(What The Finesse)... Shimano Sustain with an Edge
Total Score: 8.25 -
Introduction: The majority of us who are first generation bass fishermen cut our index fingers on spinning gear. Casting gear, however "conventional", was just too mysterious and unorthodox to learn without a mentor to guide you in your training. Spinning gear is just easier to conceptualize mechanically and requires less effort and concentration to use - at least initially. Additionally, at a lower end, dollar for dollar comparison, (where most people enter bass fishing tackle department), spinning gear is just a better value. Case in point? Given the choice, I'd much rather use a $99 spinning reel than a $99 baitcasting reel.
the Sustain 2500FG Spinning Reel from Shimano America Corp.
My first go-to spinning reel for bass fishing was the Shimano Symetre with Quickfire II circa 1990. At the time it was a $60 reel and quite the value when compared to what I recall as the top of the line Shimano Freshwater Spinning reel - the original, white Stradic. But shortly after I loaded up on a fleet of Symetres (approximately 3 or 4 reels) to fill out my extensive arsenal of split shotting combos, I recall walking into Hi's Tackle Box to long after the top end Stradic when I saw on their wall, a brand new, top of the line Shimano spinning reel. I couldn't believe it cost more than the Stradic (roughly $110 at the time) and not just a little more, but a whole lot more... something like $400! I mean, it was so out of reach for me at the time, it really blew my mind that a spinning reel could be that expensive!
Shimano goes stealth on the Sustain.
I mean really, how? Why? so I asked. The owner of the shop, Jonah Li, saw my amazement, grinned, took one down and showed it to me. This reel had 24K gold plating on its protector plate and on the spool's lip. It was exquisite but at $400 all I could do was give it back and think "maybe someday".
without a few styling cues borrowed from previous generation JDM Stella spinning
Of course, I eventually did make my way over to casting gear and as the years went by, my budget for tackle increased just a little bit. What I didn't realize back then was that very first Sustain was in fact, a US version of the Japanese Freshwater Stella. Given the original Sustain's opulence, it all makes sense now. Of course, Shimano did eventually bring the Freshwater Stella with its original name to the States in the late 90's keeping the Sustain line, but changing it though not necessarily for the better. Since the Stella's introduction, to me the Sustain has been overshadowed and somewhat lost in obscurity.
kickstand is a great way to protect your reel from boat rash and it comes
standard with the Sustain FG.
This past year, at ICAST 2011, Shimano did right by the Sustain and infused it with a new mystique. Taking the reel back to its roots and borrowing from past and present styling and engineering advances pioneered in the Stella, Shimano totally revamped the Sustain line and capped off the changes by going with a new, stealthy, all black, non-color scheme. It was enough to re-inspire me, so finally, almost twenty years since I first saw this reel, I finally followed through with that promise to myself and acquired one. Here now is our look at the all new, 2012 Shimano Sustain 2500FG.
Shimano Sustain 2500FG Specifications
||6lb/200yds : 8lb/140yds : 10lb/120yds
|| 8.9oz (as tested with line)
||8S ARB + 1S ARB
Impressions: If the original Sustain with its 24K gold plating could be considered opulent, the new Sustain FG is the anti-original. The 2012 Sustain is all about business and similar to the invitation only American Express Card is dressed in all black to mask its utility yet hinting that it may be even more capable than the competition.
original Sustain, this protector plate was covered in 24K gold.