I have tried many reels through the years for small stream trout. My prerequisite of a reel is they must have a back bone and they must be durable. I need a big handle because I have huge hands. I like my drags on the top of the spool so they aren’t hard to get at when fight a big trout and also aren’t laying in the dirt picking up dirt and grit. The back reeling function needs to be out of the way. “I never use the back reeling function.” It needs to be simplistic also. No triggers or helicopter gadgets. The bail must be smooth and all parts needs to be able to stand up to eight pound power pro. The drag needs to be able to handle a 25 inch small stream trout when its “Tail Is On Fire.”
I don’t want to break the bank on the purchase. I am also not a cheap skate. The reel needs to have a good warranty and a good turn around time when out on warranty work. I typically buy my reels at Cabelas in Prairie Du Chien. I always keep my receipts because they have a wonderful return policy.
With that all being said the Shimano Stradic ST2500FI fits all of my specifications. I have had many of the stradics through the years and this is by far my favorite version.
Shimano Stradic® FI Spinning Reel
Aluminum frame with graphite sideplate and rotor
Cold-forged aluminum drive gear
Line Management System for casting distance/accuracy
Shielded, anti-rust bearings
Waterproof drag system
When you combine a wealth of new technology with the tried and true components, you get the reliable Stradic FI. Built with an aluminum spool on an aluminum frame with graphite sideplate and rotor, this reel has a sturdy base to work off of. Inside, you’ll find new features like the Paladin Gear Durability Enhancement. It uses a cold-forged aluminum drive gear and special hardened brass pinion gear that’s more durable than all-stainless-steel drivetrains with a smoothness that will last longer. The all-new Propulsion Line Management System uses a propulsion spool, SR one-piece bail wire, Power Roller III, redesigned bail trip mechanism and S-arm cam. Those five components work together to provide longer, more accurate casts with less effort while drastically reducing the chance of backlash, wind knots or tangles. The Aerowrap II Oscillation worm gear system plays into that by reducing friction and increasing efficiency for longer, more accurate casts. Shielded Anti-Rust Bearings (S A-RB®) use either rubber or stainless steel shields to keep water and dirt from building up. The machined-aluminum handle with Septon handle grips has a direct-drive mechanism (threaded directly into the drive gear) to eliminate play and increase transmission of power. A waterproof drag prevents dirt and water intrusion. Maintenance port allows for easy lubrication of the drivetrain. Stopperless design on the 6000 and 8000 models only. Spare aluminum spool included.
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