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A Dominating Combination - Ish Monroe's Tatula Elite AGS Equipped Frog Rod

SOLID! The Shimano Bantam MGL Baitcaster


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Reel Review

Sustain-able performance over the long haul? (continued)

Maintenance: When it comes to maintenance the Sustain does feature a maintenance port which allows you to add a drop oil onto the drivetrain to combat corrosion. For serious cleaning and lubrication you are still going to need to open the reel up, and I found this process to be both easy and straightforward.


A closer look inside the spool


In fact the Sustain opens up just like the Stradic does for the most part. The Stella FB has the same type of layout, and the larger Stella FA reels have positioned the port in the rear of the reel to strategically allow access to the larger main gearing.


The spare spool is identical


The Stradic also benefits from the maintenance port, though the screw is composite rather than metal. All three reels are equally easy to open and maintain, and though the Stella sports a few more bearings it really isn’t any more complicated to service.


With the 1000 size Sustain on an ultralight rod even small trout are a blast to catch


Of course the Stella does benefit from Shimano’s Platinum Service Plan which guarantees a 48 hour turn around time on service, but this is really an added value for those that do not wish to service their own reels. Edge: A three way tie here… again


Back into the water...


Price: A tough category here. The Stella is expensive, and even the smallest size will cost you 500 dollars. The Sustain which offers many of the same features minus a lot of the refinement costs $229.99 to $299.99 depending on size, for an average of over 250 dollars less per reel….now that’s a significant chunk of change. Take it one step further and the Stradic FH only cost $119.99 to $159.99, and the MG version only costs $189.99, both of which are exceptional values.


We were glad to see the machined aluminum handle shank remain


In performance there is a bigger gap between the Stella and the Sustain, than there is between the newly redesigned Stradic and Sustain, making the Stradic especially attractive to anglers that place a high priority on price and value. Edge: The Stradic simply offers the most bang for the buck.


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