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Reel Review


Plenty of Muscle to take on Big Game, the reasonably priced Shimano Tyrnos (continued)

Retrieve & Power(continued): The diecast aluminum frame of the Tyrnos sports supportive crossbars and held up nicely under the extreme high pressure of battling the powerful tuna. We didnít notice any flexing and are very pleased with the aluminum frame and graphite sideplate design.


Oversized handle shank and knob provides comfort and power when reeling in big game fish


When power is needed, the Tyrnos is engineered for success. Aside from the afore mentioned, this big game reel also employs an alternating twin pawl anti-reverse system. In this design we found that it provided a solid hookset and minimized the amount of backplay on the spool. Even when fish hit or decided to run once reaching the sub-surface, the pawl did its job without flaws each and every time.


The gears are housed inside the graphite sideplate. Also notice the alternating twin pawl anti-reverse


Drag: Coupled with a powerful alternating twin pawl anti-reverse system, the Shimano Tyrnos uses a drag lever similar to other reels but also incorporates a ratcheting system to prevent the lever from unintentionally sliding while the boat is bouncing up and down. The drag has a range from Free to Strike to Full, and any pressure in between. It is very important that you pre-set the strike pressure ahead of your trips and do not mess with the drag on the water unless absolutely necessary.


The drag washers are completely sealed


In our lab we tested the drag for its performance at maximum pressure and over 10 runs it produced about 36 pounds of force (specified rating-33 pounds). On the water we set the drag to 10 pounds and throughout the day the Albacore that we caught really showed us how the drag performed. At initial strike the drag is consistent and smooth. Each time the tuna hit, the rod bent over and line immediately began to peel off from the spool. In the past, with some cheaper reels, weíve noticed the rod bouncing up and down due to a sticky drag, but with the Tyrnos none of that was experienced. The drag washers on this Shimano reel are completely sealed to protect any saltwater and other grit from entering, keeping the drag washers as clean and smooth as possible.


Lever drag is easy to operate and Shimano designed this one so it won't slip as the boat is under way


Ergonomics: Most big game reels are solid and heavy, but thatís not the case with the Tyrnos thanks, in part, to its graphite sideplates. This feature, plus the diecast allows the reel to be lighter than comparable models yet still maintain the necessary structural support to perform under heavy loads from big fish. The Tyrnos weighs in at 38.1 ounces compared to Pennís Graphite Series (sporting a graphite frame) that weighs 39 ounces, and Daiwaís Sealine Saltwater Reels that comes in at over 40 ounces. Aside from its lighter weight, this conventional reel uses a huge power handle and knob thatís not only comfortable to grasp when cranking, but will not slip even when your hands are slimy and wet from a dayís catch.


Battling this 27 pound Albacore tuna far offshore with the Tyrnos was effortless


Durability/Maintenance: Though the Tyrnos isnít Shimanoís top of the line conventional reel, this reel is quite durable in design. The diecast frame, graphite sideplates, and various components like the A-RB all add to its longevity.


Taking apart and doing maintenance on the Shimano Tyrnos is something everyone can do themselves


When it comes to maintenance the Tyrnos is quite simple to take apart and clean. The reel comes with a tool that is needed to remove the handle and then itís all screws. We recommend removing the components and cleaning thoroughly at least once a season or more, depending on usage.



Shimano Tyrnos (TYR30) Ratings (?/10)


Though the reel uses graphite sideplates and diecast aluminum frame itís solid and built to handle some big game fish. The use of A-RB is a big plus


Exceptional performance on the deep blue ocean trolling and fishing on the slide. The reel is powerful with a smooth drag system along with features to enhance its overall performance


With a quality construction and good performance along with Shimanoís reliability, the price is decent, but there are reels out there with full aluminum construction thatís priced less


This reel features 4 A-RB, oversized gears, oversized handle shank and knob, a loud clicker, alternating twin pawl anti-reverse system, and a ratcheted drag lever to produce a high performer

Design (Ergonomics)

Lighter than even some full graphite reels. The oversized handle and handle knob makes gripping comfortable while battling big fish


At a high gear ratio of 5.0:1 this reel is good for smaller sized big game such as school-sized tuna, Dorado, and Wahoo


Total Score


Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

J Lightweight L High price
J Durable L High speed not suitable for all big game
J Easy to maintain  
J Excellent drag pressure  
J Anti-Rust Bearings  

When going on those long offshore adventures hunting for big game fish such as tuna, one name we can trust on gear that wonít fail on us is Shimano. They produce some of the best fishing reels on the market and once again they did right with the new Tyrnos conventional reel. Because it has a relatively high rate of retrieve at 5.0:1, this reel isnít for all applications, but itís great for school-sized fish. Off the coastal waters of California, we found it to be excellent for Albacore tuna. The Tyrnos is built with a diecast aluminum frame and graphite sideplates to reduce weight yet houses many quality and high performing components such as Shimanoís A-RB, oversized handle and knob, and a non-slip ratcheted drag lever system. If you arenít out for huge fish and are in need for a high gear ratio conventional reel for trolling, the Tyrnos will be right at home on one of your big game rods.











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