Shimano Tranx 2023

Sergio Smirnoff

Hello, my name is Sergio Smirnof, and my goal with FishReeler is to provide a valuable resource for anglers of all levels, from beginners to experienced veterans. I hope that my passion for fishing and dedication to the sport shines through in the content I create and inspires others to get out on the water and catch some fish!

Shimano’s Tranx 200 series reels are very similar in many aspects. Therefore, we decided to make a review for you, in which we consider the 200AXG, 200AHG, and 201AHG models.

Shimano Tranx 200 Review – Tranx 200 Series Full Review

Shimano Tranx 200 was released recently and presented at ICAST 2018. After that, the reel began to be in very high demand and now it is one of the best-selling series of reels in Shimano. This series has three ratios for the right hand and one for the left. All three models combine X-Ship and HEG technologies to give you more casting power for heavy lures and large fish, and the smoothness that Shimano is renowned for.

Distinctive Features of Shimano Tranx 200

All Tranx 200 reels have many distinctive features over other reels. Here are the most important ones:

  • Excellent bait-casters that can handle both light and heavy baits and fish
  • Designed mostly for freshwater, but can also work in saltwater
  • Large gears for good torque control when launching large and heavy lures
  • Great reels for snook and pelagic

If you love baitcasting reels and big fish, then you will love what the Shimano Tranx 200AXG, 200AHG, and 201AHG have to offer. We also love that all reels in this series are equipped with CoreProtect technology, which protects the reel body and internal parts from saltwater and corrosion. This allows you to use the reel even in saltwater bodies and does not feel heavy when the water hits the reel.

Technologies Used In Shimano Tranx 200

Hagane body. Hagane technology is a reel body technology that prevents the reel from flexing while fighting fish, maintaining excellent balance and control during the fight. This minimizes fatigue in your hands, which is very important when fighting heavy fish for a long time.

Large gear wheels with HEG technology. Most gears are simply cut during production. This leaves room for error and the gear wheel can be uneven or very sharp, causing jerky movements when the reel is running.

Shimano uses HEG technology to produce gears. The gears go through a 3D modeling process and then cold stamped. The result is very precise and even gears that allow you to achieve very smooth retrieval even when fighting large fish.

X-Ship. This is a fairly popular and frequently used technology in Shimano reels and stands for Extra, Smooth, and High Power. Because the pinion is close to the centerline of the drive gear, a lot of power is transmitted from the handle to the reel.

Besides, the pinion gear is supported by two Shimano A-RB roller bearings. This greatly increases the durability and power of the reel. Thanks to this technology, it will serve you for many years.

The Coreprotect body treatment system not only protects the reel from corrosion, allowing you to use it in saltwater but also repels water from the reel during use. This leaves it lightweight throughout the entire fishing trip. The problem with most water repellent systems is that they leave the reel sticky during use. Core project does not have such a disadvantage.

High capacity precision aluminum spool. The Precision Aluminum S3D spool has a large capacity and allows you to cast long distances several hundred yards ahead even without the need for backing.

QuickFire II clutch bar. Shimano has added a Quickfire II clutch bar to all Trunks 200 reels, allowing you to always be ready for fast and efficient one-handed casting.

Stainless steel 3 + 1 S-ARB bearings. The 3 + 1 S-ARB bearing system is similar to the standard A-RB bearings found in Shimano reels. But their main difference is that they are shielded on both sides with stainless steel shields for maximum protection against corrosion. Also, the screens protect the bearings from dirt, water, and small particles entering the mechanism, which can cause the bearings to malfunction or affect their smoothness.

Adjustable braking system. Shimano’s adjustable braking system uses magnets and centrifugal force to control the line and reel during casting.

The principle of operation of these brakes is that during the first seconds of casting, when the reel reaches maximum speed, the brake weights are transferred to the outside of the reel inside the body. This creates sufficient friction and prevents backlash. What we love the most about these brakes is that they prevent the most common problem fishermen face when using reels – backlash.

Cross carbon drag up to 13 lbs. Shimano developed a system in which all carbon washers are placed on either side of the pinion. This ensures even pressure on both sides.

