performance over the long haul? (continued)
not going to need much power in a 1000 size reel, but here again the Stradic and
Sustain felt eerily similar while the Stella further distanced itself in terms
of performance. Edge: No match…the Stella’s
frictionless retrieve wins hands down.
This is the grease from the
new Sustain has just a little less character than the previous model, mostly
because it looks so similar to other reel’s in the Shimano lineup. Gone are the
unique flat coverplate on the other side of the handle, and the wooden knob.
While the reel may not exhibit the same exclusive character of its predecessor
it makes up for it with improved ergonomics.
We inspected and cleaned the
The Sustain trades in the
round wooden knob for ergonomic Septon grips that go from a barrel knob to a
power paddle depending on reel size. I’m very happy to report that the company
did stick with the forged aluminum handle, which is one of the major
differentiators from the Stradic. The reel features S-Concept design, and is
also one of the reasons why it is so similar to the Stradic in profile. The
Stella FB on the other hand is the only reel in the Shimano lineup to feature
SR-Concept, which features computer aided design, SR guard fins, and a new one
The Sustain makes use of both
aluminum and graphite in the frame
Those familiar with the
Stella series will notice that the series has really been split into two
sub-series now. The FB reels emphasize refinement and lightweight, while the FA
series focus on power and durability. No surprise then that the Stella FB only
goes up to 4000 size, while the FA starts at 5000 and goes all the way up to
20000 size! The Sustain like the Stradic is available in 1000 to 8000 sizes.
The rotor on the Sustain is
graphite, though you would never know it with the quality finish
All in all the Sustain
reel features an overall smaller profile than it’s previous design, due to an
aluminum frame coupled with a graphite sideplate and rotor. Over the last two
seasons that the new reel has been in existence it has remained unchanged
ergonomically, but has benefited from a slight bump in drag pressure thanks to
improved drag washers.
The rotor spins smoothly and is
In overall ergonomics all
three of our test reels were all very good. We didn’t have any complaints about
the layout of any of them, and the Stella really had an unfair advantage due to
the magnesium construction which made it the featherweight of the bunch.
Weighing in at only 6.2oz the Stella is 1.6oz lighter than the Sustain 1000 and
1.7oz lighter than the comparable Stradic. But wait…this is in the 1000 size,
what if we step up to the 2500 size?
Testing the retrieve
Next Section: Who wins ergonomics?