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The Makeup of a Flag Bearer: A look back at the Shimano Stella SR 2000s (continued)

Retrieve: The oscillation of the spool is described as "super slow" in all of the Shimano Japan literature, yet the lay of the line after retrieve is still in a reasonable cross pattern, a pattern that guards against line dig when employing superlines. While the line on the spool laid in this pattern is perhaps not as neat and tidy to look at, we welcome this implementation. 


The cross winding line lay pattern of the Stella SR


As mentioned previously, turning the handle on this reel borders on nirvana. It is unbelievably smooth, and the torque provided by the roughly two-inch machined handle (measured center to center), is ideal for a reel of this size. The bearing supported knob only serves to enhance the overall experience. Did I mention this reel is smooth? My only minor complaint, once again, concerns the play at the base of the handle on this particular reel - an annoyance that can be felt and heard when turning the handle during retrieve.


Another look at the Stella's attractive machined aluminum handle and bearing supported septon grip knob


Drag: The Stella SR 2000s sports a water resistant, single disc, felt drag washer that helps produce an approximate maximum drag setting of at least seven pounds. Given our 6lb test line, this was a difficult piece of data to acquire, but in any case, the drag is more than sufficient for the 2000s's intended use as a finesse application reel. All of the Stella SR's from the 1000 size up to the C3000 size sport a similar, single disc drag. The 3000 - 4000 sizes sport a multi-disc drag system for a stronger overall drag setting.

The Stella SR 2000s sports a single, felt, drag washer


Despite this rather minimalist design, the drag on our Stella SR 2000s proved smooth and flawless through battles with all quarry that consisted primarily of spotted bass but with a few smallmouth and largemouth added to the mix. The water resistant feature is provided by a small rubber gasket at the base of the locking screw. This prevents water from entering through the top of the spool.

Features/Design: Throughout the Stella, if looking closely, you will notice some gold highlights that accent the clean lines of the reel. These accents true purpose are to guard the reel against accidental and premature abrasion. The implementation of this feature is outstanding and really sets the Stella SR apart from other spinning reels. Another, rather unique feature, is the maintenance port located just below the rotating head of the reel on the left side. Removed via a flathead screw, this port gains you access to the internal worm gear for an easy shot of lubrication in case your reel is in need and you're not up for disassembly. Another fabulous feature especially for those who do not enjoy taking apart their precious collectibles. And make no mistake about it, the Stella is a very worthy collectible.


The Stella SR makes a fine match for our Megabass F4ST-69RSDti


Note at the base of the reel's rotating head, you can catch a glimpse of yet another abrasion guard (in gold)

One slightly puzzling feature is the claim of a magnesium body on the Stella. On a spinning reel, it's not as clear where the differences, if any, lie between the body and frame, as such, if the reel is of magnesium construction, one would expect, a very light reel. The trouble is, our Stella SR 2000s has practically the same weight as our Daiwa Certate 2000 (8.1 oz for the Stella vs 8.2 for the Certate), a reel constructed entirely of aluminum. Where is the weight savings in the Stella? Would it weigh even more if it were all aluminum? Fortunately, for me anyway, the "Mg Body" was not a selling point in the reel, but if it were, I'd be extremely disappointed at the reel's weight. Instead, I remained a bit puzzled as to exactly where magnesium versus aluminum, or other metals, were used in the construction of this reel.


Upgrades: Spare spools, handle and knob options all exist for these reels and are produced by Yumeya. What I'ZE is to Daiwa Japan, seemingly, Yumeya is to Shimano Japan. On order for this 2000s is a standard, 2000 size spool as well as a possible Cocorovo hard wood knob. Small touches such as these only make the pleasure of owning a Stella SR all the more personal and enjoyable.



Shimano Stella SR 2000s Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Were it not for the play in the handle, this reel would be just about perfect 9
Performance Smooth smooth smooth... absolutely no complaints here 10
Price If you shop around, this reel can be had for a considerable amount below MSRP, however, even at that, we're talking roughly $400... ouch 6.5
Features Abrasion guards, maintenance port, and a neoprene reel bag... the only thing additionally, we could ask for is a spare spool 8.5
Design (Ergonomics) The Stella SR is about as beautifully designed as they come 10
Application This specific reel is designed as a finesse application reel. As such, by definition, it is not very versatile, but with the purchase of an additional, spare, standard capacity spool, everything changes 9

Total Score


Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

J This reel is the definition of "bling" L No spare spool
J As smooth as they come both in retrieve and drag L Mysterious play at the base of the handle
J Comes with an attractive and useful reel bag
J Abrasion guards and maintenance port are expertly implemented


One last look at our finesse application Shimano Stella SR 2000s

Conclusion: The top-end of the product line is a difficult reel to justify. Who really NEEDS that much reel? Then again, in the larger scheme of things, is a $500 price tag really that much of a deterrent when we're talking top of the heap, "A" number-one, the BEST any company has to offer? Consider that question carefully and welcome to the mindset of the Enthusiast Tackle Collector. The Stella SR 2000s that we tested here was not without its short comings, but the attention to detail and extra features one might hope for in a top of the line offering are all there. From the stealthy maintenance port, to the abrasion resistant guards, to the unexpected reel bag, to the unrivaled spool design, this is one impressive little package. In the end, the Shimano Stella SR, is not about bearing count or weight or materials of construction, it's about the best a company as reputable and proud as Shimano has to offer, and as always, Shimano delivered on this proven reel. I have no doubt it will stand the test of time, but the clock is ticking as the new Stella has already been introduced in Japan. With the current product being this good, we couldn't be more excited about the future....












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