This allows the drag to be very smooth and avoid jerking and bumping under heavy loads. You can perfectly tune it with a large star drag made of durable aluminum. Besides, it is the same system set in all Shimano Curado reels.

Sturdy handle with double rubber knobs. All Shimano Tranx 200 models are equipped with an oversized 102 mm to handle made of durable proprietary material for a very comfortable and firm grip. This allows you to fish with large lures using a very comfortable grip and do it over and over again without putting strain on your hands. And rubber knobs will prevent the handle from slipping out at the most inopportune moment.

Shimano Tranx 200 Pros & Cons

Before starting a detailed review of each reel model, we have specially provided for you a list of the positive and negative aspects of all Shimano Tranx 200 reels. Here they are:

  • Very powerful and durable

  • Durable aluminum Hagane Concept body

  • Increased gear with HEG technology

  • Protected against corrosion, water, and small particles

  • Very capacious aluminum S3D spool

  • S-ARB bearings 3 + 1

  • Adjustable, comfortable brake system

  • Cross carbon drag up to 13 lbs

  • Comfortable and durable handle with rubber knobs

  • Price

  • There is no bait clicker

Comparison of Shimano Tranx 200 Reels – Detailed Reviews

Now let’s take a look at each reel model separately and compare them. Each model is different in some aspects, so we have prepared a detailed overview of each reel for you.

1# Shimano Tranx 200 TRX200AXG Low-Profile Baitcasting Reel

Shimano Tranx 200 TRX200AXG Baitcasting Reel

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Shimano Tranx 200 is the smallest reel model in the Tranx series. Regardless, it packs a lot of power and is great for anglers looking for a good freshwater/saltwater baitcasting reel. The Shimano Tranx TRX200AXG comes with a 7.2:1 gear ratio and 36-inch retrieval speed. This model has a very good drag up to 13lbs and durable 3+1 stainless steel bearings. Each bearing in the reel is protected by a special shield on both sides, which protects them from corrosion and salt water. Even if water somehow gets inside, the bearings inside will remain intact.

The reel is finished in a stylish silver color. The paint is quite durable and does not peel off even after several months of daily use. The brakes in the reel are very durable and comfortable. You will not experience any difficulty in adjusting and will be able to set the level that best suits your fishing conditions.

Thanks to its large capacity, this reel is great for fighting aggressive and heavy fish using heavy wobblers. If you are looking for a reel that will handle heavy fish in both salt and fresh water, then you can safely choose this model.

2# Shimano Tranx 200 TRX200AHG Low-Profile Baitcasting Reel

Shimano Tranx 200 TRX200AHG Baitcasting Reel

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This reel differs from the previous one in its gear ratio. With the Shimano TRX200AHG, you get an 8.5:1 gear ratio and 36-inch retrieval. In all other aspects, this model has the same specifications as the first reel we reviewed. The reel is very strong and fast. Thanks to this model, you will be able to use heavy lures in saltwater and fight even the most active fish.

It is the fastest and most powerful reel in the entire Tranx 200 series. It features an excellent oversized handle for improved fish control. Coreprotect technology protects this reel from water, small particles, and grease getting into the structure. The same is true for all three reels. This extends the life of the reel and allows you to use it for many years.

3# Shimano Tranx 200 TRX201AHG Low-Profile Baitcasting Reel

Shimano Tranx 200 TRX201AHG Baitcasting Reel

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Left-handed anglers won’t be left out either, thanks to the Shimano TRX201AHG. This reel is just as strong and strong as the previous two but features a handle on the left side. This makes it convenient for you to use the reel even if you are left-handed. The reel has the same excellent bearings, corrosion protection, a comfortable and ergonomic body, fast retreat, and a large and comfortable grip with rubber knobs. The reel has a 7.2:1 gear ratio and 30” retrieval. Thus, you get a great saltwater reel.

Why Should I Choose A Shimano Tranx 200 Reel

For many years Shimano has supplied CoreProtect protection technology to spinning reels. And now this technology is available in the Tranx series baitcasting reels. Coreprotect prevents water from entering key areas of the reel and thereby prolongs the life of your reel.

The first place that is protected from water is the sealed area of ​​the worm shaft. The protection then covers the S-ARB bearings.

