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Reel Review

Sustain-able performance over the long haul?

Date: 1/01/07
Tackle Type: Reels
Manufacturer: Shimano
Reviewer: Zander

Total Score: 7.91

Introduction: The Sustain is one of the most uniquely positioned series of reels in Shimano’s massive lineup. This premium reel rests in between the ultra-premium Stella, and the already somewhat sophisticated redesigned Stradic. Yet the Sustain does not feature a lightweight series like the cheaper Stradic Mg. Should anglers simply shell out more money for a Stella, or save that extra money and opt for a Stradic?  Caught right in the middle, we take a look at the Sustain FD to see just who should consider this series. 


Shimano Sustain 1000FD Specifications

Line Capacity (lb/yds) 2/270, 4/140, 6/110
Gear Ratio 6.0:1
Line retrieve per crank 29 inches
Weight 7.8 oz
Bearings 6BB, 1RB
Additional Features Aluminum frame, graphite sideplate, graphite rotor, titanium spool lip, spare spool, S-Concept, waterproof drag, A-RB bearings, Fluidrive II, Super Stopper II, Machined aluminum handle shank, Septon grip, Maintenance port
MSRP $229.99


The Shimano Sustain is positioned right below the Stella


Impressions: The previous generation Sustain was one of my favorite reels. At the time the Sustain was so much more than the Stradic, and yet right on the border of what was acceptable in price for serious anglers. While I often dreamt about the Stella, the price tag was just more than my tackle budget could bear, so I found myself having to settle for the Sustain. But “settling” was not what the Sustain was about…I soon discovered it was truly a premium reel with a rich package of features and plenty of the same technology and refinement that made the Stella so alluring.


A look at the Sustain's clean profile


Season after season the old Sustain delivered, and when Shimano revamped their entire spinning reel lineup the features once found only in the Stella and Sustain started making their way down the lineup. When S-Concept came about suddenly the previous generation reel began to feel a bit dated, and the Stradic became an even more outstanding value, cannibalizing a lot of angler interest once reserved for the Sustain and Stella.


The Sustain has a new compact shape, due to S-Concept design


The current Sustain is a little lost in between the Stradic and the Stella, caught in between the flagship offering, and an already very advanced reel, which has proven to be a great value for the money. What then does the Sustain FD do to differentiate itself? Let’s find out. In each of our categories we drew direct comparisons between the Stella 1000FB, the Sustain1000FD, and the Stradic 100FH for a more complete picture. (Evaluated as an entire series, not just the ultralight 1000 size)


Zander and JIP check the thickness of the ice


Real World Tests: My previous Sustain and Stradic were both 1000 size so for the very best comparison we procured both the Sustain 1000FD and a Stella 1000. In this way we could not only draw comparisons between the old Sustain and the current generation, but how well the new FD reel stacked up to it’s higher and lower priced siblings.


The Sustain is easy to cast


For our tests the entire team headed straight for the hills, or rather the base of the Eastern Sierras. Just a few days before the road closures the temperature was already below freezing and while there was little snow as of yet, the rivers were only one tenth the size we were used to fishing because so much of the water had already iced over, or even frozen solid in shallow areas.


Fishing the edge of the river


Next Section: Testing in the cold..









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