I sure hope this turns out the way it seems

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Prof. Salt
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I sure hope this turns out the way it seems

Post by Prof. Salt »

I have worked as an ambassador for Roy's Bait and Tackle for several years, and one of my self-appointed missions has been to try out several models of spinning reels so I can offer customers real-world experience without any pressure. I use them hard and often, and take care of them the best I can but wear and tear happens to them all. I began with the humble Siennas that had already been serving me for years, then I tried a Sedona, then the Nasci, and then the Miravel. As I worked up the line of Shimano's spinning reels some were noticeably better and a few barely felt any different. Late last year I got a pair of Stradics and they were clearly better reels. They aren't what I consider low-budget, so I hoped they would prove to be more durable too. I have used all of these reels heavily with great results but they haven't had to endure any major unintended challenges until now.

Last week on Tuesday it was bitterly cold. I fished hard but the barometric pressure was really high and I only caught one red and one trout. Ice buildup on the kayak was kind of interesting to see, but I surely wasn't hoping for colder temps. On the way home I began to have an issue with my clothing layers: my core was overheating but my face and hands were still aching and cold, so I stopped to hold onto a dock so that my midsection could cool down for a few minutes. I really didn't want to get sweaty because I knew it would lead to problems. The dock was protected from the wind and it offered my face and fingers a break from the wind too. I had three rods in holders behind my seat, and one of the rod holders must have got some fresh water in it because an ice plug about an inch deep had formed that kept that rod from sitting as low and secure as it should have been. I knew it was an issue and should have kept rods out of that holder, but I forgot about it as I was fishing and began the paddle back to the truck with one in that holder. As I shoved off from the dock, evidently the line on that "shallow" rod snagged a wooden pole beside me on the dock and it quietly pulled itself out of the rod holder and sank as I left. I paddled all the way back to the truck before I realized what had happened, and I was heart-broken but wasn't willing to head back into the elements at that moment. It was dark and I was tired. I figured the reel (one of my new Shimano Stradic FMs) would be ruined but the custom FFK rod would be okay for a day or two until I could snag it and regain possession.

I did not find it when I went out again Thursday, but Saturday afternoon I headed back to the same area and looked for my lost rod again. After several casts and slow retrieves I felt some resistance and slowly brought it closer. My lovely rod and reel broke the surface and I was SO relieved. Bear in mind the rod and reel had been submerged in salt and sand for four full days at this point. I thanked God for letting me get it back, and out of curiosity I unhooked its lure and cast it out to see if the reel handle would even turn at this point. I was astonished when it not only turned, but it rotated like warm butter. Like brand new! I tempered this discovery with the idea that the corrosion may not have set in yet and that the reel still might prove beyond repair, but it sure felt good spinning so smoothly. After I got home, I took the reel inside and removed the spool, then soaked the reel and spool in a warm water bath. after drying, I set it aside to see what it looked like the next day. Sunday after church service I oiled all the moving parts and removed the handle to see how wet it was inside. No water was observed, so after a little oil on the bearing I closed it back tight. It's still working like new somehow, and I am now super impressed with the Stradic's performance. At lunch I think it will visit the repair bench at Roy's for a deep cleaning and with a little luck it will continue to serve on the back of my busy kayak. For now it still feels perfect and I'm seeing one more value that comes with a higher-end reel.

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Ron Mc
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Re: I sure hope this turns out the way it seems

Post by Ron Mc »

Glenn, when Tackle Advisors reviewed '19 Stradic (FL in USM), he dubbed it, "The Best $400 Reel You Can Buy"
(he's a self-admitted Daiwa fan boy, and rated Stradic over Daiwa Exist, taking them down side-by-side).
In the lower grades, you'll get a stronger reel in Daiwa, compared to the lower-grade Shimano reels you mentioned.
Shimano can sell smoothness in their lower grades, but the entry-level reels are not built to last.
What you pay for is long-life with hard fishing - keeping Shimano's unequalled line management accurate with long, hard use.
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I have 4 Stradics and 1 Vanquish.
All Shimano worm drive reels - beginning with Stradic - use the same design as their top-line Stella, and the parts interchange.
Same labyrinth seals, same overqualified A/R roller bearing.
The lower reels in the heirachy use fewer ball bearings, and MOC that is less-expensive to make parts.
You cannot go wrong with the reels you bought. Stradic is a work horse.

Mine all got sexed-out, including braid-specific spools, MTCW line rollers, and counter-balanced handles in finesse sizes.
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Last edited by Ron Mc on Mon Jan 22, 2024 9:42 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: I sure hope this turns out the way it seems

Post by saltykat »

Glad you got it back and still working, been tempted to get one for a while now. Been using okuma's for many years and have no complaints with them
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Re: I sure hope this turns out the way it seems

Post by Ron Mc »

If you want the full editorial, spinning reel is the most complicated fishing implement ever attempted.
By design - really by lack of design - they self destruct with use.

The extreme loads and moments produced by the long spindle and rotor were never understood - they were just built by trial and mostly error.
It wasn't until the last decade when they applied FEM and CAD that they began designing for the bending moments and extreme gear contact loads.

I fished through Mitchell, Penn, (gave away a '90s Lew's that flopped in the breeze) and found my first solid reel in Tica last decade (Tica builds Daiwa that's not bench-made in Japan).
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Since '19 (and Japan X-braid), I've been a Stradic junkie. OK, I added a mid-frame Twin Power, too, which is Stradic upgraded with a forged rotor and titanium bail.
If you want to buy these reels 30% off, go to JDM...(digitaka, japan lure shop...)
JDM are the same reels with twice the spool and gearing options, but you do give up warranty buying offshore.

