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Reel Review

Go Light, Stay Tough, the Shimano Stradic MgFA (continued)

Casting cont'd: After each cast we found the bail trip on the Stradic to be simple to engage with just a turn of the handle. Flipping the bail manually each time is a good habit, as it puts less stress on the bail trip mechanism over time, and can be done very quickly once it becomes routine. In fact anglers can put their free hand over the line and flip the bail closed in one quick action, a technique that allows you to more accurately stop your lure and drop it into the intended target area.


The Stradic Mg cast the same as the original Stradic...no better, no worse


The Stradic MgFA features a high quality cold forged aluminum spool, but unfortunately no spare spool is provided. Both the normal Stradic and Sustain come with an identical spare spool, and the Sustain ups the offering with a coating of titanium on the lip of the spool. Edge: Give it up to the Sustain for including two titanium lipped spools with every reel.


The "Maintenance Port" provides easy access to the drivetrain


Retrieving: When fishing the Stradic 2500MgFA and the standard Stradic 2500FH side by side it was easy to tell which reel was lighter. Both reels felt equally smooth, but the Stradic MgFA felt just a bit more refined, mostly due to the machined aluminum handle which exhibits no play when screwed down. This is the same elegant handle shank found on both the Sustain and Stella. When compared with the Sustain the Stradic MgFA also was able to hold its own, and while we all agreed the Sustain was slightly smoother it still exhibited a similar level of friction on the gearing.


When a more thorough cleaning is required taking the StradicMg apart only takes minutes


Finally we compared the Stradic MgFA to the Stella FB, and there was really no competition. The Stella is so far beyond the Stradic, and Sustain, in terms of smooth fluid friction feel it was hard to go back after using the Stella. The gearing on the Stella is robust and powerful, and yet you would never even know it until there is a fish on the line as it is remarkably smooth. The Stradic has a great feel to it, but the Stella simply oozes refinement.


Remove the S-Guard rear plate


When I finally put down the Stella and re-focused on the Stradic MgFA I found the reel to perform quite well overall when it came to retrieve. The line lay on our test reel was very uniform, and there was no discernable rotor wobble during even hard retrieves.


Underneath the guard is a gasket

Edge: When compared side by side the Stella is in a class of its own when it comes to retrieve feel, or really lack of a friction feel, but to compare this high priced reel to its siblings which retail for half as much would be like comparing a BMW M5 to a regular 5 series. The Stradic MgFA feels near identical to the regular Stradic, minus some weight of course, and also is just a tad less refined than the Sustain, so little that the Stradic series stands out in this category. When it comes to retrieve the Stradic MgFA and standard Stradic can hold their own.

Remove a few screws and the magnesium frame is off, revealing the guts of the StradicMg


The main gearing exposed


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