Gear Review: 2012 Shimano Stradic FJ

I’ve owned many spinning reels from many different manufacturers but I remeber owning my first 2 top grade spinning reels: the first generation Shimano Stradic and the Daiwa Whisker SS Tournament spinning reels. That was the foundation of my light tackle fishing. I fished 8lb, 10lb, and 12lb mono on my spinning reels back then, using 4000 size Stradics to get the line capacity I needed for catching species such as bonefish and tarpon. The Shimano Stradic spinning reel has been the gold standard of spinning reels even until this day. There was the original first generation Shimano Stradic, clad in silver. Then the next 3 generations, Stradic FE, Stradic FG, Stradic FH came clad in white and gold. The current Shimano Stradic on the market is the Stradic FI, which boosted the benchmark for spinning reels once again.

The Stradic FI won the 2010 ICAST best freshwater reel catagory. But don’t let that fool you, the FI is every bit and even more capable then it’s predecessors. There are more inshore saltwater fisherman using the Shimano Stradic FI these days then any other spinning reel on the market. The Stradic of today felt like the Stella of the past. Stradics often introduced Shimano’s latest technologies at their time period such as Aerowrap, Anti-Rust Bearings, and now X-Ship. X-ship was introduced on the current year Stella but it comes to the next generation of Stradic.

Here I introduce the new Shiamano Stradic FJ. The new Stradic FJ will be clad in a beautiful irridescent pearl white color, like that found on a Lexus luxury sedan. The spool is silver and gold, with a smooth spool lip for reduced friction on casts. The new X-Ship makes the retreive feel even more smooth and solid then before.

This is a Stradic that almost feels like a Stella. My one feature that I am most excited about with these new Stradics is the introduction of a mini Power Ball handle on the Stradic 5000FJ model. Every component of this reel feels solid and it’s beauty and solid construction appear to be flawless. The Shimano Stradic will again raise the bar and prove itself again as the benchmark of spinning reels.

My buddy and I have been testing the new Shimano Stradic FJ spinning reels for the past couple of months, having to keep hush about them. We tested the 3000FJ, 4000FJ, and 5000FJ models on some of the toughest species on the saltwater flats such as bonefish, permit, tarpon, redfish, and snook. The reels prove just as capable as the FI, but with an even more solid feel. We paired the new Stradic FJs on Shimano Terez WaxWing rods and found them to match perfectly for handling all your inshore and nearshore duties.

The Shimano Stradic Ci4 will remain the same. I still own a couple and use my Stradic 4000Ci4 on a G Loomis Greenwater Spinning rod for most of my day to day fish fights. A fleet of Shimano FJs will now be joining my Ci4s aboard my skiff. The new Stradic FJ will be released towards the middle and end of July 2011. Keep an eye out for them at your local tackle store.