Shimano is a multi-billion dollar manufacturer based in Japan. And now it is known as one of the most popular fishing brands in existence. Their influence on fishing equipment and innovations have had a significant impact on sportfishing today. Impressive for a company that only started designing precision fishing reels targeted to American bass anglers in 1978. Let’s take a quick look at the history before diving into our Shimano Stradic CI4 spinning reel review.
Shimano: Like a Fish Needs a Bicycle
Although founded all the way back in 1921 with only a single lathe, Shimano built it’s business on innovation. Shimano Iron Works, as it was known at the time, was mainly focused on bicycle freewheels.
Teach a Person High-Tech Manufacturing Techniques, and They’ll End up Fishing!
Back then, freewheels required the most technology produced, and Shozaburo Shimano’s decision to focus on this high-tech area foreshadowed the business’s focus on making products that required a high level of technical expertise. Especially noteworthy example is the technique of cold-forging. And cold forging technology is still a selling point worthy of mention in our modern Shimano Stradic CI4+ spinning reel review.
Fishing for the American Angler
By the time 1965 rolls around, Shimano is on its second president, Shozo Shimano, and the Shimano American Corporation is officially an entity in New York city. And not soon after, in 1970, the Fishing Tackle Division is launched. As the second business pillar, Shimano Fishing Tackled continued emphasizing a corporate vision that promoted public health through outdoor activities.
The Bantam series of ultra-weight precision reels were introduced at the AFTMA show, and Shimano became a recognized name for anglers who wanted high tech, low weight fishing reels across the United States. Which brings us to our Shimano Stradic CI4+ spinning reel review!
Shimano Stradic Spinning Reels
The Stradic line has been around for quite some time, encompassing quite a few model numbers and names. Overall, this series of reels is known for its high quality, even as production has moved from Japan to Malaysia (which is always an angle that causes debate on fishing forums and reviews.
That does not change the fact that there is quite a bit of heritage in the product line. But let’s focus specifically on the technology that we’ll discuss in our Shimano Stradic CI4+ review spinning reel review. There are a couple generations worth of Ci4+ reels, but the 2016 model year is one of the most exciting due to the technology that is integrated into the reel.
There are some big differences introduced in 2016 that continue into the current model years. When you look at the pre-2016 and post 2016 reels, the differences are obvious. But let’s go over what makes the Ci4+ the most special.
Stradic Ci4+ Throws its Weight Around
If you are an angler on a mission, you might spend your whole day casting and reeling, casting and reeling. That can be quite a workout on the arm muscles. And while a little workout never hurt anyone (… I think), as an angler you want to keep your energy up for fighting fish, or your buddy for the last cold beverage, not the repetitive casting motions that you do all day.
So probably the number one thing to note in this Shimano Ci4+ spinning reel review is that the 2500 model weighs only 6.7oz. This can make a huge difference over a long day. Losing weight is hard work for everyone, and we’re including fishing reels. So what went into the weight loss?
One of the most striking features is that the body of the reel is made from carbon: the high-tech material used in everything from F1 race cars, to the most advanced road bikes.
Although metal might be more traditional for reel construction, never needing to worry about rust is a huge advantage for a fishing reel. After all, you might get wet out on the water.
Speaking of water: sometimes your rod and reel might end up in it. You know, due to a moment of carelessness. (We’ll say it wasn’t yours, for the sake of this review). Or maybe you hooked a monster fish that was just waiting for you to turn your back. You tell us.
So that ends up being one of the key points of the Shimano Ci4+ spinning reel review. If your rod and reel ends up in the drink, you are WAY likelier to recover it.
Because of the low weight and corked rods, many reviewers have breathed a sigh of relief to discover that their investment did not end up at the bottom of whatever body of water they were fishing in. Phew!
And that’s not even close to the end of the list of features that make up this Shimano Ci4+ spinning reel review.
All the Features
With the carbon fiber reel, you might think that Shimano is giving up its traditional expertise in cold-forged aluminum. Well, not so! The spool remains cold forged aluminum. The Magnumlite rotor claims 25% reduction in weight from previous models, adding to the easy-casting nature of this reel.
The Hagane cold forged drive gear is another example of Shimano’s expertise in metallurgy. 200lbs tons of pressure are applied to room temperature aluminum. This means no cutting is used to make the super-fine metal teeth that give the smooth-reeling effortlessness that is one of the favorite benefits we found while researching for this Shimano Stradic CI4+.
The use of precision forged metals keep the body of the reel stiff, which translates to more of your effort being transmitted through the drivetrain to fighting the fish you want in your boat. By using a cold forged metal drivetrain, all of the internal pieces critical to transferring your efforts to your line in the water operate at a very high efficiency. This is what drives the concept of the Hagane line: “eternally smooth reeling”. Quite a high bar to put out there, but according to more than a few anglers, Shimano efforts are successful and appreciated.
Reel Feedback on Amazon
Amazon reviews are always an interesting mixed bag. There’s a lot to be said for searching through all the reviews rather than letting the algorithm decide what’s a valuable review or not all the time.
Our Shimano Stradic CI4+ spinning reel review certainly wouldn’t be complete without a trip down the mighty Amazon of customer reviews.
With 357 ratings averaging out to 4.6 stars, you know something is coming out right for the anglers who are using this reel. However if will behoove you to note some of the experiences that buyers have.
Get the Reel Thing
Some buyers report that they have been sent products with boxes already opened. One of the prominent Shimano CI4+ spinning reel reviews highlighted by the algorithm notes this. And with that kind of prominent placement, it’s clear that review has earned some attention from customers.
Along the same lines, one buyer notes being first sent the incorrect product (but it was replaced quickly with the real thing). So if it’s not what it’s supposed to be, don’t be afraid to have Jeff Bezos do it again and send you what you really ordered.
Another reviewer mentioned that for larger sized hands, the reel may not be as ergonomically satisfying as the older model with the larger, cushier crank.
And of course, the classic: one person thinks that it should be 50 bucks cheaper. And for this reason, he deducts a star. So as much as reviews can help you educate yourself for your fellow consumer’s experience, it’s important to remind yourself that everyone has biases. Yourself included! But you can always circumvent them through being honest with yourself. You know you deserve the best fishing equipment but that has budget consequences).
Bottom (Fishing) Line
So be sure to evaluate the reel on whatever metric is most important to you: easily recoverable in the water because of the lightweight. The fact that you can cast and reel all day because of the same. Or whether the high quality and product expertise make you confident your hard-earned dollars are buying expertise and longevity you value.
After all, what’s most important is you find yourself out on the water; and from all the details gleaned in Shimano Stradic CI4+ spinning reel review. If this reel is in your budget, it will probably keep you casting and cranking away.
Think about it, buy it here &, leave a review! Happy Fishing!