Last updated on March 14th, 2021 at 10:04 pm

The Shimano SLX XT Review 2021

This article is a review of one of the best casting reels that any angler can get at the moment, the SHIMANO SLX XT Baitcasting Reel. You will learn about the features, advantages, and drawbacks of the casting reel in this Shimano SLX XT review.

Quality is an important feature when discussing fishing equipment. As much as fishing is a fun and exciting exercise, it is also a physical one, requiring durable and reliable equipment. your baitcaster is one of the most important pieces of equipment in your arsenal. The casting reel is important as it surmises and affects your ability to cast accurately, especially when you are fishing with artificial lures.

Summary: Highly Recommend the
Shimano SLX XT

The SHIMANO SLX XT Series Casting Reel is an upgrade to the SHIMANO SLX Casting Reel. It came with new features and, most significantly, a lighter body. The idea behind the SHIMANO SLX XT Series Casting Reel is to provide a lighter body while using the Hagane body known with the SHIMANO brand. Another significant upgrade in the SHIMANO SLX XT is an SVS Infinity Braking System. The feature allows angler to control the casting process, which is very important for a successful fishing expedition. Also, the braking system works with the spool control and brake force.

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  • Hagane body is a metal reel body with high rigidity, impact resistance and eliminates body flexing
  • S3D spool technology significantly reduces spool vibration and creates a smoother cast
  • SVS infinity makes things much easier to manage with consistent spool control and brake force
  • Ensures precision casting easpecially when using lighter lures
  • Super free spool was designed to elimiate friction on the spool shaft during the cast

Pros

  • The reel has a precise casting system due to its advanced braking system
  • It retains the Hagane body, which is known for durability and strength
  • Great price for under $200

Cons

  • New anglers may find the new braking system a bit difficult to use

Kills it for under $200!

– Freshwater Fishing Pros

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The Shimano SLX XT Review – Best Features

The SHIMANO SLX XT was launched in 2018 and has since then established itself as an affordable and efficient casting reel. Let’s talk more about the unique features of this baitcaster. 

The Hagane Body

The Hagane Body is the trademark body used for almost all Shimano products. The body provides durability, power, and rigidity, all of which a good casting reel must possess. The body is a product of a well-engineered and previsioned process providing less flex and smoother reel for anglers.

Super Free Spool

This feature reduces or eliminates friction from the spool shaft. However, it is not limited to the SHIMANO SLX XT. Other Shimano SLX series such as SLX DC also have this feature. Super free spool provides the reel with a smoother cast, allowing for more accuracy in the casting process.

SVS Infinity Braking

The SVS Infinity Braking System is an upgrade on the SHIMANO SLX XT Series versus the Variable Braking System used in the SHIMANO SLX Reel. The feature is an innovation that allows for easy management and consistent spool control.

The Shimano SLX vs XT

The SLX XT has an additional bearing. It also comes with the upgraded Shimano SVS externally adjustable brake system. The standard SLX is a fine reel in its own right, but comes without the additional features of the XT. The SLX has the Shimano VBS brake system which is adjusted by flipping the side cover up and setting the brake pins manually to suit the conditions.

General User Impressions

Many anglers have used the SHIMANO SLX XT and have testified to its efficiency and accuracy in baitcasting. This efficiency becomes increased with the SVS Infinity braking system in use. However, some novice anglers have expressed some difficulty in using the casting reel.

Our Opinion

The SHIMANO SLX XT Series Casting Reel is one of the best casting reels available in the market. It is an obvious upgrade from the SLX reel from the same manufacturer. At a price under $200, it’s one of the best values available.

Things to Consider when Buying a Casting Reel

Let’s examine the factors to consider when choosing a casting reel. It is important to consider these factors so that you will be able to select the best and most appropriate casting reel for your fishing activities.

Comfort Level

While this factor is more intuitive than a technical aspect, it is as important as other factors. This is because, regardless of the state of other factors such as gear ratio and spool size, if you do not feel comfortable with the reel in your hands, it becomes more difficult to use.

To get a comfortable reel, you need to ensure that the reel balances adequately with the rod. This will enable the reel to cast its baits and lures easily and efficiently. You also need to watch out for the grip of the reel. It has to be comfortable, not too soft, and not too stiff. It should be soft enough to allow you to hold the reel without any problem and stiff enough so that it can withstand pressure and drag from the fish.
Lastly, you may want to check other components that are responsible for the efficiency and comfortability of the reel. These components include tensioners, reeling handles, thumb latches, and drag settings.

Gear Ratio

The gear ratio of a casting reel refers to the number of times that the reel’s spool will turn over when you rotate the handle. This factor affects the speed of the line’s retrieval, allowing for a faster and efficient lure retrieval. The gear ratio is always in ratio forms like 5:1, 2:1, or 7:1.

For the 7:1 gear ratio, it means that the spool will turn over seven times when you rotate the handle once. This is a swift gear ratio, as the higher the gear ratio, the quicker the lure retrieval. However, it is not all the fast gear ratios that are suitable for your fishing needs. The type of lure you use determines the gear ratio that is suitable for you.

If you plan to use a diving crankbait, you need a slower gear ratio. Lures such as soft plastics, Texas rigs, and the like require an average speed gear ratio (5:1) and big spinnerbaits require faster gear ratios such as 7:1.

Spool Size

The size of the spool you want largely depends on the type of fish you want to catch. The bigger the fish, the bigger the spool size. Thus, if you are aiming for smaller fish, you will do well with smaller spool sizes.

The factors mentioned above are the vital things you should look out for when shopping for a casting reel. 

Shimano SLX XT Review Conclusion –  Excellent Value!

The SHIMANO SLX XT baitcaster is an excellent baitcasting reel from Shimano. It is the second of the SLX series, and a definite upgrade from the previous model. Anglers will find this reel useful and very efficient. It’s a bargan at its current price, but don’t skimp out on still getting the best fishing tackle insurance too!

Hopefully this Shimano SLX XT review was helpful. Now go catch some dinner!

Shimano SLX XT Review FAQ

Why use the SHIMANO SLX XT Reel?

You should use the casting reel because of its improved features. It comes with new features that make it a better option than its predecessor and makes fishing more exciting and fun.

What level of angler can use the reel?

The SHIMANO SLX XT is recommended for experienced anglers as it uses a customized braking system that new anglers may not be familiar with.

Shimano SLX vs XT

The SLX XT has an additional bearing and Shimano SVS externally adjustable brake system. The standard SLX is a fine reel in its own right, but comes without the additional features of the XT. The SLX has the Shimano VBS brake system which is adjusted by flipping the side cover up and setting the brake pins manually to suit the conditions.

Are these right handed or left handed?

150 series is right handed, 151 series is left handed.