Shimano Stradic FL Review in 2023 for Every Angler

Shimano Stradic FL Spinning Reel

The new Shimano Stradic FL saltwater spinning reel is the latest edition to a line of some of the best saltwater spinning reels that, for generations, have served as a benchmark by which all other reels in its class are measured.

For years, the Shimano Stradic FL has set the bar for innovation and performance at its price point, and the Shimano Stradic FL continues this tradition by putting flagship-level performance in the hands of anglers at a price never thought possible.

Is the Shimano Stradic FL reel worth buying? Yes

The new Shimano Stradic FL model – the successor of the Shimano Stradic FK model– keeps the same identity as the robust and reliable reel. Here are some reasons why you should buy this reel.

Super Smooth Rotation!

Now driven by Shimano’s MicroModule II cold forged gear, anglers can experience unprecedented smoothness and power transfer. Internal components are tuned to the highest tolerances possible with Shimano’s Silent Drive technology.

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The latest Shimano Stradic FL will carry forward the majority of the Shimano technologies that have made the Stradic series what they are today. The Hagane Body, Hagane Gear, X-Ship, and the G Free Body have all found their place in the new series. All of these technologies help to make the Shimano Stradic FL a strong, durable, and uncompromising reel.

Latest Version

Never satisfied with good enough. Shimano always finds another way to improve your fishing experience. Introducing the new Shimano Stradic FL, the product of continuous evolution. Now with Shimano’s micro module two cold-forged gear, you’ll experience a rotational smoothness and power transfer never before achieved in a reel at this price point. Couple micro module two with a silent drive that fine-tunes internal components to the highest tolerances possible, and you’ll agree that the new Shimano Stradic FL approaches flagship-level performance.

Extended casting reach

If casting distance is a priority for you like it is for most anglers, the upgraded long stroke spool will offer anglers increased casting reach due to the improved line flow from the spool. C3000 4000 and C5000 models come equipped with Shimano’s cross-carbon drag system designed to endure and conquer the most blistering runs from the most powerful fish.

Featuring Silent Drive and Micromodule Gear II, Stradic reeling performance now approaches the flagship level. For the first time in Stradic’s class, Shimano has implemented a Long Stroke Spool for better-improved casting distance. Durability has been further improved by raising gear strength and adopting X PROTECT water resistance. Perfect for a wide variety of fishing applications, Shimano Stradic FL is built to upgrade your time on the water.

Saltwater Compatible Reel

Plus, Shimano’s ex-protect water repellent coating and specially designed water channeling labyrinth construction sure a lifetime of top-level performance by stopping water penetration and key areas without adding a heavy rotational feel. Experience for yourself the benefits of continuous evolution with the all-new Shimano Stradic FL.

Along with the Hagane Gear, this means that winding is silky smooth, and pristine silence has been achieved. X-Protect has also been added to the Shimano Stradic FL, giving the reel a superior level of waterproofing performance without impeding the rotation or lightness of the reel.

Next-generation fishing experience

An evolution in Casting, Reeling, and Durability, Shimano Stradic FL brings anglers into the next generation of fishing. Featuring Silent Drive and Micromodule Gear II, Stradic reeling performance now approaches the flagship level. For the first time in Stradic’s class, Shimano has implemented a Long Stroke Spool for better-improved casting distance.

Durability has been further improved by raising gear strength and adopting X PROTECT water resistance. Perfect for a wide variety of fishing applications, Shimano Stradic FL is built to upgrade your time on the water.

Built For Heavy Use

Couple MicroModule Gear II with Silent Drive, which fine-tunes internal components to the highest tolerances possible, and you’ll agree the new Shimano Stradic FL approaches flagship-level performance.

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The Stradic C3000, 4000, and C5000 models come equipped with Shimano’s Cross Carbon Drag system, designed to endure and conquer the most blistering runs and the most powerful fish.

Fully Waterproof

To protect your investment from the elements, Shimano’s X-Protect water repellent coating and specially designed water channeling labyrinth construction work to prevent water intrusion and preserve that out-of-the-box effortless rotation for the life of the reel without adding the rotational resistance commonly felt in sealed reels. Equipped with a heavy-duty Cross Carbon Drag system, the Shimano Stradic FL is poised to be put to the ultimate test against the hardest pulling inshore species.

