If money grew on trees then I am sure most anglers would be fishing with spinning reels such as the Shimano Stella, Twin Power and Vanquish, or the Daiwa Saltiga, Branzino and Certate, but the fact is that fishing tackle like this is some very serious wedge. I can find this new Shimano Sustain 4000FG online for around the £250 mark, and while that as well is some not inconsequential money to be spending on a spinning reel, I note that you could essentially get two of them for the price of some of those really high-end reels..............................
This is an easy review to write because firstly you will know how awesome I think the smaller Sustain 2500FG is via my review from earlier in there year right here, and secondly I am hearing of more lure anglers from all over the place who are completely smitten with the Sustain family of spinning reels, and I include both new and older models in there. I absolutely love fishing with this 4000FG model and I am struggling to see how a spinning reel can actually get much better. Yes, I have fished plenty with a Stella and a Certate over the years and one could argue that essentially double the price again is buying something a bit more special again, but in my opinion these Sustains are pushing those megabucks reels really close - bear in mind that I am talking about UK and Irish lure fishing here and not anything mad like big GTs on poppers or AJs down deep on vertical jigging gear. But more powerful fish aside, lure fishing I reckon does put a spinning reel through the mill.
In recent years I have been fishing mainly with the smaller spinning reels around the size of a Sustain 2500FG, and to me a reel like this sits pretty perfectly on many of the lure rods I might play around with. If anything I have been shying away from the larger reels for a while, but then I picked up Ger's rod that has a Sustain 4000FG on it and to be honest it just felt "right". Modern spinning reels are so light that most of them around this size sit fine on the kind of rods I mess around with, although you can't get away from the fact that on a light 8' or shorter rod the 2500/3000 size sits very nicely indeed. It is my understanding that a Shimano 2500 is the same size as a Shimano 3000, and the only difference is in how much line you can get onto the spools - please correct me if I am wrong though.
Put the two Sustain reels side by side and there isn't really a huge amount of difference in size (the 2500FG weighs 235g and the 4000FG weighs 280g). I am in love with the handle on the Sustain 2500FG, but if anything I like the one on the 4000FG a little bit more - and you can swap them around as well if that is any help. There's not much point in me telling you how smooth these reels are to fish with because you most likely know that anyway if you use any of the major brands' better spinning reels, but this Sustain 4000FG is almost ridiculously easy, and the line-lay is just immaculate (see here for a lot more on line lays/winding shapes). It has always bugged me that you don't get spare spools with the really high-end reels, so I am happy to report that this Sustain 4000FG comes with one. Personally I find this really useful as I always carry a spare spool loaded with braid and leader in my rucksack - just in case.................
As I said with my review of the Sustain 2500FG, if this new range of reels is as well-made and last as long as the Rareniums then I firmly believe that they will become a classic. Around £250+ for a spinning reel is a lot of money and I know that this puts such a reel out of the grasp of many an angler for various reasons, but you also can't get away from the fact that some parts of lure fishing are moving in similar ways to some parts of fly fishing, in that there seems to be a growing percentage of anglers who are prepared to put serious money down on their kit. I have fished with a lot of different gear over the years and this Shimano Sustain 4000FG is right up there for me at the top of the tree, to the point that if you now offered me a Stella for UK and Irish lure fishing, I would be sorely tempted to take a couple of Sustains instead. Seriously, I think these reels are that awesome.
You might want to know this (disclaimer) - I have recently started doing some work with Shimano UK, so you can of course choose to take my words in whatever way you want. If you want to believe that Shimano UK have got so much money that they are paying me to say nice things about their gear then that's just fine and I can't do anything to dissuade you, and quite frankly I have little interest in trying to justify how I make my living anyway. I have had nothing whatsoever to do with designing or even influencing any Shimano fishing tackle (although I hope to one day), but via my beginning to do some work with them I can of course get easier access to bits and pieces of gear that I want to have a look at - and increasingly I believe that companies like this do in fact have plenty of gear that lure anglers should be seeing. I am doing what I can to find the stuff and then I can help bring it to your attention.
Monday Morning Metal Madness - holy cow it's got to be the comeback of the century so far. Carcass, one of the most legendary metal bands of all time (and they are Brits) have been away for seventeen long years and they come back with the absolute monster of an album that is "Surgical Steel". It makes me feel a bit old that I can so vividly remember seeing Carcass play live a few times in their heyday, but metal is for life !! This mighty comeback is up there as one of the best albums of the year if you ask me - makes me want to grow my hair long again and get back into stagediving.
I will announce the winner of the Major Craft rod competition on Wednesday.