Shimano Sedona vs Sahara: Which One Should You Buy?

Shimano Sedona vs Sahara
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Choosing the best fishing reel for your needs can be a tedious process.

Even if you decide which brand you want to use, choosing a specific model among the similar ones is not easy.

Every angler knows that Shimano makes some of the best reels on the market, and they are well known for their durability and quality.

Those who are buying an affordable spinning reel will notice two interesting models: Sedona and Sahara.

To make this decision easier for you, I decided to make a comparison of Shimano Sedona vs Sahara, and list all the differences, together with pros and cons of both models, in the following chapters:

Are Shimano Reels Really So Good?

Before I go into details of Shimano Sedona vs Sahara, I will tell you more about the Shimano brand.

Shimano is a company that manufacturers fishing reels, together with some other non-fishing high precision devices.

Of course, not every Shimano reel is the same, and they offer products in different price ranges. But the thing with Shimano is that you always get what you pay for, or even more. All of their reels are made from durable materials, but of course, high-end models always have more features and better materials.

All the reels are smooth and you can count on them to the do job. Shimano is also known for their innovation, and their reels are constantly developing. Modern manufacturing techniques and technology are used to increase the reel performance. Shimano is a leader in the industry when it comes to that, as that is something that positions their company on the top. On of the examples is HAGANE, which includes cold forging, to produce metal parts that are superior to others.

I personally really like their reels and I think that every angler, from complete beginners to professionals, can find a model that will satisfy all of their fishing needs.

You can check this yourself while searching the web. Numerous Shimano users share their positive experiences and they will all tell you that when you consider price-performance ratio, Shimano is the best.

Another great thing is that Shimano reels, those which are labeled as saltwater use, are really able to withstand salt. Some other reels, made by different manufacturers, will be advertised as saltwater, but in reality, saltwater will destroy them after a few uses. This is mostly true for entry level models, in a lower price range.

Shimano Sedona vs Sahara: What are the Differences?

These two reels are very similar, and depending on what you are looking for, one may suit you a bit better than the other.

Before I tell you more, here is a quick side-by-side overview:

Size Range 500 - 8000 500 - 5000
Gear Ratio 4.6:1 - 6.2:1 5.0:1 - 6.2:1
Bearings 3+1 4+1
Weight 6.3 - 21.7 6.2 - 10.6
Max Drag 7 - 24lb 7 - 24lb
G-Free body Yes Yes
Hagane Gear Yes Yes
PLM Yes Yes
X-Ship Gear No Yes
Price CHECK (#ad) CHECK (#ad)

So, firstly, I will mention the differences, and there is not a lot of them.

Shimano Sedona (#ad) comes in many sizes. Ranging from 500 to 8000, you will have a variety to choose from. All have 3+1 Bearings.

Gear ratio, line capacity, IPT, drag, and weight vary from size to size. The largest one, 8000 size, has cross carbon drag, to be able to withstand even the toughest fish.

Varispeed technology enables precise line lay.

This reel is one of the most popular entry-level reels on the market.

Shimano Sahara (#ad) is available in less sizes. Ranging from 500 to 5000, this reel is not suitable for those who are in a search for a large one.

Same as in the Sedona model, Gear ratio, line capacity, IPT, drag, and weight vary from size to size.

Sahara reel has one bearing more (4+1) and that makes it smoother. You can actually feel this difference while using it.

This reel also has X-Ship gears, and this basically tells you that they are constructed in a way that they are stronger, more stable, and more durable.

Except for these technical features, I have to say that this reel performs excellent, and it feels like a premium fishing equipment although it comes at a reasonable price. Sahara is slightly more expensive than Sedona.

When it comes to drag in accordance with the reel size, Sahara has a higher max drag. For 1000 size, max drag is the same for both reels, but in a slightly larger, 2500 size, Sahara has a max drag of 20 lb, while Sedona has only 9lb. But, 3000, 4000 and 5000 sizes have the same, 20-24lb drag in both models.

Although Sedona has models up to 8000, above 4000, they all have 24lb drag, except for 6000 size, which has 22lb.

And here are the similarities.

Both reels have HAGANE gears, which makes the reel very durable, dependable and long lasting. In this price rage, this is an excellent feature.

Another similarity is a gear ratio, which goes from 4.6:1 to 6.2:1 for Sedona, and from 5.0:1 to 6.2:1 for Sahara.

Both reels have graphite body, and therefore, the similar weight (500 Size Sahara weighs 6.2 oz while the same Size Sedona weighs 6.3).

Propulsion Line Management ensures easy and precise casting, while G-Free body makes the center of gravity close to the rod, which makes prolonged use very comfortable. Both reels have this feature.

Line capacity is almost identical in models of the same size, and it is more than sufficient for any fishing technique. For a 4000 model, braided line capacity is 30lb/170yd for both models.

For What Kind of Fishing Can You Use Shimano Sedona and Sahara?

Considering the size range, you can use these reels for many purposes. From small freshwater species, to offshore fishing.

Gear ratio is mostly medium one, so you can use a variety of lures and baits. This is one of the reasons why these reels are so popular.

This also makes them excellent for vacations on which you can take only one rod and reel.

You can fish for small panfish, bass, trout, catfish or any small to moderate size saltwater specie.

If you pair them with the same quality spinning rod, you will have an all-around setup. These reels will make casting of light lures very easy.

When it comes to lures, these reels are going to work excellent with shallow spinnerbaits, jerkbaits, swimming jigs, medium-depth crankbaits and more.

Slower ones will work great larger baits or lure for greater depths, such as deep crankbaits.

Beginners will also be very happy with both of these spinning reels because their versatility makes them excellent for learning different fishing techniques and experimenting with different approaches.

Is Shimano Sedona or Sahara Good for Saltwater Fishing?

Both of these reels can be used in saltwater too, but smaller sizes are not suitable for this use. Tiny reel, like 500 size, will not be very useful for saltwater fishing.

Sizes 4000 and up are durable and well-sealed, so that saltwater can`t get inside and cause corrosion. Of course, taking care of your reel is important and you should clean it from salt after every use to avoid any possible corrosion.

Because of the available sizes, Sedona could be a bit better for saltwater use, as you can choose larger and stronger models, to be able to handle larger saltwater fish species.

But, to those who plan to use their reels for saltwater use only, I have to tell you that Shimano has some excellent spinning reels made especially for saltwater use, and those are going to last longer. Maybe you should consider those too.

Shimano Sedona vs Sahara: Which One Should You Buy?

So, the final question. Shimano Sedona vs Sahara, which one to buy?

These reels have more similarities than differences and the choice is not easy.

I already stated all of the differences, any it really depends just on a price, size, and smoothness.

Although Shimano Sahara (#ad) does not have larger models, it operates a bit better. One bearing more can be felt here and I think it is worth paying slightly more. It is very smooth and X-Ship gears are a great feature. High drag and quality made reel enable you to catch quite large and aggressive fish even on a bit smaller reel than usually.

But, if you are targeting very large fish, you have no choice, and it comes down to Shimano Sedona (#ad). Don’t get me wrong, Sedona is an excellent reel and you are going to be happy with it.

Shimano Sedona vs Sahara - Buy


Comparing Shimano Sedona vs Sahara and making a decision is not easy. These reels are extremely similar, and the subtle differences should make you choose one over another.

Shimano makes excellent fishing gear, and no matter which one you choose, you will not go wrong.

If you are still unsure, read the key features once more and see what do you really need, and is it worth the price difference.

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