Shimano Torium Review – Compact & Powerful Star Drag Reels

There’s never a wonder why so many anglers flock to Shimano reels. Plenty of examples already exist, but the Shimano Torium still stands out. A compact star drag reel, the Shimano Torium offers durability with its one-piece metal frame. High speed and powerful gears in combination with a smooth drag system round out the design. With a price well within the range of affordability, it’s worth spending a few minutes on the features and capabilities of Shimano Torium reels.

Shimano Torium Star Drag Reels

Shimano Torium Star Drag Reel
The Shimano Torium Star Drag Reel

Product: Shimano Torium Star Drag Reels.

Overall Ranking: 95 out of 100.

Price: Low to Middle Range.

Owner: Shimano, Inc.

Website: Fish.Shimano.com.

Intro To The Shimano Torium

Offshore fishing isn’t always about two-speed reels with low grinding gears. Many anglers, especially those who cast the iron jig, always have a quality star drag reel on hand. Reels like the Diawa Sealine work well for the beginner, but the Torium offers a bit more bang for your buck. Shimano offers the Torium in 5 different sizes from 14 to 50. In total, there are 8 models of which 3 are left-handed versions.

One of the reels in Shimano’s “metal series”, the Torium brings durability with its one-piece Hagane body. Other features like its cold forged aluminum spool, HEG gearing, Super Stopper anti-reverse, and Cross Carbon drag, translate to even better performance.

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Shimano Torium Models, Specs, & Features

Torium Models

• TOR14HGA    • TOR16HGA    • TOR16HGAL

• TOR20HGA    • TOR20HGAL    • TOR30HGA

• TOR30HGAL    • TOR50

Shimano Torium Specifications

Going over spool capacities of the different size models is always a good place to start the specifications. Five reel sizes from 14 to 50 offer a decent selection of corresponding line sizes, though nothing in the extra heavy range. On the smallest TOR14HGA, you’ll get as low as 300 yards of 14-pound mono. Choose to go with a thicker wrap at 200 yards of 20-pound mono. Not too shabby for a size-14 star drag reel.




Next up is the TOR16 which comes in left or right-handed models. The thinnest mono it rates for is a 16-pound test, and you’ll get 450 yards of it on the spool. Move up to 260 yards of 25-pound mono if you prefer. The light line spool on the middle TOR20 (also available for right or left hand) holds 420 yards of 20-pound mono. It goes as high as 280 yards of 30-pound mono.

Getting on to the largest two model Shimano Torium reels, the 30 and the 50. Starting light on the TOR 30 (the final size with a left-hand model) offers 420 yards of 25-pound mono. It tops out with 260 yards of 40. Finally, the lightest mono on the largest TOR50 goes on at 490 yards of 40-pound mono. At maximum, it will wrap 440 yards of 50-pound mono.

Note:

All models rate for braided line as well as mono. Ratings for braid are available on the Shimano website.

Closing out the specifications on Shimano Torium reels are their gear ratios and maximum drag resistance. As for gear ratio, the smallest TOR14HAG shows the only difference. It’s just slightly faster at 6.3:1 than the other models which all have a ratio of 6.2:1. Maximum drag on the TOR14 is also less than the other models at 17 pounds. All middle size Torium reels have a maximum resistance of 24 pounds, and the largest TOR 50 moves up to 30 pounds.

Features Of Shimano Torium Reels

Hagane Body 

Shimano Torium Hagane Metal Series Reels Torium reels fall into a category Shimano labels their “metal series” reels. Using the Japanese term “Hagane“, which means steel, Torium frames offer a rigidity that graphite frames cannot. This eliminates frame twist when the reel is under heavy pressure. Metal frames tend to come with a higher price tag than graphite frames. They can, however, offer a similar performance to aircraft grade aluminum frames at sometimes half the cost.

Super Stopper A-RB

Shimano Torium reels use a stainless steel one-way roller bearing for an anti-reverse mechanism. They call it the Super Stopper due to the lack of any back play. With the reel in gear, hooks set instantly when a fish takes.

Aluminum Cold Forge Spool

Manufacturers of high-performance fishing reels realize the importance of reinforcing the spool. Shimano uses the cold forge process instead of a die cut aluminum to form the spools of Torium reels. The result is a stronger piece of aluminum making up the spool, better able to withstand the extreme stresses of taught line.

HEG Gearing

Shimano Torium Hagane Body Supports The GearsHEG stands for high-efficiency gearing, but it’s much more than that in Shimano reels. The system incorporates the frame and side plate, using them to support the gear design. An enlarged drive and pinion gear add to the power of the drive. The complete HEG system prevents twist in the gearing which often causes reels to bind under pressure.

Cross Carbon Drag

The cross carbon design is an attribute of the washers Shimano uses. By trademark, the special layering of carbon fibers crossing each other leads to an increase in washer durability. Just as noteworthy is the addition of maximum drag these washers allow.

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Pros & Cons Of The Shimano Torium

Pros

Small in size for an offshore reel, the Shimano Torium is more than able to bring fired up species to the deck. Metal frames aren’t as favorable as aircraft grade aluminum, but they offer stability at the right price. Other pros to consider are the powerful drag system, great line capacity, and strong high-speed gears.

Cons

Durability in metal frames can be a concern over time. Chips in the paint can lead to corrosion, and metal reels can snap with a jarring impact. Star drag systems are also not an offshore favorite these days. Old school jig anglers still appreciate the ability of a star drag reel, but lever drag systems are the current favorite on today’s market. Shimano Torium reels also do not offer a big game model, with sizes that go no higher than a 50.

Making The Best Use Of Torium Reels

Shimano Torium 16 Left HandedCombine a Shimano Torium with a fast action CalStar rod and braided line for rock fishing. You’ll feel the slightest of nibbles with the ability to set the hook before the grumpy toad knows what happened. Another fine use of Torium reels is for casting topwater iron. 24 pounds of max drag on the TOR30 is more than enough to wrangle angry yellowtail, white seabass, or striper. In addition, the 6.2:1 gear ratio will fly your jigs through the water column or rip across the surface.

Shimano Torium Reel Support

All Shimano reels come with a 1-year manufacturer’s warranty with service centers available around the world. Be sure to stop over at the Shimano website after the purchase of any Shimano reel. There you’ll be able to register your product, a good idea should any problems happen to arise. Most outside reel repair vendors will be more than familiar working on Shimano Torium reels.

The Wrap Up On Shimano Torium

Overall Ranking: 95 out of 100 owners approve of Shimano Torium reels.

As a saltwater angler, reels like the Shimano Torium are a true blessing. Performance wise, they more than do the tough work and they also don’t break your budget. Of course, there may be a need for larger equipment but Torium reels are almost sure to come out on an extended trip. It’s a sure go to reel when fish are crashing the surface, boils are all around, and you need a surface set up in a flash.

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4 Comments

  1. Ricardo

    I have a Torium 14.
    With the reel full and the drag almost at its maximum, the drag has strength. But if I’m fishing more than 50 meters deep, the drag in the same tuning loses more than 50% strength. It’s normal?

    1. Hey Ricardo. Good question. Let me explain to the best of my knowledge. The rule is that as line comes off your reel, whether from a fish pulling on it or just dropping down deep, the drag becomes more resistant. The less line on the spool, the more drag you should have in the same setting. It seems you are saying the opposite is happening, which should not be.

      Unless you are using the Torium to troll at that depth. In that case, you have to consider the added force from all that line dragging through a considerable amount of water. The faster you troll, the more the water will pull on your line. In this instance, it would seem like there’s less drag in the same setting, though it’s actually more force upon the drag.

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