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Reel Review


Shimano Stradic FK – A Solid Design


Date: 1/24/16
Tackle type: Reel
Manufacturer: Shimano
Reviewer: Zander

Total Score: 8.24 - EDITOR'S CHOICE AWARD

Introduction: Long considered the mainstream reel in the Shimano spinning lineup the Stradic is now all grown up, and the latest FK version is a major departure from previous generation reels, featuring the latest design philosophies and features from Shimano. It may look different but the Stradic FK is not only designed to appeal to previous fans of the series but also new higher-end oriented anglers looking for a multi-talented spinning reel that will hold up to rigorous fishing and yet still feel refined enough for light line finesse applications.


Stradic FK ST2500HGFK Specifications

Line Capacity (lbs / yds)

200 yards of 6 pound / 140 yards of 8 pound

Gear Ratio 6.0:1
Weight 8.3 ounces
Number of Bearings 6 + 1
Additional Features -Hagane Body
-Hagane Gear
-Super Stopper II
-S A-RB Bearings
-CF Aluminum Cold Forged Spool
-Fluidrive II
-Power Roller II
-Propulsion Line Management System
Origin Malaysia
MSRP $199.99

Looking very different than previous generations the new Shimano Stradic FK has arrived

Impressions: The spinning reel market has really matured over the last five years and the level of quality and refinement that anglers have come to expect in the mainstream category has really come up a few notches. The delta in quality materials, tolerances, and even performance is smaller than ever between segments, which makes it all the more difficult for manufacturer’s to attract customers to their mid-range offerings.

The Stradic FK features a new angular yet compact design

Wind things back 15 years when the Stradic ST-2000, with the instantly recognizable pearl white finish and wooden knob, was considered a true mainstream workhorse reel, and achieved cult level status among mainstream anglers who bought it in droves at the $115 dollar price point.

Even the rotor features sweeping angles that are designed not just for cosmetics but better balance

These days Shimano’s Symetre and Saros lines occupy the true mainstream segment while the Stradic has been pushed up-spectrum to what many consider is the “near-premium” or “high end” segment. Priced at around the $200 dollar mark the new Stradic FK needs to both perform and look the part, and to do this Shimano infuses this latest iteration with their Hagane design concept, something we will explore in detail in this review.

The new reel is elegantly designed but does the traditional silver color match the aggressive profile?

Quality/Construction: The Shimano Stradic FK doesn’t look anything like the previous version, or the CI4+ for that matter, and features a new more angular and compact design. I believe one of the reasons that it was given a more traditional silver color was to reinforce that this reel is all metal, a key concept behind the Hagane design. The word “Hagane” refers to the high quality steel used to make samurai swords, and while we won’t be seeing any Shimano branded blades anytime soon (darn), it does reinforce the design and manufacturing philosophy of building these new reels with the highest quality metal components.

A badge on the side clearly denotes this is a Hagane based reel which also means more use of metal, like the main body of the reel which is connected to the arm

A Hagane body means that the body is constructed primarily out of metal, which is not only tough but also provides more exacting tolerances in which to hold all the moving parts, the guts of the reel. It is easy to understand why these features make sense on a larger more powerful reels like the TwinPower or bigger Stella models for example, but Shimano believes that these features translate equally well for reels like the smaller Stradic FK models, and this is the first Shimano spinning reel designed primarily for freshwater to debut with the Hagane concept. On the Stradic FK the main frame of the reel is made out of aluminum, the part that connects to the arm, while the other side is a durable composite. This isn't all that different than some previous generation Shimano reels, it is just branded as Hagane now. Regardless of all the marketing nomenclature we were eager to see how the reel would perform in the field.

Quality Ratings For Shimano Stradic FK


Frame & Sideplate Tolerance

Handle Tolerance

Knob Tolerance



Rating (= Tot/Pos *10)








You can see the angular rotor with the spool removed

Next Section: Hagane Performance on the water









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