Shimano’s release of the new 2016 Stradic CI4+ is a total game changer compared to the original CI4+. Although the original CI4+ was already a well-constructed and respectable fishing reel, the new and improved model has taken the reel, and created a super reel out of it. Living in Southern California, I’ve had the opportunity to test the reel through half of the season from inshore/surf Halibut and bass fishing, I can honestly say that the reel has lived up to its hype considering the abuse a reel has taken being fished in salt water.
I chose the CI4+ because of Shimano’s reputation with corrosion resistance, but Shimano has taken the things to the next step by applying a feature called Core Protect. The feature helps “provide water resistance and helps reduces the amount of salt, dust, sand, and water that can get into the reel”. This is crucial when fishing in the surf because you never know when that big wave will hit when you’re standing waist deep and your reel takes a quick dip. Another important change is the removal of the anti-reverse switch.
I know some people like the option to back reel with the anti-reverse, but you should trust your drag system. Simplicity can sometimes be better; I don’t think reels need all the added features like the anti-reverse to be considered a “good” reel. Plus, everyone hates it when they accidentally hit the switch and lines gets fed. The CI4+ actually doesn’t contain metal because CI stands for carbon interfusion, so the reel wont rust making Stradic CI4+ good choice fresh and salt water.
Next, Shimano decided to add more ball bearing to this reel to give a smoother rotation when reeling without the additional weight. I thought that the original Stradic was already smooth but Shimano has once again defied the odd or making and even smoother reel. Another change to the reel would be the “G Free Body” technology, which shifts the weight in the reel around to make the reel lighter. The original technology has come from the designs of the Stella.
The best feature to the Stradic CI4+ is that it’s well priced compared to other high end reels being just a little over $200. The reel has been compared to those within the $320 range like the Sustain and even the $789 like the Stella. Being an avid fisherman who doesn’t rely on fishing as a career, I don’t think it’s appropriate to be spending that much money on a reel anyways. With the holidays just around the corner or if you’re looking high quality spinning reel that can endure both salt and freshwater, I consider this reel as an optimal pick.
Overall Rating: 4.5/5.0
Price Point: 4.0/5.0
Quality of Material: 5.0/5.0