Rod FAQ's

  • What is rod "Action"


    The action of the rod can be best described as the strength or lifting power required to move a fish. The action for each rod is created by analyzing its application, environmental conditions, and fishing style. Each of our series of rods is created with various blends of materials and rated independently such that the Medium Heavy action freshwater rod will feel different than the Medium Heavy action of a saltwater rod.


  • What is rod "Taper"


    The Taper of a rod describes where it flexes during the cast and on the retrieve. The taper, in combination with the materials and components, determines how a rod performs. A rod with an Extra Fast taper flexes closest to the tip. As the taper descends from Extra Fast to Medium, the flex descends through the rod blank towards the butt section.

    The design of each taper is custom to a particular fishing application. Shimano takes into consideration such variables as angle preferences, a variety of personal styles, and the presentation and performance of your lure on the delivery and retrieve. These variables can be optimized when the proper taper is combined with the proper lure.


  • I bought my rod before the warranty changes were put into effect; how can Shimano do this?


    Shimano’s limited warranty covers the rod against non-conformities in material and workmanship. While frequently misunderstood, the limited lifetime warranty has never been an unconditional warranty that covers normal wear and tear, accidents or abuse. In order to verify the reason for a claim, Shimano requires that a rod being returned for warranty replacement pass the warranty inspection process. If a retailer replaces a rod over the counter and returns the rod to Shimano, where it subsequently fails the warranty evaluation, then that retailer is now liable for the rod that they have already replaced. Retailers that do not wish to assume responsibility for these rods will instruct their customer to make warranty claims directly with Shimano.


  • Why doesn’t Shimano honor the Over-The-Counter Program anymore?


    Shimano will continue to honor the Over-The-Counter Replacement Policy for those rods that were sold with the ‘Over-The-Counter Replacement Policy’ printed on the hang tag. However, this has always been an elective program at participating retailers. Retailers that do not wish to participate will instruct their customers to make warranty claims directly with Shimano.


  • Is one year really long enough to warranty my Shimano rod?


    Shimano is committed to providing high quality products and we are fully committed to providing you with a rod free from non-conformities in material and workmanship. Issues of non-conformities are almost always evident within the first few uses; therefore a one year limited warranty provides fair and sufficient coverage against non-conformities in material and workmanship.


  • Why is Shimano replacing my limited lifetime warranty rod with a rod covered by a limited one year warranty?


    Any Shimano rod that bears a production code of June 2014 or later will be covered by a limited one year warranty. Shimano will honor the limited lifetime warranty on eligible rods produced prior to June 2014. This means that rods sold and produced prior to the changes will be warrantied against non-conformities in material and workmanship for the lifetime of the originally purchased rod. Once replaced, the replacement rod will be covered under the limited one year warranty.


  • Do I need a receipt to make a warranty claim with Shimano?


    Yes; a receipt from an Authorized Shimano Retailer*  is a requirement for Shimano warranty claims. Claims without a receipt will not be accepted.

    * An Authorized Shimano Retailer will possess a brick and mortar shop. Shimano will not warranty product that was purchased through online auction sites (i.e. e-bay etc.) due to the fact that we cannot trace the origin of the product.


  • Why did Shimano change their limited lifetime warranty to a limited one year warranty?


    Shimano’s limited lifetime warranty has always been limited to protecting the rod against non-conformities in material and workmanship. While frequently misunderstood, the limited lifetime warranty has never been an unconditional warranty that covers normal wear and tear, accidents or abuse. Since non-conformities almost always become evident within the first few initial uses, Shimano firmly believes that a limited one year warranty provides sufficient and fair coverage against non-conformities in material and workmanship.


  • I no longer have the hang tags for my rod. How do I find out whether my rod is covered under the limited lifetime or the limited one year warranty?


    All rods produced in June 2014 and onwards are covered under a limited one year warranty. There are a couple of ways to determine when your rod was produced:

    1-     Rods produced prior to June 2014 have a production sticker on the blank rather than a production code that has been screened directly onto the rod blank. Therefore, a rod that has a production code screened directly onto the rod blank is covered under a limited one year warranty.

