Shimano Solara Spinning Rod Review

Shimano is one of the top fishing rod brands in the fishing industry, but they also make it a point to offer some extremely affordable fishing rods too.

However, it’s difficult to exceed making just an average fishing rod and provide an increase in quality when keeping a fishing rods price range within virtually anyone’s budget.

Still, even an average fishing rod may serve as a solid fishing tool depending on the fishing conditions, and the Solora is certainly a popular option.

Regardless, this fishing rods review examines whether one of Shimano’s bestselling fishing rods capable of landing decent-sized fish is right for you or if you’re better served to opt for a pricier option.¬†

Pros

  • Is lighter weight
  • Are cheaper products
  • Surprisingly durable option

Cons

  • Only a fast rod action
  • ¬†Lacks excellent sensitivity
  • Not for braided fishing lines

Review

Construction (craftsmanship, make quality)

The Shimano Solara is not made of a traditional glass material, though this provides the construction rod blank extra strength– even if it has to sacrifice incredible sensitivity.

By using a combination of fiberglass and a carbon fiber blend, this graphite composite fishing rod also affords exceptional strength for fighting larger fish while still being ultra-light in weight.

However, even with a lightweight design, this rod blank lacks some of the more common reinforcements like a carbon wrap made out of carbon thread– though this isn’t necessarily an indicator of bad quality.

However, the lack of top-tier sensitivity in the rod blank for those critical fish moments might leave some feeling the combination of graphite and glass is better left to fellow trout anglers instead.

Another interesting decision is its lack of a 1-piece design, especially since many alternatives come in both a 1-piece or 2-piece design.

While a one-piece spinning rod may feel a bit stronger in your hand, many recreational anglers prefer a 2-piece design for storage and transportation– though none of these models sit in the longest categories.

Progressing on, this pole employs a full-length cork grip handle that’s not only a comfortable grip handle but durable and lighter weight as well.

Though, this pole doesn’t place a true emphasis on the grip as the comfortable cork handles lack some of the more ergonomic profiles that help other options further reduce hand fatigue.

This spin casting rod’s reel seat doesn’t come with any fancy design that sets it apart from the rest of the pack but still provides some additional benefits.

If nothing else, you don’t have to worry about too much slop with your spinning reel as the locking design is at least stable and secure, reducing the amount of time you have to spend fiddling.

Speaking of saving time fiddling, this series of fishing rods also comes with an aluminum oxide guide system.

Again, you’re not going to find too much in the way of extras with a budget-friendly option, but the rings use a single-footed profile which is another of the pole’s lightweight features and helps limit the guides’ impact on the rod action.

Material

The Shimano Solara is made of a graphite composite of fiberglass with its aeroglass construction rod instead of something like a 40-ton graphite carbon rod blank construction.

While many may not consider this the ideal material for fishing rod materials, aeroglass is still one of the lighter high-quality materials that make for a lightweight design.

Despite its name, the aeroglass carbon fiber blend provides a composite fishing rod that makes the rod light for a full day of fishing time without unnecessary fatigue.

Even better, this material is incredibly durable, able to bend and flex significantly more than a pure carbon fiber blank with plenty of backbone to match.

Moving onto the guide system, the aluminum oxide rings and inserts may not be the most durable guides, but they still allow for a smooth line flow.

However, be careful when using a braided fishing line as the top tip of aluminum oxide rings can run the risk of developing a groove in it– especially when fishing conditions include gritty water.

This rod comes with a graphite reel seat which may be one of the most high-end performance components included in the build.

Top that off with a comfortable cork grip handle and you have a fishing spinning rod that won’t wear your hands out after a full day of fishing.

Action

This series of spinning poles only feature a fast rod action which generally works well for the vast majority of different fishing conditions.

This rod action is by far one of the most common and popular due to how accurately it allows you to cast, even if it comes with a requisite decrease in the spinning pole’s casting accuracy.

