SHIMANO Citica Reel Review

Shimano was established in February 1921 by Shozaburo Shimano as Shimano Iron Works. The first thing that they produced was the bicycle freewheel. Shimano rented a 40-square meter area for just 5 yen and borrowed one lathe from a longtime friend from Sano Iron Works. This is how it all began.

Today they make quality bicycle equipment, rowing equipment, and everything related to fishing such as clothing lures, gears, reels, and rods. 

Here are a few general features of the Citica I Series reels:

  • 5 shielded stainless steel ball bearings
  • Super Stopper Anti-Reverse roller bearing
  • Mono line capacity is 8/180, 10/155, 14/110
  • Weighs 7.5 oz
  • 11 lb max drag
  • 26-30 retrieve per crank
  • Comes with two gear ratio options 6.3:1 and 7.2:1

What we like

The Shimano Citica reel doesn’t disappoint. It’s in the low-profile family. There are 4 models to choose from in this series. These reels are priced reasonably for the features that they offer.

This series uses some of the latest technology including X-Ship which is responsible for how smoothly you retrieve your bait. This reel allows you to cast far where the fish are because of its SVS Infinity braking system and S3D (Stable Spool Design) spool.

We love that the S3D is constructed out of aluminum. It’s balanced and has a thin uniform wall spool that’s made of aluminum. This reduces vibration when casting. The braking system helps control your casts as well as accuracy and casting distance. The line releases smoothly.

 The design of the SVS system allows fishers to make rapid changes while they are fishing to adjust for a variety of weights and lures. This baitcasting reel is one of the easiest to use. All of the brakes can be open for pitching, or they can all be used to reduce the spin of the reel on your first cast.

We like that the X-Ship reduces friction making this the perfect reel for anglers who want rugged durability. It efficiently transmits each handle turn and fits comfortably on the fishing rod. This efficiency is partly because of the placement of the bearings around a pinion gear. Their placement allows for a smooth roll and excellent alignment of the drive spool.

We also love that Shimano has kept similar technology to their popular Curado reels because they perform so well. They’ve kept the same “Hagane Body” that uses metal instead of graphite. This construction gives the body a much more stable foundation to transfer cranking power and better rigidity. There is no body flex. 

Another plus is while it is solid and well-built it feels lightweight. Also opening the access for the spool is really simple which makes this reel easy to use.

This wheel is the Clydesdale of reels, a real workhorse that appeals to mainstream anglers. It provides even better value than the Curado and upholds the company’s high-quality standards. It really is simple to use and has the power to reel in whatever fish you catch. 

The SHIMANO Citica was named one of our picks for the best baitcasting reels.

What we wish was different

 The price on this fishing reel may still be steep for the general angler. It’s geared more towards the sport fisherman who wants to invest more money in their gear.

This reel is also more difficult to dial in because of the magnetic casting brake and centrifugal adjustments. We found that sometimes there were backlashes. Some people compensate by leaving one brake on, but this significantly decreases the casting distance.

Compared to its placement on other reels, the magnetic brake adjustment is on the opposite side plate of the handle. It’s on top but a little awkward to adjust.

 This reel must also be oiled and cleaned regularly. If it’s not, it breaks every couple of times that you use it and makes a loud noise when casting.

Sometimes there is also a disconnect in sensitivity or feeling. This disconnect happens more when using heavier lines.

What other customers say

Big Moe said that he still had an old Citica that worked great and cast a mile. The new features on his new Citica make it an even better reel for the money. 

Mark G. wrote that he loved Shimano reels and that the Citica was great right out of the box. He upgraded the bearings in the spool with Boca bearings and said the reel is phenomenal. It easily casts further than other reels with much less effort. 

Mike stated that the Citica he purchased was his fourth Shimano bait caster and they’re all excellent.  These reels last a long time. He’s had other Citica’s for 12 years and still uses them. This reel was easy to set up and works great.

Kenneth P. said that you couldn’t go wrong with a Shimano.  With this reel, they’ve made another near-perfect product. He uses the Citica for casting frogs, topwater, buzz baits, and heavy swim baits. He likened the casting to a dream and explained that the ratcheting star drag is impressive. 

Roberto loved the quality and how it fits in his hand. It’s light, smooth, and strong. He would buy another Shimano reel.

Andrew G. liked that this reel provided excellent value for the money. It’s a great starter reel and a good one to start with before you invest in high-dollar reels.

Final words

The Citica reel is another great Shimano product. The smoothness and casting difference is incredible. It’s also easy to adjust for different types of bait while you’re fishing.

The reel is constructed of aluminum and is balanced; reducing vibration when casting. You can release the brakes for pitching or engage them all to reduce spin. This reel offers maximum control for increased accuracy.

 The lightweight, sturdy construction makes this reel easy to use and gives it a stable platform for casting. The latest technology that it includes; the SVS braking system, X-Ship, and S3D make this reel efficient and responsive.

 This is a hardworking reel and lives up to Shimano’s high standards of quality. We know this reel will please just about everyone who buys it.

  • casting-reels, rd-fishing, realdeal

About the Author

Trey is a lifelong hunter and avid camper. He lives outside Denver, CO with his wife Kaci and their lab mix Ziggy. They spend as much time as possible outdoors - hunting, fishing, and camping.

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