    2-     Rods produced prior to June 2014 have a production sticker on the blank that has 3 letters on it (example MF-P).  The first letter indicates the year the rod was produced (M= 2014), the second letter indicates the month the rod was produced (F= June). If the production code shows a date of “MF” (June 2014) or later (i.e. MG, MH, etc.), then that rod carries a one year limited warranty.

    Some rod models that were produced before June 2014 also carry a limited one year warranty. Determine your rod’s warranty length by following the instructions below:

    o   Locate the rod model number, found just above the handle on the rod blank. It is a series of letters and numbers (i.e. CPS-66MHB).

    o   Once you have located the model number of your rod, you can determine whether your rod carries a limited one year or limited lifetime warranty by doing one of the following:

    *  Call customer service at 1-877-577-0600 and ask a representative

    *  Visit our website at fish.shimano.com

    *      Click on “Rod Warranty”.

    *      There is a list of rod models below “Limited Lifetime Warranty Rods”. 

    o   Rods included in this list that were produced before June 2014 (see above for details) are covered by a limited lifetime warranty

    o   Rods that are not included in this list are covered by a limited one year warranty.


  • Can I break down my rod to send it in for warranty?


    Shimano will accept a rod cut in half for shipping purposes, but we will not accept a rod cut more than once. Please include a note with the rod indicating that you have cut it for shipping purposes. Please also bear in mind that if the rod is cut and it does not meet warranty criteria, it will not be replaced and you will no longer be able to have it repaired at a local shop.


  • How do I send my Shimano rod in for warranty?


    Once you have determined that your rod was purchased within its applicable warranty term (see previous question for details), you can make a warranty claim with Shimano by doing the following:

    ·       Download and complete the Shimano Rod Warranty Form from our website:

    o   Go to fish.shimano.com

    o   Click on “Rod Warranty”

    o   Locate the appropriate form for your territory (U.S. or Canada)

    ·       Package the entire rod in a disposable container

    o   Include a copy of your receipt

    o   Include the completed Rod Warranty Form

    ·       Ship your rod, prepaid and insured, to the following address:

    o   For U.S. Returns:               

    Shimano North America Holding, Inc.

    Attn: Rod Warranty

    1 Holland

    Irvine, CA 92618

    o   For Canadian Returns:

    Shimano Canada Ltd.

    Attn: Rod Warranty

    427 Pido Road

    Peterborough, ON

    K9J 6X7



Reels - FAQ's Spinning Reels

  • Line twist


    Line was not wound on the spool correctly. Reels with slow or super slow oscillation must have line wound on using the reel. Line roller bearing/bushing is binding. Lubricate with Shimano oil or replace possible faulty bearing.


  • Bail will not close correctly


    -Weak bail trip spring - replace bail trip spring.

    -Bail wire is bent or out of shape - replace bail wire.

    -Corrosion on bail pivot - clean corrosion and apply oil to the pivot.


  • No drag pressurE


    If you are using braided line test for line slippage. You can test for line slippage by tightening the drag knob to the maximum setting. Hold the line securely with your thumb and forfinger, and turn the handle. If the spool rotates and the line stays in place you have line slippage.

    The solution is to wrap two layers on monofilament spliced to your braided line or wrap two layers of masking tape around the spool arbor. This provides grip for the braided line and will prevent line slippage.


  • Gears feel rough under pressure.


    Lack of lubrication or damaged gears. Send to Shimano Authorised Warranty Center for repair.



  • The handle spins backwards on hookset.


    Faulty anti reverse bearing. Replace anti reverse bearing.

    Reel is over lubricated with oil. Clean all the oil from the bearing.



  • Line does not stack correctly on.


    Use provided shims to adjust spool height on the reel. If the line is too high on the spool add a shim. If it is too low remove a shim.



