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SOLID! The Shimano Bantam MGL Baitcaster


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Reel Review

Go Light, Stay Tough, the Shimano Stradic MgFA (continued)

Durability cont'd: From the inside out the Stradic is built to handle light to medium saltwater applications, and the reel makes use of A-RB (Anti-Rust Bearings) which are over ten times more corrosion resistant to standard stainless steel bearings. We found that even after deliberate and prolonged dunks in our test tank the Stradic MgFA remained smooth. The bearings are not shielded so that lighter viscosity oil can be used resulting in is less resistance and higher bearing speed.


Washers provide firm support for the spool


The Stradic MgFA does feature some Shimano S-Concept designs which help protect the reel cosmetically and functionally. These include the S-Guard to help prevent impact damage to the frame and rotor. The Stradicís S-Guard also features weep holes in the rotor and frame guards to prevent water accumulation in the reel. The standard Stradic and Sustain both feature the same design.


Slow oscillation helps improve line lay...


Edge: The Stradic is not as durable as a traditional aluminum reel like the Stradic or Sustain, but it comes close, which is a major feat for a magnesium reel, and the reason why it ties the other two in the durability category. The Stella has many more moving parts, but features the most aggressive S-Guard system of all the reels.


...and better line lay improves casting, and prevents troublesome line loops


Price & Applications: Currently the Stradic MgFA is only available in two sizes, 2500 and 4000, both of which are designed for heavier applications. While you can use the 2500 for larger trout, it isnít an untralight reel. For a small magnesium reel from the Shimano brand anglers have to step up all the way to the Stella STL1000FB, and that is not an easy task for many anglers, considering the Stella costs 500 dollars.


On the 2500 size the bail arm is unfinished, but on the 4000 size it is finished to match the rest of the reel


We inspected the frame inside and out, and are happy to report that every angle has a certain level of treatment, so no raw magnesium is exposed. There are gaskets throughout the reelís main internals to help keep contaminants from entering the reel to a minimum. We found the coated surfaces to be reasonably tough, and we had to apply a lot of pressure to the surface before we could scratch it.


The screw cap makes changing left and right hand retrieves quick and easy, and when bolted down the reel exhibits almost no play at all

The Stradic MgFA is so good we really wish it was offered in some smaller sizes, so that we could match the reel up with an ultralight trout or panfish rod. Until then the ST2500MgFA is a first-class reel for bass and mid sized freshwater species. The special protectant that lines the magnesium on this reel makes it brackish and saltwater capable. Anglers on the coasts and in the Gulf will find the 2500 a great size for lighter presentations when targeting redfish, stripers, and even larger species if spooled with braid and tipped with fluorocarbon.  

The StradicMgFA is made in Japan


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