Shimano Sedona review

For fishermen and women looking for a reasonable quality reel that is durable in salt and freshwater and offers high-performance at a great price, look no further than the Shimano Sedona.

We rate the Sedona a four-star reel (and five stars in terms of value) and explain our reasons below.

Shimano Sedona: a four-star reel for a great price

The Tackle Village team owns several Sedonas – the Sedonas (along with the even cheaper Shimano Sienna) are our go-to reel for kayak fishing trips.

Why – you ask?

Because of the combination of quality and price, as we explain further into this Shimano Sedona review.

Having all lost expensive rods and reels over the side at some point in our lives, we make it a rule not to take anything reel the kayak that costs more than $100!

Shimano Sedona review
Shimano Sedona review: Our Sedona 4000XG – it’s stood the test of time catching some nice fish from the kayak on soft plastics and crankbaits

Shimano Sedona review in detail

The Sedona was updated in 2017 with the release of the FI series, replacing the Sedona FE and FD.

Shimano added the cold-forged Hagane gears you find in its higher-end reels and shaved some weight from the rotor and upgraded the drag in the larger sizes. 

The Sedona range offers a lot of variation when it comes to size (500 right up to 8000) and gear ratios, or retrieve speeds (4.6:1 and 6.2:1).

We have a 4000 series and with 24lbs of drag and a gear ratio of 6.2:1 it is perfect for pulling fish out of old wharf pylons and other heavy structure.

Shimano Sedona key features

  • 3 ball bearings and one roller bearing – provides a smooth retrieve and durable reel
  • Upgraded G-Free body – shifts the reels centre of gravity closer to the rod reducing casting and winding fatigue. Great for lure fishing!
  •  Upgraded Magnumlite rotor … reduces inertia when you start winding in
  • Redesigned spool (Propulsion Line Management System) to boost casting distance

Shimano Sedona review – Pros and Cons

ProsCons
Japanese-designed, high-quality reelLess ball bearings that competing reels
Great priceSlightly heavier for a given size than more upmarket reels
Decent technology included in the price – Hagane gear, G-free body, Magnumlite rotor and Propulsion line Management systemNo anti-reverse switch. This is done internally so you can’t let the reel free spool any more. 

Available in a wide range of sizes and retrieve speeds – there is a good choice for all types of fishing

Shimano Sedona sizes

The other good thing about the Shimano Sedona is it comes in a full range of sizes from 1000 right up to 8000.

The 1000 weighs just 7.6oz and is great for finesse fishing for lure fishing for crappie and blue gill and other panfish, as well as trout.

The 2500 and 3000 sizes are ideal for bass, walleye and other freshwater gamefish.

With the 4000 and up sizes you have enough drag and line capacity for bigger saltwater pelagics, snook, stripers and larger reef fish.

What’s with all these letters in the models?

For the full specifications of the Sedona range, click here. For an explanation of the model numbers, please read on below in this Shimano Sedona review.

Numerical size

Basically the spool size – bigger number, bigger spool

Size code


The “C” at the end means compact: the reel itself is one size smaller than the spool.

Spool codes

The “S” in the end of the model number indicates “shallow spool” that is smaller, lighter in weight and lower in line capacity.

  • Normal Spool (no markings or labels)
  • Medium “M”
  • Small Medium “SM”
  • Small “S”
  • Super Small “SS”

Gearing codes

  • Lower Gear “PG” – great for extra grunt for open water battles
  • Normal Gear (No marking)
  • High Gear “HG” – great for being able to quickly rip the fish away from structure
  • Extra High Gear “XG”
Shimano Sedona review: in tight structure such as these pylons the XG gearing helps get the fish out from the danger zone

Other codes

There a few other rare ones, but probably the only important one to understand is that “SW” stands for saltwater meaning the reel is corrosion resistant.

What kind of fisherperson would the Shimano Sedona suit?

The Sedona has enough features to satisfy a serious angler that’s on a reasonably tight budget. Buying this reel over its more expensive cousins such as the Stradic, Saragosa and Sustain leaves more money in your wallet for fishing trips or to upgrade your rod,  lures or  terminal tackle that often are more of a determinant than your reel in terms of how many fish you catch.

How does the Sedona compare with other Shimano reels?

Shimano Sedona vs Sienna
Shimano Sedona vs Stradic
Our Shimano reel arsenal: the Sedona (4000 size), the Sienna (2500) and the Stradic Ci4+ (2500)

Sedona vs Sienna

The Sienna has only one ball bearing as compared to the three ball bearings in Sedona and weighs more than the equivalent size in Sedona. Sienna also doesn’t have features like Hagane gear and G-free that Sedonas now boast. And you are more restricted in sizing with the Sienna coming in 1000, 2500 and 4000 sized models only. That said, on value the Sienna models are considerably cheaper and if that’s a key criteria for you, they are – if anything – an even better value reel.

Sedona vs Sahara

The Shimano Sahara has the same G-free body and Hagane cold forged gearing of the Sedona, but has corrosion resistant bearings which boost longevity. It also has X-Ship technology, which helps ensure the pinion gear and bearings remain in perfect alignment and boasts a graphite frame, rotor, and side plate. It is more expensive than the Sedona, but we could easily be talked into upgrading to the Sahara on account of the greater corrosion resistance.

Sedona vs Stradic

The Stradic Ci4+ and FB models are a big step up again. These are really high quality perfectly balance pieces of fishing machinery (with price tags to match). We use the Stradic Ci4+ as our best ultralight spinning reel and absolutely love it. But having lost one overboard (along with a sweet ultralight fishing rod), we wont let it anywhere near the kayak when we head out on the open water. It’s a land-based or boat-based reel only!

What are some alternatives to the Shimano Sienna among other brands?

Pfleuger President

10 ball bearings in a reel at this price is fairly remarkable, although with bearings it is a case of quality too. The President, not surprisingly has a smooth retrieve and a lightweight body. But while the bearings are stainless steel, they aren’t sealed for corrosion resistance making this reel more suited to freshwater use.

Daiwa Legalis

Lightweight, super smooth and renowned for a smooth drag, the Legalis is a really well-regarded Japanese designed reel. Fans of the Legalis say it performs better than many much more expensive reels. For those who aren’t afraid to spend a touch more, it’s a great alternative to the Sedona.

Conclusion

We love our Shimano Sedona reels. We fish the 4000XG model with a 6.2:1 gear ratio, which is perfect for kayak fishing around jetty pylons where you need to really rip the fish away from the structure. Cheap, lightweight but with good drag and casting control, the Sedona is a great choice, particularly for kayak anglers like us who are reluctant to put several hundred dollars of reel on the line every time they head out on the water. Accidents do happen!


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