When you think of purchasing a saltwater fishing reel, budget isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. You imagine these reels are very expensive, huge, and heavy.
In comes the Shimano Nasci FC. This reel weighs less than 10 ounces for most models, it works excellent in saltwater, and it only costs around $100-150.
Here you’ll find a complete review of the Shimano Nasci FC, breaking down all the details about this reel and the main features that make it stand out.
Bottom Line Up Front – The Shimano Nasci FC is one of the most versatile spinning reels for salt and freshwater. It is outrageously affordable for everything it brings to the table. Hence, no matter where you are on your fishing journey, this reel is worth a thorough look.
About The Shimano Nasci FC
Shimano has a sparkling reputation in the hearts of anglers worldwide, mine included. They continuously pump out incredible fishing reels for both fresh and saltwater; the Shimano Nasci FC is no different.
The Nasci family of reels has been around for a while now, and they have six different models ranging in size from 500 to 5000. This makes these reels an excellent option for someone looking for versatile choices depending on what type of fishing you do.
You can get a smaller model with a lower line capacity for finessing trout and bass and a 5000 model size for deeper saltwater fishing for things like tarpon and redfish.
New to 2021, the Nasci FC model incorporates SilentDrive technology, which is a feature unique to Shimano products. We’ll talk more about it when we look at the key features of the reel below.
You also get everything you’re accustomed to in Shimano reels, including Hagane gearing, line propulsion technology, and X-Ship rigidity and strength. These features are bundled up in a reel that is surprisingly lightweight, easy to handle, and very budget-friendly.
Specifications Model Chart Comparison
The Shimano Nasci FC comes in six different models ranging in size from 500 to 5000. As you increase in size, you increase the reel’s line capacity and overall weight. Take a look at the chart below to determine which size is the right choice for your fishing preferences.
|Model||Mono Capacity||Braid Capacity||Gear Ratio||Inches Per Crank||Weight||Max Drag|
|500FC||2/190, 4/100, 6/60||5/135, 8/105, 10/65||5.6:1||27||6.0 oz||7|
|1000FC||2/270, 4/140, 6/110||10/95, 15/85, 20/65||5.0:1||26||7.2 oz||7|
|2500HGFC||6/200, 8/140, 10/120||10/150, 15/145, 30/100||6.2:1||36||8.5 oz||20|
|4000XGFC||8/240, 10/200, 12/160||15/230, 30/180, 50/120||6.2:1||39||10.1 oz||24|
|3000HGFC||6/230, 8/170, 10/140||10/200, 20/140, 40/105||6.2:1||36||8.5 oz||20|
|5000XGFC||10/240, 12/195, 14/165||20/260, 30/235, 40/185||6.2:1||41||10.8 oz||24|
To clear up any confusion, FC refers to the model. Anytime you see FC, it’s simply a modification to help you tell old models from new models.
PG, HG, and HG are other modifiers that refer to gearing.
- PG = Power Gearing – This is a low gear ratio
- HG = High Gearing – This is a high gear ratio
- XG = Extra High Gear – This is an extra high gear ratio
- Equipped with SilentDrive technology, improving the overall performance of the reel
- Comes in a wide range of sizes to appeal to various types of anglers
- Priced around $100, so it’s super affordable
- Loaded with industry-leading Shimano technology
- No reverse switch
- The handle comes loose too easily
Where to Buy?
Key Features of the Shimano Nasci FC
There are a lot of complicated features offered by Shimano. Without a complex breakdown, you’ll struggle to understand what they do. The goal of the following sections is to break down all the confusing features of the Shimano Nasci FC so you can understand how they actually impact your fishing and make your life easier.
NOTE: You’ll notice that a lot of the features say “exclude 500” after them. The 500 model of the Nasci does not have a lot of these. I imagine they were trying to keep the reel’s overall weight down. Either way, the company chose to exclude them, so keep that in mind.
CoreProtect (Exclude 500)
The goal of CoreProtect is to protect the internal components of the reel from water damage and especially saltwater. When you’re choosing a saltwater reel, there’s a reason why you can’t simply pick up anything and decide to use it.
The reel needs to be equipped with special water-resistant seals to prevent salt from entering the bearings and rotors.
Coreprotect is nothing more than a small o-ring supplied washer that goes on the bottom portion of the reel to protect the rotor clutch and line roller. This prevents water from accessing the internals and provides more longevity to the reel’s life.
Cross Carbon Drag
One thing you want to look for to increase the versatility of a fishing reel is a drag with a lot of settings and a wide range. This allows you to fish various situations with the same reel instead of requiring different sized reels for different species.
For example, suppose you want a reel that you can use for both inshore and offshore fishing. In that case, the cross carbon drag will allow that because of the versatility of the drag settings. It increases the overall performance and user-friendliness of the reel as well.
This is a flagship feature you’ll find in all Shimano products, but it’s worth discussing in detail. The purpose of the G-Free body is to move the center of gravity back closer to the rod blank. By doing so, the center of gravity becomes closer to your hand and the reel becomes easier to handle resulting in less fatigue.