The next place where water ingress is unacceptable is the area around the frame, where the pinion support bearing is located. Shimano added an extra seal here to protect the bearing from water and grease.

And the last place, which is sealed, is the area around the button clutch and the place where the frames and the side plate dock.

This way you get an almost completely sealed reel, protected from salt-water and grease. Besides, the reel has excellent drag, feels good in the hands, is available in several versions for left and right-handed, and satisfies the needs of almost any angler.

The Tranx 200 is designed to withstand repeated use in saltwater conditions, which will cause heavy damage to the reel, even if you constantly clean and maintain it. Many fishermen note that the reel is great for muskie fishing and consistent use in saltwater.

Shimano Tranx 200 Alternatives

If you want to use your reel not only on the shore but also for catching large species (over 13 pounds) or very aggressive and heavy fish such as Tuna or Wahoo, then the heavier Tranx reel – Shimano Tranx 500 is perfect for you.

Although it costs almost twice as much as the Shimano Tranx 200, you get a reel that will win in almost any condition and situation. All you will worry about with this reel is which bait is best for heavier, more aggressive species.

Besides, Shimano produces an excellent line of Shimano Lexa 300 reels. They have characteristics similar to Shimano Tranx 200 and cost about the same. It all comes down to your personal preference between these two-reel lines.

Summing Up

The Shimano Tranx 200 is a phenomenal series of reels with excellent performance. If you are a fan of low-profile salt and fresh fishing reels and love to fish on the shore, then this reel will be one of the best choices for you. The reels are available in various gear ratios and retrievals. Therefore, any angler can choose the model that suits him best. Whether you are left-handed or right-handed, the Shimano Tranx 200 range offers you both left and right-handed models.

All the reels are very ergonomic and durable thanks to the quality materials that the manufacturer uses in the manufacture of the reels. They are perfectly protected from water and are suitable for use in all conditions. These are the reels that will help you fight both medium and larger fish species on the shore. We have reviewed for you the features of all reels from the Tranx 200 series and now you have a complete understanding of what characteristics they have and how they differ. We hope you have the most successful fishing with these reels. Anyway, you can always opt for alternate reels instead of the Shimano Tranx 200, which we covered above. Have a nice fishing!

Tags: #shimano tranx / #shimano tranx 200 / #shimano tranx 200 review / #shimano 200 tranx / #tranx 200 / #tranx 200 review

Sergio Smirnoff
Sergio Smirnoff
Professional fisherman with 40+ years of experience.
Fishing and the ocean is a passion of my life. I am passionate about all kinds of sea fishing: fishing from the shore (spinning, float, baitcasting), from a boat, and spearfishing day and night.

I live in Tenerife (Canary Islands) for the last 10+ years and share my daily fishing experiences on my website. Many years of personal experience as a fisherman and the vast experience of my friends allow me to write professionally on any fishing topics (from choosing a flashlight and equipment to deep-sea fishing).

All of my advice is based on practical real-world experience and will be useful to both novice anglers and professionals. Read more about the author.

Affiliate Disclosure: sometimes gets paid for listings, through sponsors or affiliate programs like Amazon, Ebay, Cabelas, Bass Pro Shop, Shimano, Daiwa, Rapala, Renn, Okuma, KastKing, etс. Clicking a link helps keep free, at no extra cost to you!

About the author: Each article is verified by the fishing expert Sergio Smirnoff. The articles are written by professional and amateur fishermen with 20+ years of fishing experience.

Note: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any agency. The articles are for informational purposes only, share your opinions in the comments and join the fishing discussions, let's share our fishing experiences together!

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Millon Palmstem
Millon Palmstem
3 months ago

The Shimano Tranx 200 is a great value for the money. You get a high-quality reel that is built to last and performs exceptionally well. I would definitely recommend this reel to anyone looking for a top-performing reel at an affordable price.

As a saltwater fisherman in New England, I have experience with both the Tranx 300 and Tranx 200. In my opinion, the 300 is a heavy reel that might be too much for your needs. It’s built for big swimbait fishing and heavy-duty saltwater fishing.

However, I have found the Tranx 200 to be a better option for most fishing situations. It’s a well-sealed version of the Curado and I think it’s the better choice. You’ll still need to clean it regularly if you’re fishing in saltwater, but it can handle most lures that are not too light for a normal casting reel.