  • Drag is not smooth.


    Lack of grease on the drag washer or drag washer soaked with oil. Replace drag washers or re-grease.


Reels - FAQ's Baitcasting - Low Profile/Round Reels

  • Reel makes noise when casting.


    VBS weights are dry or worn. Replace VBS weights or apply one drop of oil to each weight.

    Check spool bearing for smoothness or corrosion. If it rusted or not smooth replace bearing.

    Dry spool bushing. Apply one drop of oil to bushing.



  • Reel does not cast as far as it used to.


    Check spool support bearings for smoothness and corossion. If not smooth or corroded replace bearing. Excessive dirt or oil on spool shaft or spool lip. Clean dirt/oil with a Q-tip and rubbing alcohol.



  • Drag is not smooth (jerky).


    Lack of grease on washer. Re-grease washer. Oil on drag washer. Replace washer.


  • Gears are rough under pressure.


    Lack of lubrication. Re grease gears. Gears may be worn and need replacement. Replace main and pinion gear as a set or send to a Shimano Authorised Warranty Center.


  • Reel does not have any drag pressure.


    Tighten drag to the maximum setting. With the reel in hand, place your thumb on the one/spool and hold securely in place. Turn handle. If the spool rotates while your thumb is holding the line in place, then you have line slippage.

    The solution is to wrap 2 layers of line or masking tape around the arbor of the spool. Now add the braided line as you would normally. This gives the braided line something to hold onto and it will not slip any longer.



  • Line guide on level wind does not work.


    Possible cracked pawl cap or missing pawl cap and pawl. Replace pawl cap and pawl if needed.

    Possible damaged idle gear or worm gear. Send to Shimano or authorised Warranty Center.



  • Reel backlashes on casts.


    • VBS weights need to be adjusted to the bait you are using.
    • Turn all weights on and start casting while turning one off at a time until casting distance is good and backlashes stop. A fine tuned adjustment can be made by adusting the cast control.
    • Easy Mag is not adjusted correctly.
    • Turn magnet up to 10 and reduce one point at a time to achieve good casts and reduced backlashes. Cast control cap is not adjusted correctly. Adjust cap until the right tension is achieved.




  • Handle spins backwards on hookset.


    Anti reverse bearing is slipping. Replace anti reverse bearing.


  • How do I use the VBS (Variable Break System) feature of my Shimano Baitcasting reel?


    VBS is designed to slow the spool down as your lure looses momentum after casting. The VBS systems acts as a centrifugal break using the distribution of weight to create drag on the spool. This feature is designed to help prevent backlashes with your reel.

    The VBS system is located on one side of your spool (This varies depending on the retrieve orientation of the reel; example right hand retrieve or left hand retrieve) There are plastic break weights located on VBS side of the spool, these break weights are capable of being turned on or off. If you move the break weight toward the axis of the spool (The center) or into the off position the break weight will have less influence on the slowing of the spool. If you move the break weight outward or into the on position it will cause the break weights to have more influence on the slowing of the spool. You can use any number (up to six, the number of break weights also varies depending on the reel) of break weights, in any configuration to obtain an optimal spool response.



Service & Maintenance FAQ's

  • How do I obtain service information or parts for my Shimano reel?


    Technical Support and parts can be obtained from Shimano by phone 877-577-0600 or on our online parts shop. 

    To order parts for your reel online check out our Fish Shop at:   FishShop.Shimano.com


  • The line on my Baitcasting reel loads one side of the spool. Is there something wrong with the reel?


    Chances are that your reel is fine. If you are reeling line with your rod pointed toward the right, the line will load up higher on the left side of the spool. If your rod is pointed to the left while reeling line in, the line will load higher on the right side of the spool. A simple solution to this problem is to keep your rod and line parallel to each other whenever possible.



  • How do I set my drag for the pound test line I'm using?


