Shimano Stradic 3000FK spinning reel review - £169.99 catalogue price, but around £140 or less if you look around

Somewhat confusingly there are two models of the Shimano Stradic spinning reel - this one which I will call the Stradic FK, and then the lighter weight Stradic C14+FA which is a tiny bit more expensive. Aside from the slight weight difference - and let’s be honest, it’s hardly as if the already delightfully lightweight Shimano Stradic 3000FK is exactly heavy in the first place - the most obvious difference I can see is the retrieve ratio - 4.8:1 on this Stradic 3000FK I have been using, and 6.0:1 on the Stradic C14+FA. Confused? I do love the logical thinking that goes on behind the scenes at some of these big tackle companies!

Anyway, don’t let that potential confusion detract from the fact that in my opinion it’s close to some kind of joke how much reel you are getting for the money here, and yet again for me this raises the question of what an angler should do if he or she fishes mostly in saltwater - spend less money on a spinning reel like this Shimano Stradic 3000FK and factor in the service costs that will most likely come into play via constant saltwater use taking its toll, or spend a load more money (potentially nearly double the price for say the same sized Shimano Sustain 3000FG) and gamble on whether you are going to actually get a much longer amount of meaningful use from the thing before that thing needs some TLC as well?

I haven’t used this Stradic 3000FK for a long enough period to tell you how for how long you’re going to get that typical Shimano, out of the box feeling of “please pick me up and spin the handle feeling of smoothness”, but I would suggest that a number of factors might come into play here anyway - how often you fish, how well you look after your reel, and of course how much the thing gets drowned in saltwater or not. What I can tell you is that this little Shimano Stradic 3000FK sits on say 9’ and below lure rods just about perfectly and it’s just so damn nice to lure fish with.

You know the line lay is going to be perfect and of course the thing is designed to fish with modern braids. It’s a stunning reel and I don’t really know what more I can say other than this Stradic 3000FK seems to be one hell of a lot of reel for the money. OK, so It niggles me that you don’t get a spare spool in the box, and whilst I don’t know how many reels these days do actually come with spare spools, I do wonder if companies like Shimano are gradually phasing it out? I don’t know about you, but I love opening a reel box and finding a spare spool in there, indeed I have been kind of expecting to find one for years now, hence the niggling feeling when we don’t get one. Does the Sustain FG still come with a spare spool for example?

This minor gripe aside, I can’t really see how an angler with say £140 or so to spend on a spinning reel can go far wrong here. This Stradic 3000FK looks and feels far more expensive than the price would suggest, so whilst that price when compared to say the Sustain or the much more expensive again Vanquish would of course suggest that some stuff has had to give a bit when compared to those far more expensive reels, increasingly I am drawn to these less expensive reels for saltwater use because from my experience the pricier ones aren’t giving me a commensurately much longer “smooth as you like” life. It’s up to each angler what they buy for their fishing, but holy cow this Stradic 3000FK is a peach of a reel. I am not going to have another moan about reel size confusion here, but this Stradic 3000FK I have been fishing with is around the same size as a Daiwa 2500 if that helps.  

And below is a preview of my lure fishing related work in Sea Angler magazine this month. Have a good weekend and I hope you are getting some of this stunning spring weather that we have had down here for a couple of days now. Not great for daytime bass fishing perhaps, but long may it last!