Kelvhan Pipeclove
Kelvhan Pipeclove
3 months ago

As a user of the Shimano Tranx 400, I can say it’s a top-of-the-line baitcaster reel. The performance is smooth on both the cast and retrieve, and I’ve had great success with it while fishing for calico bass, barracudas, and bottom fish. Additionally, I’ve seen other anglers use the Tranx 500 as their surface iron reel and they’ve reported reeling in some good-sized yellowtail and yellow fins. Overall, both reels are excellent options for serious anglers.

Angelo Greenglade
Angelo Greenglade
3 months ago

The Shimano Tranx 200 is the perfect choice for those who want a powerful and durable reel. The build quality is exceptional and I love the smooth operation. I definitely recommend this reel to any serious fisherman. I am a big fan of the baitcasting reel design and recently I got to try out the Shimano Tranx 300 and 400. They are top-of-the-line reels that are perfect for targeting large fish like Snookie, Bull Reds, and Bluefish.

One of the things that I love about these reels is their CoreProtect water-resistant technology. This technology helps to repel water and keep the reel light during retrieval, which is great for a long day on the water.

Another great feature of the Tranx 300/400 is the Hagane body. This metal body is super rigid and helps prevent flex during a fight, making it comfortable to use for long periods of time. Additionally, the Hagane manufacturing process results in gears that are smoother than any other I have tried, which is a huge plus when fighting a big fish.

The X-Ship technology is also a great feature. It is a combination of features that work together to increase efficiency and transfer more power from the handle to the spool. The pinion gear is supported by two Shimano A-RB roller bearings, which increases the efficiency and durability of the reel.

The Tranx 300/400 also comes with the QuickFire II clutch bar, which makes it easy to cast quickly and efficiently with one hand. The number of S-ARB stainless steel bearings also adds to the smoothness and durability of the reel, and the high-capacity spool allows for a large amount of line to be stored.

Overall, I highly recommend the Shimano Tranx 300/400 for anyone looking for a top-of-the-line baitcasting reel.

Shaw Beetlewash
Shaw Beetlewash
3 months ago

As someone who has been fishing for a while, I know the importance of having a baitcasting reel that can handle big fish and heavy baits. That’s why I’m a big fan of the Shimano Tranx 300 and 400, especially their variable brake system. The centrifugal force brake system ensures that there’s just enough friction to prevent backlashes during casting, which is a big plus for me because I don’t like dealing with messy tangles.

Another feature that I love about these reels is the Cross Carbon drag system. It provides a smooth drag that doesn’t jump or get sloppy under heavy loads, and the oversized star drag allows for fine adjustments. This system is tried and true and has been used in the Shimano Curado series of reels.

When it comes to handling, the Tranx 300 and 400 don’t disappoint either. The high gear models feature an oversized CI4+ power handle that is comfortable to grip, while the low gear models have a 102mm double handle or Paddle Handle with oversized rubber knobs. Both options provide a solid grip, making it easy to retrieve big baits and crank in those large fish.

Trenton Tawnyfellow
Trenton Tawnyfellow
3 months ago

I’ve been using the Tranx 200 for a few months now and it’s been a reliable workhorse. I appreciate the comfortable grip and easy-to-use drag system. Would highly recommend this reel to any angler looking for a top-performing reel.

Paptus Oakshine
Paptus Oakshine
3 months ago

As an inshore fisherman, I recently picked up the Shimano Tranx 200 and I have to say, this little guy packs a big punch! Despite being the smallest in the line-up, it’s designed to handle the tough saltwater conditions that I often find myself fishing in.

There are three gear ratios available for right-handed anglers, including a 6.2:1 with a 26″ retrieval rate, a 7.2:1 with a retrieval rate of 7.2:1, and a high speed 8.5:1 with a 36″ retrieval rate. Lefties, don’t worry, there’s a medium-speed 7.2:1 option for you too!

Overall, I’m really impressed with the Tranx 200 and would definitely recommend it to anyone in the market for a durable, high-performance reel.

