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Reel Review


The New Benchmark for a Workhorse Spinning Reel : Shimano's Stradic FL (continued)

Power: The Stradic FL benefits from Shimano's latest tech and is equipped with a HAGANE engineered, cold forged aluminum gear. Cold forging through precise specifications results in a much stronger, more durable gear than a hot forge or casting process. Typically cold forging results in a more robust final product. Additionally, the C3000-XG comes with a 56mm handle providing plenty of leverage in a reel of this size.

If you like angles and shadow lines, the Stradic FL provides plenty

Bail Operation: Bail operation on the Stradic FL is very reliable. It snaps back easily and holds its position during a cast. When you turn the reel's handle to close the bail, there's minimum resistance and immediate response with a "snap" as the bail closes. Closing the bail by hand results in an equally forceful response.

Bail operation is reliable

Line Twist: The Stradic FL's line guide is equipped with a single bearing to support the roller which is sufficient enough to deliver good line management with minimal twist over the course of 3 field testing trips.

The Stradic FL features a single bearing beneath the line guide

Design & Ergonomics: Many anglers out there consider a 3000 sized reel too large for their bass fishing needs, and in normal circumstances, I'd agree. However, that "C" designation in this particular reel's model number designates a more compact body. The C3000 is essentially a reel with a 2500 size body, but a 3000 sized spool. Larger diameter spools help with line management because the line is not wound onto the spool as compact as it is with smaller sized spools. Shimano Japan goes the extra step with the C3000 size offering it in a shallow spool configuration so you don't waste as much line, but that option is not available in North American skus.

Nestled within the drag clicker is a bushing instead of a bearing


Otherwise the Stradic FL in general, benefits from something Shimano refers to as G Free Body. This term is used to refer to an engineering strategy by the manufacturer whereby the reel's center of gravity is moved closer to the angler's hand position. This enhances balance which probably explains why the Stradic FL fishes lighter than its specified weight. My only real complaint with the C3000-XH specifically (since this is the only model I fished) is the same with all other spinning reels I fish equipped with the same shaped knob - I prefer the simple, I-shaped knob on my reels.

Retail on the Stradic FL is between $200 - $230 depending on the size

Price & Applications: Back in the day, when I coveted the Stradic Aero, retail price was somewhere in the neighborhood of $110. Of course, this was roughly thirty (30) odd years ago. Today, the Stradic FL retails in the range of $200 to $230 depending on the model that interests you. This is pretty consistent with the competition. As a spinning reel available in sizes from 1000 through 5000, there are a wide range of applications to which you can apply the Stradic FL. My only criticism in this area is the lack of shallow spool options for those of us that like to use light line on larger diameter reels.


Shimano Stradic FL C3000-XG Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Solid and super clean 9
Performance Smooth and refined 8.5
Price A good price point for those who are more serious about their gear 7.5
Features A long list of Shimano tech and terms including Micromodule Gear II, HAGANE Body & Gear, Long Stroke Spool, X-Protect, X-Ship 8
Design (Ergonomics) A tad on the heavy side and I prefer I-knobs. Smaller sized reels are lighter and can certainly suit bass fishing applications 7.5
Application Available in 5 different sizes to suit many different needs 8

Total Score


Ratings Key: 1 = terrible : 2 = poor : 3 = lacking : 4 = sub par : 5 = mediocre : 6 = fair : 7 = good : 8 = great : 9 = excellent : 10 = unbelievable!
For More Details of the updated rating system visit our explanation here


Pluses and Minuses:


+ Very smooth - Just a tad heavy
+ Clean, refined design - No shallow spool options
+ Reliable, consistent drag  

If you're looking for the latest Shimano spinning reel tech wrapped in a reliable, affordable, and performance tuned package, the Stradic FL is the new benchmark for workhorse

Conclusion: Sometimes you covet a piece of tackle, set it as a goal, and acquire it as soon as financially viable. Sometimes it remains a pipe-dream. In the case of Shimano Stradic, it took me roughly thirty years to realize my dream. Gone is that white finish and wooden knob that characterized the reel of my early thoughts.


Today's Stradic offers an entirely new level of sophistication and a host of new Shimano tech. Once conceived as my ultimate prize, today it slides comfortably into my lineup of go-to spinning reels.


If you're looking for the latest Shimano spinning reel tech wrapped in a reliable, affordable, and performance tuned package, the Stradic FL is the new benchmark for workhorse.


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