Making a Power Play, the Shimano Tranx Baitcaster

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Making a Power Play, the Shimano Tranx Baitcaster

Postby Cal » Thu Jun 15, 2017 7:45 am

Making a Power Play, the Shimano Tranx Baitcaster

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Introduction: When it comes to upsized power reels Shimano has a relatively small lineup when compared to most of the other competitors. The Curado 300 has grown long in the tooth, and yet continues to be a favorite among big bait anglers. Many anglers have moved on to the more affordable Daiwa Lexa or very polished Abu Revo Toro reels. Shimano has been due to overhaul their big baitcaster lineup and the company’s latest power play was to leverage their saltwater proven Tranx Series to create a new platform that could handle both fresh and saltwater applications, and just about everything in between.

Complete Article: http://tackletour.com/reviewshimanotranx300a.html
Cal, Managing Editor
"fish with mindfulness : beware the darkside"

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Re: Making a Power Play, the Shimano Tranx Baitcaster

Postby ScoobyDoo » Thu Jun 15, 2017 11:01 pm

I'm shocked that you took the reel apart and didn't once mention all the seals. That is one of the biggest innovations to hit baitcasters yet.

I wonder if your reel had an issue.

As the revo toro beast is isn't a very refined reel. The use of c clips to anchor the the main gear allows for a bit of slop. And being so wide it can noticeable during the retrieve.
The lower end model without the fancy Loosen the drag while fish is running feature...Is secured in a standard fashion. And has a more solid retrieve than the beast.

I'm shocked you found the tranx to be less refined. I found that even after 1000lbs of fish on it. And both reels serviced and lubed with Krytox. That the Tranx felt as refined as a Metanium...And almost as refined as an antares (close but not quite)

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Re: Making a Power Play, the Shimano Tranx Baitcaster

Postby Zander » Fri Jun 16, 2017 10:00 am

Hi ScoobyDoo,

Thanks for your post and comments. In the review I spoke at length to the durability of the reel and also how it is able to be used in both freshwater and saltwater environments as well as use as a charter reel, which further speaks to the ability of the Tranx to holdup to the elements and abuse. Sealing out different parts of reels has been done for a long time and while the Tranx leverages what was being done on their saltwater reels I'm not sure it is terribly innovative, though all the Core Protect features result in a reel that does hold up well. We didn't experience any issues with the reel and as you can tell I liked how powerful this reel was, including the retrieve torque and ability to handle pressure under load.

In terms of retrieve smoothness and range of adjustment on the drag these were the areas that we felt could be improved/refined. I agree that adding lubricant helped with this but it was not something most anglers will do when experiencing fresh out of the box performance. The Metanium and Antares offer a much more fluid retrieve, and part of that just can't be overcome because of the micro gearing/mesh. But the Tranx is in a different price bracket, and when it comes to power there is no doubt it dominates. While the latest Revo reels may not feel as strong under load under many bait retrieve conditions we did find it smoother, and while I agree with your point in regards to slop, it is really primarily detectable under heavy load, not during constant retrieve.

As I said in the article when it came to balanced performance for the price the Tranx delivers.

Thanks, Z

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Re: Making a Power Play, the Shimano Tranx Baitcaster

Postby ScoobyDoo » Fri Jun 16, 2017 12:11 pm

Zander wrote:Hi ScoobyDoo,

Thanks for your post and comments. In the review I spoke at length to the durability of the reel and also how it is able to be used in both freshwater and saltwater environments as well as use as a charter reel, which further speaks to the ability of the Tranx to holdup to the elements and abuse. Sealing out different parts of reels has been done for a long time and while the Tranx leverages what was being done on their saltwater reels I'm not sure it is terribly innovative, though all the Core Protect features result in a reel that does hold up well. We didn't experience any issues with the reel and as you can tell I liked how powerful this reel was, including the retrieve torque and ability to handle pressure under load.

