Ready to gear up and get into offshore fishing? If you’re like most guys, you’ll want to start out by getting a set of matching rods and reels that are capable of handling offshore gamefish like tunas, mahi, and maybe even billfish—but you also won’t want to pour tens of thousands of dollars into your initial investment. You need reliable and inexpensive, if not ideal, reels to get started with. Check out our Shimano TLD 25 review, it’s definetly a top contender.
Shimano TLD 25 Review
I first started using TLD 25’s many years ago, and have seen some of them take punishment that should have killed far more expensive gold-plated reels. Their graphite body makes them light, but they’re still pretty darn tough. In fact, I’ve only seen one shatter, and it was over-spooled with 50-pound test line and the drag was cranked as far as it would go. Side note: Shimano replaced it, no questions asked. And considering how many of these reels I’ve handled and seen used, to only come up with one example of failure is truly amazing; I can’t say the same about several brands that build reels costing literally three times as much as a TLD.
The TLD 25 has what many inexpensive reels lack—a lever drag—and it has four ball bearings and a 3.6:1 gear ratio. Cranked down to the max, it’ll put out a hair over 20-pounds of drag, which is more then enough to tame most gamefish. Line capacity is 600 yards of 30-pound test. That’s enough to handle most fish, but if you get into a big bluefin tuna or a blue marlin, you will have a challenge! Fortunately, at 24.5 ounces it’s light enough to handle without muscle-aches, even during extended battles. The barrel-handle grip is common among reels in this price range and isn’t the most comfortable in the world, but it will get the job done. Another down-side to the TLD 25 is it’s slow nature. That 3.6:1 ratio means it’ll be tough to crank fast enough ot keep pace with a pelagic charging the boat.back to menu ↑
Shimano TLD 25 Pros & Cons
- Extremely hardy
- Super reliable
- Lever Drag
- Light weight
- Fairly low speed
- Minimal line capacity
Stay away from knock-off reels that look almost exactly like a TLD 25 but carry a different brand name. I’ve also tested these out, but you won’t see ‘em reviewed on FishingGearGuru because they are poorly built and have awful drag systems; don’t be tempted to save a few bucks. Bottom line: It’ll be very, very hard to find a less-expensive reel that’s really capable of offshore use like the TLD 25. If you liked our Shimano TLD 25 review or have and questions leave a comment in a section below.