Long Stroke Spool

The introduction of the Long Stroke Spool offers enhanced casting capabilities by decreasing the frequency in which your line changes direction while coming off the spool, creating less turbulence going through the guides and resulting in longer, smoother casts. From the lake to the back bays and beyond, the Shimano Stradic FL proves itself to be a worthy addition to the Stradic legacy.

Features Review: Shimano Stradic FL Reel Has All The Upgraded Features

Hagane Body

The HAGANE Body is a metal reel body with high rigidity. The body stiffness and impact resistance virtually eliminate body flexing. The result transforms the angler’s actions directly into cranking power. It’s efficiency through strength.

It is made of highly rigid metals such as aluminum and magnesium. Weight has been greatly reduced while reel flexure, warp, and distortion have been eliminated, allowing for smooth reeling with little power loss.


With amazing strength and durability, the HAGANE Gear is at the very heart of the reel. Shimano, through the application of state-of-the-art technologies, gives you the long-lasting smoothness and pleasure that you feel when you first use a reel, over and over again. No cutting work is applied to the teeth of the drive gear.

Instead, the entire surface is calculated in minute detail by a special 3D design and then formed by Shimano’s cold forging technology. The result is assured resilience. It’s the fruit of Shimano’s inexhaustible pursuit of durability; the strength and power of forged metal continue to represent the fundamental concept of Shimano reels.

Hagane Gear has become the cornerstone of many of Shimano’s finest spinning reels. With Shimano’s own precision cold forging technology, the new Shimano Stradic FL has improved gear durability and is equipped with a newly designed Hagane gear with equivalent strength to the upper model.


Now in this Shimano Stradic FL review section, we will talk about its latest X-Ship technology because it provides improved gear durability. By supporting the pinion gear on both ends with bearings, the pinion gear maintains precise alignment with the drive gear. This means the gears will stay in the same position under the heaviest loads.

The added benefit is that friction between the spool shaft and gear is eliminated. This will enhance the casting performance of the reel with lighter lures and allow for longer casts.

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These bearings have been through the same process as our A-RB bearings but feature shields on both sides of the bearings that reduce the possibility of salt or sand inhibiting the bearing’s rotation.

AR-C spool

The spool has been lightened with Shimano’s original processing technology in order to balance the two goals of “without trouble” and “extending flight distance.” The special shape of the spool ring ensures the best line release.


This drag material provides a wider range of drag settings, along with the smoothest Shimano drag performance ever.

G-Free Body

Technology has been developed to shift the reel’s center of gravity closer to the rod. By moving the center of gravity closer to the angler’s hand position, the G Free Body helps to reduce fatigue and enhance casting comfort.


6 times more resistant than Core Protect, X-Protect utilizes a labyrinth (maze) structure and water-repellent treatment to prevent water from entering the inner areas of a reel.

One-Piece Bail & Long Stroke Spool 

The Long Stroke Spool has longer strokes compared to conventional spool designs. This long-stroke specification results in greater casting distance.

One-piece bail allows the line to travel unimpeded to the line roller. Its seamless design reduces friction and the chance of tangles or cuts to the bail arm.

SilentDrive Technology

The latest evolution in the Shimano Stradic FL range brings anglers into the next generation of fishing. This evolution brings with it improved casting, smoother reeling, and increased durability. The newest addition is the Micromodule Gear II, an upgrade on the surfaces of the drive and pinion gear means that reel noise is reduced as the gears work in a much smoother way, and the SilentDrive technology, which reduces the smallest of clearance gaps and wobbles within the gearing system.

G-Free Body

G-Free Body technology has been developed to shift the reel’s center of gravity closer to the rod. This has been achieved by moving the oscillation mechanism 19 mm up from the bottom of the reel to the top. By moving the center of gravity closer to the angler’s hand position, the G Free Body helps to reduce fatigue and enhances casting comfort.

Micromodule Gear II

The most advanced tooth design evolved from Shimano’s unique manufacturing technology. In our pursuit of the ideal tooth shape, we’ve redesigned the teeth of the gears right down to the tooth’s surface. Gear noise has also been reduced while improving reeling smoothness.

State-of-the-art gear tooth surface design and MicroModule Gear II are further advanced through Shimano’s exclusive manufacturing technology. The surfaces of the drive gear and pinion gear have been analyzed and updated from the ground up in pursuit of perfection.

