Shimano Saragosa SW Review
The Shimano Saragosa has been on the market for a number of years with its last revision in 2013.
If you have been looking at Shimano’s lineup of larger fishing reels for your offshore fishing, then the Saragosa is going to fall below the Twin Power SW and the Stella SW reels when it comes to price point and features. However, it is still an excellent reel.
For about half the price of a Twin Power and a quarter of the price of a Stella, you can add one of these fine fishing reels to your arsenal.
What is interesting to see is that many of the features that were previously only available in very high-end reels like the Stella are now making their way down the product offering line to what I would classify as much more affordable fishing reels.
The Saragosa is still not chump change but when you are looking to add large saltwater spinning reels to your arsenal. You are going to have to spend some money if you want them to last more than one season.
The Bottom Line
- My favorite mid-priced large saltwater spinning reel.
- Has many of the EXACT parts of the more expensive Twin Power SW and Stella reels.
- Quality built nearly waterproof reel designed for targeting large fish.
- Big drag on a big spool with precision gearing to handle the torque of fighting large fish.
Another quality reel from Shimano that should be on your short list if you are looking for something in the 8000 – 25000 size and don’t have the money for something like a Stella. Check current pricing HERE.
My pick from Shimano for a larger saltwater reel would be the Shimano Spheros SW, read the full review here and save yourself about 20% for basically the same reel.
The Shimano Saragosa is available in six models ranging from the baby in the family, a 5000 all the way up to the enormous 25000 model.
Despite their size, these reels are still lightweight with their all aluminum metal body ranging in weight from 16 oz up to 34 oz for the largest in the group. Large spools allow you to pack them with your favorite mono or braid to go after those hard fighting pelagic species.
Hagane Body – The high-quality Hagane body which is a cold-forged aluminum frame provides a level of durability and rigidity that is required to withstand the torque of larger fish species.
The main advantage of the more rigid body is that you do not lose any cranking power. High-quality materials and engineering are fairly common in your larger more expensive offshore spinning reels like the Shimano Stella Saltwater.
I am glad to see that Shimano is applying the same quality to their less expensive models like the Saragosa.
Hagane Gears – The Hagane precision cold forged gears provide one of the smoothest retrieve experience you will ever have, especially under a load of a large fish. The way that the smoothness is achieved comes down to the fact that the gears are not cut they are forged.
By cold forging the gears, there is less of a chance for manufacturing defects. Tight tolerances in the gears mean that they fit together better, are smoother and will wear longer.
Paladin® Gear Durability Enhancement – Shimano uses the term Paladin Gear Enhancement to refer to their combination of the cold forged drive gear with a hardened brass pinion gear – this is simply marketing speak.
It is true that the combination of the hardened brass and the cold forged aluminum gears is one that has proven to be more durable that satinless on stainless.
X-Ship – X-Ship provides a smoother and stronger precision gear system that supports the pinion. By positioning the pinion gear close to the center line of the large diameter drive gear, more power is transferred from the handle to the rotor.
The pinion gear is also supported by two Shimano A-RB roller bearings. This creates more stability and minimizes pinion gear twist and rotor deflection in extreme situations.
While this difference does not make itself apparent when you are in the store under no load, the difference does become apparent rather quickly once adequate pressure has been applied (a big fish).
X-Tough Drag System – The Saragosa is designed to bring in big fish and to do that you have to have a drag system that is designed with performance in mind. Shimano uses what is referred to as the X-Tough Drag system which incorporates several things.
First, Shimano uses oversized drag washers at the base of the spool to add greater drag stability as it reduces the chance of wobble and therefore makes for a smoother experience. Next, the easy access drag washers are housed under the cold forged aluminum spool and are watertight.
We tested the reel by submerging it in water overnight and when we removed the spool not a single drop of water had penetrated into the drag area. This is truly a watertight reel. For your larger 20000 and 25000 models, Shimano has added a rigid support system to further minimize potential flex on the drag system.
S A-RB® shielded ball bearings – Shimano uses a series of shielded ball bearings in the Saragosa reel. For the smaller 5000, 6000, 8000 and 10000 series, there are five shielded ball bearings plus the one shielded Super Stopper II anti-reverse bearing. Your larger 20000 and 25000 models have one additional bearing.
Cold-forged aluminum spool – The cold forged aluminum spool is designed for strength and is much stronger than either die-cast aluminum or graphite spool.
Propulsion line management system. – The lip of the cold-forged spool is flared and titanium coated to make line roll off smoothly. The combination of the flared lip design with the single piece bail and the line roller makes for a combination that reduces all points of friction when it comes to casting.
With the reduced friction, you are able to achieve longer casts. When testing the castability of the reel we did not experience any wind knots or tangles.
