Shimano Tekota Levelwind Reels have been designed with Coreprotect water resistance for the ultimate increase in corrosion resistance. These reels are a trollers dream and the perfect cross-over reel for both freshwater and saltwater species, from walleye to tuna.
I love this reel. It has a compact design with plenty of power.
September 6, 2018
I have 4 for stripers and blues around Cape Cod. They handle it all.
ProsGreat drag. Very smooth
ConsAfter 5 years had the level wind mechanism blow up on a huge shark hit. Took it off, plug the holes and it keeps rocking!
Long Island, NY
August 24, 2018
Reel used for saltwater trolling and jigging mainly, but fine for all types of fishing. Reel is very smooth, solid built and compact. Shimano quality.
By Joshua Go
San Jose, CA
May 15, 2018
Very reliable 10+ years no issue
Had this particular model for a long time had to review it since it’s been through so much. Handled bay rays in SF bay to 65 pounds, tons of sharks to 20-30 pounds; also got my bigger salmon up to 18 pounds on this reel as well. Not exactly what it’s intended for but I’m sure the larger models will fare for a lifetime. Lol pretty much used it as a beater and loaner reel. Can’t kill it, wonderful reel.
Cons reel handle little small to grip
February 29, 2016
Great Reels !!!
I have two for west coast fishing. The Mdl 300 (got the optional Shimano single knob crank handle) with 50 # PowerPro w/25# floro topshot which is great for flyling sardines/anchovies for calicos in the kelp to schoolie yellows/albies in open water on a f/t-h/d 8ft Seeker trigger rod. The mdl 700 w/an after market long shank power handle with 65# powerPro tied right on to a 2 hook ganglon and a 6 1/2 heavy rod is great for deep water (300ft) rock codding. Both great reels and unlike many I like a level wind especially when cranking up 16 oz + of sinker and 10lbs + of fish from way down deep.
ProsThey work and are well made with no problems encountered so far after two seasons of use. But then again again they are Shimanos.
February 12, 2016
I have owned and used two Tekota 800 reels for six years. I bought them as strong reels with levelwinds as I often take very inexperienced people wahoo and mahi fishing. They have held up GREAT. I run 65 lb. braid on these reels and they hold miles. This because we could always tangle with a marlin. Hasn't happened yet, but we did land a 168 lb. sailfish recently. Surprisingly, these Tekotas knocked out my Saltist and Accurate bottom fishing reels. These Tekotas are just so smooth and strong, and I found it much easier to drag up the big grouper and snapper with these larger Tekotas than on the somewhat smaller but higher gear ratio Saltist and Accurate reels. And not having to use your sore thumb to levelwind abrasive braid all day is a plus. The levelwinds are strong and have never been challenged by big fish and big weights 800 feet down. I maintain my reels very well, soak in rainwater after every trip, partially disassemble and grease often, and these reels are still functioning like new. There is enough plastic on this reel to get scobbed up in hard use, but none of that stuff is structural. They still look good. I would not choose these reels for marlin or really big tuna, but these reels have the power and capacity to handle anything swimming up to maybe 200 lbs. And not having to constantly remind kids and rookies to thumb the line on retrieve is worth a lot.
November 17, 2015
U USE TWO OF THESE REELS TO TROLL BUKER SPOONS ON WIRE WITH TONY MAJA RODS....
East Lyme, CT
May 14, 2015
Excellent Reel !
One of the best reels I own, Bar none! The Tekota and the Torium are bullet proof reels.
Boynton Beach, FL
January 28, 2015
Good reel for casting heavy lures for snook fishing
West River, MD
January 3, 2015
Wreck Fishing Reliability
Great reel for wreck and reef fishing. Holds a lot of braid so you can reach the deeper wrecks and reefs if you like fishing in 150-250 feet of water. Has the drag to lockdown on big tog and those monster blues which seem to love to hang out over the wrecks. Also capable of handling big stripers as well. Easy to maintain, have had no issues with birds' nest or any braid issue for that matter.
West Hills, CA
October 22, 2014
The line counter is great for bottom fishing.
This reel is not great for casting but is my favorite reel for bottom fishing. Agree with other reviews, best application is when the captain announces at how many feet from the bottom fish are.
September 11, 2014
Love my linecounter
Got a linecounter 500, which is great for bottom fishing. The linecounter is great, when the captain says fish at 80 feet. No more trying to count how many pulls of line to guess depth
June 3, 2014
First Shimano Reel I Owned!
One of the best reels I own, Bar none! Handling the Tekota 500, was my experience with Shimano Products. I was on a party boat, fishing for Fluke, and the fella next to me had the 500 on a 7' Compre Rod. I noticed how well the combo he was using was standing up to the 6 oz lead we were using to hold bottom that day. And what little effort he used when reeling in a plus 20.5", or better, Fluke. I asked him if I could use it, and my Peen Reel days ended right there on the deck of that party boat. Compared to my Penn, this rod/reel combo was super light and with superb balance to boot. I actually hooked a decent size Fluke on that cast. I was amazed how smooth the drag. And I was exerting a lot less effort compared to the Penn. Not that these are large fighting fish. None the less, I felt a big difference. The levelwind was also very smooth. No grinding or sticking. And this reel was a few years old. I was just as taken with the over sized knob. I could tell right away I was handling a high quality reel in which a lot of thought and detail was used to design it. The next day, I bought a Tekota 300 and 500. That was about 3 years ago. And I have since replaced all of my tackle and gear, with predominately Shimano Products! If you are as passionate about fishing as I am, you to would want to use a quality product. Not to take away anything from Penn Products. They are very well made reels. And they have been around forever! After handling that reel, I simply preferred Shimano.
ProsSmooth drag, less effort exerted when reeling, very light, of high quality, durable, levelwind, superb casting, oversized knob
ConsThe one issue I have with Shimano is when they discontinue a reel, I find it very hard to find parts. Fortunately that is few and far between!
April 5, 2013
Outstanding reel. I own 4 of the these and use them for bottom fishing. They have hauled in 30# snapper to 200# sharks without an issue. Great for the kids because of the level wind function.
These reels look similar in construction and design to the Torium series. Is that accurate regarding the build and size? What sizes of the torium would you compare them to? Thinking about picking up a couple for rock fishing ganyons and jigging. Thanks!
Tekota 500 compares to Torium 14.
Tekota 600 compares to Torium 16.
The 500 holds 240 yards of 65 lb test braid, same for the Torium 14.
The 600 holds 330 yards of 65 lb test braid, same for the Torium 16.
The Tekota's will work for your application.
on November 21, 2018
from NONE asked:
November 18, 2018
What is the best rod to use with the 600 for trolling a rapala or a planer board?
Trying to make a nice setup for my 6y/o son. We do mostly saltwater fishing anywhere from trolling for tuna, mahi, wahoo to jigging for snapper or groupers. Will the Tekota meet my needs? Also which rod will work? Thank you!
This would be an awesome reel and your son is very lucky. We'd recommend pairing that with a Terez set up:
I've heard not having a large amount of line on the reel can make the line counter inaccurate. How much length of 50# tuff line would I put on a Shimano Tekota 500 LC to make sure the line counter is accurage from 0 to 125 feet?
You are able to spool up to 440 yards of the 50lb braid/tuff line.
what is the difference between the 500 and the 500LC ?
The 500LC has a built in line counter.
on August 5, 2012
500LC stands for line counter. Another difference is an "auto engage" feature on the line counter model. Turning the handle will engage the spool after casting. The standard 500 model must be manually engaged to take the reel out of free spool.