Shimano Stradic FL Fishing Reel Review (Top Pros & Cons)


It’s reel review time!

A few months ago I made a video where I unboxed the Shimano Stradic FL and talked about the specs of it.

Since then, I’ve caught a lot of nice fish with it and I have an accurate view of how it performs in real life.

And the unique part about it is, I got two of these reels at the same time, and I actually noticed that there was one slight difference in how they performed over time.

Check out the review below where I’ll share:

  • What my overall rating of this reel is
  • What happened to one reel and not the other (but how to easily fix it)
  • Why this reel can help you cast farther
  • And much more

Check out the full review below.

Shimano Stradic FL Review [VIDEO]

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Overall, I highly recommend this lure.

I fish a lot, and I fish from a kayak, so I put this reel through a beating while getting saltwater on it nearly every time I went out.

It’s passed every test I’ve thrown at it and keeps performing well.

Here’s what I like about it:

  • It has a taller spool, which helps it cast a little farther
  • It’s lighter than many reels in its class
  • It’s durable
  • It’s smooth

You can see the specs and unboxing video here.

However, it’s not perfect.

I ordered two reels and on one of them, the drag got a little sticky.

To fix it, I just took the cap off of the spool, popped the spring out, washed off the drag washers, and then re-greased them.

They say you don’t need to grease carbon drag washers (which is what this reel has), but I’ve found that it helped.

And if you do grease your drag washers, make sure to use drag grease.

Shimano makes their own grease, or you can use Cal’s Drag Grease.

The other con was that it’s expensive.

It’s about $200-220, depending on what size reel you get.

We do have it in our online shop, though, and if you’re an Insider you can get 20% off.


snook on shimano stradic fl
Fat snook I caught using the Shimano Stradic FL

After using these reels while kayak fishing the past few months, I can confidently say that I recommend them.

They’ve held up well and have landed a lot of fish for me.

That being said, they are expensive, and you may need to re-grease the drag washers.

Have any questions about this reel?

Have you used it before?

Let me know in the comments below!

You can get this reel from our online shop here.

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7 months ago

I wade fish a lot and a lot of times i have submerged my reel , can thos Shimano take it? And yes i clean it when im done fishing.

Luke Simonds
7 months ago
Reply to  Luz

This reel is not fully sealed, so it is at risk of getting compromised if it gets dunked in saltwater. For wade fishing, I personally use Legalis LT reels because they feel like a high end reel while only costing $79… at that price point, I’m not nearly as upset if I accidentally dunk it.

Mark Ethridge
10 months ago

I just bought the 2500HG today. I put it on a Bull Bay Reel Animals 7’2 medium action rod.

Lee Womble
1 year ago

What are your thoughts on the 2500 vs 3000 in the FL? I fish Texas inshore – Reds Specs.

2 years ago

Very nice and great review..i bought 1 stradic 4000XG after watched your video..never tested yet because of the MCO..maybe after this…but i can feel the soul and spirit by watching the performances itself..btw thank for your great post and guidance…

2 years ago

What is your opinion of the Stradic 2500 HG?
The parts exploded view looks extremely complicated, and beyond the average fisherman to disassemble and clean. Do we have to send them back to the Shimano service center to have them cleaned?

John Noble
2 years ago
Reply to  Tony Acevedo

Thanks for the quick response. In your video, you addressed the subject of the FL. I just purchased a Shimano Stradic 2500 HG but was wondering if is a later model and how it compares in terms of quality?
Thanks Again!

Everett Eugenio
2 years ago
Reply to  John Noble

The Stradic 2500 HG is a version of the FL. The HG just stands for high gear which relates to the gear ratio of the reel. This is assuming you recently bought the reel, there have been some stradics in the past like the Ci4

2 years ago
Reply to  JOHN NOBLE

Correct me if I am wrong..there are various model of stradic…FK, Ci4, FL and the latest 1 is SW..SW is the most expensive 1..

David P Yates
3 years ago

Could you possibly do a comparison of the Stradic FL vs the new Vanford. I can’t decide between the two.

Brad Hetrick
3 years ago

Tony…looking to replace my Quantum Cabo, any idea if the tackle shop will get them back in stock?

Will Graswich
3 years ago

Hey Tony. Spot on with the review. I purchased a 3000 in February, and have been using Shimano and Penn reels for a couple decades. The Stradic FL is my favorite for inshore pursuits on the flats. paired the reel with a TFO 7.5ft medium and 20 Power Pro basic. Casts wonderfully, excellent distance, a very sensitive and responsive set up. Been fishing it on Lake Calcasieu (Lake Charles / Hackberry, LA) using a finese technique (Z-Man’s TRD TicklerZ on a 1/10 head). Retrieve is very smooth and and imparts a natural look to plastics. Scoring some nice flounder and redfish consistently. Yep, I’m sold – a solid performing reel in your hands… no regrets spending the $210 I payed for it.

3 years ago

I have been using two Stradic 3000 for nearly two years and they have been great. No issues at all and nothing but smooth fishing. I have even dunked one a couple of times (SUP fishing) Just took it to my local Shimano Authorized shop and got it cleaned/lubed and back ready to go. I would highly recommend to anyone on the fence.

Michael McDowell
3 years ago

Thanks Tony: I purchased this reel in 4000 series and had exactly the same experience with the sticky drag. Purchased at Ace Hardware (before you tackle expansion project) took it back to a guy there I trust who did just what you suggested. Now it is one of my favorite reels. Great video great reel.


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