What a reel!
ALTHOUGH I’ve worked in the tackle industry for many years, I’ve never had that much to do with Shimano’s range of premium Stella reels. I’ve played around with them at tackle shows and in shops, and published plenty of articles extolling their virtues, but I’ve never actually used one. That all changed recently when I scored a loaner Stella 5000SW from Shimano’s Luke Wystra.
The award-winning SW series was released last year, and is designed specifically for saltwater sportfishing. Features which differentiate SWs from “normal” Stellas include waterproof drags with up to 20kg of pressure, a patented “Paladin” cold-forged main gear and stainless steel pinion and an advanced line management system.
The 5000 is the smallest of the SW series, which also includes two 8000 size models, plus a 10000, an 18000 and a 20000, and is ideally suited to the light tackle bluewater sportfishing.
It’s well known that Stellas are top shelf reels. They have been very cleverly marketed as being the ultimate spin reel. Pick one up and you’ll notice the construction quality is flawless, the design impeccable and the tolerances precise. The old adage of “you get what you pay for” certainly applies here. I guess there is an element of elitism associated with these and other premium priced reels. How you relate to that depends on your point of view. If you are very serious about your fishing, you will appreciate what this sort of reel can do for you. If you’re a budget conscious weekend warrior, well, investing in a Stella will probably be hard to justify.
Anyone who appreciates fine workmanship and no-compromise design will recognise the Stella 5000SW for what it is: a really, really good mid-sized spin reel which is light, dependable and fitted with a drag and gearing system that allows it to tackle much bigger fish than its relatively diminutive size would suggest. One of the aspects of this reel that I particularly like is that it’s not at all limited in its applicability. It’s a compact and user-friendly reel which, when loaded up with 250m of 30lb braid, can be used for anything from heavy-duty snapper fishing to jigging and spinning for anything from XOS tailor to big dam barra and everything in between.
The 5000SW, in my view, is a reel that covers a lot of bases and would certainly get used across a range of “everyday” fishing scenarios. Team that broad applicability with the amazing drag system and the tough-as-nails gearing, not to mention the overall balance and appeal of the reel, and you’ve got a seriously attractive product.
So what’s it like to use? Pretty awesome! So far I’ve used the test 5000SW jigging with 7” plastics and small metals for amberjacks, snapper and kings to 10 kilos. It casts superbly and the drag is outstanding.
All up, it’s an impressive piece of kit.
For more info, go to www.shimanofish.com.au.
By Jim Harnwell