Why Shimano Reels Are So Expensive? Everything You Need To Know

Before I get into the details of answering why Shimano Reels are so expensive, you must know that not all Shimano reels are expensive. They have a wide range of models and series, most of which are pretty reasonable. 

However, the Shimano reels that are made in Japan like Stella, Aero, Talica, Exsence, and most of the baitcasters are quite expensive. 

The Stella series ranges from $700 to $1100, which is not as expensive as Daiwa’s most expensive reel but is still considered one of the most expensive reels in the world. 

Despite being expensive, they are the most popular choice among seasoned anglers and professional fishermen. 

Why Shimano Reels Are So Expensive

In simple terms, Shimano reels are expensive because of their high-quality components, high-precision assembly, and constant perfection by the manufacturer. 

The quality of raw materials, components, engineering, and design is beyond exceptional. Shimano is constantly innovating its models to make them better, leaving no room for error on part of the reel. 

Just get this, if you get Shimano Stella, you will have a massive spool capacity along with up to 28 kg of drag and 14 bearings. No sea monster will be off-limits to you. 

That being said, let’s get into a bit more detail about what really makes Shimano reels exceptional and expensive. 

Why Shimano Reels are So Expensive and Rightly So!

Incredible Precision and Accuracy

Shimano premium reels like Stella and Aero follow a unique design concept that leaves no room for error. 

The HAGANE design is made to withstand continuous uninterrupted use and extreme abuse. 

Incredible Precision and Accuracy

With high-precision engineering and accurate component designing, you get a built-in toughness and durability which you won’t find anywhere else. 

The unique design makes Shimano a perfect choice for all anglers and certainly justifies the price tag.

Check Best Shimano Reels For Walleye.


4 parts in Shimano premium reel construction make them a one-of-a-kind and justifiable expensive option. 

The Hagane gear is the very heart of Shimano reels that come with amazing strength and durability. 

What makes them truly exceptional is the fact that no cutting work is applied to the teeth of the gear. Instead, using advanced 3D technology, each part of the gear is designed to the very last detail. 


Then, using Shimano’s cold forging technology, each gear is manufactured with maximum precision. With accurately crafted gears, anglers get a smoothness they long for and can never forget. Check Best Shimano Spinning Reels.

Second, comes the Hagane body, which is designed for aluminum and magnesium alloys, which are both more lightweight and rigid than steel. These alloys firmly suppress deflection, torsion, and distortion, providing you the smoothness you deserve. 

The winding and rotation are taken to the next level with a new main shaft in the reel that acts as a supporting structure. This innovative new shaft is known as Infinity Drive. 

Last but not the least, the Silent Drive mechanism ensures smooth and quiet reel rotation. Basically, each component is reviewed one by one to remove any gaps, rattles, or shaking between the parts, down to the last fraction of an inch. 

Resistance to Corrosion and Impact

When fishing in Saltwater, the problems most anglers and fishermen face are moisture and dust getting into the reel, causing corrosion. 

Shimano takes care of that problem by bringing in new innovative features that prevent any water or moisture from getting into the reel. 

With water-repellant seals on the body, side covers, and all parts of the body, Shimano has achieved IPX8 water resistance. 

Resistance to Corrosion and Impact

In addition to this conventional water-repellent treatment, non-contact structures are also incorporated to reduce the risk of water getting in. A labyrinth-like structure is designed to suppress water penetration without compromising weight. 

In the most expensive variants, a contact-type water-resistant structure is used. Shimano physically cuts off every part of the seawater entry with a low-sliding seal. 

Furthermore, the stopper bearing and line roller parts are used to achieve maximum water resistance. 

Adding to this, SA-RB bearings are used because they have shields on both sides of the bearings. These shields further reduce the possibility of salt or sand inhibiting the rotation of the bearing. 

Overall, these three technologies and designs combined achieve max water resistance, making Shimano a perfect saltwater reel. 