Hagane gearing is another item you’ll find in almost every Shimano fishing reel. Hagane uses state-of-the-art technology to increase the smoothness of the reel. They do this by eliminating cutting during the CNC machining process of creating the reel. Instead, everything is cold-forged in one piece based on a 3D design.
What I gather from this is that they reduce the amount of machining that needs to be done to their reels resulting in an overall better quality and well-manufactured product. It will last longer and perform at peak levels for longer periods of time.
Propulsion Line Management
The way your line sits on the reel is an essential aspect of its performance. Propulsion line management is designed to lay the line evenly on the spool and ensure that it comes off the spool in the same way. This increases your casting distance while also providing more accuracy to your casts.
Silent Drive (Exclude 500)
As previously mentioned, Silent Drive is the main feature that makes the Nasci FC stand out from previous models. They’ve added this technology to the new FC model. This feature eliminates unnecessary reel noise and vibration, resulting in less friction and an overall smoother feeling cast and retrieval.
X-Ship (Exclude 500)
The goal of X-Ship is similar to that of the Silent Drive. You want to eliminate friction and flexing on a reel because it will decrease its lifespan of it and result in reduced smoothness. X-Ship improves the overall durability of the gearing system by ensuring that everything stays in the same place even when the reel is under immense pressure due to a large fish.
Buying Criteria: Choosing The Right Spinning Reel
Unless you have a lot of experience breaking down reels and documenting the details, you might have a hard time telling the difference between two different reels. Of course, you can read everything about what this does and what that does, but do you really understand what you’re looking for?
The goal of the following sections is to discuss the various aspects of a fishing reel you want to look for and how they’ll impact your ability to use the reel.
Weight and size are important considerations because you won’t take the same reel out deep sea fishing that you would fishing a murky backyard pond. So, you need to understand how various weights and model sizes impact the fishing capabilities of a reel.
For example, the 1000FC weighs 7.2 ounces. That’s relatively lightweight, and this reel is designed for inshore fishing and freshwater fishing.
The 4000FC weighs 10.1 ounces and is better designed for bigger saltwater fishing and maybe not as much for finessing because it will tire you out faster. If you’re mainly fishing freshwater, trend smaller in size. If you’re mainly fishing saltwater, trend larger in size.
Water-resistance isn’t something that every angler has to think about unless you plan on submerging the reel in the water, which I don’t recommend. Those who fish saltwater need to pay extra close attention to the water-resistant features of a reel.
You need to make sure that the internals and gearing are fully protected from saltwater. Even if you don’t get the reel wet from slashing, you need to realize that the line will be covered in saltwater as it sits on the spool. This can get into the internals as well and cause them to rust.
The gear ratio is something that very few anglers actually understand. When you see a gear ratio of 6.0:1, it means that the spool spins six times each time you crank the handle. The higher the gear ratio, the faster the spool spins, so you won’t have to reel as much to get a fish into the boat.
This doesn’t mean that higher is better, though. A higher gear ratio is better for finesse angling and most freshwater fishing. You will want a slower gear ratio if you’re fishing offshore because you won’t overwhelm the drag and expect the reel to do too much.
I love comparing reels because it helps you understand what characteristics make one cost more than the other. If you’re wondering why the Nasci FC is so affordable, take a look at some other more expensive and equally priced options.
The Stradic FL is about double the price of the Nasci, but it does offer a lot more in terms of features. You get the Aero Wrap II, Long Stroke Spool, and X-Protect, making the reel much more waterproof than the Nasci.
The Stradic is also a tad lighter as you get up to the higher 4000 and 5000 model sizes. Other than that, you simply have to realize that the Nasci FC is built to be a budget reel, so there’s nothing you can do to upgrade it at that point.
Check out my comprehensive Stradic FL Review.
The Battle II is slightly more expensive than the Nasci FC, and it offers quite a few exciting features. It comes with an entire metal body reducing corrosion, carbon fiber washers for overall smoothness, and the inevitable anti-reverse that so many people miss from the Shimano reels.
Outside of that, there’s not much more I can say. I personally don’t care for the Penn brand of reels if I’m comparing them to Shimano. Shimano leads the industry, and I feel that Penn is a little behind the times.
Lastly, we have a Daiwa reel that was released in 2017, so it’s been around for a bit. It’s a lighter alternative to the BG SW, explicitly designed for saltwater. This is a versatile reel that can be used in both salt and fresh water, and it has some of the best water-resistant sealing on the market in the Magsealed design.
The thing that impresses me most about a Daiwa reel in this price range is the DigiGear computer gearing design. In my opinion, they program a computer to CNC machine these reels, which is just a notch below the Hagane gearing process. That said, for the price, this is a great alternative.
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about the Shimano Nasci FC:
Answer: The Nasci does great in saltwater because of its waterproof protection and design.
Answer: Yes, it is sealed with Core Protect, which is essentially a washer inserted at the spool’s opening to prevent water from getting insider and corroding the internals.
Answer: For the price, you almost can’t beat it.
The goal of this Shimano Nasci FC review was to help you understand more about what makes this reel so great for its price. It’s a versatile reel that you can use in both fresh and saltwater for around $100. You really can’t go wrong.