Review by Alex Julius
If you’re after a mid-range threadline reel that is so smooth and silent that it will have your head shaking, look no further than Shimano’s stylish new Stradic 4000 XG
In The Field
There were good barra markings showing up on the Lowrance sidescan, and I was armed with a big soft plastic. It was a heavy lure but the Shimano travel rod fitted with the latest Stradic 4000XG was up to the task of executing a high lob to get the distance. We were fishing in a remote PNG estuary and my objective was to put the reel through its paces.
At first, I’d opted for a super-slow retrieve, basically slow-rolling the big softy, and the reel was noticeably smooth and virtually noiseless too.
A few casts later and I picked up the pace of the retrieve – still ultra-smooth and totally silent.
I saw some flotsam swirling in a back eddy and I put my shoulders into the cast to get the lure behind it. The water was only a couple of metres deep, so I let it sink for just a moment before retrieving, slowly again. The hit came with a shudder that pulled my arms forward, and I struck hard. Out she came: a beautiful chromed barra that was possibly a metre long. It wasn’t, but it was a beauty nonetheless.
The line was 30lb Power Pro Super 8 Slick V2 and, with each surging run, it peeled from the reel with gossamer smoothness. The fish came out a couple more times, a sizable head shaking from side to side with gill covers funnelled open. I was having a fat time, that’s for sure.
The barra was well hooked, and inevitably it came to the net, slapping its tail one final time as it was scooped by Jia An, our capable guide. He’d been filming the whole thing so he netted the fish with one hand, and thus was unable to lift it aboard. I quickly realised his dilemma instinctively grabbed the net frame to help haul the fish aboard.
At 90cm, it was a fine catch and the Stradic had performed like a reel much more expensive than its sub-$300 price tag.
Make sure you check the video clip on the NAFA Fishing and Outdoor Videos channel on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VZhkKw0oMCk&t=1s
The Technical Stuff
The latest evolution in the Stradic spinning reel series is the new FL designated model. The new generation Shimano Stradic brings with it improved casting, smoother reeling and increased durability via the upgraded cold forged Hagane gearing and X-Protect technology which prevents water intrusion into the reel’s internals without impeding the effortless rotational experience while cranking.
Additional key upgrades to the new Stradic range include Micromodule Gear II (an advanced gear tooth design) and Silent Drive (drive gear, pinion gear, worm drive and other critical internal components are manufactured to very tight tolerances). The combination of both these upgrades results in a powertrain that performs with silent, silky-smooth precision.
The Stradic FL features a long-stroke spool for improved casting performance and a rigid aluminium Hagane body to reduce the chances of the reel frame warping or distorting under load. If the reel frame flexes excessively, then critical gearing components become mis-aligned which can cause accelerated wearing of components and loss of power that can be applied through the gear train.
The inclusion of 6 stainless steel ball bearings plus one anti-reverse bearing also guarantees smooth operation which is a standout on this latest Stradic.
A fast gear ratio of 6.2:1 whips line in at a rate of 95cm per turn of the handle while factory specifications show that the spool holds a useful 280 yards of 15 pound Power Pro braid and is capable of up to 11kg of drag via the cross carbon washers.
The test reel weighs 260 grams and Shimano includes an excellent 10 year warranty on this latest-generation Stradic.