Best Japanese Fishing Reels

Amateur or professional, the reel is the strategic element that defines your fishing style! This important component must be chosen carefully to complement your technique and give the best results. Japanese reels are therefore a key factor in this mission, and today we'll help you choose the best fishing equipment tio suit your needs.


How To Choose A Japanese Fishing Reel

The reel is first and foremost a complex mechanical object with detailed construction (ball bearing, anti-return crank system, etc.).

In the field of Japanese fishing reels, we generally consider two main categories:

ZenMarket Japanese Fishing Reels

The Spinning Reel

The Spinning Reel is by far the most popular option, and for good reason: it is extremely versatile and adapts to many styles of fishing. Despite its various advantages such as casting distance, size and weight, the price of spinning reels is often very reasonable.

ZenMarket Japanese Fishing Reels Spinning

The Casting Reel

Casting fishing is precision fishing for pike and other large fish. Casting reels allow you to cast your lure with pinpoint accuracy by stopping the cast with a simple press of your thumb.

ZenMarket Japanese Fishing Reels Spinning

Beyond that, the other intrinsic characteristics of each reel that must also be evaluated. Here are the main ones:

Height and weight

The most obvious criterion and which will also be dictated by your type of rod. The idea is to find the right balance to match not only your other equipment, but also the type of fishing practiced. You don't choose the same reel for trout and carp! Generally speaking, the larger the dimensions of the reel, the stronger it is and the stronger the drag.

Be careful though, a large reel is not “all-purpose”. If you aim too big, your entire balance will be impacted, which can throw everything off. Most manufacturers have adopted a code to indicate reel sizes.

In general, this type of notation helps you find your way around (though be careful, as some manufacturers might use other special codes).

  • 1000 or 10 = fish of 1 to 2 kg
  • 2000 or 20 = fish of 2 to 3 kg
  • 5000 or 50 = fish of 5 to 7 kg
  • And so on

The Brake

The brake is generally found in one of two places, namely above the spool or at the back of the reel, with each orientation having its own benefits and downsides. The brake should not be neglected, because during your fight with the fish, it is the brake that facilitates optimising the line and adjusting the tension.


The Spool

When fishing, you never neglect the spool. Its capacity is expressed in meters and it will add a lot of fluidity to your throw or rewind while avoiding knots as much as possible.

You can find two reels of equal size, but with radically different spool capacities! The spool size also plays a big role in the rewinding speed, so check the diameter carefully.

Recovery and Ratio

Recovery is the number of revolutions that the spool will complete with one turn of the crank; for example, “4” will mean that a coil will complete four revolutions per revolution of the crank.

Regarding the ratio, let's assume it is 6.4:1. “1” means that for one turn of the crank the spool makes 6.4 turns. If we add a recovery of 69 cm, this will mean that we recover 69 cm of line with each turn of the crank.

The recovery and the ratio are therefore vitally importnat if your fishing style requires you to recover your line quickly.


The Handle and the Crank

These elements may not seem important at first, but never forget that these are the parts you will interact with the most! The comfort they offer is therefore essential for long fishing trips: do you prefer flat, cylindrical, round, made of rubber, plastic, metal, etc.?

It is also not unusual to make your choice based on style. After all in fishing, like everything else, there is an opportunity to express yourself and use what you like!

Finally, note that in addition to all these characteristics, the type of fish caught, in what water, in what environment, and the frequency of fishing are also major elements to take into account when choosing components.


The Best Japanese Fishing Reel Brands

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ZenMarket Japanese Fishing Reel Brands Shimano

Shimano makes so many quality options that it seems impossible not to have at least one of their products recommended to you in your fishing career! Durability, quality, precision and finish are always at the forefront!

Most popular models/ranges:

  • Vanford - Fast and efficient reels, made for finesse fishing with impressive responsiveness.
  • Stradic - A successful range that combines many of Shimano's latest technologies with excellent handling.

Shop Shimano Reels Now!



ZenMarket Japanese Fishing Reel Brands Daiwa

Robust, light, and innovative are all words that describe the Daiwa reels which hold the top of the podium along with Shimano. Daiwa also offers a huge variety of products.

Most popular models/ranges:

  • Saltwater - These reels are designed to withstand all elements and are geared towards sea fishing. They are therefore very resistant to corrosion.
  • Tatula - Tatula reels are versatile, designed for offshore or bank fishing. The best reels for pitching.