Aero Wrap II

This two-speed oscillation system layers the line onto the spool in a crisscross pattern that reduces line-to-line friction for longer casts. Aero Wrap reels utilize a patented worm gear design to move the spool upward quickly and downward slowly to wind the line in a precise pattern, reducing friction, and giving smoother, longer casting ability.

Propulsion Line Management System

The most obvious component of the Propulsion Line Management System is the new Propulsion spool lip design. Through tens of thousands of casting tests and computer simulations, it has been determined that this new spool lip design provides longer casting distances than a standard spool lip design while preventing backlashes and wind knots from forming.

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Silent Drive

From the fundamental, whole-body design to the most intricate parts of the drive train, including the drive gear, Wormshaft, Wormshaft pin, and Wormshaft gear, every piece has been carefully reviewed, and the smallest clearance gaps and wobbles have been eliminated to the highest tolerances.
Shimano Stradic FL DragThe 1000 size uses a 1 set felt drag washer system, the 2500 size uses a 3 set felt drag washer system, and the C3000 sizes above use a higher grade 3 set cross carbon washer system with excellent wear resistance.

All Shimano Stradic FL reels models:

Shimano Stradic FL ST1000HGFL:

A finesse reel designed for light lure casting for bream and trout using fluorocarbon or braid. Weighing 6.5 oz, the Shimano Stradic FL 1000 matches perfectly with a 1-2kg or 1-3kg responsive graphite rod. Featuring 6+1 bearings and a smooth felt drag system with 7 lb of power.

Shimano Stradic FL ST2500HGFL

A great all-around size for estuary and river fishing that suits a braided line from 6lb to 10lb, depending on the target species. Weighing 7.9 oz, the Shimano Stradic FL 2500 matches perfectly with a 2-4kg, 2-5kg, and 3-5kg responsive graphite rod. Featuring 6+1 bearings, a 6.0:1 gear ratio, and a smooth felt drag system with 20 lb of power.

Shimano Stradic FL STC3000XGFL

The Compact 3000 sizes feature the same body design as the 2500 size; however, the reel possesses a larger line capacity making it ideal for fishing in both estuary and inshore environments. Weighing 7.9 oz, the Shimano Stradic FL 3000 matches perfectly with a range of rod ratings from 2-4kg to 3-6kg. Featuring 6+1 bearings, a 6.1:1 gear ratio, and an upgraded Cross Carbon drag system with 20 ib of power.

Shimano Stradic FL ST4000XGFL

A 4000 size is ideal for a range of estuary and inshore environments, targeting jewfish right through to snapper. Weighing in at 9.9 oz and suited to using the braided line from 15lb to 20lb and is designed to match rods in the 3-6kg up to 4-8kg line class. Featuring 6+1 bearings, a 6.2:1 gear ratio, and an upgraded Cross Carbon Drag system with 24 lb of power.

Shimano Stradic FL STC5000XGFL

The Compact 5000 size features the same body design as the 4000 sizes but with a deeper spool to provide larger line capacity and a power handle knob for targeting hard-fighting species in the estuary and inshore waters. Weighing 10.4 oz, the Shimano Stradic FL 5000 matches perfectly with a range of rod ratings from 4-8kg to 5-10kg using up to 30lb braid. Featuring 6+1 bearings, a 6.2:1 gear ratio, and an upgraded Cross Carbon drag system with 24 lb of power.

Shimano Stradic FL model specifications:

Model Number:
Bearings: Gear Ratio: Line Per Handle Turn: Weight oz: Mono Line Capacity: Braid Line Capacity: Max Drag:


6+1 6.0:1 30 6.5 2/270, 4/160, 6/110 10/95, 15/75, 20/65 7


6+1 6.0:1 35 7.9 6/200, 8/140, 10/120 10/150, 15/145, 30/100 20


6+1 6.2:1 40 9.9 8/240, 10/200, 12/160 15/230, 30/180, 50/120 24


6+1 6.4:1 37 7.9 6/230, 8/170, 10/140 10/200, 20/140, 40/105 20


6+1 6.2:1 40 10.4 10/240, 12/195, 14/165 20/260, 30/235, 40/185 24

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Shimano Stradic FL Video:

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My Experience and Reviews on Shimano Stradic FL Reel

Awesome reel

Super smooth holds a fair amount of braid, for its size should work great for schoolies and inshore. The drag setup is much better than some of the older models; it’s more of a progressive increase as you tighten it down rather than basically being max-drag-or-nothing like some other reels I’ve fished. The max drag for this reel is quite powerful as well. All this in a very lightweight package is pretty impressive.