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Re: I sure hope this turns out the way it seems

Post by Kayak Kid »

Over the past many, many years (?) I've owned and used, and miss used, the heck out of several shimano reels from the less expensive to the most. I pretty much used Shimano reels exclusively before going almost to full time fly fishing. I've never found them not to be other than silky smooth and reliable. However, I confess to being a cleaning freak when it comes to fishing tackle and guns. I found that keeping the bearings perfectly clean and properly lubed, assured me of a trouble free retrieve on every retrieve.

I did enjoy my Penn reels also.
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Re: I sure hope this turns out the way it seems

Post by Ron Mc »

Hey what do I know. There's always a reel on my bench.
I take '77 Ambassadeur, designed to fish 3/8 oz, and make them cast and fish 3 g just as far and more reliably (backlash-proof).
They especially pay off for imitating winter glass minnows.
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... don't clean the main gear bearing on your Nasci - it's not there (not even a bushing).
https://youtu.be/o-xN_kfjBTo?si=6iI_m6PlFk4W6yl5&t=2756

Backing up to Tica - my first was a whim, a micron-frame Cetus 500 that I fished in salt finesse for 7 years.
Knew I had something when I sight-fished 22" and 23" specs one summer night over canal lights.
The reel caught nightly winter schoolie limits in Arroyo, and my first slot snook was a tandem double with a spec on this reel.
I retired it for a JDM Stradic 1000S to fish threadline braid. I pimped out the little Cetus and gave it to a friend - it's still fishing.
Cool little reel, but if you want to fish threadline braid, especially inshore, stick to Shimano worm-drive, which begins at Stradic.

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Last edited by Ron Mc on Thu Feb 15, 2024 7:17 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: I sure hope this turns out the way it seems

Post by Kitsune »

I usually just buy a new reel every 2-3 years. With time, technology, and necessity considered I find buying a new reel a good investment. Although I still have my Stradic, can’t get it to break.
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Re: I sure hope this turns out the way it seems

Post by wittich »

I have had high quality reels crap on me as almost as often as entry models. It is bad feeling when a spin reel does not turn smoothly anymore. It is a whole lot worse if you spent 400 dollar vs 60 dollars on such a reel. I love my stratic , but that one if for destination trips and it stays on the boat. If I am kayaking/ wading or on my poling skiff that will probably get some saltwater spray, I prefer to stick with lower end shimanos and I accept that they give out a little quicker. It is also best to have some reels designated for freshwater and others for saltwater. That way your freshwater gear lasts a few extra seasons.
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Re: I sure hope this turns out the way it seems

Post by Ron Mc »

Since we're on Stradic, the only way to get saltwater inside Stradic is to dunk it for an extended time.
Normal operation slings water away from the interior.
Cheaper reels without labyrinth seals are more likely to get salt inside from spray.
Gear wear, spindle stiffness, rotor wobble solved, Stradic is the best buy ever in a spinning reel - Shimano's top design made affordable.

If you didn't get the $400 reel point, it was that Stradic is a better reel than everyone else's reels costing twice as much,
and when introduced in '19, that included Shimano's models that cost more (Sustain), and not yet upgraded to '18 Stella design.
The current '23 Stradic (USM FM) is based on '22 Stella, with slightly longer spindle and spool pitch than '18+ - otherwise, the same as the former series, which we'll be fishing a long time, anyway.

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Last edited by Ron Mc on Tue Feb 20, 2024 7:10 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: I sure hope this turns out the way it seems

Post by Prof. Salt »

*Update: I did go ahead and take the reel to Roy's for a good cleaning. They changed out the line roller bearing but otherwise just cleaned it and the reel was given a clean bill of health. This coming year I will add a 1000 size reel for those light lures and extra spooky fish. Most of my life I just worked with cheap spinners because I knew they'd only last a couple of years, but with Stradic I am changing my thought process and enjoying these really smooth and durable reels.
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Re: I sure hope this turns out the way it seems

Post by SWFinatic »

Prof. Salt wrote: Wed Feb 14, 2024 1:22 pm *Update: I did go ahead and take the reel to Roy's for a good cleaning. They changed out the line roller bearing but otherwise just cleaned it and the reel was given a clean bill of health. This coming year I will add a 1000 size reel for those light lures and extra spooky fish. Most of my life I just worked with cheap spinners because I knew they'd only last a couple of years, but with Stradic I am changing my thought process and enjoying these really smooth and durable reels.
Good to hear. I’ve looked at the Stradics and they are nice! I’m still doing fine with my $34 Penn Wrath 2500 lol. I was surprised at how smooth it is. Not Stradic smooth but pretty smooth. I’m on year two with it now.
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Re: I sure hope this turns out the way it seems

Post by deptrai »

Tackle Warehouse has them on sale now.

Available Sizes:
1000 $134.98
3000 $149.98
4000 $157.48

I have two older ones. They worked flawlessly for 15+ years while used for trout in freshwater lakes. After moving to TX, I used one of them in the marsh. Its not flawless anymore. These are really old. The white ones. Probably 20 years.

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Re: I sure hope this turns out the way it seems

Post by Ron Mc »

The ones on sale are the USM FL version, JDM '19 - still great reels (labyrinth seals) and the only versions I own.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4kQ3lcs0A_8

I like having my Shimano worm-drive reels in the same series so I can swap spools, carry one loaded spare spool for all.

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