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Reel Review

Relevant once again, the new Shimano Stradic CI4


Date: 12/06/09
Tackle type: Reel
Manufacturer: Shimano
Reviewer: Zander

Total Score: 8.50 - EDITOR'S CHOICE!

Gone are the days of the memorable pearl white or mundane silver Stradic spinning reels, the series gets a major makeover in every way with the debut of the new carbon based CI4 model. Designed to be both light and rigid the Stradic CI4 is Shimano’s newest spinning reel intended for light line fishing for everything from Trout and Panfish to lunker bass.


Shimano Stradic CI4 (2500F) Specifications

Line Capacity (lb/yds) 6/200, 8/140, 10/120
Gear Ratio 6.0:1
Line retrieve per crank 34 inches
Weight 7.0 oz
Bearings 6BB, 1RB
Additional Features Carbon frame, S-Concept, S A-RB bearings, Fluidrive II, Super Stopper II, Machined aluminum handle shank, EVA round grip, AERO Wrap II, waterproof drag, Maintenance port, Repairable clicker
Origin Malaysia
MSRP $199.99

Ms. Casey shows us Shimano's new carbon fiber based Stradic CI4

Impressions: Since the Stradic moved away from the pearl white motif in the beginning of the decade I have watched in eager anticipation for another Stradic that would possess as much character as the classic ST-2000. While the more recent Stradic reels upped the ante in refinement they just seemed to get lost in Shimano’s expanding lineup, not only did they look like the reels above and below them in the spectrum they performed very similarly as well. In fact I found the previous generation reels so analogous to the mainstream Sahara and higher end Sustain that they just seemed extraneous and as a result I had simply lost motivation to fish them. I yearned for the day when Shimano would bring back the pearl white Stradic which was not only an easily identifiable reel but also represented a great overall value in terms of performance for the money. 

The Stradic pairs nicely with Shimano's Cumara series in both look and feel

Who knows if Shimano will ever bring back the pearl white Stradic but when I got news of the new CI4 I started to get excited about the prospect of a Stradic reel that would once again standout in the company’s crowded spinning lineup. The “CI4” stands for Carbon Interfusion with the 4 referring to the number of electrons in the Carbon atom. The bottom line is that CI4 is a reinforced Carbon Fiber material. In terms of cosmetics the Stradic CI4F is a stark contrast from all of the previous Stradics and features a much darker and more aggressive look and feel.

The Stradic CI4 looks completely different from the previous generation reel which looked very similar to other Shimano spinning reels

The anodized red spool is a nice highlight and instead of a traditional knob the reel features a round EVA handle grip that both looks and feels modern as well as matches the grips found on many higher end US and JDM rod offerings, including the company’s own Cumara series. In fact just looking at the new Stradic CI4 and I could already imagine how well the reel would match up with the Cumara rods.

The CI4 stands for Carbon Interfusion with the 4 referring to the number of electrons in the Carbon atom. Ultimately, this means CI4 is reinforced Carbon Fiber.

The Stradic CI4F makes use of a new carbon fiber material on both the frame and sideplate and the internals feature all the latest Shimano designs including Paladin gear durability enhancement. The reel also makes use to the complete spectrum of features within the company’s propulsion line management system as well as the Aerowrap II Oscillation. The Stradic now features a waterproof drag and there are a number of features designed to make maintenance both quicker and easier including the maintenance port and a repairable clicker.

The Stradic has  very compact profile and only two small versions (1000 and 2500) are available

Interestingly Shimano’s new Stradic may be one of the company’s most application specific reels as it is only available in two small sizes (1000 and 2000). The Stradic is designed specifically for light mono and fluorocarbon lines or a pairing of PowerPro braid with a fluorocarbon leader.

As the real world tests begun we couldn't help but admire how well the reel balanced with the Cumara rods for a very light total outfit, the total rig weighed just over 11oz.

Next Section: Time to get casting in the real world tests









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