Casting Abilities

Shimano is renowned to make fishing a lot easier for beginners. While fishing mostly depends on the abilities of anger, Shimano does bring ease through a lot of functions. 

The precise casting ability allows users to easily cast longer lines without any risk of backlash or line resistance. 

Casting Abilities

The exclusive One-Piece bail design allows the line to travel uninterrupted on the line roller. 

There is no risk of tangling or line interruption because of the seamless design. The design also reduces friction and decreases the chances of the line getting caught on the bail arm. 

Lightweight and Comfortable to Use

Shimano reels are lightweight and comfortable to use. Despite having so many features and innovatively crafted refinements, Shimano never compromises on the lightweight or compactness of the reel. 

The air-rotor design used in the expensive Shimano reels further reduces the weight of the reel by 30%. Not to mention the Hagane design and construction which uses lighter alloys to further reduce the weight. 

Lightweight and Comfortable to Use

Moreover, the design also keeps the lubes in place, allowing for a perfect smoothness and no friction inside the reel, making it much more comfortable to use. 

Smoothness and Balance

Shimano reels have the perfect balance and smoothness, which is rarely achieved in the fishing reel industry. 

While more bearings do not always mean higher performance, Shimano uses high-quality bearings with dual shields to keep them in place and protect them from corrosion.

Hence, you get incredible smoothness and balance while reeling and casting. It is further enhanced by the larger gear ratio of the reel. 

Smoothness and Balance

Adding to this, the X-Ship technology by Shimano further improves the gear performance. 

The combined effect of a large diameter drive gear optimally positioned pinion gear and the drive gear, and two bearings supporting the pinion gear ensures lighter reeling under load.

The smoothness and performance are further improved by the AR-C spool design which has a special spool ring shape that creates a rectifying effect to ensure suppression of line trouble and longer casting performance. 


The entire performance of a spinning reel mostly comes down to drag, especially when you are tackling a monster. Shimano has the most efficient drag technology that ensures a drag of up to 28 kg. 

Three particular drag features make Shimano truly the exception. The Heatsink Drag, X-Tough technology, and Rigid Support. 

The heatsink is a revolutionary structure that helps prevent drag force reduction from heat. It includes a Heatsink panel and heat insulating shield that dissipates the heat generated from the drag in both the spool and winding area. 


X-tough technology further improves heat resistance and stability of drag. Only metal and carbon parts are used to support the spool from both the top and bottom. Hence, you have improved drag performance and durability. 

Moreover, to ensure smooth and consistent drag delivery, the spool support of the main shaft is strengthened, and the play and fluctuations of the spool are reduced. 

Hence, you get the smoothest drag performance capable of fighting and beating every sea-dwelling behemoth, shark, and fish. 

These were some of the most prominent features that make Shimano reels expensive. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, they are definitely worth it. Shimano fishing reels have been around for more than half a century. They have been constantly innovated and improved by the manufacturer to achieve maximum perfection.

Shimano Stella is the most expensive Shimano spinning reel you can find in the market. These reels are designed for the biggest and baddest of fishes and come packed with tons of amazing features. 

No, only the premium spinning reels and baitcast reels that are manufactured in Japan are expensive. There are other variants designed by Malaysia and Singapore which cost a lot less and can be afforded easily. 

You can get Shimano Stella in size 30000, which is the largest size to go after sharks and behemoths in the sea. No fish will be off-limits with this size. However, you will need an equally powerful and high-capacity fishing rod. 

No fish in freshwater or saltwater is off-limits with the most expensive Shimano spinning reel. The Shimano Stella is designed for the most powerful fishes, sharks, and behemoths in the sea.

Wrapping Up!

Shimano premium reels are worth every cent of the price. They offer incredible precision and accuracy, unmatched durability in construction, high quality in engineering and design, and also constant innovation. 

Although fishing ultimately comes down to the individual abilities of the angler, Shimano’s expensive reels surely make the process a lot easier.

If you have any questions, you can drop them in the comments section below.

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