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jbdba01

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This is a placeholder for my opinion of the Stradic 3000 FJ.  
 
Some details...I paid $143 from Amazon - free shipping, and had a Xmas coupon.  Out of pocket was $110 (roughly).  My point of reference or comparison is lower end Sabalo 2500/3000 (on sale at Dicks for $59) and Penn Battle 2000 ($99).  
 
If you search this forum you'll see that after a year I rated the Penn Battle a "don't buy", but gave an A+ on customer service.  My Sabalos still going strong, but need a bit more maintenance than I like to give 'em, then again I dunk them, get grit in them...in short I use/abuse them.
 
Back to the Stradic - In the box below is what you get...note it says 5000 on the doc - it has all their reel schematics in the documentation.  Stradic 2500-5000 FJs.
 
 
Those nifty washers took me a bit to figure out.  It says "see documentation inside"; well, I couldn't find any, but the all knowing Google found it.  Basically these washers tweak how line goes on the spool.  After I read enough on it I went with no washers.  This puts the line on evenly - versus top/bottom heavy.
 
Hmmm...no extra spool.  What's up with that?  Then again that was true with the Penn Battle, but for a "higher" end reel I would have expected another spool.  Extra spools are handy for back filling line,  just having a lighter/heavier braid available, or if you got spool by something big.  Deal breaker no.  Disappointing - yes.  Sabalos come with an extra spool - Penn Battle does not.  Looks like a spare runs betrween $35-$50.  Bringing the equivalent purchase compared to a Sabalo to $175-$190. 
 
Like any new reel the first thing you do is give it a couple cranks and see how smooth/firm it is.  It's smooth, but firmer than my Sabalos.  In other words if you spin it and let go the Stradic will stop spinning before the Sabalo will.  Perhaps its a "break in" thing, but even after 1-2 drops of oil it was still pretty firm.  Deal breaker no.  Disappointing - no.  Just something to observe.
 
I paired the 3000 FJ with a 7'9" Wright McGill - not a high dollar rod, but it was what I had available.  It felt good enough to get the job done.
 
I spool it up with some 20# FINS braid.  As usual I left a bit of room on the spool (something I think I regret - more on that later) 
 
I managed to "fish" the combo last Sunday (1/27) and came across a couple oddities.  
 
1) The reel seems to be a bit "chatty".  By that I'm referring to the fact that compared to the smaller spools on the Sabalo's the line seems to have a different angle from the spool to the first guide.  So when you reel/crank it makes a different amount of noise/vibration.  Does that vibration travel down to the lure?   I'm not sure - for that matter does it make a difference?  Dunno - but I'm a fan of less noise = better results.
 
2) I purposely left off a touch of line off the spool - mainly to avoid birds nest / backlash/ "wind knots".  That extra friction keeps the line from peeling out to quickly and knotting up.  It's also forcing me to cast harder (IMHO) than I feel I should to get the lure to travel a reasonable distance from the boat/kayak.  From what I've observed I should have spooled more line closer to the lip.  It'll gain more distance on the cast (less friction), but has the potential to backlash.  This is one of those to be determined items.
 
Operationally it performs as expected - but so did my Penn Battle 2000.  I'll give it several months before I'm drinking the Cool-Aid.
 
In a nutshell works as advertised - no extra spool (bummer).

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