Shop Daiwa Reels Now!


Abu Garcia

ZenMarket Japanese Fishing Reel Brands Daiwa

Abu Garcia is also an essential brand in the world of fishing and particularly in the world of casting!

Most popular models/ranges:

  • Revo - One of the most popular reels for bass fishing; on par with the Tatula, but with less play!
  • Silver - A popular reel with very good ergonomics.

Shop Abu Garcia Reels Now!



ZenMarket Japanese Fishing Reel Brands Megabass

Though Megabass mainly specialize in lures, they also produce several reel models. However, they are typically outside the average beginner's budget.

Most popular models/ranges:

  • Gauss - A powerful reel that has excellent response while spinning, with enhanced lightness and rigidity.

Shoip Megabass Reels Now!



ZenMarket Japanese Fishing Reel Brands Okuma

Okuma is a lesser-known company but has been around since 1918, and their robust products are well-regarded. The models allow fishing in sea or fresh water.

Most popular models/ranges:

  • Ceymar - If you are a beginner, this reel should be your ally of choice for several years, since it combines ease of use, strength and durability all in one package. Add to that an anti-return system and a very competitive price, and this reel becomes a must-have.

Shop Okuma Reels Now!



Why are Japanese Reels Famous?

ZenMarket Japanese Fishing Reel Brands Famous

We can say that the Japanese love beautiful mechanics, and fishermen are not left behind with this attention to detail, much to their delight. With a cutting-edge research and development industry, the Japanese like to offer fishermen products with enormous reliability, whatever the budget you put into purchasing the reel.

Many reels are still made in Japan, rather than outsourced to other countries, which allows for great quality control. But even otherwise, factories must comply with the producer's quality standards.


Add to this a long history of fishing, the development of unique techniques specific to the region, such as tenkara, as well as a strong community organized around fishing and you can easily see why Japan is also the country of the reel!


Where To Buy Japanese Reels

ZenMarket will help you find your perfect Japanese reel, amateur or professional, at the local sale price and most often much cheaper than at international resellers.

  • Rakuten Japan and Yahoo! Shopping: The most popular platform in Japan, even facilitating combining purchases from different sellers to save shipping costs. You are sure to find the seller of your choice thanks to these two sites.
  • Amazon Japan: The essential site, with products described in detail and clarity.
  • Yahoo! Auction: Are you looking for that rare gem? You will find new or used products at auction at competitive prices.


ZenPlus, an e-commerce platform integrated into ZenMarket, is a summary of the best Japanese fishing equipment stores and boutiques! By shopping on ZenPlus, you will have no service fees and benefit from 3% cashback!

Here are some stores offering an impressive veriety of reels exclusively on ZenPlus:


IVYSHOP offers a plethora of reels and there is no doubt that you will find the one of your dreams, regardless of your target price and quality range!

Check IVYSHOP Today



Naturum also has a Rakuten store but ordering on their site will allow you to have free shipping on several products. One of the other advantages is the delivery systematically offered for orders exceeding 6,500 yen.

The categories are clearly highlighted to help you refine your search and the products rated by users, another way to avoid making a mistake!

Shop Reels at Naturum



Caster House has the advantage of organizing sales and special promotions throughout the year and according to the seasons! It is therefore a site to watch if you want to find a good deal. Delivery to Japan is free for orders over 5,000 yen, so don't hesitate to group your purchases.

Shop Reels on CasterHouse


You can also easily shop for fishing tackle, bait and reels thanks to our special showcase:

Shop Fishing Goods from Japan



How To Buy From Japan With ZenMarket

ZenMarket is a purchasing intermediary for Japan, also called a proxy buying service, which allows you to purchase products on Japanese sites even if you do not live in Japan.

It is of course possible to use ZenMarket to place an order on any Japanese site: all you need to do is copy the URL of each of the items you wish to purchase and paste it into the ZenMarket search bar.

If you haven't already done so, be sure to check below and follow the tutorial instructions to Sign Up to create an account and try ZenMarket today!

To find out step by step how to order all your products from Japanese sites via ZenMarket without speaking Japanese, read our complete guide.




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Article| 03/10/2023 | fishingSport


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