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Lard_Bass

Stradic CI4 Review

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Guys,

I recently got gift cards for my birthday and decided to use it on the purchase of a new Stradic CI4. I went fishing a couple of days this weekend and here are my first impressions.

Reel: Stradic 2500 CI4

Rod: St. Croix Avid AS68MXF

Line: Seagur Invisx 10lb

Main Lure: 1/16 jig head with Senko

Pros:

-Extremely smooth drag. First fish caught was a 3+ lb on the jig head. The drag was set for a little over 3 lbs on the 10lb test. The CI4 drag worked extremely well on the first fish which put up a nice fight (gave a little but not much for what it was set for).

-Casts extremely well. After 2 days of heavy usage, no issues with line twist, bird's nest, etc (actually none to report). Compared to the Stradic FI 2500 (which I also have), I didn't notice a comparable difference in casting and that could be partially due to the different lines I was using (Invisx vs. Yo-Zuri Hybrid US 6# on the FI).

-Very lightweight (barely noticeable versus the FI, but more noticeable to a Symetre I have) (EDITED: See below, rod will be more tip heavy given the lightweight but overall setup feels very light - big plus when fishing a long time).

-Overall, very smooth casthing and reeling experience (feels sturdy).

Cons

-Doesn't come with spare spool. I was surprised since the FI came with one (minor con). (Note: As found out on the Shimano forum, a Stradic 2500FI spool will fit on the 2500CI4 reel).

-Handle a little undersized. I don't have big hands but the handle seemed small to me. It doesn't have the same turnkey handle like the FI has but a foam (maybe another con for some people) knob. I got used to it but I am sure some people will swap it out. Shimano probably used foam and kept it smaller to keep the weight down.

Overall:

-Great reel. That's about sums it up. Marginal improvement versus the Stradic FI in terms of weight and feel. I'll be curious to see how it handles when I land some bigger bass and pike but was very impressed on my first 3 lb'r.

I will probably switch the line out to Yo-Zuri Hybrid to make a better comparison. One thing that was impressive was the lack of line issues which is a great thing I have noticed about the Stradic line (I am still confused how the same line on my Symetre gave me headaches but on the Stradic none - anyone that has insight please respond to the Line Twist Thread that I started: http://www.bassresource.com/bass_fishing_forums/YaBB.pl?num=1252376501).

Hope this helps.

post-6550-130162927414_thumb.jpg

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Well done!

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I am a big Shimano fan, but the lack of a spare spool on a reel in this price range is just dumb.  I use spare spools on all my spinning reels.  I fill one with flouro and one with powerpro as our lakes tend to change clarity a lot during a season.  Wonder how bad they ding you for a spare?  I really like my Stradic MGs............guess I will have to get another before they are gone.

Thanks for the review!

Matt

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how does the new frame material feel in your hand as you fish? Does it feel sturdy/like plastic/ as if it would flex?

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It feels sturdy and not some piece of plastic junk.  I actually was thinking to myself that it feels a lot like the FI but lighter.  

Here's one other thing I forgot to point out.  The reel is very light so I am not sure about how it pairs up with certain rods.  Given its lightness, my rod is more "tip heavy" now.  The CI4 was made for "finesse" presentations according to Shimano so I didn't use it with any treble hook lures (maybe another con is its possible lack of application flexibility).  However, I was deadsticking jigs and worms for many hours and my rod/reel setup felt very lightweight.  Maybe pair this up with a carrot stick and you'll feel like you are fishing with nothing but air (but one ugly combo with red, black, and orange).   ;D

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I am a big Shimano fan, but the lack of a spare spool on a reel in this price range is just dumb. I use spare spools on all my spinning reels. I fill one with flouro and one with powerpro as our lakes tend to change clarity a lot during a season. Wonder how bad they ding you for a spare? I really like my Stradic MGs............guess I will have to get another before they are gone.

Thanks for the review!

Matt

Matt, I have to agree with you on the spare spool.   At $200, throw it in.

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I am a big Shimano fan, but the lack of a spare spool on a reel in this price range is just dumb. I use spare spools on all my spinning reels. I fill one with flouro and one with powerpro as our lakes tend to change clarity a lot during a season. Wonder how bad they ding you for a spare? I really like my Stradic MGs............guess I will have to get another before they are gone.

Thanks for the review!

Matt

Matt, I have to agree with you on the spare spool. At $200, throw it in.

With a spare spool, the reel would have been $225+.  Shimano is very price-point conscious.

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burleytog,

I understand about Shimano being price point conscious but they threw in a spare spool with my Stradic FI 2500.  So, if you take the spare reel out of the Stradic FI 2500 and say the reel is only worth $135 (versus current price of $160), then the reel is only a handful dollars more expensive than a Saros.  I would argue the Stradic is much better than a Saros.