    As a rule of thumb, mount your reel to the rod then feed the line through each guide. Now, use a scale and set the drag so that it gives at approximately 1/3 of the line's breaking strength, during this process it is necessary to simulate a fishing condition. Therefore, the rod must be held in a stable position either by a person or a rod holder.



  • Why are there more than one color of break weights for my Baitcasting VBS system?


    Shimano makes two different break weights; Heavy (Black, Grey, or Green in color) and Light (Red, Blue, and Clear in color). Most of the new reels are shipped with the light break weights on the reel, and the heavy break weights in packaging in the box. If the light break weights don’t provide adequate spool stopping power, change them simply by pulling them off of the spool and replace them with the heavier weights.



  • How do I put line on my Shimano spinning or baitcasting reel?


    To put line on your Shimano spinning reel place the reel in the reel seat on the rod. Take your spool of line (for recommended weights please refer to your reel owner’s manual) and run the line through the smallest guide at the tip, then through all of the guides toward the reel. Tie the line onto the spool with the bail in the open position (there is no bail on the baitcasting reel), pull on your line to assure that your knot is secure and then close the bail. After the bail is closed, rotate your handle away from you until you have spooled up the desired amount of line. For best results, place a pencil in the center of the spool and have a friend hold either end of the pencil securing the spool while you are filling the spool on your reel.



  • Can I upgrade or exchange my Shimano product?


    No, Shimano does not offer any upgrade options for our products. If you purchased an item (apparel or parts) directly from us then we can exchange this item with another item of equal or lesser value. The item must still be in new and unused condition, and all tags and receipts must be included to process an exchange.


  • My reel was just sent to Shimano North America Holding, Inc. (or Shimano Canada Ltd.) and serviced, but it is still not working correctly?


    Please contact our Customer Service Team at 877-577-0600 or email us at Fishsitefeedback@shimano.com and one of our agents will supply a prepaid shipping label to have your reel sent back to us for further evaluation. 


  • Do I pay for return shipping when I send my reel to Shimano for service?


    Yes, in addition to the service fee, you are responsible for shipping charges to and from Shimano American Corp. or Shimano Canada Ltd. (Return shipping will be covered by Shimano North America Holding, Inc. / Shimano Canada Ltd. if deemed a warranty issue)


  • If my fishing reel purchase is within its 1 year warranty term and the receipt is included, will repair services be covered automatically?


    No, Shimano’s limited 1 year warranty covers non-conformance determined to have occurred during the manufacturing and/or design process. Damages determined to have occurred due to neglect, accident, or normal wear and tear are not covered under the limited warranty, but may be serviced for a specific fee.


  • Does Shimano warranty the service work that they have performed on a fishing reel?


    Yes, once a Shimano technician has serviced your reel we will maintain a 6 month limited warranty on the work performed on the reel. (This warranty will be limited to any non-conformance or workmanship error associated with the service work done; normal wear and tear or neglect is not covered)


  • My braided line is slipping on my spool during the retrieve, what can I do to minimize this issue?


    Braided line may slip on a spool due to a lack of pressure applied during the spooling process. A general lack of pressure will mean that the line will not grip the spool arbour adequately and may also cause loose loops resulting in line 'biting' into itself when pressure is applied by a weight or while fighting a fish. It is recommended that you use more pressure during the spooling process (for example, using gloves or a rag to apply pressure to the spool of line as you wind the line onto the reel's spool), and to help minismise slippage, one can also apply a layer to 'water friendly' tape prior to spooling which will assist in the line 'biting' and gripping the spools arbour.


Contact Numbers By Region

Shimano American Fishing

Customer Service



Shimano North America Holding, Inc. 
1 Holland 
Irvine, CA 92618

8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday - Friday
Pacific Standard Time

CUSTOMER SERVICE: 877-577-0600
5:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday - Friday
Pacific Standard Time


Shimano Canada Fishing

Customer Service



Shimano Canada Ltd.
Reel Repair Service 
427 Pido Rd.
Peterborough, ON. K9J 6X7


5:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday - Friday
Pacific Standard Time