Shimano Stradic Ci4 Spinning Reel Review [Pros & Cons]

Have you tried the Shimano Stradic Ci4 spinning reel?

Like it? Love it? Hate it?

This post will show the pros and cons of the Shimano Stradic Ci4 Spinning reel, and you’ll also see how the new model compares to the older Ci4.

Best of all, this review is 100% independent because we are only sponsored by the Insider Fishing Club Family so that we are able to give unbiased reviews that have zero influence from equipment manufacturers or corporate sponsorships.

The video you’ll see below will cover both the pros and the cons of using multiple Shimano Stradic Ci4 reels over 3+ years in both fresh and saltwater while also experimenting with many other reels from other manufacturers.

And the 2nd video will show some fun footage of a big fish caught on a very small reel.

Shimano Stradic Ci4 Reel Review

This video shows what I  have found to be the top pros and cons of the Shimano Stradic Ci4 spinning reel.

If you have used this reel, please share your findings (pros and/or cons) using the Comment section at the bottom of this post.

Just click on the video below to watch it:

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Shimano Stradic Ci4 Drag Strength

There are many ways to test drag of reels, but the ones I trust most are one-the-water tests.

So I thought I’d include a video showing how a small 2500 sized Shimano Stradic Ci4 performed when faced with a very strong tarpon.

Here’s a short video showing an accidental tarpon catch when using just 10 lb line and this small reel.

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Shimano Stradic Ci4 (PROS)

One very important benefit of this reel is that it is extremely lightweight while also staying very smooth and maintaining plenty of drag power.

This is especially important to me because I mostly use artificial lures so I get a lot of casts in every day I go fishing, and every ounce of weight savings truly does make a difference.

Also, the lightweight nature of it allows it to float when set up on many rods to allow for easy recovery in the event of an accidental dip in the water.

This feature alone saved me over $350 one day because I was able to recover rod that a trout yanked out of the boat when we weren’t paying attention to it…

speckled trout steals rod

Best of all, we got the rod/reel back and also landed the trout:)

[Click here to see the video showing that fun trip]

Note: Although this reel was completely submerged in saltwater, it did not suffer in performance even though we did not bother taking it apart to clean out any salt that could have made its way in.

Shimano Stradic Ci4 (CONS)

The biggest con of the Shimano Ci4 in my experience using it is just that its price is higher than many other reels for inshore fishing.

Most stores carry it at roughly $220 and up based on the size of the reel, and that is more expensive than many other options.

[Click here to see other reel reviews and tips]

Where To Buy Shimano Ci4 Reels

These Shimano Stradic Ci4 reels are popular reels, so they fortunately can be found at many local tackle shops which is where I recommend going to first.

But if the stores near you don’t offer them, here’s a link to where you can get them on Amazon: Ci4 on Amazon


The Shimano Stradic Ci4 has been a lot of fun for me to use over the past few years.

I especially like that is it super-lightweight while being very smooth and packing enough power to handle pretty much any fish that feed on the flats such as redfish, seatrout, snook, flounder, and even some small to medium sized tarpon.

The biggest con is its price tag which is typically offered at $220 and above (depending on the size of the reel).

Please share your thoughts with these Shimano Stradic Ci4 reels using the Comments section below… we would love to hear from you!

Note: We do not have any ties to Shimano, so feel free to leave good or bad reviews.

Click here to see more articles about fishing reels


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Abdul Hasnat
1 year ago

Thanks for sharing amazing information but CI4 and CI4+ are different from each other or not?

Kevin patrick
1 year ago

I purchased one of these reels two years ago to the day and caught a tarpon whilst lure fishing in Antigua, the fish was a good size and the drag held out well, i was worried with the volume of braid as the fish was running well, the handle started to jam up and the fish broke off not any fault from the reel (coral) i got home and opened up the reel and the rear friction ring had disintegrated, not sure if anybody else has had this problem, phoned shimano and they are organising a replacement ring but will take three weeks!!

3 years ago

Thank you for your review, and I just bought one based on that from eBay. However, the reel seems not as smooth as my Shimano Nasci which I have been using for a few months. Do you think it cause by a defect or I need to use it for a while to make it smoother?

3 years ago
Reply to  Luke Simonds

Thank you for your reply, I went to the local tackle shop and they just say the reel will be smoother after I use it for a few months, and I am also doubting about it. Luckily, I haven’t used it and maybe I just return it and thank you for your suggestion.


Mark Held
3 years ago

I just purchased this reel during the holiday season and was able to get 25 percent off. The reel is lite and has a very smooth operation. Spoiled with 20 pound braid and a Fluorocarbon leader the 3000 model is mounted on a 7’ medium, ST Croix spinning rod. The reel will be targeted for twitch baits, spoons and 1/4 ounce jig heads rigged with 3 to 4 inch plastics.

3 years ago

Line roller bearings go bad frequently

3 years ago

Thanks this was a great review as opposed to all the others that rate a reel they have often not even fished (“this reel has 5 Stars on Amazon”)…
I would love some comments about longevity as well in case I missed them. Will this reel last a couple of years?
Thanks for the hard work and all the great knowledge shared!

Last edited 3 years ago by Tom
3 years ago
Reply to  Luke Simonds

Send it to Shimano, they have a great reputation!

Keith K
3 years ago
Reply to  Tom

I have had a Shimano Stradic 2000 series reel as my primary reel since the 1990’s. Have replaced the bail spring and bail. Other than that, it has behaved flawlessly. Just bought a 1000HG for farm ponds and love it as well.

4 years ago

They took off the lever for free spooling. When I called they said for rust preventing. But really. Just a cheaper way to produce them. I like the switch.

4 years ago

Which model would y’all recomend the FB or the FBHG? Or does it not really matter?

George O'Neill
4 years ago

I’ve been a big Shimano fan for years and am now switching my tactics to wading in shore around Stuart Co
The local shops discouraged me from the ci4 and said they would get eaten up in 6 months from my saltwater accidental dunkings. They are proposing several other brands Especially the tsunami 4000 which used 10 critical seals to lessen the severity of the occasional dunk. A few ounces Heavier but still pretty light and with a $99 price.

George O'Neill
4 years ago

Ice insight on the weekend strategies. Could you please review the. Ew fishing laws that were proposed to go into effect on January 1? I believe sea trout was changing in Florida And I’m not sure about the other inshore targets. Thanks


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