Shimano Sedona FI vs Sahara FI Reels – 2023 Spinning Reel Review

Are you torn between the Shimano Sedona and Sahara reels and can’t decide which one to get in 2023? Maybe you are simply looking for a new powerful spinning reel and aren’t sure which one to buy? Or perhaps you are curious and want to know more?

Whatever your reason might be, we have the answer for you! Learn about Shimano Sedona FI vs. Sahara FI fishing reels, their differences, and which one to buy for their specific price point.

We know how hard it can be to choose a new spinning reel, especially when the choice is narrowed to two and you still can’t decide! Both are very good reels with unparalleled durability, great casting distance, excellent max drag, and a strong aluminum frame.

Further, it can be hard to decide and find your reel with so many similar features and confusing terms. Often it puts us off, and we carry on with the same old reel for way longer than we should. Well, no more! Today we are here with a review of the Shimano Sedona and Saraha reels to help you decide. Keep reading to learn more about the differences between the Shimano Sedona FI spinning reel and the Shimano Sahara FI and decide which one to buy today! 

Shimano Sahara C3000 HG FI Compact Spinning Fishing Reel Model 2017...
  • Gear ratio: 6.0:1
  • Line capacity (lb/yds): 6/230, 8/170, 10/140
  • Line Retrieve per crank (in/cm): 36 in / 91 centimeter
  • Max. drag force: 20 lbs / 9 kg, Ballbearings: 4and 1

Overview of the Sedona FI and Sahara FI Series for 2023

Before we get into all the details, use this table to check out the main similarities and differences between these reels! We’ve included the specifications that you need to be aware of to help you choose between the two ranges. 

Shimano Sedona FI SeriesShimano Sahara FI Series 
How much? Check out the latest price here.Check out the latest price here. 
How heavy?6.30 to 21.70 oz6.90 to 10.60 oz
Made from?graphitegraphite
Gear ratio4.6:2 to 6.2:14.7:1 to 6.2:1
Maximum drag pressure.`7 to 24lb7 to 24lb
G-free body?Yes Yes 
x-Ship gear technology?No Yes 
Hagane gear technology?yesyes
Number of ball bearings3 +1 4 + 1
Size range 500 to 8000500 to 5000

As you can see, both series come with many similarities, along with a few differences. If this table was enough to help you choose, great, go and grab your new reel now! However, for those who want to know more, keep reading to learn more about these rods. 

Differences between the Shimano Sedona FI and the Shimano Sahara FI Spinning Reels 

Let’s start by looking at the differences between these two Shimano reels with excellent line capacity. Looking at the spinning reel parts and what sets them apart from one another can help you decide which is better suited to you and your fishing needs. 


Kicking off our list is the size of these reels! The Sahara is available in sizes 500 to 5000, a wide range, although not as wide as the Sedona. You can purchase the Sedona in sizes 500 to 8000, offering far more choice! While both series will cover the same lightweight sizes, those after a heavy 6000 to 8000 size should go with the Sedona.

Be sure to check out guides and size charts if you aren’t sure which size reel is best for you!


Next up is the weight. As they are both built with the same graphite, their weights are extremely similar. However, as the Sedona comes in larger sizes, these will be heavier than the smaller and lighter Sahara rods. You should strongly consider the weight of a spinning reel before making your purchase, and you don’t want a reel that is too heavy and difficult to hold for long periods. 

Ball Bearings 

The ball bearings are another difference that separates these two reels. The Sahara has one ball bearing more than the Sedona, providing you with smoother action! If you want a smooth casting and retrieval, opt for the Sahara. 


This is another area where we see differences between the reels. Both use Hagane cold forged gears, technology that Shimano designed. The Sahara also uses X-Ship technology that works to enhance the durability and stability of the gears. It also helps to support the pinion gear on both ends, thanks to the additional bearings. What does this mean? It means the Sahara can withstand intense pressure without the gears becoming damaged! 

The x-Shop technology also helps reduce friction between the gears and the spool, helping to improve casting performance! This added technology is certainly a win for the Sahara. Not only does it perform better and more consistently than the Sedona, but it is more resistant to warping under pressure too! 

Gear Ratio 

Here we have a similarity! Both series come with identical gear ratios ranging from 4.6:1 to 6.2:1. The wide range of speeds covers most spinning applications, allowing you to go slow or fast depending on your fishing type. 

G-Free Body 

Both options have a G-free body designed to reduce reel weight, moving the center of gravity closer to the rod.

This design means you need less effort to cast and prevents casting fatigue. Perfect for those that want to be out all day! 

Drag Pressure 

Another similarity! Both ranges are identical, with a range of 7 to 24lb maximum pressure. You are sure to have plenty of drag power here to fight big fish! 

Now that we have looked at all the differences and similarities let’s take a closer look at the reels on their own.

If you are still on the fence about which one to purchase, keep reading to learn more and make your decision today. 

Shimano Sedona FI Spinning Reel


SHIMANO Reel 17 Sedona 2500

The Sedona FI is a classic spinning reel (learn about the parts of a spinning reel here) used by anglers across the world. It’s an affordable option and the cheapest in Shimano’s range that includes their Hagane gear technology.

The technology works to improve the smoothness of the line and increase its durability, providing you with a long-lasting line. 

At this low price, you get outstanding value for money! Combining high-end technology and a wide range of sizes makes it the perfect spinning line for heavy saltwater fishing.

If you don’t want to spend a lot, this is the line for you! 


  • G-free body design
  • Cross carbon drag 
  • Cold forged Hagane gear technology
  • Propulsion line management system 
  • Varispeed oscillation
  • Convenient spool shaft and graphite frame


Shimano Sahara FI Spinning reel


Shimano Sahara 2500 FI Spinning Fishing Reel Model 2017 SH2500FI , Black

The Sahara FI reel covers the lighter-weighting sizes on the scale. You can find the Sahara in sizes 500 to 5000, perfect for those after the best ultralight spinning reels.

And these reels aren’t just great for lightweight work; they can handle the pressure of heavier fish without any problems! Choose from the heavier weights if you plan on battling big fish with these lines. 

You get the addition of X-Ship technology with this line which is a fantastic bonus.

It helps to increase the durability and stability of the gears, and you can enjoy consistent performance no matter the pressure when fighting bigger fish! 


  • 4 plus 1 ball bearings 
  • Robust Hagane gearing / cold-forged gears
  • G-free body design 
  • X-shop pinion gear support technology

Final Thoughts on Shimano Sedona FI vs Saraha FI Reels and Their Differences

As you can see, both Shimano spinning reels are fantastic options for those after a high-end reel without the hefty price tag! But when it comes to performance, the Sahara does offer a more smooth and consistent performance compared to the Sedona, especially when choosing the right spinning reel size for your needs. The added ball bearing and X-Ship gear technology work to deliver this smooth and enjoyable performance.

Where possible, opt for the Sahara (unless you need a larger size), and you can enjoy a fast and fantastic spinning reel! If you’re looking for something different than a Shimano Saraha or Sedona spinning reel, learn about the differences between a spinning reel and a baitcasting reel.

Below are a few helpful videos reviewing the differences between Shimano Sedona FI vs Saraha FI reels.

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