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  1. #1

    Shimano TLD 15/30

    Shimano has provided us anglers with an array of quality fishing reels. From the Calcuttas, Torsas, Trinidads and Curado's, etc, no doubt Shimano is the best in its class. One line of Shimano reels that gets overlooked are the TLD series. I believe they are overlooked because they lack the "BLING" factor(Usually Gold colored reels, and EXPENSIVE) and also Shimano does not advertise the TLD reels as much as their "BLING" reels. But without a doubt, the TLD reels are the real deal.

    Lets narrow this review to the TLD 15/30. This was my go to reel until I got into the "BLING" reels. I sold my original a few years back but recently bought another one because I feel this is one of the better reels around. Here are the specifics:

    This is the Shimano TLD Star 15/30 TLD1530S reel that holds 290 yds of 25 lb mono with a gear ratio of 5.2:1. The Shimano TLD 15/30 of the Star Drag Series Reels is a high speed, rugged reel that excels at casting and stands up to tough saltwater conditions. The TLD Star reels have a smooth and balanced feel with stainless steel gears. Solid and light weight, with A-RB Bearings, the star-drag TLD Star reel is a great multi-purpose offshore reel.

    Now out of the box, this reel is ready to go. But this reel can be kicked up a bit. You can find the total break down on Alan Tani's website. But basically you can remove the bushing and replace it with some bearings. Also various power handles can fit this reel. Also the stock drags can be replaced with Carbon fiber material. With all these add-ons, the already powerful reel can max out to 20 lbs of drag.

    As far as price, I have seen these reels go as low as 50.00 to as high as 110.00 for a new one. I recently bought a new one on Ebay for 55.00 shipped. Dont let this cheap price fool you into thinking this is a "cheap" reel. Quoted from Alan Tani, " take particular note of the size and strength of this stainless steel main gear and pinion gear." "These are much more heavy duty than the gear sets found in equivalent size trinidads and toriums" end qoute. I have 100% confidence if I hook into a Bruiser yellow, the reel will not let me down. Also its compact size, still makes is fun to catch Local Calico's and Barracuda without making it feel like the reel is over kill for the smaller local game fish.

    One thing that stands out on the 15/30 is its versatility. I love its 5.2:1 gear ratio because its a combo of Speed and Strength. It can be used as a Jig reel on the surface and strong enough to drop down and Yo-Yo a heavier jig. Strong but still light in weight to fly line a live bait. Its Non Corrosive Graphite frame will make it last forever.

    If I had to find one draw back, it would be the stock handle. You look at every Shimano reel made, usually they have a quality handle. I guess its due to me having big hands, but I am not a fan of this handle. Again, this is an easy fix and a number of different styles of handles is available to upgrade this reel.

    I know its nice to treat yourself and buy one of the more expensive, hyped, and blinged out reels. Nothing wrong with that, those reels are awesome. But do not overlook this gem of a reel. You will not be dissappointed with the TLD 15/30.

  2. #2
    That's an awesome review Ray!.

    I personally haven't used that reel before, but know it is awesome because it says Shimano on it.

    It seems like a great all around reel that can handle many different situations. Might have to pick one up someday to help finish off my arsenal.
    Think like a fish....

    My fishing blog: http://massfisher.blogspot.com/

  3. #3
    I've owned a few TLD Star and Speedmaster reels over the years. Since then I've sold all but one, my 15/30S. The left side bushing can be replaced with the Speedmaster bearing. The Torium and Gold Trinidad handles are a direct swap. Simple design and easy to service. One of the better "workhorses" you can find for a great price.
    Len's Custom Rods

  4. #4
    Nice info. I never fished this reel, but I know a few party boats use that reel as there main rental reel.

    I agree this reel does not get its respect. It reminds me of a stronger newell reel. For the price, you cant get a better reel.
    I may not have been the greatest president, but I've had the most fun eight years.

  5. #5
    Pro Staff
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    El cajon california
    Nice review Ray.

    I have one TLD 15/30 from a while back and it still works brand new out of the box. its one of my go to fly line reels.
    Team Hooked Up

  6. #6
    Oceanic Angler Moderator
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Orange County, CA
    Great write up Ray. I've got 2 of the tld 20/40 stars and love em. Only difference between the two is line capacity. While not necessary, the bushing can be upgraded to a bearing to increase freespool, but it still works great without it!

  7. #7
    I have a couple of the TLD 20-40s and the only problem I had was after several years of abuse and being tossed around in pangas I somehow bent the frame on one of them. I sent it back to Shamino for repair and they sent me a new one free. Shamano has some of the best service of any reel on the market and the TLD series is a very strong reel.
    Paulhttp://www.oceanicangler.com/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=5489&dateline=1312913 540

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Santee, California
    Nice write up Ray. I have a 20/40 tht I did the Carbontex and bearing upgrade and it is a very durable reel and a better bang for the buck than the Toriums. Load it up with straight 30lb mono its a very versatile reel.



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