Preview the New Shimano Stradic FK Spinning Reel
Ahead of ICAST
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
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.
Stradic FK SpinninG Reel
Mono Line Capacity
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
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
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.