When I travelled to Osaka, Japan in 2018 I wanted a ‘souvenir’ that reminded me of the trip. This is it – the super small Shimano Soare CI4+ 500S!
The Shimano Soare CI4 500S is a very special spinning reel for many reasons. Firstly, it’s a genuine JDM reel. Niche for sure. It’s in the running for the lightest spinning reel of all time, weighing in at only 140g. It suits the current trend for ultralight Japanese lure rods, making it possible to achieve a rod and reel combo weighing in at under 200g. Amazing!
When I was visiting Japan I was lucky enough to fish with my friends, Masa and Shigehiro. Shigehiro was rocking a 500S in his arsenal and it didn’t take too long fishing together for me to become smitten in this baby spinning reel. So for me it reminds me of a fantastic trip.
It was the same trip that I discovered ‘Ester’ (polyester) monofilament lines for the first time. Wanting to try out the unique properties I have decided to fill the 500S spool with Ester for now – 34 Pinky in 1.4lb breaking strain.
Shimano makes other 500-sized spinning reels but the CI4+ Soare has the highest specification, including a CI4 handle and 8+1 bearings. It does have a compromise though. The gears of the 500S are so small that there is noticeable resistance when turning the handle. It’s not a fault. It’s just the price you pay for a tiny, lightweight reel design. I have no problem with this as I only use it to throw tiny, lightweight rigs.