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In terms of spinning reels, the Shimano Nasci belongs to a hotly contested market segment.
At an extremely affordable price point, these reels offer some of the best features, versatility, and high performance available today.
With most of the big manufacturers offering reels with compelling arguments for superiority, selection will often come down to brand loyalty.
Let’s take a closer look at the Shimano Nasci and see if we can’t find a distinguishing feature that sets it apart from its competitors, making it the more worthy selection.
Shimano Nasci FC Spinning Reel Review
The Shimano Nasci offers sizes 1000, 2500, 3000, 4000, and 5000. You’re covered for everything inshore, saltwater, and freshwater fishing.
Surf anglers are well served with either the 4000 or the 5000, with the 5000 offering a variety of rock fishing options.
Those near-shore anglers chasing a modest class of tuna or kingfish will get plenty of support from the 5000.
It also makes a great snapper reel, dropping soft plastics and squid around the reefs.
The synthetic body and rotor might deter a few on first sightings. It looks plastic and a little cheap.
However, the graphite construction keeps things particularly light, and its rigidity is a feature, particularly under heavy loads.
Graphite construction is also good for corrosion resistance but the big deal with the Nasci is the inclusion of Shimano’s Coreprotect.
Coreprotect is designed to keep the elements out during standard use. However, it doesn’t make the reel waterproof, so you should still take care to avoid dunking and direct injections of water.
While Shimano makes a big deal of the Coreprotect sealing system, I’m a little skeptical of its ability to keep water from the clutch.
When you pull it apart for a close-up, testing shows that water is still able to get inside the mechanism.
If you want to avoid corrosion, there’s no choice other than to break your Nasci down and clean it if it’s been dunked or exposed to splashes or heavy rain.
Top billing features are Hagane Gear with X Ship and Micro Module gearing. The crank is light, smooth, and solid, with a complete absence of slop or play.
The Shimano Nasci feels fantastic under heavy loads and erratic runs. It’s a reel that inspires confidence in tough fights.
The clutch is solid and eliminates back play.
Thankfully Shimano has left out the superfluous reverse button which, in my opinion, is nothing more than an invitation to break downs and trouble.
The 6.2 gear ratio is spot on, and pretty fast for a reel at this price point. The 1000 has a ratio of 5.0 which will impress those anglers working cranks on ultra-light gear.
Spool capacities are respectable and there’s plenty of back-up with 11kg of drag in the 5000.
The 1000 has 3kg which is all you’re likely to need when fishing such a compact unit. The drag is pretty classy.
It’s dependable from the first run to the last kicks by the boat. It’s particularly smooth and predictable once you’ve had a few goes at it while under load.
The Shimano Naci shouldn’t ever be considered an entry-level spin reel.
While affordable, its performance and features make it appealing to a broad range of discerning anglers looking for value without sacrificing feel and performance.
For me, the 4000 is the pick of the bunch, as it suits many of my surf targets. I think the 5000 will appeal to many anglers chasing a mixed bag outside the heads.
Its strength delivers that extra support should you hook up big, and a lot of anglers will like the round knob which is great for cranking.
The 1000 is a great option for finesse and ultra-light fishing, particularly at this price point. Quality ultra-light reels are usually quite expensive.
The Shimano Nasci is a value choice that delivers consistently reliable performance across a broad range of applications. You can’t go wrong at this price.
Main Features of The Shimano Nasci
G Free Body
The G Free concept moves the reel’s center of gravity toward the angler’s hand. The intended result is a reduction in fatigue.
Reel ergonomics have become more of a focus with modern spin reels.
With the relentless casting of today’s lure craze, any improvement in handling, particularly when casting, enhances fishing comfort, therefore reducing fatigue.
The Nasci has a great feel and is very light. Coupled and balanced with a lightweight graphite rod, you’ll find frequent casting isn’t overly taxing.
For those who fish set baits, it’s probably not so much a compelling feature. Nonetheless, the efficient design promotes efficient fishing techniques.
Smaller, less frequent hand movements are a bonus however you fish.
Hagane gears are cold-forged to exacting tolerances. The Hagane concept, originally reserved for more expensive Shimano reels, has trickled down through to the more affordable reel series.
The lightweight feel of the crank is by and large attributed to the Hagane gear design as well as X ship.
While a pleasure to fish, and incredibly sturdy under heavy loads, it’s the durability that adds serious value to the reel.