The point being, Shimano threw in a spare spool with my Stradic 2500 FI not to simply bump it up in price.  If that's the tactic Shimano wants to do, then take away all the spare spools from the other lines and mark the price down.  

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Very price-point conscious?  The Stradic FI is $159.99 - 179.99, the old MgFB was $229.99, most of the Cardiffs are $109.99.  In fact a good number of their items aren't priced at a price point.

There's no question that they determined more customers would prefer to pay less & not get a spare spool, but I wouldn't call them price-point conscious.

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I am a big Shimano fan, but the lack of a spare spool on a reel in this price range is just dumb. I use spare spools on all my spinning reels. I fill one with flouro and one with powerpro as our lakes tend to change clarity a lot during a season. Wonder how bad they ding you for a spare? I really like my Stradic MGs............guess I will have to get another before they are gone.

Thanks for the review!

Matt

Matt, I have to agree with you on the spare spool. At $200, throw it in.

With a spare spool, the reel would have been $225+. Shimano is very price-point conscious.

I find it hard to believe they would have to mark the reel up $25 to make enough money for it to be worth selling just because they included a spare spool. In fact, I'd be willing to bet that they could include the spool, not change the MSRP one bit, and still make money.

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I am a big Shimano fan, but the lack of a spare spool on a reel in this price range is just dumb. I use spare spools on all my spinning reels. I fill one with flouro and one with powerpro as our lakes tend to change clarity a lot during a season. Wonder how bad they ding you for a spare? I really like my Stradic MGs............guess I will have to get another before they are gone.

Thanks for the review!

Matt

Matt, I have to agree with you on the spare spool. At $200, throw it in.

With a spare spool, the reel would have been $225+. Shimano is very price-point conscious.

I find it hard to believe they would have to mark the reel up $25 to make enough money for it to be worth selling just because they included a spare spool. In fact, I'd be willing to bet that they could include the spool, not change the MSRP one bit, and still make money.

Well being a business major in both graduate /underagrauate studies and in the business world for a couple of decades, there's no doubt they are still making money. Every company is trying to make a profit. I originally was thinking this (but did not post it) and will say it now, the lack of a spare spool smells of someone's decision not associated to the fishing world.

Someone in CI4 marketing saw a way to keep costs low but wasn't consistent with other product managers (who saw a spare spool as a way to get more sales). The guy in charge of the CI4 line should have included a spare reel because fishing enthusiasts like myself expect it. Whoever was in charge of the Stradic FI line got it right where the guy in charge of the Stradic CI4 line caused unnecessary controversy. As one professor taught me, pound foolish (referrring to the British pound) and penny wise is not a good thing.

Is the CI4 reel a good reel? Yes. At $200, do customers expect more benefits like a spare reel? Yes. When you still have older lines or comparable products out there (Stradic FI and Stradic Mgfb) at lower price points, you jeopardize the successful launch of a new product if it's not competitive. The lack of a spare spool makes it less competitive to the aforementioned. Plain and simple.

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No argument with the premise, but perhaps there is another

motive. The Stella series has never come with a spare spool.

If you like the reel, but want options, you buy additional reels.

It worked on me!

;)

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Good point RW.  Maybe the product managers at Shimano figure at a certain price point, the enthusiasts will pay $$ to get the best equipment.  

At the end of the day, the CI4 is a great reel.  A minor con (which I said from the start) is a lack of spare spool but one can easily buy a comparable Stradic if that is a main concern.

One thing that came apparent to me is Shimano's consistency and quality.  I recently bought a 2 piece Clarus rod for travel purposes and I am quite impressed.  Toss in the Curado, Stradic, Symetres (2),  and Scimitar rod that I have, I am in the Shimano groupie camp.

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Spare spool or not, this reel has my attention.  I do a lot of finesse fishing and a 2500 at under 8 oz would certainly make me happy.  I've never spent this much on a spinning reel though, not even close.   :-/

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OK lets clear up the pricing and lack of spare spool with the Stradic CI4.

First you can see the appearance difference between these spools. There is more machine work involved in the CI4 spool. It is drilled, chamferred and anodized with a two tone finish. This is more labor intensive and requires more finish work than the Stradic FI spool. It has all the same features of the FI model but much lighter. The price of carbon has been going up every year as well which helps dictate the cost of the reel.

The pricing on the CI4 is based on the current dollar conversion. The FI model was based on the conversion in mid 2007. I can say we have absorbed a lot of the cost changes to maintain the MSRP on the reel from when it was introduced. Many of our products had in increase in price because of the poor economy and weak dollar.

I'm pretty sure any new models will no longer come with a spare spool unless the dollar gains strength again. Now we have Obama in office so maybe his stimulus plan will help us include spare spools in the future  :;)

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