I own an older Stradic Ci4 2500 and a relatively newer 3000, and this Stradic FL makes me want to get one for every inshore or freshwater rod setup I own.
Caveat: I’ve only used it about 7 or 8 times now, but every other Shimano spinning reel I’ve owned has held up wonderfully, so I’d expect more of the same.
Pros – Long Casting, Nice Drag System, Very Lightweight, Looks Sharp as a Tack
Cons – None that I’ve found so far.

Beyond smooth

I purchased the FL series of the Stradic elsewhere and saved twenty bucks, but I was cruising for some fishing tackle and decided to leave a review about this reel. I have several different Stradic reels and live them all, even more so when they came with two spools. The new FL series Stradic is really a sweet reel, super smooth, and is now more water-resistant than its predecessors. The drag was something I took huge notice of, better and smoother. Shimano just keeps making the Stradic better each time, and I love it.

Experience with Stradic 4000XGFL

This new updated Stradic is the smoothest version Shimano has made so far. Stradics have always been a workhorse reel for me, and this new version is very solid and should hold up well fishing in saltwater. I, for one, am glad that Shimano has removed the anti-reverse lever on this new reel. I fish for speedy fish like Bluefin Trevally and Bonefish here in Hawaii and have never had use for the anti-reverse function on spinning reels. Removal of the anti-reverse lever makes this reel a little more watertight, so I really like the change. However, this Stradic is not totally waterproof.

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If it gets submerged, it will leak. It does hold up really well getting splashed by surf while fishing in the break, though. I noticed there’s no longer an oil service port screw on the side plating. If you want to oil this reel up, you need to take it apart. Be prepared to get yourself a set of micro Torx, small Phillips, and Torx drivers to take it apart. So far, so good. This reel has performed great and should see a lot of good years of action like my older model Stradics.

Affordable Price

Best reel I’ve ever used. I’ve bought a lot of cheap combos over the years and some not-so-cheap from other big names. None have worked quite as smoothly as this reel. The spool design gives really smooth casts, with distance being much easier to achieve than I could with other reels.

Can catch a big one

Retrieval is smooth and powerful. I’ve already caught four redfish, a couple of trout, and some other fish on this reel. Two reds were 20″, and two were 24″ strong fighting fish. The reel handled it with no problem. I like to let the drag play the fish as much as possible, and it did a fantastic job. When one fish decided to run into some structure where I risked getting cut off, it was easy to tighten the drag and change his mind about which direction he was going.

Best For Kayak Fishing

The finish is nice and cleaned up easily after a full weekend on the saltwater in a kayak. Being a kayak, reels get much more abuse than they do on a boat because you’re much more limited on space, and you sit right in the water, so it’s a good test for any reel. The retrieve speed is very nice and, again, super smooth. I can certainly feel the quality over even some other big-name reels I have.

Great material quality

Ideal For Both Inshore and Offshore

Great casting with braid and fluoro ( LS spool design). Great carbon drag on 3000-5000. I haven’t used 2500 down with the felt washers, so no comment. No anti-reverse switch and one-piece handle. Overall great value for what you are getting.
NOT sealed, so you are not using this for surfcasting to bluefish in rough surf—more for light surf, bay, or boat fishing. No anti-reverse, I put this in both because I personally do not like an anti-reverse switch (another port for water), but I know some people like it when they are hooking up their hook to their rod without messing with their drag or forgetting that lure at just the right length from the rod tip for a cast. Either way, that’s up to you.

Best purchase this year

Great reel for the price. The new design is way better than the FK because they sealed the roller bearing so it won’t make noise. Also, this reel has a way better seal now. You simply can’t beat the Stradic when it comes to the price. Outdoes anything in its category.

