes, Shimano reels are one of the best brands in the world. Seasoned anglers all around the world prefer using Shimano fishing reels. The brand is renowned for its exceptional quality, high durability, and efficient performance. 

Yes, Shimano started its fishing tackle division in 1971 and has been producing reels for more than 50 years. Shimano fishing reels were instantly successful, right from the beginning, and today are one of the most renowned and cherished reels globally. 

Shimano Stradic Fl is the flagship model of the Shimano Stradic series that is manufactured in Malaysia. Shimano Stradic costs around 200-250 dollars and is one of the most premium models by Shimano that is known for its innovative design and efficient performance. 

Wrapping Up!

Shimano reels are mostly manufactured in Japan and Malaysia. Japanese models are very expensive but offer exceptional quality, performance, and features. Stella and Aero are renowned Japanese models. 

Malaysian models, somewhat reasonable, offer premium-grade features and efficient performance. Shimano Stradic and Vanford are two of the most popular Malaysian models. 

Whether you are a beginner or a professional, you will love a Shimano fishing reel. They are the absolute best and outshine everyone else when it comes to quality, durability, and functionality. 

If you have any questions, you can drop them in the comments section below and I will get back to you as soon as I can. 

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