That said, when you consider that this fishing pole sees plenty of use with light line fishing and other finesse techniques, it’s a bit disappointing that none of the models come in extra-fast action ratings.

Granted, that would open up the pole to an even shorter casting distance but would make it ideal for fishing in smaller water like shallow rivers and creeks.

Power

The overwhelming majority of these bestselling fishing rods come in a medium power rating, though there is also an ultralight spinning rod model available.

That said, the lack of something like a medium-light power rating might seem odd given the rod’s ideal fishing sports and fishing conditions favor fish species in that range.

Of course, you don’t necessarily¬†need a medium-light power rod to catch those species and an experienced fisherman will be able to use a medium power rating rod just fine.

And for those of you who prefer bass fishing, the Shimano Solora spin-cast rod also comes in a medium-heavy power rating for a little bit more backbone.

Rod Guides

Shimano’s aluminum oxide guides are somewhat similar to other, top-tier performance ceramic guides on the market.

This choice ensures that you don’t have to worry about an abrasive guide weakening and snapping your fishing line after fighting larger fish all day. However, aluminum oxide affords other benefits as well.

Arguably one of the best qualities of aluminum oxide guides is how smoothly it casts, reducing the slap of your fishing line against the rod blank and increasing casting distance.

It also doesn’t hurt that these guides will also limit how many tangles you have to deal with, leaving you with more time for fishing.

Handle (material, shape, etc)

This series of rods feature cork handles with a full-length grip which might disappoint some people who prefer the additional sensitivity of a split grip design.

In terms of performance, the P-Cork grips provide exceptional comfort and offer solid durability that will resist the pitting commonly seen in some lesser-grade cork materials.

Uses (Who is this good for)

experienced anglers may immediately dismiss the Shimano Solora outright due to the feel of this bendy fishing rod and its fishing rods price range.

However, recreational anglers often understand that the cost of quality doesn’t necessarily dictate a drop in quality.

Depending on your fishing technique, this fishing rod model can still land decent fish during your fishing expeditions.

For instance, certain fishing sports, like finesse fishing or light line fishing are almost necessary for a good trout fishing experience.

Of course, every fishing type or style of fishing works best when paired with a fishing tool designed for those types of fishing conditions. And with all of the types of fishing rods out there, finding the ideal tools can be trickier than ever.

However, when keeping the budget angler in mind, a balance of quality and other crucial fishing details means that you should see a modest increase in quality for freshwater fish, like when fishing for trout.

Of course, at this price, whether for competitive anglers or recreational anglers, this spin casting pole should be seen as a solid fall-back option.

Keep in mind that this rod’s fishing performance will not fit every fishing situation and it is best suited for extremely rough circumstances where the rod may suffer damage.

So, while this may not be the all-round best trout fishing pole for most people, it can still be an amazing performance spinning fishing pole for beginners just getting their feet wet.

Reel and Real Seat Compatibility

While the Shimano Solara may not blow people away with a fancy reel seat design, it doesn’t cheap out on the extremely important component either.

For instance, this spinning casting rod comes with a graphite reel seat that provides a much-needed boost in sensitivity– especially since not of the other components do.

Conclusion (Wrap Up)

While not high-end performance, professional-grade fishing tackle, the Shimano Solora can still be a fun fishing pole for freshwater fishing when compared to a pricier option.

With fun fishing combinations of action and lightweight features, the fact that this build doesn’t also include a combination of sensitivity from the blank can be overlooked.

With few other competitors offering a cheaper option, this spin rod is a popular option for beginning fishermen or those who put their fishing gear through the wringer.

Still, when your style of fishing aims at improving your trout fishing experience, it’s nice that the Solara can work with finesse fishing styles like light line fishing.

Other places to consider:

https://fish.shimano.com/content/fish/northamerica/us/en/homepage/Shimano_Product_Page.P-SOLARA_SPINNING.html