Uncovered: The Surprising Truth About the Shimano Sedona FI - Is It Really the Best Budget Reel?

Shimano Sedona FI Spinning Reel
Reviewed by: Pete Danylewycz
Last Updated:

Shimano Sedona FI Review

Shimano Sedona FI Spinning Reel
USAngler Rating: 

Step into the world of quality fishing with Shimano's Sedona FI, a budget-friendly reel offering a range of sizes for diverse angling needs, from panfish to offshore fish, without compromising on smooth performance, reliable drag, and solid construction.

Shimano knows that not every angler can afford a reel like the Stella SW, Sustain FJ, or Vanford. And while these reels are unequaled in the Shimano line-up for what they’re designed to do, the Sedona FI will get the job done for a fraction of their price.

And whether your next trip takes you ice fishing for perch or offshore for tarpon, there’s a Sedona FI ready to go!

Of course, at this price point, you can’t expect the same tech that makes all stars like the Stella SW shine. That’s neither realistic nor expected.

But the Sedona FI still provides remarkably smooth cranking, an excellent drag, and enough Shimano know-how to keep a smile on your face eerie time you fish them.

Ranging in size from a diminutive 500 to a beefy 8000, Shimano has everyone from panfish addicts to inshore - and maybe even offshore - anglers in mind with these reels.

Normally, I’d be a bit leery about that range with a series of reels at this price, but Shimano equips them all with their excellent cross carbon drag system. It’s no less impressive on these budget reels than it is on the Sustain FJ, and whether you need to protect light line or fight a tuna, it’s going to tilt the odds decidedly in your favor.

In fact, in this price range, I’d say the only drag competitor is Penn’s HT-100, and that’s really saying something.

The maximum settings on the larger reels are ideal for running heavy lines, especially braid, and they offer plenty of fight for common sport fish like tuna.

Inshore anglers won’t feel outgunned with the 3000, either, and its 20-pound max provides more than enough drag for reds, stripers, and snook.

The 1000 and 2500 are great for finesse largemouth techniques, and the 1000 and 500 easily work panfish, protecting delicate lines.

The entire Sedona FI series sports solid-metal Hagane gearing, providing smooth, powerful performance with every crank. The refinements are missing from this budget series, and you’ll notice this especially on the larger reels where vibration is noticeable.

Something’s got to give, and in this case, it’s speed and capacity.

Expect smaller than average spools and corresponding decreases in speed. Head-to-head comparisons aren’t going to favor the Sedona FI in any size, and reels that cost half as much - like Penn’s Pursuit IV - offer much better capacity and speed with only an ounce or two more weight.

Does that make the Sedona FI a bad pick?

No way!

If you favor a lighter reel, the Sedona FI is a fantastic budget pick that delivers more than enough rigidity, torque, drag, and capacity for any application.

Pros

  • Excellent Shimano tech
  • Rigid body
  • Excellent drag with ultra-smooth performance
  • Very good gears
  • Excellent torque and power

Cons

  • Spool capacities are just OK
  • Speed suffers in direct comparisons

Sizes: 500, 1000, 2500, 3000, 4000, 5000, 6000, and 8000
Maximum drag: 6 lbs. (500), 7 lbs. (1000), 9 lbs. (2500), 20 lbs. (3000), 24 lbs. (4000 and 5000), 22 lbs. (6000), and 24 lbs. (8000)
Gear ratio: 5.6:1. (500), 5.0:1 (1000), 6.2:1 (2500, 3000, 4000 and 5000), 4.6:1 (6000), and 4.9:1 (8000)
Retrieve: ? (500), 26” (1000), 36” (2500 and 3000), 39” (4000), 41” (5000), 33” (6000), and 37” (8000)
Capacity: 4/100 (500), 6/110 (1000), 8/140 (2500), 8/170 (3000), 10/200 (4000), 12/195 (5000), 16/170 (6000), and 20/185 (8000)
Material: ?
Weight: 6.5 oz. (500), 7.6 oz. (1000), 8.6 oz. (2500), 8.8 oz. (3000), 10.4 oz. (4000), 10.6 oz. (5000), 15 oz. (6000), and 21.7 oz. (8000)
Bearings: 3 + 1

About The Author
Pete Danylewycz
Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, Pete grew up fishing on the Great Lakes. Whether he's casting a line in a quiet freshwater stream or battling a monster bass, fishing is his true passion.
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