It is truly remarkable that we are living in a time when you can get a reel that functions this well for the price of a cheap pair of jeans.
The latest model – the Shimano Sienna FG series – is a 3.5-star reel for an absolute – and arguably unbeatable – bargain price.
Shimano Sienna review – a great reel for a value price
The Tackle Village team all own at least one Sienna reel. For kayak fishers, the Sienna is the perfect choice of back up reel. We explained in our review of the Shimano Sedona – one model up from the Sienna – that it is about the most expensive reel we’ll take on a kayak in open water due to the risk of it going overboard.
The Sienna is the other reel we rely on for our backup rods.
There is nothing like having a couple of rods rigged for soft plastics and a couple rigged with hard bodied lures for versatility.
It all adds up money wise, so the Sienna is great in this regard as it represents quality at a great price.
The other key use for the Sienna is to have as the main reel for a telescopic fishing rod that you might keep in your car or use as a travel outfit that fits in a backpack or a small suitcase.
Shimano Sienna Review in detail
The Sienna’s key features include some of the key selling points of the Sedona, the next model up in the Shimano range. These include the: compact body, the three ball bearings and one roller bearing and the spool design that’s part of the Propulsion Line Management System.
Other key features include:
- Fast retrieve speed ranging from 5.0:1 to 6.2:1 (in the 2500 model)
- Available in sizes 500 to 4000
- 19lb drag in the 3000 model
- Anti reverse is done by switching, unlike the automatic anti-reverse in the Sedona
Shimano Sienna Pros and Cons
|Quality Japanese-designed reel for a bargain price||Slightly heavier than more upmarket Shimano models|
|Equipped with technology from more upmarket Shimano reels||Less corrosion resistant than more expensive models|
|Stylish black and red design||Anti-reverse switch positioning is tough to find|
|Category leading quality at this price||Doesn’t have the Hagane cold-forged gearing|
Shimano Sienna sizes
As you can see from the official Shimano specs, the 500 model is comparatively light at 6.3oz and the weight for the largest model (the 4000) ranges up to 11.3oz.
The 500 and 1000 models are perfect for throwing light lures with an ultralight spinning rod for throwing lures for crappie and fishing trout in rivers and streams, as well blue gill and other panfish. Pair them with the best braid line and some great fluorocarbon leader and you have a great outfit in your hands.
Moving up to the 2500 you get the FGHG model with the HG signifying a higher gearing ratio. This is great reel for bass fishing thanks to the faster retrieve that can work lures quickly and drag fish out of structure.
This model – paired with either braid with a fluoro or mono leader or a high quality monofilament line straight through – is also suitable for throwing lures for walleye and other freshwater and estuary dwelling sportfish.
What kind of fishermen or woman would the Shimano Sienna suit?
This is a great first reel for kids. It’s high enough quality to last a kid a decade or more and its action is so smooth it will fun to use throughout this period if it is looked after correctly. Kids will love the cool red and black look to this reel too.
The other key use for this reel is as a back up. As we said earlier, it is the perfect reel to accompany a telescopic rod or on your fourth or fifth choice rod when you are out on the kayak! As we’ve mentioned before, we have a $100 limit on reels that we put on the kayak as, speaking from bitter experience, we’ve lost expensive combos overboard before and we don’t want to feel that pain again!
How does the Sienna compare with other Shimano reels
Shimano’s upped the spec of the Sienna so it no longer sits entirely in the shadow of the Sedona – a great value reel in its own right as you can read in our full review. The Sienna now has the 3+1 bearing set up and the Propulsion Line Management System along with some graphite components to keep the weight down. It doesn’t have the Hagane cold-forged gearing, so arguably loses a little on smoothness and durability. But on the other, it is cheaper. Size wise, the Sienna tops out at 4000 and the Sedona at 8000, so the latter is the better bet for offshore or surf and rock fishing uses.
You are starting to move into a different class of reel here. The Shimano Sahara has the G-free body and Hagane cold forged along with 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. One for someone looking for bit more quality and durability than the Sienna and Sedona models can offer.
While you could compare the Sienna to the Shimano Stradic Ci4+ and other models, you really up going up a couple of classes there and you are comparing reels that really service different markets and different consumers. That said, we do own all three – the Sienna, Sedona and Stradic models – but that’s about having cheaper outfits to take on our kayaks!
What are some alternatives to the Shimano Sienna among other brands?
With 7+1 bearings and a nice oiled-felt drag system you are getting higher specification with this reel. The thing with this is it sounds impressive, but all too often the Japanese design approach of simplicity and using components that have stood the test of time wins out. That’s not to say the Okuma is a bad reel – and its well priced – but we prefer the Sienna and Sedona models.
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.
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 than even the Sedona, it’s a great alternative to that reel or the Sienna.
We love our Shimano Sienna reels – quality, style reliability and a world-beating price. What’s not to like? We have no hesitation in recommending this as a 3.5 star reel and one that gets five stars for value. It’s the best cheap spinning reel on the market in our opinion.