Shimano Tranx Review – Worth The Investment?

Shimano designed bait casters intending to function in as many conditions as possible. Take it a small freshwater fish or a large saltwater fish, Shimano will do its job flawlessly.

With its Tranz series, they have set arguably golden standards regarding their sheer cranking power and functionality. For extra strength or durability for anglers, crankbaits, and umbrella rigs Shimano can be a great addition.

The series includes 200, 300, 400, and 500 variants and each of them differ in few aspects from each other. In this Shimano Tranx review, we will look into their features, design, and compatibility.

Built & Design

If you are not a fan of damaging the quality or parts of anglers, the Tranx series is a piece of reliable equipment. These low profile bait-casters are gaining increasing popularity for the very same reason.

They are designed to toss big baits not only in inshore but also in fresh and salt water bodies.

The Shimano Tranx series has four different models, 200/201, 300/301, 400/401, and 500. The models are designated numbers to differentiate between right and left-handed retrieves (ex: 200 – right-handed and 201- left-handed).

All these models are designed with similar metal and their patented Hagane body. The Hagane body protects the rotating gears from extreme power and shock.

Each variant has subtypes depending on the retrieve side (left or right) and gear model (HG- High Gear, PG- Power Gear) and they include:

ModelCrankGear RatioMax DragBearingsWeight (oz)Retrieve

As you can see that these variants differ in their cranking gears and rations, drag, number of bearings, retrieve and of course the weight.

The 500HG and PG being the highest regarding drag, they are very much suitable for baiting large fishes such as catfish.

Its diecast aluminum Hagane body is built to last longer without bending. It is also reinforced with X-Ship (ex: TRX 500HG) for enhanced efficiency and spool. All models have an advanced core-protect system to protect the inner parts from water salt water damage.

All these bait casters have good retrieve mechanism, and few models such as 400A and 401A have right and left double retrieves respectively.

The Shimano Tranx reel body provides a bulletproof performance with a significant amount of impact resistance.

Partaking Features

Shimano Tranx

Shimano Tranx series is a goldmine of features. They are rugged, robust and can pull the big guys off the water with ease. Specific models such as Shimano Tranx 400HG has oversized HEG gearing to increase their drag capacity or improve the cranking force.

The HEG gearing uses 3D modeling followed by cold forge to design smooth gears that enable free spooling under heavy load.

These bait casters have precision aluminum S3D high capacity spool. It helps in free and buttery smooth spooling even at the maximum load. The variable braking system gives the ability to spool control.

You can start and stop the spool whenever you require. It is ideal while fishing the big players as there will be great drag and you don’t want to play the pull and push the game.

Shimano Tranx series of bait casters pride on their VBS system of spooling. The VBS, known as variable braking system is designed to eliminate the backlashing which is most commonly seen in anglers.

The VBS uses centrifugal force rather than magnets for cast control. It has different brake weights which reduce the pressure on brake contacts during the initial spool.

ItsQuickFire™ clutch bar allows the user to cast the bait with one hand.

Another feature to bear the high amount of drags is the incorporation of Cross Carbon Drag. But the downside is that they don’t have clickers. The price is also high. But you will not be disappointed with their performance and compatibility.


  • Durable Heagane body
  • HEG gearing
  • Powerful drag
  • Free spooling
  • VBS system
  • X-Ship technology
  • Coreprotect waterproof system


  • Expensive
  • Absence of clicker
  • The worm gear can malfunction at times


Shimano Tranx is compatible with a wide variety of fishing rods. Depending on your requirement and the type of fish you intend for catching, the following rods are compatible with Shimano:

  • Terez Waxwing Heavy Rods
  • Phenix (Black Diamond 809H-XF, PSW809H, PSW809xHJ or PSW909XHJ, Swimbait)
  • Termar inshore conventional rod (Rated 30 to 65 LB Braid)
  • UC Mega

Phenix and UC are one of the superior brands with premium build quality. They are lightweight and powerful enough to hold intense pressure.

Specific rods such as UC can be custom modified to suit your baitcasting reel.