Expert Review: Shimano Expride Casting Rod

This review is my honest opinion of the rod which I purchased with my own money in January of 2021.

A man holds the Shimano Expride fishing rod and a large bass. He is on a boat.

All photos courtesy of Jay Wallen

About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the rod which I purchased with my own money in January of 2021.

My take

The Shimano Expride is a fantastic lineup of rods. It’s geared more towards the higher-end user, calling for a bit more experience than a beginner fisherman. I love these rods for power fishing and moving baits—primarily the heavier actions for frog fishing and big swimbaits.

A man in a boat fishes with the Shimano Expride rod.

About this rod

  • Model: 2021 Shimano Expride Casting
  • Rod Length: 7’3”
  • Rod Power: Extra Heavy
  • Rod Action: Moderate Fast
  • Rod Pieces:1 Piece
  • Rod Material: Graphite

About me

  • Preferred fishing style(s): Power fisherman with moving baits
  • Experience: 35 Years

Test conditions

  • When I bought this: January 2021
  • Reel Paired with Rod: Shimano Curado/Curado DC
  • Line Paired Rod: PowerPro 65 lb. Braid.
  • Days tested: 150
  • Waters I’ve used it on: Freshwater lakes and rivers
  • Species targeted with rod: Largemouth bass

How it performs

Casting Ease

What I was looking for

I was looking for a new rod capable of handling big fish on a heavy line. The two main techniques I wanted to use were frog fishing and big swimbaits.

Why I chose this gear

My experience with the Shimano brand and the high-end technology included in these rods solidified my decision to get this model. The SpiralX technology, the rod's power, and its light weight were big deciding factors.

The Shimano Expride fishing rod.

What I love about it

  • Quality: I love the quality of the rod. I have used it a lot, and the hooksets and how it handles fighting fish are very impressive.
  • Versatility: These Exprides are very versatile. Many of the rods can be used for multiple techniques, but they have a wide variety of lengths, models, and powers to fit any style.
  • Application: I have found that this model is perfect for super heavy cover in freshwater. Whether it's lily pads, thick matted-up grass, or heavy timber, this rod has the power to set the hook and get the fish out of the cover!
  • Literal Weight: These rods are very lightweight compared to other rods with comparable powers and actions. I have no problem using these for 8 to 10 hours daily with very little fatigue.
  • Length: The 7’3” was perfect for making long casts and getting quick hooksets.
  • Performance:
    • Ease of casting: The 7’3” length makes casting even light baits very easy, there is just enough tip to allow the rod load and cast long distances.
    • Power: This rod is an Extra Heavy, suitable for frog fishing, flipping and punching in heavy cover with big, heavy baits and heavy line.
    • Action: The rod is a moderate fast. This means the tip is somewhat fast but has some give which allows for great casting and also helps the rod load up on the hookset.
    • Ideal casting distance: 150’
    • Accuracy: The moderate fast tip and extra heavy backbone make this rod a very accurate caster, and I was able to pinpoint my bait landing with very little practice.

Issues I’ve encountered

  • Durability: The only issue I have encountered is that the rod guides are very sensitive and must be treated carefully. I have broken off a few guides on accident.
A man fishes from a boat using the Shimano Expride.

Favorite moment with this gear

I recently caught a 9 lb. bass from lake Chickamauga on a frog using this rod. The bite, fight, hookup, and landing of this fish were so epic. It’s by far my favorite memory with this rod.

Value for the money vs. other options

For those who are looking for a higher-end, high-quality rod model to power fish, this is absolutely the lineup to consider. I’ve been enjoying several of these models for two years now, and they have never let me down.

Final verdict

I wish the rod guides were more durable, but this rod lineup is amazing. The price point for a higher-end rod is spot on. It's lightweight, strong, and capable. The wide ranges of lengths, power, and actions allow me to cover all bases with whatever I am throwing, from light jerkbaits, to crankbaits, to heavy frogs, and flipping.

Selling Shimano on
Shimano Expride Casting Rod
Conventional Fishing Expert Jay Wallen
Jay Wallen
Conventional Fishing Expert
Have a question for Jay Wallen? You can get connected directly with him to learn more.
Like this article?
Share it with your network

Written By
I'm a professional kayak angler, I travel the country fishing for largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass. I have been fishing for over 35 years for various species all over the United States. I have even competed for team USA at the Hobie Fishing Worlds 7 in Amal, Sweden. I spend 140+ days a year o...

Curated experts can help

Have a question about the article you just read or want personal recommendations? Connect with a Curated expert and get free recommendations for whatever you’re looking for!

Read Next

New and Noteworthy