Wear is greatly increased when there’s excess movement between gear teeth. The Hagane system delivers a tight mesh which reduces excess movement providing a much longer working life for gears.
People often think Hagane is something particularly special. Don’t be fooled by a fancy name.
While it’s quality gear construction, the name is more about marketing than space-age tech.
I think once you’re paying over 100 dollars for a fishing reel, you have a right to expect simple gear mechanisms to be not only strong but engineered to tight tolerances.
For me, X ship is another case of putting a fancy name to a design principle that should be considered standard.
Supporting the pinion at both ends with a bearing stands to reason in my opinion, and shouldn’t really be billed as a technological revelation.
While I might sound guilty of being cynical, it’s more a case of being a little tired of language developed by marketing people.
X ship design does improve stability, and it will extend the life of your reel. The lightweight feel you have each time you crank is thanks in part to the X Ship design.
Micro Module Gearing
Micro module gearing refers to the tooth design in the main gear and pinion. Put simply, the surfaces are worked for greater tolerance and a more exact fit.
The result can be felt quite easily. The crank is smoother and quieter, but the true benefit (at least on paper) should be reduced wear and a tighter mesh.
The trick with all reel sealing technologies is to keep the water at bay without creating friction due to seal contact with shafts and rotating components.
This is a trade-off that makes water ingress inevitable should the reel be exposed to driving waves, dunking, or heavy rain.
If you are confident water has worked its way into your Nasci, I strongly advise you to break it down, clean, and grease it as required.
If water is left inside your reel, particularly salt water, you can expect corrosion to develop pretty quickly.
This is by no means a deal breaker for this reel. While Coreprotect might be a little ordinary in terms of protection, taking good care of your reel will compensate for any deficits in the technology.
The AR-C spool is standard across the majority of Shimano reel series. The lip design reduces friction, which ensures the line peels off more efficiently.
The casting manners of the Nasci are impressive. Given a well-balanced rig and correctly spooled reel, expect to be satisfied with both distance and accuracy.
Pros and Cons
- Smooth drag system
- Plenty of drag power
- The round knob on the 5000 is excellent
- Great size options
- Ideal for a broad range of fishing applications
- Looks a little cheap
- Clutch sealing isn’t particularly effective
Shimano Nasci Size List
|Model||Ratio||Drag kg||Braid y/lb||Weight g|
Features at a Glance
- Ball Bearings: 5+1
- G Free Body
- Hagane Gear
- X Ship
- Micromodule gearing
- AR-C Spool
Frequently Asked Questions
Is The Shimano Nasci Sealed?
The clutch and body of the Nasci incorporate Shimano’s Coreprotect sealing design. So yes, the Nasci is advertised as being sealed.
There is an argument for some sealing being better than no sealing, but it’s not a strong argument.
With heavy exposure to water, you can expect water ingress. To be fair to Shimano, Coreprotect is water resistance, not waterproofing.
My issue is that many anglers tend to think this level of sealing is more effective than it actually is.
Anglers get complacent and are less careful, and less inclined to be diligent with cleaning and maintenance.
While designed for use in both saltwater and freshwater, I’d be inclined to treat my Nasci as if it isn’t sealed.
Is the Shimano Nasci Braid Ready?
The Nasci spool doesn’t have any rubber lining on the arbor to make spooling braid easier. So, no, the Nasci is not braid ready.
I’m not a fan of the term braid ready. It’s unnecessary. You can put braid on any reel easily enough without the addition of a rubber assist.
These rubber additions to the arbor can degrade over time and may become a little messy. I’d rather not have it at all.
Is the Shimano Nasci Good for Saltwater?
The Shimano Nasci is an excellent saltwater reel. Its graphite body and rotor offer very good corrosion resistance.
Most spinning reels make fine saltwater reels. I have very cheap spin reels that have seen nothing but saltwater and still function perfectly well corrosion free.
I have others, with sealing and better protection that have fared poorly.
Saltwater is tough on everything. The best way to make a reel saltwater suitable is through regular cleaning and maintenance.
I’d be more than happy to fish the Nasci from the beach and rocks, two locations that are particularly tough on reels of all types.
Is the Shimano Nasci Worth It
At its current price point, the Shimano Nasci represents great value for a budget-driven angler looking for a reel with a few flagship tech features.
The Shimano Nasci delivers this while also providing anglers with the sort of performance you would expect from a more expensive reel series.