Stradic FJ

Stradic FJ

21/06/12 - Author: admin

From quite humble beginnings, Shimano’s Stradic threadline reel series has become one of the company’s most enduring product lines.

With their pearl coloured bodies — which were quite a radical cosmetic departure from the traditional greys, silvers and blacks of threadline reels of the time — they were instantly recognisable as a reel that was just a bit different. Pick one up and have a wind of the handle and it was easy to tell that this was a quality piece of gear, and once the word got out, reel connoisseurs immediately flocked to them. You also couldn’t watch a fishing TV show or pick up a magazine without seeing a picture of Bushy or Starlo holding an impossibly big bream, or near metre-long flathead, caught on one of the mini Stradics. If these guys were using them, then you knew they had to be good.

The 2012 Stradics are just dripping with features, yet they’re not out of the budget-conscious fisho’s price range either. A major step forward has been the inclusion of X-Ship. In essence, X-Ship equates to increased gearing efficiency and power. This is achieved with a larger drive gear and supporting the pinion gear on both ends with a pair of Shimano’s exclusive SA-RB (Shielded Anti-Rust) ball bearings.

To the user, this means winding the handle requires little effort, with a smooth, less stop-start rotation, even under the heavy load of a hooked fish.

When you’re making hundreds of casts a day, and most likely using braided or fused gel spun polyethylene lines, line twist can rear its ugly head, but Stradics combat this in a number of ways. Firstly, the line is trapped and returned to the Power Roller III bail roller via the one-piece bail arm. Power Roller III is at the front line in line twist management, but from here the Stradic has Aero Wrap II oscillation, which works in conjunction with AR-C spool management system.

Aero Wrap II’s specially designed pitch enables the two speed worm gear to lay line across the spool without hills or valleys, and then when a cast is made, line leaves the spool via the AR-C spool lip in smaller loops with less slap on the stripper guide. This optimises casting performance, especially with braid.

What we end up with is a level line lay in the right shape for longer casts, but also for keeping wind knots under control. This equates to more efficient casting and retrieving, but also less down-time unpicking those annoying snarl-ups that can bedevil braided lines at times.

Stradics come in a range of sizes, from the tiny ST1000FJ for ultra light estuary and freshwater work, right up to the coffee grinder ST8000FJ, which takes 244 metres of 40 pound Power Pro braid, and can fish an incredible 13 kilos of drag.

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