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Shimano Exage 4000 RA

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Shimano Exage 4000 RA
by Paul Thompson (Tommo)​


I spotted the Exage addition to the huge Shimano range of coarse reels in the Angling Times. At the time I was using a Shimano Nexus 5000re Baitrunner on one rod and a Shimano Twinpower 4000XTR on the other. I prefer balanced tackle, and as usual was keeping an eye out for a new pair of reels to match with my Harrison Chimeras.

These reels have the Shimano Fighting Drag which I like a great deal, and have used on various Shimano models over the years since the days of the 4000 Aero GTM's. I know I wasn't overly impressed with the workmanship on the current Nexus reels when I changed over from the Aero range a few years ago. Shimano's seemed to have been caught up and in some respects overtaken by other manufacturers such as Daiwa and Okuma in recent times, but I was willing to give the Exage a go as the price was very low for such a feature packed reel.


The reel itself is made from XT-7 graphite, has four ball bearings and internal gears manufactured from zinc-aluminium alloy. I'm no engineer, but I do know that anything made from these components should be inherently lighter in weight than previous models. It is also claimed that the reels are harder wearing and up to four times stronger than standard aluminium constructed reels.

It has the Shimano Dyna balance and oversized Power roller, the new Smooth cast system and a cold forged aluminium spool. Gear ratio on the 4000 is 5.1 to 1, with a weight of 370g compared to 440g for the 5000re baitrunner. Basically, loads of technology in other words.

Each reel comes with a spare aluminium spool, both spools capable of taking 200yards of 10lb mono.


The reel has a lovely chunky grip on the large handle and is very smooth and solid in operation. The rear drag is very precise and an audible click is heard when adjusting. One thing Shimano have definetly improved is the fightin' drag. On the 4000XTR model, I found the drag mechanism would catch when moving between high and low gear, which was unnerving when playing fish. This has been eliminated on the drag on the Exage.


So for a medium sized Barbel reel, which balances a Harrison Chimera blank nicely, you can't go far wrong with the Shimano Exage 4000RA.

Prices range from the RRP, and I picked mine up from West Mids Angling Centre (WMAC) for �69.98 for a pair. A bargain!!

Rating 8/10

Paul Thompson (Tommo)

July 2005
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