Shimano’s new Stella SWB series will change the way people think about spinning reels. Marlin, bluefin tuna, giant trevally and monster dogtooth are now comfortably within reach of angling extremists. We are all familiar by now with X-Ship, which is a feature in a number of high-end Shimano threadlines. It enhances power transmission through the gear for increased cranking power, but a 20 per cent thicker barrier gear with a proprietary surface coating means it is now 38 per cent stronger than the existing Stella SW. The use of high rigidity aluminium in the body, as well as being a weight saver, won’t twist or warp, keeping the internals in perfect alignment, while being impervious to salt water. There are 14 SA-RB bearings inside, so line retrieval via the new cold-forged aluminium handle is effortless, even under punishing loads. The rotor, titanium bail wire, and a SW barrier-coated diamond-like carbon bail roller combine to deliver rigidity, strength and power, and make fishing jigs and high resistance lures like poppers easier. The X-Tough Drag, with its Coil Wave Spring and increased washer size, enhances drag consistency at every compression level, especially at the high end where greater control is needed. The Stella reels are made for extreme fishing circumstances, and Shimano’s proprietary X-Shield and X-Protect gaskets and rubber seal system keeps both low and high pressure water out of the reels, so they continue to perform regardless of the sea conditions. There are 13 models in the range, with the option of higher speed or more low down grunt, depending on the fishing technique or the target species. So whether flicking Squidgies for snapper, or going toe-to-toe with something that has ‘giant’ or ‘blue’ or ‘tooth’ in its name, the Stella SWB is up to the task.