Carem Pearlwort
Carem Pearlwort
3 months ago

When the Shimano Tranx first came out, it was a highly sought-after reel that was difficult to get a hold of. This could be due to the ramp-up in production or simply because there were too many anglers who were eager to try the larger-sized baitcaster. While the Tranx can certainly be used for inshore fishing, my focus was on freshwater fishing applications, specifically bass fishing. I tested the reel using both mono and braided lines and cast a variety of lures, including large jigs and big topwater baits, over the course of several months.

Casting with the Tranx is effortless and straightforward, thanks to the proven VBS centrifugal cast control system. Although the cast control weight settings are not adjustable externally, the spool tension knob provides ample fine-tuning capabilities. However, there is one downside to the system. If you do want to change the settings, you’ll need to remove the non-handle side plate from the reel’s frame, which can be difficult to do if you don’t maintain a solid grip.

While the Tranx performs exceptionally well for big baits and big applications, it’s not ideal for casting finesse baits. Trying to use the Tranx for finesse techniques, like drop-shotting or fishing with finesse jigs, is like using a machete instead of a scalpel. The Tranx is designed for big fish and big applications.

The Tranx is smooth for an oversized reel, but it’s not as smooth or buttery as some of its powerhouse-sized competitors, like the Abu Garcia Toro Beast or Rocket. This can be attributed to the fact that the Tranx only has 5+1 bearings and the knobs use bushings. The main gear teeth on the Tranx are moderately sized, with a focus on durability. The gearing is secured within the Tranx’s rigid aluminum frame, which Shimano calls the “Hagane Body.”

Roderio Woolmore
Roderio Woolmore
3 months ago

I’ve used a few different reels but the Tranx 200 is by far my favorite. The reel handles well and the gear ratio is just right. I’ve caught a lot of fish with this reel and it’s held up great. Highly recommend this reel for both freshwater and saltwater fishing.

Odiel Clockish
Odiel Clockish
3 months ago

The Tranx 300A proved to be a formidable tool in my fishing tests, particularly when it came to fishing deep-diving cranks, big baits, and even a few punch rigs. Although its slow 5.8:1 retrieve ratio made it difficult to run topwater baits or when power fishing rock walls or banks and pulling baits back through dead water, it shone when deep cranking or presenting big swimbaits.

Big swimbaits presented no challenge to the Tranx 300A’s winding power, and this was even more evident when a fish was hooked. The Tranx 300A is a powerhouse of a reel, showcasing its strength when a big fish takes your swimbait. On multiple occasions, I was taken aback by the size of the fish I caught, as the reel made it easy to reel them in with authority.

The Tranx 300A dominates fish with the combination of its oversized gearing and X-Ship design, which features a bearing-supported pinion gear. This design not only makes the reel more capable of handling big fish, but it also improves the free spool by reducing friction between the pinion gear and the spool shaft, which is particularly beneficial for anglers who need to cover a lot of water.

Sezario Frayspen
Sezario Frayspen
3 months ago

The Shimano Tranx 400 is an exceptional reel for anglers who are searching for a powerful yet lightweight reel that can handle large baits and big fish, while still offering comfort during prolonged casting sessions. It’s ideal for species such as bass, musky, striper, and even large catfish.

I needed a strong reel that could accommodate lures weighing between 2 to 8 ounces, and be balanced enough to be mounted on a long, heavy rod. In particular, I was searching for a reel that was designed for Alabama Rigs and swimbaits, as opposed to a general reel that could be used for a range of baits. The reel’s 22 lbs drag rating was crucial for tossing heavy lures.

When I compared other brands with similar reels, I discovered that none of them had the drag capacity in a reel that weighed only 12oz. This weight was especially important for maintaining balance on a long rod. The Tranx 400 was a perfect choice as it offered heavy gearing, strong drag, and a lightweight frame.

Since using the reel, I have been impressed with its performance. After several seasons of use, the reel still operates smoothly, with minimal maintenance required. The Hagane all-metal body is solid, and it absorbs a lot of the torque generated during cranking, even with large heavy lures. The HEG gearing, which is upsized and one-piece, provides strength and durability.

This reel is perfect for casting or trolling, and I prefer to cast with it 99% of the time, mostly using it for Alabama Rigs and big swimbaits. The cranking power is impressive, providing the power to reel in big fish using large baits.

