Henry Gilbey
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Henry Gilbey blog

Shimano Sustain 2500FG spinning reel review

When I die I think I might ask if it's ok not to come back as a spinning reel if it's all the same to whoever makes those kinds of decisions. Think about the kind of use a fishing reel goes through in the different disciplines and it's something like lure fishing that in my mind is putting a reel through some decent levels of abuse - although not so much because of the size of the fish that we catch, more the simple fact that in lure fishing a reel is being used all the time (turning handle, placing bale arm back, getting soakings etc.) and is not sitting in a tripod or resting on the rocks for a lot of its life.

As much as I would like it not to, I expect my car to have the odd problem and I know that I should be servicing it at least once a year (????). I want my fishing tackle to last forever, but I know it won't, and with something like a fishing reel there is this dilemma on what you can or indeed should be spending. Some anglers go for something high-end like a Daiwa Certate or a Shimano Stella, but most drop decidedly less money on a reel that will at the end of the day do the same job - hold line, cast, reel in, play fish, land fish. Some people drive Porches and some people drive more regular cars.

A "lesser" reel might not last quite as long (debatable ?) or be as smooth or nice looking, but it's all just a matter of choice. We don't remotely need a Stella or a Certate for "our" lure fishing (come on, we ain't battling 100lb GTs charging for a reef system), but then we don't need a Ferrari or a Range Rover for "our" roads - personal choice though is a good thing and I am all for it. We do though need a reel for our fishing and we do need a car to take us at least some of the way to our fishing spots. I have been messing around with some mighty fine Daiwa spinning reels for a while now and I have been hugely impressed with the Theory, Caldia Mag Sealed, Luvias and Certate models. But for a little bit now I have been using this rather smart looking Shimano Sustain 2500FG.............

Why the tackle companies can't get together and come up with a standard for reel sizes is beyond me, and while we're at it, adopt a global standard for measuring lines as well please. As far as I can tell this 2500 size Shimano Sustain is in fact the same size as a Shimano 3000 but the 2500 I think has a reduced spool capacity (which seems to be fine for the braids that many of us are using) - but then I think I am right in saying that this Shimano 2500 is roughly the same size as a Daiwa 2500 size, but then the Shimano 3000 is NOT the same size as a Daiwa 3000. Confused ? Why does it need to be this way ?

I can't tell you how this Sustain is going to last long-term because I haven't had it long enough yet, but wow is it one smooth reel to fish with, indeed I just like fishing with it plain and simple - and that means a lot to me with a reel. I wonder how many lure anglers out there use the Shimano Rarenium and have put them through hell and high water with rarely a problem to speak of - if the Sustain lasts like these things then it's going to become a classic I reckon. It's one smart looking bit of kit and this 2500 size seems to balance great with the lure rods I fish with.

The line lay is very good, I really love the handle and the reel is lightweight (this Sustain 2500 weighs 235g against a Rarenium 2500 or 3000 which both weigh 200g) - but then these are things you should expect from a spinning reel in this price bracket. Look at the Daiwa Caldia Mag Sealed for example. The Sustain 2500FG comes with a spare spool which I am a fan of, indeed it drives me mad that with the high-end reels you don't get a spare spool in those (luxury) boxes. Why ? Are you really telling me that a Stella or a Certate spool costs so much more to make that a spare one can't be bundled into the (luxury) box like you get with a Sustain or a Caldia ?

So what's not to like about this newish Shimano Sustain 2500FG ? Well I don't know yet, because I'm loving it. Perhaps I should be more of a cynic at heart and try digging up something pretty inconsequential about this reel that niggles me, but I genuinely can't think of anything yet. Many anglers seem to be either Shimano or Daiwa reel people and I bet you a number of anglers who might buy this reel do so because they have been using Shimano for a long period and quite simply like the look of the new Sustain. Same with many Daiwa purchases I am sure. I own plenty of Daiwa multipliers but had hardly ever fished with a Daiwa spinning reel until I started messing around with the Luvias I think it was. Is there a massive difference between the two companies when it comes to their spinning reels ? I don't think so. They are both class companies, and I do reckon that this Shimano Sustain might prove to be something rather special over time..............

Midweek metal mayhem - I need to put more music on this blog because it's a serious passion of mine and for some strange reason a lot of anglers seem to be into metal of various sorts. Is there a better black metal band out there than Norway's mighty Immortal ? I don't think so and their mix of northern viciousness together with those slower, catchy as hell riffs just freak me out big time. Grown men wearing face paint, metalling it out on the side of a mountain and trying their best to look all serious ? Fine by me !!