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The Rooster

Shimano Symetre 2500 Fj Review

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If you've been on the forum here for any significant length of time, you will know that I am notoriously dissatisfied with spinning reel performance from a lot of the ones I've owned. So this year I finally decided to spend a fair amount on one in hopes that it would solve some of the problems I've had with smoothness and line management/twist overall, as well as just generally be durable enough to last. I always take care of my reels like new the whole time I own them and yet a lot of them still don't hold up for me. But I've never spent more than $60 on one until now. The one I bought this year was the Shimano Symetre 2500 FJ, for $100.

Anyway, I've now had it for about 6 months, but hadn't fished enough before now to feel it would be a fair review, so I held off saying what I thought about it. I've had it on 5 fishing trips, some of which I caught fish on it, and sometimes it was just fished a lot with no catches. But after 5 trips, I've used it enough now that I feel I know what I can expect in the future for the most part so I'll share my opinion on it here.

1. Smoothness - The Shimano Symetre 2500FJ is hands down the smoothest spinning reel I've ever owned or used. Period. Absolutely no signs of roughness, right out of the box up until now, and still as smooth as glass at present. Used with a slow, moderate, or fast retrieve of inline spinners where there is a slight to moderate pressure on the line always, it's still slick as glass feeling. Loaded under the weight of a fish fighting, it's as smooth as when reeled with no weight at all. This is important to me since I want to feel what the bait is doing while cranking rather than a coffee grinder reel in my hands. Using a spinner lure, I can feel whether the blade is turning or not, but if the gears grind or the bearings feel gritty, the reel is all I can feel and it's distracting. This reel has NONE of those problems.

2. Line management - For me this has always been an issue for the most part. Many start out fine and twist up line in short order (ahem, Pflueger) but this Symetre did not show the slightest sign of line twist until trip #4 when it finally started showing up. I feel this was partly due to fishing inline spinning Roostertails, A LOT, in heavy river current, with no swivel at all. For 3 trips to the lake, however, there was absolutely none at all, fishing inlines without swivels, or any other bait. Then trip 4 and 5 was to the river where it saw nearly exclusive use with inlines tied straight on and cast into rolling swells of water, and then retrieved hard and fast at times. But, even with the now severe twist at this point, there was absolutely zero interference with how it casted. If you did not know the twist was in the line, you would be totally unaware of it. It casted long and smooth and handled like a dream. The only time line twist showed was when I let slack get in the line and it would wrap on itself but this was out past the rod tip, not on the rod or reel at all. Never a single time occurred where the reel would be "mummified" by line as in the past with others. It should be noted though, that from the beginning I have also been using KVD line treatment, so I cannot entirely credit the reel on this unless I was to use a spool of line without treatment and have similar results. The line I am using is Berkley Trilene XL mono in 8# test. Once I saw twist which finally started causing a problem by trying to wrap on the tip of the rod, I cut a cast length off and poof, problem solved. So, as long as I continue to use KVD line treatment with this reel, it seems that line management is under control......finally!!!

Those are the two biggest areas of concern for me on spinning reels. But also I want to point out that the drag on this reel is smooth and reliable as well. I hooked a couple of nice whitebass and hybrids at the river, and in the current, they can fight hard. I landed each without a problem but the drag came into play a couple of times on these fish. It was a pleasure to see that it gave when needed and held tight and strong when needed also.

The overall function of this reel just feels strong and reliable as well. The internals do not feel like they are stressed during or after a fight. I feel like I have plenty of power with it while using it. Also, I've read in the past that some Shimanos had binding problems when they got wet. Today we got caught in the rain while fishing, and it was a steady rain for over an hour, and I had no trouble at all with it even though it got totally soaked through use in the rain. This reel DOES NOT have a sealed drag but it was not affected by being wet that I could tell. Maybe water didn't get into it, but I don't see how it didn't because the spool is facing upwards most of the time when in use at the river, and was directly in the rain. Still I had no problems with drag, or anything else.

So far this reel has been an absolute pleasure to use in every way. I'm not trying to say this reel beats all others. But I am saying that it beats all others that I've ever tried. I'm totally sold on the Symetre for exceptionally long casts, smooth cranking, great line management (with use of KVD line treatment also), fluid like drag performance, and general solid feeling of a well made reel in my hands as I use it.

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yeah, they are great reels!!!

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Nice review... Not an official member of the Shimano fan club, but I have been pleased with every one of their reels I've ever had (10+) with the exception of a Sedona I put on a catfish rod that was real stiff and whiny. Anyhow, glad you finally found a spinning reel that works like it should.

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They are very nice reels, especially for that price range. I've been a diehad Shimano fan but I think I'm going to go out on a limb and try a Pfluegar Supreme XT. It's a sweet looking reel and it balances the rod I'm going to put it on perfectly. Plus it comes with a spare spool, I don't understand why the Symetre doesn't come with one anymore. I really like to be able to have floro on one spool and braid on the other but I don't want to spend more money just to get a spare spool.

http://www.***.com/Pflueger_Supreme_XT_Spinning_Reel/descpage-PPCRS.html

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Had it out again tonight for about 3 hours. No fish (darn). But it was another trip where it was a pure pleasure to use. Casting distance was superb. I'm able to throw a size 8 Rapala X-rap so far that with only 8# line I'm not sure I can get a good hookset on a strike!!!

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Well done!

Excellent review.

Top performance can be maintained by having

the reel serviced occasionally.

B)

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Great review. I have a 2500 Sahara that was a great reel, for about a year. Now it binds up and makes weird noises. Sometimes the handle won't even turn. Glad you got a reel you like.

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I have a 2500 Sahara that was a great reel, for about a year. Now it binds up and makes weird noises. Sometimes the handle won't even turn.

That's crazy... that's one of the best sub-$100 reels ever made. Get that puppy checked out by someone because you should get years and years of service out of it.

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Great review. I have a 2500 Sahara that was a great reel, for about a year. Now it binds up and makes weird noises. Sometimes the handle won't even turn. Glad you got a reel you like.

Those darn shimanos!:lol::rolleyes:

Replace it with a Daiwa.

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Those darn shimanos!:lol::rolleyes:

Replace it with a Daiwa.

LOL, what a sin!! :lol:

Nah, I don't doubt a Daiwa is a good reel. I looked at going with one before getting this Symetre, but now, I'm really glad I got the one I did. It's really better than I was hoping I'd get, all in all.

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