These two reels share a lot in common. Including most of their internal parts. In my experience, the Shimano Sedona (and its enhanced brother the Sahara) are the most durable trout spinning reel on a budget.
Until the release of the upgraded Shimano Sahara FJ the quality of the gearing and tolerances of these two reels was a step above the competition in this price bracket. The new Shimano FJ uses higher quality gears so is the current title holder. Read my review of the Shimano Sahara FJ here.
This review/comparison is an archived copy of my Shimano Sedona and Sahara FJ review from my trout reel’s buyers guide.
Shimano makes some of the best affordable reels on the market and the Sedona and Sahara can be gotten for under $100.
The Sedona is the more affordable of the two retailing for around $70, compared with $90 for the Sahara. Both are dependable reels that should pull in trout for many years.
I include these two reels together because there are many similarities between them. They are both based on the same platform. They share similar graphite frames and use the same drag system and gear ratios. The internal gearing is nearly identical.
Both reels use the premium Hagane gear technology (cold forge gears), if you believe the marketing, this improves the smoothness and durability over Shimano’s entry-level reels.
Both reels feel very smooth in the hand. It might just be my imagination but the Sahara feels slightly smoother, maybe due to the extra ball bearing.
The Sahara also features the more premium X-Ship gear technology which means the opinion gear is supported by bearings which in theory allows it to remain in alignment even under massive pressure. Now, this is mostly a moot point when comes to trout fishing, they simply do not pull hard enough for this to matter. Maybe, it is worth considering if you are battling steelheads in the currents.
If I have one criticism, both reels are a touch on the heavy side. With the 1000 size weighing in at 7.6oz. This is heavy for a trout reel. This extra weight, means some finesse rods feel handle heavy when used with their model.
Sizes and specifications
They both come in a range of sizes suitable for trout fishing.
The tiny Sedona 500 is a gem for the price. Perfect for finesse and ultralight fishing on a budget. Such a fun little reel to use to catch Brooks and small Brown trout living in streams or small ponds.
I consider the 2500 size to be a great general-purpose size for trout fishing, it can also handle smaller steelheads without issue. I have even been able to land chinook salmon on mine. The larger spool diameter of the 2500 size also assists in minimizing line twist.
The 3000 and 4000 sizes are a bit on the large side but can see some niche use when targeting very large trout or powerful steelheads. The reels above 5000 size are basically too large for trout fishing.