Is This The Best Reel for Sailfish? Shimano Forcemaster Electric Review

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Written By Russ Egan

Russ is a professional fisherman with over 20 years of experience. He has fished all over the world for more than two decades, primarily for saltwater game fish but also for local trophy fish. Russ comprehensively tests and reviews all his fishing gear to help others achieve their own fishing goals. There is nothing he prefers than heading down to his local tackle store, buying the latest fishing reel, and taking it to the water to test.


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If you have been looking for an electric fishing reel then you certainly would’ve heard of the Shimano Forcemaster 9000. It is sleek and stylish but comes with enough strength and power to retrieve anything you can find in the deep blue ocean.

Whether you are interested in kite fishing, deep bottom fishing, or billfish targeting, the Forcemaster allows you to experience a whole new type of angling.

I have put together this review of the reel to highlight the features and benefits so that you can make an educated buying decision.

Let’s get stuck in.

Shimano Forcemaster Electric Reel
  • 3.1:1 Gear Ratio
  • 55 lb Adjustable Drag
  • 14 Double Shielded Ball Bearings
  • 180 m/minute Retrieve Rate

Learn more about how our scoring system works.

Is This The Best Reel for Sailfish? Shimano Forcemaster Electric Review 2
Shimano Forcemaster Bench Tested


  • 10 Year Warranty
  • Hagane Body
  • Shielded Anti-rust Bearings
  • Cross Carbon Drag
  • LCD Display

The Shimano Forcemaster is one of the premier electric reels on the market. It has a high max drag of 55 lbs that is powerful enough to fight almost any game fish in the deep sea. Its line capacity can hold over 1000 yards of 80 lb braid which can drop deep enough to most popular reefs. The electric motor is ideal for fishing the seafloor of the deep ocean or for anyone with an impairment that needs some assistance in retrieving.

The main downside, in my opinion, is the cost. This is a high-end reel, full of features, with a large price tag. Due to its higher price tag I have given it a relatively low score for value for money.

Kite Fishing

Kite fishing is particularly popular with Forcemaster anglers. This is because the amount of line they need to retrieve can be enormous, depending on how much distance has been used.

An electric reel is an absolute must-have for kite fishing long distances. When you are floating bait and hooks hundreds of yards away from the surf to the target zone, then it can be tiring every time you need to re-bait the hooks. The assistance of an electric motor on your reel is invaluable and a must-have, depending on the location of your kite fishing.

This is also a must-have for drone fishing, which can also take your bait hundreds of yards away, and having a huge line capacity along with an electric assist is highly recommended.

Shimano Forcemaster Display
Reel Display

Deep Bottom Fishing

If you have ever gone deep sea fishing then you will already understand the beauty of having an electric reel.

Trying to retrieve hundreds of feet of line with a heavy sinker attached is a workout – and even more so if you have a big fish on the end.

If you consider how many times you need to bring your hook up from the bottom because you have hooked a fish or just to replace your bait can be hundreds of separate occurrences. And if each of these is hundreds of feet or even 1000 feet down then you will be glad you had an electric reel.

The Forcemaster comes with four different programmable modes:

  • Top / Bottom Mode
  • Jigging Mode (called Invitation Mode)
  • Constant Speed Mode
  • Easy Mode – maintains tension

Another feature that helps with deep-sea bottom fishing is the depth memory alarm. This function remembers the depth that you have been fishing at and alerts you with an audible beep when you are 12 feet from that depth.

Shimano Forcemaster Electric Fishing Reel Unboxing
Shimano Forcemaster Unboxing

Sailfish Specialist

I have seen a fisherman use an electric reel to catch a sailfish from almost 2000 feet deep. This is something that would be almost unthinkable with a hand reel.

Big game fish, particularly from depth is a prime target for this type of reel with the electric retrieve design.

Sailfish and marlin have so much power and energy that they can seemingly keep swimming forever. To be able to fight them you need to have enough strength to halt their run or enough line for them to get tired. The Shimano Forcemaster has both. The main concern is whether the electric motor can retrieve line at the same speed that a sailfish can swim to avoid losing tension and the fish spitting the hook.

The gear ratio of 3.1:1 gives it serious torque that very few conventional reels can deliver.

My only concern would be the retrieve rate at 135 m/minute which is on the low side compared to some of the alternatives. The Shimano Beastmaster has a retrieve rate of 180 m/minute with a similarly high max drag of 55 lb and the same gear ratio.


  • The Shimano Forcemaster has one of the highest max drags of any electric conventional reels at 55 lbs.
  • The extremely high line capacity of over 2000 yards of 40 lb braid means that you can fish almost anywhere on the planet for any large saltwater species.


  • The retrieve rate of 135 m/minute is on the low side compared to other alternatives at 175-190 m/minute.
  • This is a heavy reel at 54 ounces, but you will be mounting this properly and won’t be lifting it during a fight.
  • At this price range, it is a very expensive reel, and there are some other options that you might want to consider to get better value for money.

Shimano Forcemaster Specifications

  • Maximum hoisting power – 72 kg
  • Practical hoisting endurance – 12 kg
  • Maximum hoisting speed – 135 m/min
  • Practical hoisting speed of a 1kg load: 118 m/min
  • Practical hoisting speed of a 2kg load: 114 m/min
  • Practical hoisting speed of a 3kg load: 109 m/min
FM9000A53.4 oz33.1:135 Inches/Crank40/2050, 50/1800, 65/1260, 80/103055 lb

Shimano Forcemaster Video

For those who like to learn from video, have a look at this fisherman bringing up a Queen Snapper from deep-sea fishing with a Shimano Forcemaster.


If you are looking for more information, please read through Shimano’s official documentation.

If you have used a Shimano Forcemaster and have your own thoughts and experience, please leave a comment below. I love interacting with our readers and sharing your wisdom.

If you want to see some alternatives, then look at the best electric reels on the market.

Happy fishing!

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