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Reel Review

Shimano Stradic: A perfect balance of Performance versus Price?

Date: 10/18/01
Tackle type: Reel
Manufacturer: Shimano
Reviewer: Zander

Total Score: 8.83 + EDITOR'S CHOICE!

Introduction: Here at TT we take a look at a lot of different reels, and when I had the opportunity to get my hands on a Shimano Stradic I wasn't exactly sure what to think. Positioned near the upper middle of Shimano's line of Reels the Stradic is touted by Shimano as "graceful as ballet dancers moving across a stage."

Shimano Stradic (ST-2000) Specifications

Line Capacity 6/170;8/120;10/100
Gear Ratio 6.0:1
Weight 9.5 (oz)
Bearings 4BB, 1RB
Additional Features Aluminum spool, Spare Spool
MSRP $114.99

Impressions: My first impression of the Shimano Stradic was the fact that it was...to simply put it...pearl white, with sparkles. These days it seems most manufacturers are leaning towards black and gold or metallic finished reels....the Stradic certainly stood out from this fact alone. MP liked the look of the reel instantly, while I thought it would be hard to match the common dark colored rods sold today.


Feature wise the Stradic is almost identical to the cheaper Symetre or Sahara which retail for 84.99 and 59.99 respectively. They all feature Shimano innovations that include:

  1. Super Stopper II: One way roller bearing to eliminate back play in the handle

  2. Dynabalance: Eliminates spinning reel "wobble" with counterbalancing

  3. Fluidrive II: Advanced polished gear design for smooth winding

Where the Stradic sets itself apart instantly is in construction. Right away it is easy to tell that the Stradic utilizes a higher grade of material in it's handle and the grip on the Stradic is wood rather than plastic. In addition the entire bail mechanism is made of much more durable metal than the other reels in Shimano's line which are plastic. I found this bail to be much more rigid and easy to flip for quick casts. The addition of one more bearing makes a world of difference, and the Stradic, to my surprise, felt a lot more like a sustain than a Symetre or Sahara.

Tests: I was lucky enough to test both the 2000 and 6000 model's in real world applications. MP set the 2000FG up on a Fenwick 8.6" HMG for freshwater tests while I set out to put the 6000FG through the paces at the pounding surf of nearby Pescadaro beach.

MP found the Stradic to his liking right away and landed numerous Bass in the 4lb class using his top secret rig with ease. He noted the Stradic had excellent power combined with a surprisingly fluid feel.

In my initial test I combined the Stradic 6000FG with the new Team Daiwa 1002MHRS-C and set out tossing rock cod rigs and jigs with 6oz pyramid weights from the beach. I was able to get plenty of distance with 25lb Trilene Big Game and found the Stradic to be quick and generous with the amount of line that flowed from the aluminum lipped spool. But, it was only after I dragged a young Ling Cod through the pounding surf and thick vegetation that I began to appreciate the smooth yet powerful performance the Stradic was demonstrating. The only negative observance I had was that while pulling through thick vegetation on the highest drag setting I experienced some minor slippage. While this didn't affect fishing performance I did note it in my test report.

Since both these initial tests both Stradics have been problem free and continue to surprise me in the level of refinement I would expect to see from a reel costing 50% more.



Shimano Stradic Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Top notch quality of materials not found in Shimano reels below this level 8
Performance Reliable performance across all casting tests, with only a minor give in the tightest drag setting 8.5
Price Great price fro a premium reel, and the fact that this reel is the same price across all sizes up to the 4000 series and only 35 dollars more for the 5000, 6000 is a plus! 8.5
Features All aluminum construction and a set of two aluminum spools combined with Shimano's Super Stopper 2 technology make the Stradic a feature rich reel for the price 9
Design (Ergonomics) Excellent wooden handle that fits naturally in the angler's hand, is the same one found in the much more expensive Sustain. 9
Application A solid reel that is perfect for a variety of applications and is just as good for trout and bass fishing as it is for tackling large surf stripers with a 6000 series. 10

Total Score


Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

J Good features for price L Only comes in white
J Premium look and feel L Drag performance
J No Plastic  
J Silky Smooth  

Conclusion: Once you get over the pearl white finish the Stradic proves to be an excellent reel in terms of performance and value. The fact that Shimano gives a extra aluminum spare spool and many of the components found in their premium reels for just over 100 dollars is a big plus! The Stradic is equally at home tossing lures in a bass pond as it is tackling big game in the ocean. The Stradic really is the dividing line between Shimano's good and great spinning reels, but instead of being trapped in bad product positioning we see it as being in the sweet spot based on price. Outfitted with features and identical components to reels over 100 dollars more make the Stradic a great buy. So good in fact we had to award the Stradic TackleTour's coveted Editor's Choice Award! The Stradic offers a excellent balance of performance at the right price...and though I still have a hard time admitting it, it really does look great on my matte black Gloomis GL3!


Until next time....Tight Lines!









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