In terms of retrieve smoothness and range of adjustment on the drag these were the areas that we felt could be improved/refined. I agree that adding lubricant helped with this but it was not something most anglers will do when experiencing fresh out of the box performance. The Metanium and Antares offer a much more fluid retrieve, and part of that just can't be overcome because of the micro gearing/mesh. But the Tranx is in a different price bracket, and when it comes to power there is no doubt it dominates. While the latest Revo reels may not feel as strong under load under many bait retrieve conditions we did find it smoother, and while I agree with your point in regards to slop, it is really primarily detectable under heavy load, not during constant retrieve.

As I said in the article when it came to balanced performance for the price the Tranx delivers.

Thanks, Z

You're welcome it was a good read.


Have you ever come accross a baitcaster that has physical seals at the ar clutch, sealed worm gear where it traverses the frame, even an effort to seal the pinion and thumb bar. I think the only one was the current torium prior to this (but that was at the ar clutch only)
I've owned and serviced hundreds of saltwater and fw conventionals. Over the past 20 years. Sealed bearings was about it.

IMHO That is the definition of innovative. If you look at 90% of the reels out there...They're all essentially the same thing just different brakes. Which I was so amazed that it's waterproofing attempt was omitted.

At the risk of sounding critical, and I don't mean to offend.
Was there a reason that even with the pictures of the reel taken apart. You chose not to even mention it?
You went that far to tear the reel down. Then chose not to bring up one of it's most significant selling points for the entirety of the saltwater and kayak crowd.

Tight lines :)

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Re: Making a Power Play, the Shimano Tranx Baitcaster

Postby Zander » Fri Jun 16, 2017 2:57 pm

No offense taken at all and always appreciate the feedback. Sealed systems are definitely more common on spinning reels, especially those employed in surf environments. For this particular article the focus really was on big bait applications and freshwater, something that I stated throughout the tests.

"While the Tranx can certainly be utilized for inshore fishing the focus of our tests were on freshwater, primarily bass fishing applications."

If the focus on on brackish or salt then this is an area that I would have called out more. While the seals were not called out specifically as mentioned I spoke to the benefits of Coreprotect.

The Tranx Series does a lot of things well, and does some things, like deliver torque, very well. The series is a good choice for anglers that are often fishing big baits and inshore applications, and brackish water or even salt will do little to alter the reel’s performance, even over time.

When it comes to the salt the Tranx has all the necessary provisions to stand up to the elements with the company's CoreProtect design which employs a coating on the exterior and fittings on the inside to shield key components. The Tranx has already been deployed by many charter boats and is proving itself to be a worthy option for targeting everything from mid-sized Tuna to Wahoo. The reel should hold up well even for short to mid-range applications, and it may even have enough capacity for long range applications when paired with 50lb braided line.

As always the reviews are designed to provide anglers with additional information in which to make their decisions and if you are a saltwater angler then certainly with the application comes it's own key factors that would influence whether or not the product would be a good fit for how you intend to use it. I do appreciate the take and will consider expanding on the seals in the article.

Best, Z

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Re: Making a Power Play, the Shimano Tranx Baitcaster

Postby justgopen » Fri Jun 16, 2017 3:20 pm

ScoobyDoo wrote:I'm shocked you found the tranx to be less refined. I found that even after 1000lbs of fish on it. And both reels serviced and lubed with Krytox. That the Tranx felt as refined as a Metanium...And almost as refined as an antares (close but not quite)


I've got both the MET and the TRX and my experience is that the TRX is not nearly as smooth as the MET, it feels "geary" in comparison. I do feel that the TRX is a lot smoother than the Lexa though. Haven't tried adding additional lubricant but will give Krytox a try if it improved the retrieve feel that much.

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Re: Making a Power Play, the Shimano Tranx Baitcaster

Postby ScoobyDoo » Fri Jun 16, 2017 8:31 pm

Zander wrote:No offense taken at all and always appreciate the feedback. Sealed systems are definitely more common on spinning reels, especially those employed in surf environments. For this particular article the focus really was on big bait applications and freshwater, something that I stated throughout the tests.