I bought a new saltwater rod for the striped bass fall run. So I needed a red to complete the combo. I did large research and decided to buy the new Stradic. I couldn’t be happier with my new reel. It feels so smooth, but at the same time, it is really strong when dragging the fish. I’ll definitely recommend it! This reel is the best bang for the buck out there right now on the market. Shimano decides to add Shimano Stella parts to this reel and keeps it at a very great price.

Best $400 reel you can buy!

But wait, it’s a $200 reel. The reel take-down guys on youtube seem to agree Shimano only sells 2 reels in the US: the Shimano Stella and the 2022 Shimano Stradic FL. With this reel, they’ve rebuilt the Shimano Stella using lower grade materials – composite flier instead of machined titanium, wear-treated aluminum shafts instead of wear-proof stainless – many of the parts interchange. Worm-gear drive, long spool oscillation for longer casts.

Same overqualified roller bearing clutch, big drive gear to deliver more torque through the handle, finer and more gear teeth for less Freeplay = less wear; low spindle deflection to let you use silly big drags. This is the baseline reel for anyone who truly needs to use more than 4-lb drag (a bunch if you’ve ever used a spring scale to set a drag). You can’t submerge the reel overnight, but if you dunk it and keep fishing, no worries. If you really don’t like the Tee handle grasp (me), easy to replace with a Yumea or JW round handle.

Opinion on the 5000FL model

It took me a while to leave the domestic spinning reel line. I’ve seen the light. This new 5000FL is an amazing reel. I have 2 and am considering a third. I use these primarily for freshwater, but I use the 5000 for both. The 5000 has caught largemouth bass and stripers in many situations. The 3000 is my favorite freshwater reel ever.

Not only is it aesthetically pleasing, but it also performs flawlessly. Smooth retrievals and great ASMR are coming from the drag.

View my new Stradic 1000 FL

Just got my new Stradic 1000 FL. It is truly a beautiful reel, but the jury is still out. I just got off the water with it, along with my Stradic 1000 FK and Sustained (2) 1000 FG. To be truthful, I am a little disappointed. It is a very tight reel with zero gear play. Maybe too tight. It is not as smooth (under a load) as the other 2 reels. The only description I can come up with is it feels “gravelly.” Hoping that, in time it will break in and get smoother. Maybe the larger sizes will be smoother. It’s a Stradic. So far, so good; I do think the carbon drag is smoother. Still too new to say much more.

Setbacks I Found While Using Shimano Stradic FL Fishing Reel

One thing that I noticed that will take getting used to is where the reel comes out from the rod. This piece of metal is between my fingers all day. On the Shimano, it angles downward almost immediately, causing pressure between my fingers, whereas others come out straight from the rod a little further. This abrupt downward sweep from the rod mount to the reel certainly made it less comfortable and even somewhat painful at times for my bigger hands.
That said, I think they did this to keep the reel itself closer to the rod, so the weight is closer to the rod and gives less fatigue. That has the unfortunate side effect of pushing on your finger, depending on how you grip the rod and reel. It’s a minor gripe, but for long 8-10 hr fishing sessions like I do (dusk till dawn if I can get some days), it can cause some pain.

Bottom Line

Shimano Stradic FL reels are used and appreciated by hundreds of thousands of fishermen worldwide. The name Stradic has become synonymous with a reliable and solid reel, which can be used in almost any fishing scenario. This is, by far, the smoothest and longest-casting inshore or freshwater reel I’ve ever used or owned.

Frequently Asked Questions Related To Shimano Stradic FL:

What is the difference between the Shimano Stradic FL and the FK?

The key features that the Shimano Stradic FL has that the FK did not are the Micro Module Gear II, silent drive, NEW Hagane Gear, X Protect, Long Spool, and Carbon Cross Drag Washer. Overall a better reel and key for inshore saltwater fishing!

With the Shimano Stradic FL 5000, would the grappler be a good rod?

Yes, a Shimano Grappler would pair well with the 5000 Shimano Stradic FL for jigging applications.

What is the best Shimano Stradic FL size for inshore fishing?

Either a 4 or 5000K

Can you wind it forward and backward?

No, there is no anti-reverse switch. The handle cannot be turned backward.

Is the Shimano Stradic FL 5000 suitable for saltwater bottom fishing?

This reel would be great for back bay floundering and casting topwater lures.

Does the Shimano Stradic FL 4000 come with a knob handle?

The 4000 size does not come with the knob handle.

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