Shimano TLD15


The Shimano TLD15 changed fishing forever. The use of technology and modern composite materials produced a quantum leap in fishing reel design and function. Three decades later, and nothing on this design has changed. Testament to the legend!

4 in stock (can be backordered)


Shimano TLD15

The Shimano TLD15. Another life-changing fishing reel.

It was 1987 when these futuristic and quantum-leaping little lever drags came to the shelves in SA. We were all held in awe at their unbelievably smooth drag systems with those huge washers. Their perfect balance. Their military looks.

And that song of a ratchet!

This little lever-drag took the light-tackle leagues by storm. Every competitive angler from back then had at least one Shimano TLD15. With 2kg line, 4kg, 6kg and even 8kg and 10kg, these reels handled the light-tackle arena with style and dignity. Many, many record fish were taken on Shimano TLD15 reels back then, are still are being taken right now. A thirty year old design that let nobody down, ever.

At 4.2:1 gear ratio, the Shimano TLD15 is fast enough for all the demands thrown at it. Light tackle fishing in tournament conditions means infinite tiny adjustments and the TLDs drag can never be faulted.

And the TLD15s lightweight spool and neat overall form-factor, gives you a rather decent casting machine, for when the situation demands. It is a big advantage to have a trolling rod that can double as a casting rod for when things require.

There is one quirk worth mentioning. The anti-reverse interval is quite substantial compared to infinity anti-reverse systems of today. Remember, this reel is over 30 years old in design, and yet that is the only tiny drawback.

The drag range is one of the nicest things about the lever drag TLD15. You can have it in literal free spool whilst chunking for tuna, jam it up to strike when a fish hits, and then go to sunset when a shark threatens. And fishing the reel with lighter tackle for tournaments makes perfect sense. That smooth drag again!

Maintenance tips:

There are three distinct manners in which TLD15’s have traditionally maintained.

  1. Do absolutely nothing. Maybe a freshwater spray occasionally. The reel will last for 10 to 20 years no problem. This is what most TLD owners do.
  2. Sporadic cleaning and spraying. 20 years or more, even on jetskis and kayaks.
  3.  Frequent freshwater rinses, some spray every now and then. A periodic disassemble, clean, regrease and oil – you will never ever stop getting excellent service from this reel. Lifetime.

I strongly suggest option 3 as the others were just for comparison and to make a point about the TLDs longevity.

TLD Model (linked)
Retrieve per crank
Line class
Braid cap

If you would like to discuss TLDs or other trolling reels, please feel free to drop us a line via this quick form, and we will get straight back to you…

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Post by The Sardine News for The Fishing Pro Shop.


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