The New Benchmark for a Workhorse Spinning Reel : Shimano's Stradic FL
Total Score: 8.08 -
Solstace, Symetre, Stradic : Such was the Shimano spinning reel hierarchy that existed when I stepped from box-store fishing tackle aisles to an actual retail establishment that specialized in fishing gear in the hunt for my tackle. Symetre was the reel that fit comfortably in my budget at the time but Stradic was always the goal. I just couldn't bring myself to spend $100 on a fishing reel at that time; can you believe that?
Introducing Shimano's Stradic FL.
When my budget finally did match my taste, Daiwa's Tournament SS Whisker became the prize instead. Yet somehow, that white bodied reel with the distinctive wooden knob was always on my mind. Then Shimano changed the reel's motif, introduced Sustain and eventually Stella, Daiwa debuted the Certate, and I was forever distracted as my tastes leapfrogged over Stradic.
While Zander has fished just about
every generation it has taken me over 30 years, but I finally have my first
Fast forward to early 2020, poking around the "what's new" section of the virtual tackle shop, TackleWarehouse, an what do I see? A bright, shiny, sleek looking, brand new Shimano Stradic, the FL. It wasn't white with a wooden knob, but a very clean looking silver with dark blue or gray highlights and I had a hole in my review queue that needed to be filled. Two day's
later, thanks to an excellent shipping department at TackleWarehouse, the Stradic FL C3000-XG was mine - finally.
Shimano Stradic FL C3000-XG Specifications
|Line Capacity - Rated
|Line Capacity - Spool Volume
|Inches Per Turn (IPT) - calculated
24.5 - 35.5
|| 56 mm
|Bearings per Knob
||1 bearing, 1 bushing
|Line Roller Bearings
||Made in Malaysia
The C3000 features a compact body. It's the same size as the 2500
Impressions: Similar to Chronarch over on the casting reel side of things, Shimano likes to experiment with different materials when building Stradic. The Stradic Ci4+ is one of Zander's favorite reels, but for some reason the carbon composite spinning reel bodies don't appeal to me. The Stradic FL features a HAGANE Body (essentially, Shimano's take on an aluminum alloy) so it has more heft than its Ci4+ counterpart, but it also has a more traditional feel in your hand.
The Stradic's handle is a very elegant design
The Stradic FL benefits from the trickle down of features originally introduced in Stella over the years like micromodule gearing, X-Ship, a long stroke spool, so it is really well built. This is evident from the first time you spin its removable handle. The Stradic FL is surprisingly smooth and
during operation is free of the distracting wobble you sometimes get with spinning reels.
Loaded up with some Spiderwire Ultracast and top-shotted with
Real World Tests:
Anxious to get my new toy out on the water, I spooled the C3000-XG with some 20lb Spiderwire UltraCast X8 and topshotted it with some 6lb Seaguar Tatsu. With shallow spool spinning reels, I usually just load up with straight fluorocarbon to avoid that connection knot, but the C3000-XG sports a more standard depth spool, so to eat up that space on the spool I began filling with lighter braid to save money. It's a common strategy and it also gives me an opportunity to test more and different braided lines. I really like this Aqua Camo color on the SpiderWire Ultracast X8!
Didn't take long to get my first fish with this new reel
Casting: Shimano's Stradic FL features their latest long stroke spool design that involves a taller than usual spool so more line is stored on the reel at a wider diameter. This decreases the angle your line must overcome as it flies off the reel and over the spool's lip during a cast theoretically increasing your casting distance. Since Shimano's introduction of their "Aero" spool technology in those afore mentioned models (Solstace, Symetre, Stradic) back in the day, I've never really had difficulty making a good cast with a spinning reel - use error aside that is.
While I like the handle design, I'd have preferred the smaller
I-knob. The models below this one in size feature the smaller knob
Retrieve: The Stradic FL benefits from Shimano's latest MicroModule II gearing. The result is very smooth performance as soon as you turn the handle reinforced by the handle knob supported by the combination of a bearing and bushing. If you spin the reel's handle quickly and let go, there is a small amount of wobble in the reel, but none of this is evident during normal operation.
Drag performance was typical Shimano - smooth and consistent
Drag: The Stradic FL C3000-XG comes equipped with a drag stack featuring two carbon matrix washers more typically found in casting reels. This is a strong indication this reel is built for more than just finesse applications as carbon matrix washers offer a more robust drag than those made of felt (common on finesse tuned reels). Regardless of material, operation is smooth and consistent something I've come to expect and rely upon with Shimano reels. Smaller sized models come equipped with felt drags.
A look at the Stradic FL's drag stack. Note, 2500 and smaller
models feature felt washers
Next Section: A more powerful and sophisticated