Shimano Stradic Review: Everything about These Spinning Reels

Last Updated on May 15, 2019

Shimano improves its technologies over time and releases new reels on a regular basis. They keep upgrading the built and technologies of their famous spinning reel series to equip the anglers with the next level gears.

The Stradic series is one of those upgraded reels that have FK models with HGFK & XGFK codes and upgraded CI4+ series with codes XGFB & HGFB while Reels of FJ, FI, FH, MgFB, MgF, FM, FML & FMLA have been discontinued.

Shimano Stradic Review

Not only are these one of the great looking and most popular reel lines, but also bringing several high-end performance features in an affordable price range. The Stradic Shimano spinning reels series provides more than what hard-core anglers demand and hardcore fishing take. Anglers can focus on their fishing passion by relying on precise gear cutting technology and Shimano cold-forging.

Common Features and Specifications of Stradic series, you will find in both FK and CI4+ are

Bearings6+1
Gear Ratio6.0:1
Weight6.9-11.3 Oz.
Max Drag7-24 lbs
Line Retrieve31-41 in
FeaturesX-Ship and Hagane cold forged drive gear
Prices Check Price

Shimano Stradic FK

shimano stradic fk hgShimano discontinued Stradic FJ reels and released the Stradic FK series in July 2015. The FK reels are the upgraded version of discontinued FJ series.

So What was new in Shimano stradic FK vs FJ? The main upgrade is the lighter weight of Stradic FK ranging from 6.9 to 11.3 ounces as opposed to the 7.5-20.5 ounces of the weight range of discontinued FJ series. The 6000 and 8000 models were also discontinued, as the Saragosa SW series offers the same sizes with similar design and features.

Specifications

Stradic FK inherits visual design cues and features from both the Stella FI and the Saragosa SW models. Featuring shape and design of the Stella, stradic FK has the dark blue and sharp silver colors to match the larger Saragosa SW.

The change in design/shape of reel through G-free body makes it feel great in hand and the grip strong because of the repositioned worm gear.

It also features durable and tough cold-forged drive gear and Hagane Body to provide impact resistance and reel rigidity that transforms angler’s power into cranking force.

The X-Ship with large precision cut gears makes the rotation smoother and provides strength. Core Protect provides water resistance without affecting rotation feeling and sealing key areas to prevent any water intrusion.

These features equip the most demanding anglers with the needed smoothness and durability for freshwater species, including bass, walleye, trout, and steelhead. You can also use it in saltwater for many inshore pursuits, including bonefish, redfish, and sea trout.

What Size Suits You?

Stradic FK reels are available in 5 different sizes of ST-1000HG, ST-25000HG, ST-C3000HG, ST-4000XG, and ST-C5000XG. The C3000 (the “c” stands for the compact) is a compact reel with a body size of 2500, but with more line capacity and deeper spool.

ModelPower Line CapMono Line CapWeight
(Oz.)
Max DragLine
Retrieve
Gear RatioPrices
ST1000HGFK10/95
15/85
20/65
2/270
4/140
6/110
6.97316.0:1 Check Price
ST2500HGFK10/150
15/145
30/100
6/200, 8/140, 10/1208.320356.0:1 Check Price
STC3000HGFK10/200
20/140
40/105
6/230
8/170
10/140
8.320356.0:1 Check Price
ST4000XGFK15/280
30/170
50/150
8/240
10/200
12/160
9.924396.2:1 Check Price
STC5000XGFK20/220
30/200
40/160
10/240
12/195
14/165
11.324416.2:1 Check Price

All five reels feature six shielded AR-B bearings plus Shimano’s one-way bearing Power Roller. Each reel equips a cold-forged aluminum spool.

The gear ratio of stradic 1000, 2500 and C3000 is 6.0:1. The 1000HG cranks in 31 inches of the line while the 2500 and C3000 takes in 35-inches.

The Stradic 1000HG can hold 85 yds of 15-pound PowerPro or 140 yds of 4-pound test mono. The 2000HG retrieves 140 yds of 8-pound mono or 145 yds of 15-pound test PowerPro. With its larger spool on a body sized 2500, C3000HG retrieves 140 yds of 20-pound PowerPro or 170 yds of 8-pound mono.

Each with 6.2:1 gear ratios, the 4000 retrieves 39-inches and the C5000 cranks in 41″ per crank. The 170 yards of 30-pound PowerPro or 200 yards of 10-pound test mono fill the Stradic 4000XG. With large spool on a 4000-sized body, Stradic C5000XG retrieves 200 yards of 30-pound PowerPro or 195 yards of 12-pound test mono.

Shimano Stradic CI4+

shimano stradic ci4 fbThe re-vamped, award-winning Shimano Stradic Ci4+ was introduced at ICAST in 2016. The CI4+FB is a drastic upgrade of the previous range. (FM and FMLA of CI4+ series and FML of CI4 are discontinued.)

Along with several improvements in operational features, Weight of reel has been reduced by over 5 grams.

The Stradic CI4+ is under the Stella and Sustain series in list, which are the top shimano spinning reels.

The X-Ship integrated into the current Ci4+ makes the reel tougher. the current model Stradic Ci4+ has resolved some “toughness” related issues reported in the prior model.

Specifications

The new Stradic CI4+ are lighter, more responsive and reliable. The new asymmetrical shaped Magnunlite (MGL) rotor with its lighter weight improves the reel performance and makes the rotor rotation start-up easier. The bail trip lever is moved to the opposite side of roller, giving anglers a more rigid, durable rotor assembly.

