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Reel Preview


First Look Inside the Tank that is the New Shimano Tranx 300 Baitcaster


Date: 3/30/17
Tackle type: Reels
Manufacturer: Shimano
Reviewer: Zander

Introduction: Power Anglers rejoice, the new smaller 300 and 400 Shimano Tranx low profile reels have finally arrived. Originally designed for tackling fish like tuna, musky, and stripers, the Tranx 500HG and 500PG reels offered anglers a reel that could hold up to both big baits and big fish. Bass anglers, especially swimbait and A-Rig fishermen, have been asking for a more compact version and Shimano has answered the call with the new 300 and 400 size reels, which were highlighted this week at the Bassmaster Classic in Texas, and are now available at some retailers and etailers. I purchased our test reel direct from Tackle Warehouse, which was among the first etailer/retailers to stock the new Tranx reels during the launch.


Shimano's newest power reel, the Shimano Tranx 300-400 Series


The Tranx Series now comes in four new freshwater friendly models, the Tranx 300, 400, and left-hand retrieve 301 and 401 with powerful 5.8:1 gear ratios; and the Tranx 300HG, 400HG, left-hand retrieve 301HG and 401HG, all with fast 7.6:1 gear ratios. The Tranx HG reels are capable of retrieving 40-inches of line per crank with their single handle and durable, lightweight CI4+ knob. The lower gear reels pull in 30-inches of line via a more conventional double handle with oversized rubber knobs. It is interesting that only the lower speed reels come with the more traditional double paddle handle, while the high speed reels all come with the single “Power Handle.” Personally I like the double paddle handle for bass applications and working higher speed baits, and am more used to a single handle for power applications when additional leverage is required.


The blue anodized handle, drag star, and spool give the Tranx a unique look and feel that stands apart from other reels in the Shimano baitcaster lineup


In terms of capacity the 300 size reels will hold up to 190 yard of 50-pound test PowerPro (or 180 yards of 14-pound mono), while the 400 size Tranx can handle 170-yards of 65-pound PowerPro (or 260 yards of 14-pound mono.) Plenty of line to tackle even big species in fresh and brackish water, as well as address some saltwater jigging applications as well.


Time to start breaking down the Tranx. Under the non-handle sideplate we find the familiar VBS cast control system


The best way that I can describe the Shimano Tranx 300 is that it just looks "buff."


Much like the Abu Revo Toro reels the Tranx is in the “SUV” class of baitcasters, and although it is still sleek for its size, it is certainly a bigger and heavier reel than your average low profile baitcaster at 11.6 ounces. In terms of styling the new smaller sized Tranx reels are much more modern looking than the Tranx 500 Series reels which feature more of the older organic Curado 300e styling, whereas the Tranx 300 and 400 reels resemble the current Curado70 Series, which has much more aggressive angular lines. 


The deep spool is simple and clean looking


I have been fishing the Tranx for a few weeks now and thus far have found this reel to be both comfortable to fish with and an absolute tank when it comes to winding power. 


The Tranx is able to handle everything from long lipped deep diving supersize cranks to the biggest swimbaits with ease.


Next Section: Time to see what this tank is made of...









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