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Preview the New Shimano Stradic FK Spinning Reel Ahead of ICAST 2015

 

Date: 7/2/15
Tackle Type: Reels
Manufacturer: Shimano
Reviewer: Zander





 

 

 

Introduction: It is July 2nd, and just eleven more days until ICAST! This year it seems a lot of manufacturers are introducing products in advance of the show, building momentum to the event itself. One of the big introductions for Shimano will be the official launch of the completely redesigned Stradic Series spinning reels. This morning we got our first hands on look at the new reels and share our observations in this pre-ICAST preview.

 


The newest Stradic is a stunner, it features a Hagane metal body and compact well balanced design

 

The Stradic Series is one of the most well-known series of spinning reels that Shimano has ever introduced. How many of you remember the white Stradic ST-2000, wooden handle knob and all? This classic was the very first spinning reel to ever take home an Editor’s Choice from TackleTour almost 14 years ago! A lot of time has passed and so have the different Stradic models, some of which channeled the reels of the past, and others that made use of the latest materials and technology to deliver enhanced performance and durability.

 


The Stradic FK features sleek lines and almost every part has been upgrades or refined

 

The soon to be introduced Stradic FK Series looks to do both by utilizing the latest Shimano technology and design philosophies while drawing on the ways of the past. For starters the Stradic FK is not white, but rather a modern looking silver reel with deep blue highlights on the aluminum cold forged spool. The reel doesn’t look overly aggressive, opting for clean and elegant lines. The sleeker overall look of the reel doesn't sacrifice any strength as the new Stradic features what Shimano calls the “Hagane” body. The Hagane body is constructed completely out of metal (aluminum) to deliver high rigidity and reduce performance robbing body flexing.

 


The new rotor features a more angular design that is very balanced

 

Also integrated into the Stradic FK is “G Free Body” technology, a design we first saw in the newest Stella. Shimano developed G Free Body technology with the intention to shift the reel’s center of gravity closer to the rod itself. This has been achieved by moving the worm shaft oscillation mechanism from the bottom of the reel to closer to the top, 19mm closer to be exact. By moving the centre of gravity closer to the angler's hand position, the G Free Body helps to reduce fatigue and enhance casting comfort. The result is hard to visualize but easy to feel once mounted on your favorite spinning stick.

 


The new Stradic features a CF aluminum cold forged spool

 

In the lab we got to play with the Stradic and the first thing we noticed was how smooth the reel felt out of the box. The anti-reverse on this reel is solid, one of the best we have seen to date, and utilizes a new anti-reverse bearing design which is designed to reduce friction by 25%, and the difference is noticeable. When you crank the reel the rotor is much more visible on this reel as it is shaped more like a funnel than the traditional cylinder shape found on must spinning reels. This more angular rotor takes a little time to get used to but it feels extremely well balanced and there is no detectable vibration, even during fast rotations. This new rotor design is actually 200% more rigid than the FJ model, and that increase in rigidity is designed to provide anglers with greater power when fighting fish. Though the reel's entire Hagane body is aluminum the rotor is composite, and yet it looks and feels very solid and high quality. 

 


The spool features simple yet elegant porting that looks like something Wolverine took his claws to

 

Shimano has gone to quite great lengths to make the Stradic FK a smoother, more powerful and refined reel than its predecessors. another example are the guts themselves, and in the core of this reel is the Hagane gear which is an extremely precise gear that is not cut but rather forged to minute 3D specifications. By forging this gear there is less room for inconsistencies between teeth, and the gear itself can be hardened for extra durability over the long haul.

 


The Stradic C3000 and 2500 spools are the same overall footprint but the C3000 has greater capacity. 8-170yds. versus the 2500's 8-140yds.

 

Like all of Shimano’s higher end new spinning reels the Stradic also benefits from “X-Ship” which maintains precise alignment of the pinion and drive gear with bearings strategically placed on both ends of the pinion. This reduces friction between the spool shaft and gear and also has the side effect of improving gear durability.

 

Shimano Stradic FK SpinninG Reel Specifications

Model
Gear ratio
Mono Line Capacity
Ball Bearings
Weight (oz)
MSRP
ST1000HGFK 6.0:1 4/140, 6/110 6+1 6.9 $199.99
ST2500HGFK 6.0:1 8/140, 10/120 6+1 8.3 $199.99
ST3000HGFK 6.0:1 8/170, 10/140 6+1 8.3 $199.99
ST4000HGFK 6.2:1 10/200, 12/160 6+1 9.9 $209.99
ST5000HGFK 6.2:1 12/195, 14/165 6+1 11.3 $229.99

 

Becuase the Stradic FK is designed for both freshwater and saltwater anglers Shimano put extra work into enhancing durability in all environments, and the Stradic FK features "Coreprotect" elements including a protective coating that causes water to bead on the surface to prevent water from flowing into the small crevices near the roller clutch area. The body area is also protected through a series of seals and a flat body joint with the Coreprotect treatment. As a final precaution the anti-reverse switch has been completely removed from the body to eliminate another possible point of entry for contaminants.

 


Power and light weight? The C3000 weighs in at only 8.3 oz. (8.4oz. spooled up with PowerPro)

 

We have just started to test the drag curve on the Stradic on “The Machine” but thus far even the 2500 size reel seems to dole out very smooth pressure under load. The Stradic FK comes loaded with 6 ball bearings and one roller bearing and the C3000 reel weighs in at only 8.4oz. (spooled with PowerPro).

 


The new Stradic FK is designed to tackle big fish and yet feels incredibly refined. This might be the best Stradic yet

 

The Stradic FK was designed with both freshwater and saltwater anglers in mind, and seeks to provide a rigid platform that is both durable and powerful while also offering an extremely smooth rotation. The Stardic FK will replace the FJ model but co-exist with the popular Stradic CI4+. Those anglers looking for more rigidity, power and durability will want to wait for the new Stradic FK while spinning anglers seeking an overall light weight reel with lower inertia rotation will prefer the Stradic CI4+. Both reels are very different, and much like riding a titanium bike versus a carbon one, the feel when cranking on one versus the other is very distinct. In total there will be five new Stradic FK spinning reels ranging in size from 1000 to 5000, and prices will range from $199.99 to $229 depending on the model and size. It is great that Shimano maintains the same basic price point for the FK as the outgoing FJ models, and anglers will be getting a lot more reel for the money with this latest iteration. While this is only a preview we really like what we have observed thus far with the new Stradic FK, not only is it packed with features but exhibits greater rigidity and cranking smoothness than we normally see out of spinning reels at the 200 dollar price point. Could this be the best aluminum bodied Stradic yet? It just might be.


 

   

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