Awesome Shimano Surf Spinning Reels for 2021

Lady with two large sow red snapper caught on using a Shimano Reel.

Shimano is a highly recognized and respected name in the fishing tackle industry. They have a stellar reputation for quality, strength and durability. Every fisherman who has owned and enjoyed using Shimano Surf tackle can thank Japanese visionary Shozaburo Shimano, who in 1921 declared “I aim to make Shimano’s products the best in Kansai, then the best in Japan, and finally the best in the world.”

For nearly 100 years, Shimano has concentrated on precision engineering, one step at a time. Creating the most innovative products and processes you can hold in your hand today. And is as committed to Shozaburo Shimano’s goals today as it was in 1921.

I have recently reviewed the spinning reels of Daiwa, as well, if you want to check them out. Again, a high quality reel with a lot of features. But, it is your money and your decision, either one will give you many years of service and have been proven over many years.



Shimano Surf Reels


As you probably know, the saltwater environment is one of, if not the most, harsh environments on the planet. It wreaks havoc on you, your equipment and gear. That being said, the folks at Shimano have nearly 100 years of experience in designing and building fishing gear to handle the saltwater environment.

Using the latest technologies in materials and manufacturing, they have developed the highest quality products to match your specific fishing needs. Shimano Surf Fishing reels are no exception and today we will review three Shimano Surf Reels that they designed just for the surf fisherman.



Shimano Ultegra XTD Surf Reels


The Shimano Ultegra XTD is designed for serious surf casters, the high end of the Shimano Surf Reel offerings, the Ultegra XTD Surf reels provide consistent long-casting performance and Super Slow Oscillation (14000)/ Slow Oscillation (5500) for precision line lay. Plus, these reels feature Shimano X-Ship for improved gear durability even under the heaviest loads. When you fish the beach front, you never know what may grab your line and head for the open ocean. The Ultegra XTD can handle even the largest of predators that lurk in the surf zone.

ULTEGRA XTD TECHNOLOGIES

  1. AERO WRAP II: Using a patented worm gear design the Shimano Ultegra XTD has a two speed oscillation system that loads line on the spool in a criss cross pattern that reduces line to line friction resulting in longer casting distance.
  2. G FREE BODY: This shifts the reel’s center of gravity closer to the rod to reduce angler fatigue and improve casting comfort.
  3. INSTANT DRAG: Allows for a quick adjustment from the front of the spool to change from drag to free spool in only half a turn.
  4. PARALLEL BODY: The Ultegra reel body is aligned at exactly 90 degrees to the rod to prevent line slapping between the reel and the first eye of the rod. This reduces friction and increases casting distance.
  5. PROPULSION LINE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM: After thousands of casting tests and computer simulations Shimano has developed a new spool lip design that provides for increased casting distance while at the same time prevents backlashes and wind knots from forming.
  6. S A-RB bearings: Shimano has shielded both sides of these bearing to greatly reduce the chances of salt or sand contamination of the bearings.
  7. SUPER SLOW OSSCILATION 5: Slower oscillation reduces the speed that the line travels up and down the spool when casting thus reducing friction and increasing casting distance. Shimano’s standard oscillation of 20 wraps per cycle is industry leading. SUPER SLOW OSSICALATION 5 wraps at 55 per cycle.
  8. X-SHIP: The Shimano Ultegra supports the pinion gear on both ends with bearings which improves longevity and durability by maintaining alignment with the drive gear even under the heaviest loads. Friction between the spool shaft and gear is eliminated resulting in longer casts.
Young lady fishing with her Shimano Spinning Reel
shimano ultegra XTD review
shimano Ultegra XTD review


Shimano Speedmaster XTC Surf Reels


SpeedMaster 14000XTC is a high-performance workhorse Shimano Surf reel built for budget-minded surf anglers. This Shimano Surf Reel is Feature packed with stunning looks, SpeedMaster is equipped with X-Ship technology for improved gear durability and Hi-Speed Drag to put the brakes on big fish. Super Slow Oscillation ensures optimal line lay and maximum casting distance. Packed with features and technology, the Shimano Speedmaster XTC is a great surf reel that won’t break the bank yet still handle the big fish and harsh environment of surf fishing.


