Shimano Stradic SW Review by FishingMad. I purchased a couple of the new Shimano Stradic SW reels on the day of its release. Already in only a few weeks, I have really put the Shimano Stradic SW through its paces to see what it’s capable of. With many sessions on the water in Western Port and Port Phillip Bay targeting a whole range of inshore species such as gummy sharks, snapper, mulloway, and elephant fish. Overall, it’s a nice reel that offers good performance at an affordable price point.
The Stradic range of reels has been very popular for some time amongst fishing consumers. The combination of stylish looks and affordability has driven consumer demand for a sustained period. But Shimano has tinkered with the marketing of this product line up so much over the past 12 months which has consumers confused. This reel once a staple choice of Shimanos light spinning range has somehow found its way into their already saturated saltwater reel space.
Watch a detailed review of the Stradic SW here where we run through an unboxing, full feature rundown and on water tests catching large inshore species of fish.
The Shimano Stradic story
The Stradic lineup has a complex story with the reel series historically split into 2 separate offerings. The versatile ci4+ which has been an excellent choice for estuary, freshwater, and inshore fishing. Also, the Stradic FL a slightly lower spec cheaper reel very popular amongst inshore anglers. Both reels available in sizes from 1000-4000 and 5000 added at a later stage.
However, this is where things get confusing. Shimano recently decommissioned the Stradic C14+ lineup and replaced it with the Shimano Vanford. The Stradic FL has seen many variations in its time ( FE, FG, FH, FI, FJ, FK, FL ) and now the Stradic SW is here so does this replace or supersede the Stradic FL range or do they coexist.
To add to that confusion the Stradic SW now sits in the same space as the Saragosa SW. But I can’t help but feel the look, features and price points are so similar. Want more confusion well you could also buy a Vanford 5000 and a Stradic FL 5000 which are similar to the smaller sizes of the Saragosa and the Stradic SW
The saltwater range of Shimano reels has always been easy to understand. With the top of the range, Stella SW followed by the twin power, then the Saragosa at the affordable price range followed by the entry-level Soccorro at $199. The stradic SW is a nice reel but it does confuse the clear tiered saltwater reel offering by Shimano somewhat.
Shimano Stradic SW specs and performance
Now that we have all of that out of the way let’s focus on the specs and performance of the Stradic SW. The Stradic SW is available in 5000XG, 6000XG, 8000PG and 10000HG. Not a massive line up but really aligns with the purpose of the product of inshore fishing and light offshore fishing.
The full Shimano Stradic SW Review specs can be seen below
The look of the reel is simple yet stylish. Shimano sticking with a silver and blue colour scheme which in many ways resembles the Stradic FL and the Saragosa. With 3 triple cutouts on 3 sides of the reel again very similar to other offerings. Its main points of difference from an aesthetic point of view are the introduction of the power handle which we are big fans of, and slight colour changes to the main body and drag nob.
The drag sound leaves a little to be desired when compared to the amazing drag sound of the Saragosa and Vanfords which have recently been released. I think that was a real missed opportunity by Shimano. You can hear the drag comparisons in our detailed video above.
Stradic SW vs Saragosa SW
The Stradic SW and the Saragosa SW share a lot of similarities. Both have a very similar price point, appearance, and share the following features including.
- X protect – Ipx8 water resistance technology
- Hagane body and gears
- Infinity drive system
- Cross carbon drag washers with a cross spool
If we focus on these 2 reels the key difference is that the Stradic SW is designed for inshore fishing and light offshore fishing where the Saragosa built for heavier styles of fishing. And this is really evident in the weight and the sizes they come in. The Stradic SW is available in 4 models ranging from sizes 5000 to 10000 whilst the Saragosa is available in 8 models ranging from 5000 to 25000
Aesthetically the reels look quite similar with Shimano choosing a blue and silver colour scheme and 3 triple cut-outs in the same position for both reel series. The noticeable difference is that
- Visually the Saragossa is a little bit bigger and heavier.
- The Stradic SW incorporates the new power handle. Which is a welcome addition
- The drag nobs are different colours.
- There is a noticeable sound difference in the drag systems
The Shimano Stradic SW rating
Overall we were quite impressed with this reel which offers a decent combination of performance, looks and price. This reel is a good option for those looking for an inshore reel to target species such as snapper and gummy sharks and light offshore fishing for bigger species such as kingfish and trevally. At $499 from most fishing retail outlets, we think there are enough features and quality to justify that price point. During our extensive on-water tests, the reel performed well handling decent sized snapper, gummy sharks and elephant fish with ease. There was one occasion where the reel locked up that however was tangling with a 100+ kilo shovel nose ray so we can easily forgive that.
We can’t help but feel that Shimano would benefit greatly from taking the time to explain to consumers what the plan is with the Stradic name and lineup of reels. Many consumers are still searching for Ci4+ reels and unsure what the future holds for the Stradic FL reels. We certainly don’t mind what Shimano has done as the Vanford and Stradic SW are both excellent offerings perhaps just the message and marketing is a little confusing.
Additions or corrections
Thanks for reading this Shimano Stradic SW Review. You can see more about these rods on Shimano’s website. You can purchase this range of reels at all good fishing tackle stores. Please feel free to view many fishing videos around Melbourne and Victoria. If you have any questions, corrections or additions then please direct them to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get back to you as soon as we can.