Relevant once again, the new Shimano Stradic CI4
Shimano beefs up the Stradic CI4 with a waterproof drag system and to test the
execution we fully submerged the reel for up to 30 seconds to see how it would
affect the drag pressure. A small amount of water did enter the system but it
was still able to beat the published 15lb published specification. In our lab
tests we tested the drag out at 16.2lbs of drag pressure when dry and 15.2lbs of
pressure when wet. The 2500 size benefits from a much larger total drag surface
area and delivers more than double the drag pressure than the 1000 size.
The Stradic's spool is ported for
balance and weight reduction
It is interesting that
Shimano gave the Stradic CI4 a waterproof drag as the more expensive Sustain FE
and Stella do not benefit from the same implementation. We found that during our
tests there we were able to make a wide range of drag settings with the
micro-click knob, in fact we were could adjust the drag in .2lb increments
The 2500 size has a lot of drag
surface area and is able to generate over 15lbs of drag pressure, the 1000 size
is only capable of 7lbs.
In the field I found the
drag system to be very dependable on the new Stradic and it delivered about the
same max drag as competing reels of the same size from Daiwa. When I had the
opportunity to hook into quality largemouth on a drop shot rig the fish would
try and overpower the drag only to get quickly worn down as the Stradic CI4
doled out plenty of smooth pressure. I caught largemouth up to six pounds during
this particular field test and none of them ever stressed the capabilities of
the CI4’s waterproof drag.
A nice addition to the system is a
gasket which helps make the drag system waterproof
The Shimano Stradic CI4 2500F offers exceptional ergonomics now that it is so
light in weight. It gets close to magnesium reel weigh in numbers without
sacrificing corrosion resistance. Weighing in at only 7.0oz the Stradic CI4 is
2.5oz lighter than the more expensive Sustain 2500FE and even 1.2oz. lighter
than the premium Stella 2500FD. Compare it to the competition and the CI4 is a
full 1oz. lighter than the Daiwa Fuego 2500A and exactly the same weight as the
flagship magnesium based Steez 2500, now that’s light! The CI4 1000F continues
the diet trend and weighs in at 6.2oz compared to the Steez Z2508 which weighs
The lightweight reel is great from
working shakey head rigs and drop shotting
If you think back to the
pearl white Stradic ST2000 you might remember the wooden barrel grip on the
reel. While certainly not the most ergonomic grip it did add to the reel’s
unforgettable character. The new CI4 looks to do the same with an EVA barrel
grip that is finished with a red bolt that matches the highlights on the spool.
The EVA grip not only looks great but is a lighter alternative to plastic and
also feels tactile even when wet.
The only ergonomic concern is the
tiny anti-reverse lever which is positioned right behind the rotor
Taken as a whole the
Stradic CI4 delivers brilliant ergonomics, the only thing we could possibly have
a gripe with is the size and position of the anti-reverse lever. It is situated
right up against the rotor on the underside of the reel and is absolutely tiny.
Once you get used to reaching all the way to the rotor with your fingers
flicking the lever back and forth becomes second nature but operating the switch
with gloves on is a little tougher.
The 2500 size was excellent for
panfish and larger Crappie
Next Section: Durability, Price and the Ratings