The only drawback I’ve encountered is that the gear ratios are somewhat limited. The reel is available in either a 5.8:1 or 7.6:1 gear ratio, with the former being a little slow, and the latter being a little fast. A 6.4:1 gear ratio would be perfect, but the 5.8:1 is still suitable for cranking big baits, even if it’s not my preferred speed.

One of my most memorable experiences with this reel was when I hooked two large bass, both weighing over 4 lbs. I was casting an Alabama rig in deep water, and on a long cast, both fish took the bait simultaneously. The reel handled the two big fish fighting against each other with ease, pulling them both in without any problems.

The value of the Shimano Tranx 400 is unmatched, especially when compared to the Revo Winch. The Tranx 400 offers superior drag and durability, and for the money spent, it will outlast many comparable reels. This reel is built to last, with minimal maintenance required, and it offers excellent cranking power and drags.

For those seeking a low-profile reel that can handle big lines, heavy baits, and big fish, I highly recommend the Shimano Tranx 400. It’s great for big swimbaits, Alabama rigs, and deep-diving crankbaits, and its low-profile design will not fatigue the hand during long fishing sessions. The cranking power and drag are unparalleled, making it a top choice for those who need a reel for larger cranking needs.

Konall Blackfyre
Konall Blackfyre
3 months ago

Just got the Shimano Tranx 200 and it has exceeded all my expectations. The reel is incredibly smooth and the power is unmatched. I’ve already landed some big fish with it and couldn’t be happier with my purchase.

Abram Herringash
Abram Herringash
3 months ago

The Shimano Tranx is a low-profile, powerful baitcasting reel designed for large inshore fish. It may not have the same level of refinement as other reels in its class, but it makes up for it with its strength and excellent handling capabilities. 

The Tranx is an affordably priced high-end reel with ten options, including a left-handed option, and sizes ranging from 150 to 400, with two gear ratio options for each size.

While the Tranx is primarily used for inshore fishing, it can also be used for offshore fishing for targets such as king mackerel and tuna. With its versatility, the Tranx can be used to target anything over 15 pounds, making it suitable for hunting large tarpon in shallow waters or spillway beasts.

Some anglers argue that the Tranx lacks refinement compared to other reels in its class. However, this criticism is often misguided. Only experienced anglers may be able to feel the difference, and the Tranx still offers five (plus one) bearings for smooth operation and affordability. 

The Tranx is not as smooth in terms of cranking or drag adjustments as other reels, but it is still functional and suitable for its intended purpose. The lack of refinement in these areas also keeps the price of the Tranx more accessible. The infinite drag setting is not necessary for large fish as a quarter pound of drag adjustment is not important when chasing fish over 20 pounds.

Atalus Thearne
Atalus Thearne
3 months ago

The Shimano Tranx is a versatile baitcaster that is suitable for both saltwater and freshwater fishing. When choosing a Tranx, the biggest challenge is selecting the right one for your specific needs. Some factors to consider include speed versus cranking power, weight, spool capacity, and the type of lures you’ll be using. For example, if you’ll be casting big swimbaits, a 5.8 ratio would be a better choice, whereas, for topwater fishing, a faster 7.6 might be more suitable.

The Tranx is a great choice for catching larger fish, thanks to its affordable quality and performance. The reel has a solid, rigid frame that keeps gears aligned and provides torque and power to the fight. While the Tranx is well-protected against impacts, it is not waterproof, so if it is submerged, it should be cleaned and greased. The spool shaft design eliminates friction, contributing to a longer working life for the reel.

Casting with the Tranx is a joy, thanks to the VBS brake system and the S3D design that reduces vibration. The centrifugal brake system is simple and effective, although the internal adjustment may be a drawback for some anglers. The brake setting remains constant for most fishing situations and only minor adjustments are needed. The 5 plus one bearings ensure smooth turning and solid anti-reverse. The crank feels smooth, but the addition of more bearings would increase the price of the reel.

Overall, the Shimano Tranx is a fantastic-looking baitcaster that performs well against tough fish in tough locations. The reel has a smooth feel and is easy to cast, with minimal worry about backlash. Although the power handle on the HG models is highly recommended, the Tranx still feels comfortable in the hand despite its bulk.