The Hagane Gear is also added in upgraded Stradic CI4+ reels like Metanium & Curado casting reels, and Stradic FK & Socorro SW spinning reels.

Shimano’s Core Protect feature adds to Hagane durability making the reel water resistant without creating heavy rotation feel when retrieving.

Shimano’s G-Free Body has shifted the center of gravity of reel towards the rod. Hence, Anglers will experience more fishing comfort and less fatigue so you can enjoy a long day on the water.

These CI4+ reels also feature X-Ship that makes the gear more efficient and provide strength for a smoother retrieve. The titanium bail wire provides better resistance to corrosion than stainless steel.

You can use larger CI4+ reels to target redfish, bonefish and other inshore saltwater pursuits.

Some people are concerned of the not having reverse gear but you really don’t need this feature. Not to forget, they have only caused issues before, often leading inline tangles and birds nests as the reel would unwind uncontrollably sometimes. The reverse feature was not included in the reel because Shimano wanted to reduce the weight as much as possible with this design.

What Size suits you?

The upgraded Stradic CI4+ line-up includes the STCI4-1000HG, STCI4-2500HG, STCI4-3000HG, and STCI4-4000XG.

ModelPower Line CapMono Line CapWeight
(Oz.)
Max DragLine
Retrieve
Gear RatioPrices
STCI41000HGFB10/95
15/85
20/65
2/270
4/140
6/110
5.67316.0:1 Check Price
STCI42500HGFB10/150
15/145
30/100
6/200
8/140
10/120
6.720356.0:1 Check Price
STCI4C3000HGFB10/200
20/140
40/105
6/230
8/170
10/140
6.720356.0:1 Check Price
STCI44000XGFB15/280
30/170
50/150
8/240
10/200
12/160
8.124396.2:1 Check Price

The 1000HG, 2500HG and C3000HG reels have a gear ratio of 6.0:1, while the 4000XG size has a gear ratio of 6.2:1.

For lighter line and finesse fishing, the 1000HG Stradic CI4+ retrieves 85-yards of 15-pound test PowerPro braid or 140-yards of 4-pound mono/fluoro. It reels in 31″ line per crank.

The 25000HG cranks in 145-yds of 15-pound PowerPro or 140 yds of 8-pound mono/fluoro and retrieves 35-inches of line per crank.

What’s the difference in Shimano stradic ci4 2500 vs 3000? The C3000FB is a compact reel with a body sized 2500, more line capacity and deeper spool capacity. It reels in 35″ of line per handle rotation like 2500HG but handles 170-yards of 8-pound mono/fluoro or 140-yards of 20-pound PowerPro.

The 4000XG reels in 39″ of line per handle rotation and holds 200 yards of 10-pound monofilament/fluorocarbon or 170-yards of 30-pound test.

Best Rod for Shimano Stradic CI4+

Rod for Shimano Stradic CI4+The rod really doesn’t care what reel you use. You should consider the techniques, lure weights, and water conditions (weeds, brush, open?). I recommend you to get the lightest one you can afford, with the action you want. The rod should have a reel seat to give you a good grip.

With a budget of around $200, You can go with 7ft long med-lite St. Croix avid inshore or 7’ medium Shimano Zodias for 2500 Stradic. You can catch many 30” redfish using a braid of 15lb. It feels great but slightly heavier than a g.loomis. The St Croix mojo is also good with a lower pricer tag.

Some of the best rods for Shimano stradic ci4 4000 you can choose from are:

All of these rods certainly come in a wide range of actions, lengths, and power for different lines and lure weight ranges.

Shimano Stradic CI4+ vs FK

Both reels have similar features in relation to bearing placement and count, waterproofing and retrieve speed. Shimano released Stradic FK in 2015 and Stradic CI4+ in 2016.

FK has a more rigid body. If you are looking for rigidity in the body and handle, then the FK Stradic is a better fit for you. Moreover, FK requires minimal maintenance and reel repairers won’t see FK anytime soon. Fk is built on a much stronger frame with tighter tolerance. It’s very unlikely they will wear much through heavy use.

The big plus for the CI4+ is the weight of the reel, it just seems to balance up nicely with whatever rod you match it up to. It is 1-3 oz lighter. You can say that this reel is all about light feel and rotation, with strength in cranking power. If you are going to casting a lot of lures continuously then the CI4+ is significantly lighter and would offer less fatigue throughout the day. The Ci4 has a “magnum light” rotor which is nice for finesse fishing and lighter lures.

Conclusion & Alternatives

Both Stradic reels use a lot of high-end technology of Shimano in its design that is reflected in the price of the reels too. A first-time angler will obviously not value the performance that this reel offers. This is not the ideal option for a beginner who is testing the waters to check if fishing is a thing for them.

This reel mainly targets the anglers who want more performance than their current $100 reel provides. If you understand the drag requirements you want and need, looking for a super responsive and a very light reel, Then this reel is for you!

Shimano Nasci (a graphite reel) and Daiwa BG is a great substitute if you can’t afford a Stradic or you are a beginner. Both are super smooth and features several technologies that are available in the higher end spinning reels. For a hundred dollars, they can be replaced instead of repaired like the Stradics. Although Stradics would rarely wash away even from heavy use. Any major Stradic repair usually takes loads of time and a hundred bucks between shipping, labor, and parts.

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