Our overall rating: 5
- Huge max drags
- Constant and consistent drag pressures
- Model options
- Versatile gear ratio
- High line retrieval rates
- Incredible casting performance
- Corrosion resistance
- Great spool capacity
- Great balance and feel
- One of the best values in terms
- You don’t have one yet!
In this article, we are going to review a newer line of reels to come from Shimano, a proven and trusted reel manufacturer.
The NASCI is a versatile, medium-sized spinning reel that has big reel functionality and we are excited to take a look at what makes this reel so special.
Shimano NASCI Key Features
- Aluminum handle and oversized rubber grip
- Hagane Gears
- G-Free Body
- X-Ship Technology
- Instant anti-reverse
Shimano NASCI Review
From a near ultralight, 7.6oz 1000 model to the larger 5000 model more suited for larger freshwater game fish and medium-sized saltwater species.
All of these models contain a lot of the same features including the Hagane gearing, X-Ship technology, and Coreprotect. These reels do differ in some specs such as line capacity, gear ratios, retrieval rates, and max drag. All do contain 4 A-RB ball bearings and one roller bearing.
Ease of Use
We love the way the NASCI feels in your hands. When balanced with the right rod, this reel extremely easy to handle all day on the water with little fatigue. The aluminum handle and oversized rubber paddle grip allow you to have excellent leverage when trying to land fish and has little slip, wobble, or back play.
The thick aluminum bail is also well constructed and has an auto bail close that a lot of anglers will be happy to see. Everything feels like it is right at your fingertips with this reel, including the drag adjustment dial on top of the spool.
NASCI also uses a G free body which puts its oscillation and center of gravity closer to the rod. This just improves the already great balance and strike sensitivity and further reduces fatigue.
The Shimano NASCI line of reels has the expected quality construction that has come to be expected from this company. The reel itself feels like a streamlined and well-oiled machine. The aluminum alloy spool, arm, and thick bail wire are built for battle and reel as a whole does excellent at resisting body flex under the torque and force of generating leverage on fish.
While this is not a fully sealed reel, it does feature Shimano’s Coreprotect technology which seals the reel at key locations on the body, roller clutch, and line roller.
This along with the corrosion resistant ball bearings aid in keeping the reel rolling in salt environments but the reel will still require diligent cleanings.
The Shimano NASCI is a stunning reel. With a deep blue metal finish and gold accent, it looks like a reel that’s going to cost a pretty penny, but the price tag is going to be a pleasant surprise.
You might find it pricey compared to other spinning reels on the market, but the performance of this reel far exceeds the price.
One of the biggest characteristics of the NASCI reels is that they feel very similar to the high-end models available from Shimano yet are at a much more reasonable price. Shimano uses some of the ball bearings (A-RB) on the market, and they show in the retrieval and resistance to corrosion.
There are only four present, but these four are more effective and will have a longer lifespan than a lot of models out there touting several more bearings.
Besides the ball bearings, the NASCI reels feature Hagane gears. This gear system used only by Shimano uses 3D computer design to make gears that have optimal contact with each other.
What this means on the water is that the gear system remains perfectly in line, even when under force of cranking on a fish, and results in an ultra smooth reel.
Indirectly, this smoothness of the gear system also aids in casting as line is consistently layed down evenly by the smooth rotor and reduces line twist and maximizes the full extent of the spool.
This gear system, along with the handle and grip we mentioned earlier means that you can get a good amount of cranking power out of this fishing reel.
Hagane makes Shimano reels truly spectacular. Just take a look at this video and you’ll be stunned:
On top of all this is the X-ship technology which uses ball bearings to support the pinion gear. This support keeps the pinion gear and drive gear in line and is a huge source of support for keeping the reel running a peak efficiency when you have a trophy fish on the end of the line.
All of this technology results in a reel that runs as it should be at the high end of the price range.
Each size model of the NASCI has excellent gear ratios for their size. These are versatile numbers and allow you to utilize a lot of different lure styles and techniques on the water.
The retrieval rates also blow us out of the water. 36-41inches per turn of the handle is incredible for the three larger sized reels, and even the two smaller models are impressive. This is an extremely efficient reel at getting fish in the boat.
We gave a lot of praise to the smoothness of the retrieve for the NASCI, and the praise does not end there. The casting on this reel is phenomenal.
The spool design and rotor do a great job at minimizing line twist on this reel, and the line seems to come off the spool effortlessly with little friction from overlap within the spool. It still doesn’t have the distance of a baitcaster, but for a spinning reel, it can get light to even heavier lures, depending on the model size, out there.
Everything on a fishing reel is connected in some way and the same technology that goes into the incredible retrieval speeds and cranking power also improve the casting performance of the NASCI.
For the price point, the overall casting performance of this reel far exceeds our expectations that we had coming in.
The NASCI features instant anti-reverse which means that at the hook set, the drag needs to be ready. For reels of this size, the drag is unbelievable. Yeah, the max drag is unreal, but that is not even what we are most impressed with.
Usually, when you have reels of these size with huge drag capacity, you usually have very little control over the amount of pressure at the high end of the range.
That is not the case with the NASCI. The fine tuning you have with this drag is almost unparalleled.
Once engaged, it is incredibly smooth with no noticeable jerkiness, and it maintains this smoothness even as you adjust in the middle of a fight.
The start up inertia on engagement is a little noticeable if you start out with the drag set high and could be a disaster if you are working with lighter line but that is the only issue we have with this drag system.
With the price tag, most might consider the Shimano NASCI an entry level Shimano product that sits below some its other models in performance. And while Shimano makes some of the best higher end reels, the Shimano NASCI performs nothing like an entry-level reel.
It’s silky smooth retrieve, deceptive cranking power, and overhauled drag make this one of the best performing reels we have come across in its price range.
With a range of model sizes, the NASCI can serve you in multiple fresh and saltwater applications. Do yourself a favor and seriously consider this spinning reel.