Shimano’s range of inshore spinning reels needs no introduction. Reels such as the Stella, Sustain, Stradic and Sienna have all been stalwarts in anglers’ arsenals for several years, while reels such as the Vanford, along with the new and improved Nasci, have gained a cult following almost overnight.
The Miravel is a relatively new Shimano model that has quickly cemented itself as a quality reel, among an already established list of reliable fishing reels. It sits in the lower to middle range of reels, with a RRP that starts at $229 for the 1000 and 2500HG sizes, and $249 for the C3000HG, 4000XG and 5000XG sizes.
The most exciting aspect of the Miravel and arguably the whole point of its conception is the use of Shimano’s revolutionary CI4+ body, made famous by the original CI4+ Stradic and seen most recently in the Vanford. This lightweight material is what sets the Miravel apart from other reels in this price range. The CI4+ design is made of an anti-rust, composite material that produces a light yet rigid body. The Miravel is the cheapest and most affordable Shimano reel in its range that possesses the CI4+ design, giving the angler the feel of a premium light tackle reel, at an affordable price.
The Miravel possesses other features that underpin the durability of Shimano’s light tackle reels. It contains the iconic silent drive that also features in premium reels such as the Stella, and the CoreProtect water-repellent technology. The reel also boasts Shimano’s AR-C spool design, the Free Body oscillation mechanism and Shimano X-Ship design, which allows more power to be transferred from the handle to the reel rotor.
Apart from the 1000 size, all the Miravel models have a high gear ratio. The 1000 size Miravel has a mid-gear ratio of 5.0:1, with the other four models possessing a ratio of 6.2:1. All five models feature six bearings, however, they fail to feature a bearing in the line roller.
Shimano’s iconic Hagane gear system is also featured in the Miravel and the reel is made with so much confidence that Shimano provides a 10-year warranty.
I tested the 2500HG reel for two months in East Gippsland, putting it through its paces to see how the Miravel stacks up against other light tackle reels. Paired with a TCurve Premium 722SPL and spooled with 8lb Shimano Kairiki braid, I used this reel to fish jerkbaits around structure for bream and flathead. This featherweight combo enabled painless extraction of fish away from jetty pylons, with the CI4+ body performing a rigid platform for stopping fish and the Hagane cold-forged gears generating the power required to keep them away from danger.
This reel is without doubt perfect for these applications because you want a light reel that you can cast all day. With the added benefit of a high gear ratio, it makes it a versatile reel for working various lure styles and helps quickly recover line when playing fish. The benefits of the high gear ratio are clear in scenarios where you need to quickly recover slack line and impart a fast repetitive action on to the lure. This is the only reel on the market that has all these features at this price point. The feeling of a light reel that possesses strength and stability is one that every angler wants.
Reels such as the Nasci and Stradic FL, which start at RRP$185 and RRP$375 respectively, have been extremely popular among anglers in recent years – which begs the question, how does the Miravel compare to these reels? When you compare the 2500 Nasci to the 2500 Miravel, the Miravel weighs a mere 205 grams – 35 grams lighter and more corrosion-resistant due to the composition of the CI4+ body. However, the Miravel doesn’t contain the Micro Module II gearing that the Nasci has. When compared to the 2500 Stradic FL, the Miravel is 15 grams lighter, as the Stradic FL is made of the heavier Hagane body, rather than the lighter CI4+ composite body. However, the Miravel doesn’t have Shimano’s ARB high corrosion resistant ball bearings, Long Stroke Spool and one-piece bail.
The Miravel provides a feel well above its price point, almost identical to the Stradic FL, despite the Miravel lacking some of the components the Stradic has. There aren’t many, if any, light tackle reels on the market under $250 that perform this well.
The Miravel is a glimpse at what Shimano’s premium quality tackle performs and looks like, at a mid-range affordable price. Whether you’re an experienced angler looking for a light reel that will perform without breaking the budget, or an entry level angler looking to spend a little extra, the Miravel is a great option.
Words & Images: Sammy Leys