Shimano Stradic Ci4+ FB – Buyers Guide
One of the best spinning reels I have ever used is the latest Shimano Stradic Ci4+ FB. I personally have the 2500 model and I find it perfect for flicking soft plastics and small vibe lures. This latest version includes numerous improvements to previous versions, so if you have enjoyed past models of the Stradic Ci4, you will love the Ci4+ FB.
There are so many things that I love about this reel, so it is best to go over them individually so you can get a feel for what the Shimano Stradic Ci4+ is all about. While it is not the most expensive spinning reel in the Shimano range, it is a sizable investment for a reel, so it is important you know exactly what you are getting.
Extremely lightweight design
One of the first things you will notice when you hold the Stradic Ci4+ for the first time is just how light it is compared to most other spinning reels of the same size. Even when you look closer to home at some of Shimano’s other spinning reel models, the weight differential is fairly significant.
An example of this is the Stradic FK range, which is in the same price bracket as the Stradic Ci4+. The Stradic FK 2500 weighs in at 8.3oz/235g, while the Stradic Ci4+ 2500 weighs in at just 6.7oz/190g.
This reduced weight can really be noticed when flicking soft plastics and retrieving vibe lures for long periods, as you will see just how easy this is with the Ci4+ when paired with a lightweight spinning rod.
The reduction in weight on the Stradic Ci4+ range has been made possible with some key updates. The main body of the reel is made from carbon, which not only provides the light weight, but it also provides improved strength and durability. Don’t be fooled in thinking that the reduction in weight will weaken this reel. It is the complete opposite in fact; this reel is a beast in the strength department! Also, being made from carbon obviously eliminates the possibility of rust.
There is a lot going on under the cover of the Shimano Stradic Ci4+ FB reel to make it as good as it is. Here is a breakdown of the technology used in the Ci4+:
Hagen Gear: This is what drives the reel, and gives it the smooth and efficient retrieval. It is a cold-forged aluminium gear drive that is extremely robust and built to last.
X-ship: The X-ship design technology uses a double bearing supported pinion gear configuration, which along with the increased gear size provides the incredibly smooth operation you get with the Ci4+ when then reel is under load.
Super Stopper II: That frustrating area of back-play when you hook into a fish, and the reel has anything up to a full turn of slack, which can ultimately lead to a fish pulling the hook. But the Super Stopper II technology completely eliminates and back play, so you get a more responsive strike and a better hook up rate.
MGL Rotor: Another weight-saving technology, that is 25% lighter than previous versions. The rotor also provides a better balance for the reel when retrieving, as the inertia is reduced by 22% which in turn makes the whole retrieval process a very smooth process.
Coreprotect: When you invest in a reel like the Shimano Stradic Ci4+ FB, you obviously want it to be durable so you can get a lot of usage from it. The coreprotect technology protects the core elements of the reel from water, ensuring the reel works to its optimal levels at all time.
Areo Wrap II: This technology provides a precise positioning for the line onto the spool when being retrieved. This ultimately allows for longer casts and it greatly reduces any line friction.
The Stradic Ci4+ FB is available in the following sizes:
Knowing how much line you can fit onto different size reels is important, so I have put together a table for the different sizes of Stradic Ci4+ FB, along with the capacity for both mono and braid
#Test/yd - Mono
#Test/yd - Braid
Kg / Meter Mono
Kg / Meter Braid
2/270, 4/140, 6/110
10/95, 15/85, 20/65
2 / 128
10 / 95
6/200, 8/140, 10/120
10/150, 15/145, 30/100
3 / 183
10 / 150
6/230, 8/170, 10/140
10/200, 20/140, 40/105
3 / 210
20 / 140
8/240, 10/200, 12/160
15/280, 30/170, 50/150
4 / 220
30 / 170
Other performance factors
Line Retrieve Per 1 Crank
31in / 78 cm
7lb / 3 kg
5.6oz / 160g
35in / 89 cm
20lb / 9 kg
6.7oz / 190g
35in / 78 cm
20lb / 9 kg
6.7oz / 190g
39in / 99 cm
24lb / 11 kg
8.1oz / 230g
Points to note
One this that should be drawn to your attention with the Stradic Ci4+ FB is the lack of a reverse feature. Shimano wanted to be able to reduce the weight as much as possible with this reel, so the reverse feature was not included in the design.
Personally I don’t miss this feature at all. In fact, I’m happy it isn’t there as they have only caused issues before, often leading in line tangles and birds nests as the reel would unwind uncontrollably sometimes.
Who is the Stradic Ci4+ FB reel right for?
The Stradic Ci4+ reel uses a lot of Shimano’s high-end technology in its design, and of course this is reflected in the price of the reel too. If you are a beginner, then you will certainly not appreciate just what this reel provides as far as performance goes, so not the best option for a first-time angler that is testing the waters (pun intended), to see if fishing is for them.
This reel is really aimed at the angler that wants more performance than their current $100 reel provides. They understand the drag requirements they want and need; they need a reel that is super responsive (match anglers take note!), and they also need a reel that is very light so they can keep flicking those lures for hours on end without the fatigue that a heavier reel would produce.
The Ci4+ has a lot of great features, so you need to understand what each of them does to really get the most out of the reel. If you feel that you fit into this bracket, then the Stradic Ci4+ could be the perfect fit for you, and help you take your fishing to the next level.
What the Pro's are Saying
As an angling hobbyist and an avid user of the Shimano Stradic Ci4+ FB reel, I find it hard to fault this reel in any way. Some people may be concerned by the lack of a reverse gear, but don’t be, believe me, you will soon forget about this feature.
What I love about this reel is the responsiveness of it. From the drag to the retrieve, as soon as you hook into a fish this reel jumps into action. The fact that there is zero back-play on this reel means that as soon as you feel a fish grab your lure you know that you can set the hook immediately. As soon as that hook is set, the reel starts working for you.
I would recommend that you pair the Stradic Ci4+ FB with a light spinning rod, purely for comfort purposes. You will then appreciate how light this reel is, and how much more effective your fishing will be, as you can respond faster to bites and you won’t get fatigued after hours of spinning.
The Stradic Ci4+ FB is fairly expensive, so you need to be serious about your fishing if you want to invest in it. But I can tell you that you are getting a very good reel for your money, and when you start to use it you will soon realise that it was money well spent. An extremely capable and reliable reel, the Shimano Stradic Ci4+ FB is a model that I highly recommend from my own experience of using one regularly.