Rotors – The smaller models of the Saragosa 5000 – 8000 have a graphite rotor while the larger 10000, 20000 and 25000 have machined aluminum rotors to stand up to the additional torque that is placed on the larger reel sizes.
X-Shield – Shimano has incorporated its X-Shield technology that previously has only been available on more expensive reels like the Stella into the Saragosa reels. X-Shield consists of placing 12 sealing gaskets and O-rings in critical areas of the reel to eliminate the penetration of water and sand into the reel.
This is a fully sealed reel and you should feel confident that if you use it for wading, surf casting or from your kayak, that reel is going to stand up to the harsh saltwater conditions.
As usual, don’t abuse this great design and still follow the rule of proper maintenance of your reels by cleaning thoroughly after each use with fresh water and something like SaltAway.
Features at a Glance
- Hagane Body & Gears
- SW Concept design with X-Ship & X-Tough Drag
- Propulsion line management system
- S A-RB® shielded ball bearings
- 5+1 Bearings (6+1 on 20000 & 25000)
- Super Stopper II® Anti-Reverse
- Cold-forged aluminum spool
- Titanium spool lip
- Waterproof drag
- Easy-access drag washers
So who is this reel for and what is the proper size for your target species. First off, the Saragosa is an excellent choice for someone that needs a reel with a waterproof design and is seeking to capture some of the other features of higher end reels like larger and smoother drag systems and overall smoothness.
SRG5000SW & SRG6000SW
The two smallest reels in the Saragosa are perfectly suited for inshore or surfcasting with a 5.7:1 gear ratio for your smaller species of Reds, Drums, Pompona, Sheepshead, Grouper, and Snook.
Basically, anything that is under 25 lbs can be handled sufficiently with these sized reels and drag. The 5000 seems to be the more popular pick of the smaller reels and weights in at just 16 oz and delivers 22 lbs of drag.
If you have read some of my previous reviews, you know that I tend to go on the lighter side when it comes to tackle.
SRG8000SW & SRG10000SW
The two mid sized reels in the Saragosa lineup are actually pretty big reels but still very lightweight at just 24.3 oz each, and step the drag up to 27 lbs and 33 lbs respectively. Of all the Saragosa reels, the 10000 seems to be the most popular.
I think the reason for this is that if you want an all-around excellent reel for nearshore and offshore fishing, the 10000 seems to be the sweet spot between its line capacity, drag and 4.9:1 gear ratio.
If targeting GT’s, large snook, Bull Reds, Tuna or another hard fighting larger pelagic then I can highly recommend the SRG10000SW to get the job done.
SRG20000SW & SRG25000SW
The largest of the series is the 20000 and 25000 models each with a 4.4:1 gear ratio to haul in that big catch. When you step up to these two reels you get aluminum rotors and Shimano’s rigid support system in the drag.
Speaking of drag, both of these reels deliver a whopping 44 lbs of drag to target your larger hard fighting fish. These reels were specifically designed for jigging for your large pelagic species such as Tuna, Amber Jacks, Wahoo GT’s and Cobia.
For those of you who want all the details, I have provided the chart below.
|Model||Line Retrieve (in)||Mono Cap(lbs/yds)||Braid Cap(lbs/yds)||Max Drag (lb)||S-ARB Ball Bearings||Roller Bearings||Gear Ratio||Weight (oz)|
- Nearly waterproof
- Big drag
- Not fully waterproof
- Less drag than a Stella
- More expensive that Spheros SW
Shimano Saragosa SW Alternatives
If you are in the market for a 10000 or under size reel, then I would have you take a look at the Shimano Twin Power which is the next step up in price from the Saragosa. Read the full Shimano Twin Power review HERE.
If you have a larger budget then, by all means, take a look at Shimano’s king of saltwater reels the Shimano Stella but be prepared to drop a wad of cash. Read about the Shimano Stella HERE A full review is coming soon.
If you want to stay with the Shimano brand then please read the Shimano Spheros SW review HERE. Basically, you get the same reel for 20% less than the Saragosa SW.
Staying in the same price range, I would have you take a look at the Penn Slammer III which is a heavier reel but is fully sealed. Read the full review of the Penn Slammer III HERE.
The last reel I would recommend in this category would be the Quantum Cabo PTSE. The Quantum reels continue to impress me for the price point and this is a sealed system. Read the full Quantum Cabo PTSE review HERE.
For the angler that is on somewhat of a fixed budget but still wants a quality reel that is going to perform under heavy loads and in harsh saltwater conditions, the Shimano Saragosa with its Paladin Gear design is an excellent choice.
For the amount of offshore fishing that I currently do, I like the 10000. I do have some friends that fish with the 20000 for Wahoo and Tuna and have heard nothing but great feedback. If you have personal experience with this reel please comment below.
For the money, especially if you are looking at the larger reel sizes it is hard to go wrong with the Shimano Saragosa SW.