"While the Tranx can certainly be utilized for inshore fishing the focus of our tests were on freshwater, primarily bass fishing applications."

If the focus on on brackish or salt then this is an area that I would have called out more. While the seals were not called out specifically as mentioned I spoke to the benefits of Coreprotect.

The Tranx Series does a lot of things well, and does some things, like deliver torque, very well. The series is a good choice for anglers that are often fishing big baits and inshore applications, and brackish water or even salt will do little to alter the reel’s performance, even over time.

When it comes to the salt the Tranx has all the necessary provisions to stand up to the elements with the company's CoreProtect design which employs a coating on the exterior and fittings on the inside to shield key components. The Tranx has already been deployed by many charter boats and is proving itself to be a worthy option for targeting everything from mid-sized Tuna to Wahoo. The reel should hold up well even for short to mid-range applications, and it may even have enough capacity for long range applications when paired with 50lb braided line.

As always the reviews are designed to provide anglers with additional information in which to make their decisions and if you are a saltwater angler then certainly with the application comes it's own key factors that would influence whether or not the product would be a good fit for how you intend to use it. I do appreciate the take and will consider expanding on the seals in the article.

Best, Z


Yup, From saltigas, to Zeebass reels I've owned em, beat on em, and torn every one apart down to the bare frame. Even influenced some mid model run changes.
It wasnt long ago that VS was the only real option. Seems like just last week we all were clamoring for companies to come out with a 400$ sealed reel. Then it was a 200$ sealed reel.
Thousands of threads on the subjects...

Did you notice the "grease" between the frame and sideplates that shimano states is part of the core protect? On the two I opened I didn't see any. THe core protect is just a coating (very tempramental at that), applied to the inside of the reel, ANd sprayed on the seals (if you dropped water on the seals or inside frame the water would bead off. Kinda cool

I get it,
Each fisherman looks at big low pros kike they made it for their quarry of choice :)

Swimbaiters think they made it for them,
Musky nuts think shimano had them in mind
Kayak fishermen say shimano finally listened but damn that sideplate (which there is a 60 second fix for
And NE striper and boofish guys are never happy and are just grumpy

For swimbaiters seals aren't really an important feature.

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Re: Making a Power Play, the Shimano Tranx Baitcaster

Postby ScoobyDoo » Fri Jun 16, 2017 8:42 pm

justgopen wrote:
ScoobyDoo wrote:I'm shocked you found the tranx to be less refined. I found that even after 1000lbs of fish on it. And both reels serviced and lubed with Krytox. That the Tranx felt as refined as a Metanium...And almost as refined as an antares (close but not quite)


I've got both the MET and the TRX and my experience is that the TRX is not nearly as smooth as the MET, it feels "geary" in comparison. I do feel that the TRX is a lot smoother than the Lexa though. Haven't tried adding additional lubricant but will give Krytox a try if it improved the retrieve feel that much.




Krytox is cool stuff......but it doesnt seem to play well with other lubricants. But the film left behind stays put even though it looks coagulated. It can be used very sparingly which is good as its $$$$$$

I don't think krytox smooths out reels. It does make them spin lighter.
but it protects phenominally.

I have a few tranx reels as well as a few Met DC's antares etc.
I also have all the otherr large low pro's and have really been pretty hard on them.
Repeated dunkings and what not, literal tons of bluefish and stripers in some cases up to 40 and 50lbs.

The metanium Dc's I have are not anywhere close as smooth as the Antares. But they are very "smooth" (hate using that term because even kast kings are smooth...and the last thing I want to debate is which reel is smoother :) since they are mass produced items and can vary drastically)
With my tranx 400's the only difference in feel I can perceive is weight due to the larger capacity being a result of the weightier spool. No gearyness at all.

And yeah. The lexas don't feel as premium.

Out of all the big low pros I currentl have and fish. To me the Tranx is the only one that really feels like a premium reel.


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