shimano spheros sw spinning reel review featured

Shimano Spheros SW Reel Review: My Experiences After 1 Year

When battling bulky Bull Reds around bridge pilings or sending live baits into the depths offshore, having reliable saltwater tackle is a must. Shimano designed the Spheros SW reels specifically to withstand the demands that come with fishing in the brine.

After subjecting various sizes to real-world saltwater use this past year, I’m thoroughly impressed with their rugged construction and power. The Spheros SW reels offer the reliability needed to target hard fighting species that test your equipment’s limits.

This detailed review covers the Spheros SW’s standout features and how they translate into smooth cranking and drag strength on the water. Read on to understand why seasoned anglers trust them to get the job done trip after trip in harsh saltwater environments.

Shimano Spheros SW Spinning Reel Review: Product Overview

Shimano built the Spheros SW reels around a cold-forged aluminum frame and side plates for maximum rigidity during heavy loads. This solid metal foundation provides the backbone needed for generating winding strength and preventing flex:

  • Cold forged aluminum body: Withstands torque and strain when cranking in big fish without distortion. Provides precise gear alignment.
  • Reinforced metal side plate: Adds reinforcement for the handle and gears. Prevents flexing when adjusting the drag with full pressure applied.
  • X-Ship gearing support: Provides added stability and alignment of the drive gear and pinion gear under heavy loads. Reduces wobbling and friction.

This robust construction generates exceptional cranking power and prevents flexion as you gain line on runs. The all-metal body can withstand seasons of fighting hard charging saltwater fish.

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Sealing and Protection From Saltwater

In addition to rigid metal components, Shimano included specialized treatments to protect against corrosion from saltwater exposure:

  • X-Protect: Provides water resistance on key parts vulnerable to saltwater intrusion. Prevent corrosion and deterioration.
  • X-Shield: Treats the line roller and bail to resist salt buildup and wear. They continue rolling smoothly after dunks.
  • Line roller bearings: Sealed to prevent water intrusion into the gearbox. Keeps the internals running smoothly.
  • Painted metal surfaces: Prevent oxidation and pitting from repeated saltwater immersion.

The combination of rugged parts along with specialized treatments allow the Spheros SW to spend season after season in saltwater without performance degradation. No need to rinse these reels after each trip.

Powerful Drag for Stopping Strong Fish

Once you’ve got a bulky fish hooked up, smooth and reliable drag is imperative for subduing it. Here are the performance highlights of the Spheros SW’s drag system:

  • Carbon fiber drag washers: Provide consistent pressure across a wide range without overheating. Handles repeated long runs while dissipating heat.
  • Up to 41 lbs of max drag: Offers plenty of stopping power when targeting heavy saltwater species. Significant strength in larger sizes.
  • Waterproof drag grease: Stays slick and doesn’t become sticky even after submersion in saltwater. No grittiness.
  • Easy access front adjustment: Clear clicking detents allow fine-tuning drag pressure in precise 1/2 lb increments. Get it dialed in perfectly.

Whether putting heat on trophy Snook around structure or stopping offshore Amberjack dead in their tracks, the Spheros SW’s drag provides flawless performance. The smooth carbon washers hold up to heavy loads trip after trip.

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Available Sizes for Light Tackle to Offshore Game Fish

A major advantage of the Spheros SW is the range of sizes offered, allowing you to get properly matched tackle:

  • 1000 to 3000 sizes: Ideal for inshore finesse fishing with braided line. Enough backbone for feisty slot-sized fish.
  • 4000 to 6000 sizes: Excellent all-around sizes for nearshore reefs and light offshore trolling for tuna and mahi. Great balance of capacity and control.
  • 8000 to 10000 sizes: Specialized for chasing offshore beasts like marlin, giant trevally, goliath grouper, and cubera snapper around heavy cover.

No matter if you’re tossing soft plastics against mangroves or sending live baits out for tuna, you can equip a Spheros SW reel optimized for the task. The right tool for the job makes for efficient fishing.

Silky Smooth Performance

For a metal-bodied saltwater workhorse, the Spheros SW retrieves line with remarkable smoothness:

  • Cold-forged gears: Precision machining and teeth cutting provides buttery smooth rotation and winding power. No grinding or stickiness.
  • 4+1 shielded stainless steel bearings: Prevent salt and debris intrusion while keeping the spool spinning freely. Ultrasmooth even under heavy loads.
  • Line roller: Reduces friction so braided line glides smoothly on retrieves. Prevents digging and grooving.
  • Propulsion Line Management System: Provides optimal line lay and winding angles for reduced friction. Aids long casts.

These thoughtful design touches eliminate minor nuisances like grinding and friction that can ruin the fishing experience over a long day on the water.

Final Verdict After Extensive Testing

After using various sizes of the Spheros SW for everything from mangrove Snapper to 200lb Yellowfin Tuna this past year, here are my key takeaways:

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  • Solid metal construction cast withstand heavy saltwater use
  • Powerful and smooth carbon fiber drag
  • Corrosion resistance treatments
  • Excellent range of sizes for light to offshore tackle
  • Surprisingly refined performance


  • Bail closure is a little noisy
  • Finish prone to scratches over time
  • Not as lightweight as some competitors
  • Handle knob screws can loosen over time

For a metal-bodied saltwater reel designed to be an affordable workhorse, the Spheros SW punches far above its weight class. The combination of robust all-metal construction, corrosion treatments, and a powerful sealed drag deliver incredible performance at this price point.

Anglers looking for a quality reel that can put in long hours in the salt without breaking down will appreciate the Spheros SW’s reliability and smoothness under pressure. And with the array of sizes, you’re able to get properly matched tackle for chasing anything from skinny water Snook to open water Tuna.

After seasons of use from shore, pier, and offshore boat, the Spheros SW continues performing like a champ thanks to its purpose-built construction. For anglers seeking quality tackle that won’t let them down but won’t break the bank, few reels deliver this level of heavy duty saltwater performance and value.