Henry Gilbey
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Two years now with the Shimano Twin Power XD C3000HG, and a couple of months with the new Shimano Stradic 2500HG-FL spinning reel

Rather than me spend more time linking to my reviews of the various items of fishing tackle mentioned in this blog post, you can find them all here, linked to within the various tackle categories.

A couple of years of use and not a single problem has cemented my opinion that this beloved little Shimano Twin Power XD C3000HG is the best spinning reel I have ever owned. I reported a year or so ago on how the reel was doing and to be honest nothing’s changed - it’s had a lot more use and still runs just as sweet as when I first used it, I look after it in exactly the same way as I always have (see here for how I look after my spinning reels), and I probably should have but I haven’t actually sent it off anywhere for a proper service yet.

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I am glad that Shimano still list this reel as a current product although I am guessing it can’t be long until we see a new version of the Twin Power, and there have been a number of times over my two years of owning and fishing with this stunning little 3000 version when I have gone online and hovered over a BUY NOW button for the slightly larger Twin Power XD 4000 XG version. The main thing that has stopped me actually clicking buy has been how surf fishing especially has crept into my lure fishing life more and more, and then because of this my 4000 spinning reel of choice has more often than not been the somewhat cheaper Penn Slammer III 3500. My Twin Power XD C3000HG continues to perform so perfectly for so much of my lure fishing though that it’s hard to resist buying another 3000 together with a 4000 version and putting them away for when Shimano stop making them. That older Rarenium anyone?

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So we come to the brand new Shimano Stradic 2500HG-FL, a roughly £160 spinning reel that as far as I can tell shares a number of the same specs as this older and more expensive Twin Power XD C3000HG. I have had the Stradic here for a while now so I thought I would tell you a bit about it, and in reality it’s most likely as you’d expect with a spinning reel from the Shimano stable that costs a little north of £150. This Shimano Stradic 2500HG-FL is nice and light (233g loaded with braid, light but not too light, I do wonder if some spinning reels are almost too light these days and can make it tricky to match them up with some lure rods), it’s the same size as the slightly increased line capacity C3000HG-FL version but with a slightly smaller handle, the line lay was perfect out of the box, you can fill it right up without any worries about wind-knots, it’s as smooth as butter to fish with, the drag seems great although you know I am not really bothered about this for UK and Irish bass fishing, I like the little handle, and a 2500/3000 Shimano size spinning reel sits very nicely on the majority of lure rods I might fish with.

I am telling you nothing here about this new reel that you couldn’t have guessed yourself, so as per my Twin Power, I will report back in due course and tell you how this new Stradic is doing. The only thing I can pick up on with this Stradic is that it’s not quite as quiet on the retrieve as my Twin Power - it’s not remotely an issue, but because I am so used to the Twin Power now, I soon picked up on a very slight “raspy” sound with the Stradic. I did wonder whether there might have been an issue with the line roller, but there isn’t, so I guess what I am hearing is just how the reel sounds when you fish with it. In some respects it’s actually a bit reassuring to just about hear the reel when you retrieve, because as I have said before, my Twin Power XD C3000HG is so quiet that in my early days with it I sometimes had to put my headlamp beam on it at night to check that braid was going back on the reel as I turned the handle.

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One thing I can’t tell you about this new Shimano Stradic FL is that the “Long Stroke Spool” is giving me an increase in casting distance over my Twin Power, or at least if it is, I’m not noticing it. For sure I like the shape and look of the slightly taller spool on the Stradic, but Shimano claim “better casting distance”, and perhaps if one was incredibly bored and went out to measure different reels against each other there could be something to it, but I’d rather go fishing myself. At the end of the day if you have a decent casting style then a good spinning reel combined with a decent lure rod is going to get you all the distance you might need for bass fishing, so I’m not sure I take a whole lot of notice here. This new Stradic FL is a good looking reel though and it’s rather lovely to fish with - as you’d expect. I have got it loaded up with a 150m spool of this newish and ridiculously good Sufix 131 braid in the 20lb/PE#1 size.

I would be really interested to see how Shimano’s “X-Protect water resistance” on the Stradic FL might stand up to a load of “proper” surf lure fishing, but I’d like the larger 4000 or 5000 (nice big round handle on the 5000) versions of this new Stradic FL to strap to my go-to surf lure rod, the HTO Nebula 10’ 12-42g weapon. I now know how hard I can push a Penn Slammer III spinning reel with all the water you can’t help but ship when you’re out in the surf, and I’d be fascinated to treat a new Stradic LF exactly the same - to include regular washing and oiling and so on - and then see how it was after a few months. I have seen a few older Shimanos and Mag Sealed Daiwas end up as rough as rats after a surf session or two, so I do wonder how Shimano’s equivalent “water resistance” might stack up.

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So there we go. I haven’t really told you anything meaningful save for my Twin Power XD C3000HG still being utterly sublime after a couple of years of fishing with it, but because I know and like the reel so much it’s an interesting comparison now to fish this new Shimano Stradic 2500HG-FL and see how it fares. If I can keep hold of the reel for a decent length of time I will report back, but as it stands after a few months of fishing with it, I feel entirely confident saying that this new Stradic FL is a stunning bit of kit.

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