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Reel Review


It’s all about the Journey – The Shimano Stella FI Spinning Reel


Date: 2/1/17
Tackle type: Reel
Manufacturer: Shimano
Reviewer: Zander


Introduction: The Shimano Stella. Just mentioning the name of this flagship spinning reel is enough to scare non-enthusiast anglers, and their wallets. If the idea of spending nearly 800 dollars on a spinning reel seems like madness then you might want to stop reading right now. The Stella is designed for anglers that want, no… demand, the very best that the fishing industry has to offer, and are willing to pay for it. If the price tag still hasn’t scared you off then join us on the journey to assess this halo reel.

Shimano Stella FI 2000 Spinning Reel Specifications

Line Capacity (lbs / yds) 3/136, 4/109, 5/82 (mono)
Gear Ratio 5.1:1
Weight 6.3 ounces
Max. Drag 6.6 lbs max drag
Number of Bearings 13 S-ARB BB + 1 CRRB
Features Enhanced corrosion resistant bearings, alloy frame and carbon sideplates, new D2 gear design, Infinitely variable centrifugal braking design, titanium line guide, compact bent carbon handle, EVA knobs
Origin Japan
MSRP $789.99


Shimano's flagship spinning reel, the Stella FI, is as striking as it is expensive


Impressions: : Let’s start with the obvious, the Stella FI is the most visually stunning Stella that Shimano has introduced to date. While previous versions certainly pushed the envelope in terms of features the FI also takes things to another level when it comes to styling. Spinning reels for the most part possess a very simple and familiar layout, and yet the Stella FI elevates that profile by craftily mixing angles with curves, and making it difficult to see where one starts and the other begins. The effect is almost Antares like, and the reel’s lines are so fluid that the design channels liquid metal.


The Stella FI features a very thin profile

The Stella FI is by far the sleekest looking spinning reel in the Shimano lineup, and while other reels like the new Stradic feature more angular profiles the angles on the Stella FI seem like the only reason they are allowed to exist is to complement the reel’s curves. The choice of the blue and gold metallic colors only adds to the effect, and the best word that I can use to describe the reel’s styling is just plain “sexy.” But beauty is more than skin deep in this reel, and as you can expect Shimano has loaded the reel up with all of their latest features which are designed to improve balance, smooth retrieve, and even torque.


The familiar thin yet durable bail

But before we get into the nitty-gritty of what the Stella FI offers lets address the big question, how much does the Stella FI cost? This flagship reel will set you back between $789 to $819 dollars depending on size, which is enough to even give even serious anglers pause. Pair that with a spinning rod that is “worthy” of wielding such a premium reel and your easily over a thousand dollars. Not for the faint of heart, the Stella FI is designed for enthusiast anglers, those that are simply willing to shell out the money to own and fish the best that Shimano has to offer.


Paired with the Jackall Adrena spinning rod

Real World Tests: I’ve fished the new Stella for two complete seasons now and every time that I sat down to write the review found another aspect of the Stella that I wanted to capture. I paired this reel with many spinning rods targeting different species, employing it for different applications, but the one technique that I kept turning to this reel for was finesse fishing with 4lb. fluorocarbon, and it paired beautifully with lightweight spinning rods including the company’s own Jackall Adrena and 13 Fishing’s premium Archangel spinning rods.


The Stella FI features a very forward profile with the gearing moved near the center for better balance


Casting: The Shimano Stella FI 2000 features a shallow spool and really is designed either for ultralight fluorocarbon, mono, or braided lines. It casts just fine, but in this department is not much different than you might expect from other higher end spinning reels. In fact it is in this area that I feel like the Daiwa Steez EX has the Stella beat, as the larger diameter spool format doesn’t wind the line as tight and seems to release the line smoother, resulting in longer more effortless casts. With light lines the Stella FI feels very natural and I really enjoyed fishing with 4lb fluorocarbon with this reel, casting even the lightest shakey head and drop shot rigs in clear and cold water was stress-free.


The Stella FI is a good caster but nothing exceptional here

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