SPEEDMASTER XTC TECHNOLOGIES

  1. AERO WRAP II: Using a patented worm gear design the Shimano Ultegra XTD has a two speed oscillation system that loads line on the spool in a criss cross pattern that reduces line to line friction resulting in longer casting distance.HG
  2. G FREE BODY: This shifts the reel’s center of gravity closer to the rod to reduce angler fatigue and improve casting comfort.
  3. HI-SPEED DRAG: This feature allows the Shimano Speedmaster to switch drag settings from free spool to fight mode with just a small adjustment to the drag knob.
  4. PARALLEL BODY: The Ultegra reel body is aligned at exactly 90 degrees to the rod to prevent line slapping between the reel and the first eye of the rod. This reduces friction and increases casting distance.
  5. PROPULSION LINE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM: After thousands of casting tests and computer simulations Shimano has developed a new spool lip design that provides for increased casting distance while at the same time prevents backlashes and wind knots from forming.
  6. SUPER SLOW OSSCILATION 5: Slower oscillation reduces the speed that the line travels up and down the spool when casting thus reducing friction and increasing casting distance. Shimano’s standard oscillation of 20 wraps per cycle is industry leading. SUPER SLOW OSSICALATION 5 wraps at 55 per cycle.
  7. X-SHIP: The Shimano Ultegra supports the pinion gear on both ends with bearings which improves longevity and durability by maintaining alignment with the drive gear even under the heaviest loads. Friction between the spool shaft and gear is eliminated resulting in longer casts.

Shimano Speedmaster XTC review
Shimano Speedmaster XTC review


Shimano BaitRunner D Surf Reels


The Baitrunner D gives you the confidence of a legendary drive train and auto-return Baitrunner feature as well as better cast ability, better line lay, less backlash, wind knots or tangles, less friction on the line, larger, more comfortable grips, a higher max drag as well as a wider range of Baitrunner settings than its predecessors. It includes the following Shimano quality features. Designed for fishing live bait, the Shimano BaitRunner makes a great Shimano surf reel option as well. Designed for the harsh saltwater environment from the ground up, the Baitrunner D will give you many years of service. Below are just some of the exclusive Shimano features designed into the Baitrunner reels.


  • Graphite Frame
  • Graphite Sideplate
  • Varispeed Oscillation
  • S-Concept
  • Machined Aluminum Handle
  • Dartainium II Drag Washers (Cross Carbon)
  • Repairable Clicker
  • Super Stopper Anti-Reverse
  • Dyna-Balance
  • Floating Shaft
  • Fluidrive II Gearing

BAITRUNNER D TECHNOLOGIES


  1. ONE PIECE BAIL; The seamless design of the One-piece bail allows the line to travel unimpeded to the line roller reducing line friction and the chances of tangles or cuts from the bail arm.
  2. PROPULSION LINE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM: After thousands of casting tests and computer simulations Shimano has developed a new spool lip design that provides for increased casting distance while at the same time prevents backlashes and wind knots from forming.
  3. S A-RB bearings: Shimano has shielded both sides of these bearing to greatly reduce the chances of salt or sand contamination of the bearings.
Shimano Baitrunner review
Shimano Baitrunner D review


Shimano Quality for Surf Fishing


In the chart below, you can compare some of the features and pricing of these Shimano Surf Reels. You will find that they are a great value considering the advanced features and technologies included in their design and manufacturing.


shimano surf reels comparison chart

Shimano Surf Reels are Some of the Finest Surf Reels Made


lady with bonita caught offshore with Shimano Baitrunner spinning reel

For nearly 100 years, Shimano has been producing some of the finest quality fishing gear in the world. I have used Shimano surf rods and reels for over 40 years now and have never had any regrets with a Shimano purchase. No matter what you fish for, or where you fish in the world, Shimano has the gear you need.

The Shimano Ultegra XTD, Speedmaster XTC, and Baitrunner D will be a great choice for your surf fishing needs. They combine the very latest in engineering and manufacturing technologies to provide you with a strong, durable, saltwater resistant and long casting surf reel. Give one a try, you will be glad you did.

Other Essential Surf Fishing Gear:

Essential Surf Fishing Gear:

  • Surf Fishing Rods, surf rods are typically longer and heavier duty than standard rods. read more.
  • Surf fishing Reels, larger and stronger with greater line capacity to handle big fish. read more.
  • Surf fishing Rod and Reel Combos, pre-matched rod and reel set ups for surf fishing – read more.
  • Sand Spike Rod holder, holds your rods securely while you wait for that big bite. – read more.
  • Surf Fishing Rigs, terminal tackle for fishing the surf. – read more.
  • Surf fishing Carts, for beaches that won’t allow vehicles you need a way to carry your gear – read more.
  • Rod Racks for Vehicles, carry your rods out of harms way and easy to access- read more.
  • Beach Camping Gear, in case you want to fish all night or for several days – read more.


If you are interested in learning more about surf fishing reels, check out my article on Penn Reels here. As always, be safe, enjoy the journey and please try to leave it cleaner than you found it. If you have any comments, questions, ideas or suggestions, just leave them in the comment section below and I will get right back to you. Follow me on Facebook: Rex The Beach Angler, Instagram: thebeachangler7, and Twitter: @AnglerBeach.


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