Shimano Stradic CI4

8.7 score
(TheGearHunt) score (8.7)/10

Our TheGearHunt score is based on 3 different factors: Editor's rating after in-depth testing. User ratings submitted on this page Overall score from the "reviewmeter" based on reviews across the web the weight of each factor is: 40% editor rating 15% user ratings 45% reviewmeter.
Editor rating: 9.0 / 10
User's rating: based on 3 user ratings
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Shimano Stradic CI4 Review Facts

The Shimano Stradic CI4 is a high-quality reel. Known as a freshwater reel, the Shimano Stradic CI4 is saltwater resistant. It packs enough power to handle nearly any fish feeding on the flats like flounder, snook, sea trout, redfish, and tarpon of small the medium size.

Every part of the Shimano Stradic CI4 is designed to improve the experience of anglers in the water. Ways of the past and Shimano’s latest technology are drawn upon and used. It can handle bigger fish if necessary. A 50-pound tarpon has been caught with a with a ten-pound line. This small reel has more than enough line capacity and drag to handle most situations out on the flats.

Editor's Pros & Cons
  • Lightweight
  • Smooth
  • Saltwater resistant
  • Better handle on the old model
  • Expensive
See How
Reviews were analyzed here:
We read, analyze and sort reviews into positive & negative categories to give you the complete picture.
What are buyers saying?

We have spent 3.0 hours analyzing a total of 426 reviews.

These reviews are then categoried into "Positive" and "Negative" feedback.

Below you will read a summary of them:

  • This rod is smooth and powerful. I can go on and on about the Shimano Stradic CI4. I've put it to heavy use.
  • This is hands down the best reel I own. I am not disappointed and neither will you be. I highly recommend this reel.
  • Wow, I used my reel in cold weather with high winds and rain and it was flawless. A great drag and quiet and lightweight. If you are a serious angler, this reel is highly recommended.
  • Got this reel for a backpacking trip and I wanted something lightweight. Smooth and flawless and I still continue to use it for bass fishing,
  • Outstanding balance and feel is what I have to say about the Shimano Stradic CI4.
  • I am a fan of Shimano reels and It's been over 20 years since I bought one so this is a treat for myself. Smooth as butter, balanced, light and gorgeous.
  • For popping corks and largemouth bass, this is my favorite reel. Actually, I have more than one of these reels. If you buy one, you won't regret it.
  • For any type of finesse fishing you can't go wrong. This reel is worth the money, Glad I purchased it finally.
  • I have caught tons of fish with this reel and had no problems. Excellent reel!
  • Holds a 150 yd spool and has a strong drag. Very light. I own four of these reels.
  • Real smooth. It's an awesome reel. No problem with salt water. Used for flounder, redfish and trout. Lightweight.
  • I let my husband pick out his birthday gift and he chose the Shimano Stradic CI4. Extremely happy.
  • Pricey but worth it. You get what you pay for and it is the smoothest reel I've used thus far.
  • Super smooth and best reel I've owned. Got high ratings in 2017.
  • Seamless and flawless are what this reel is.
  • Excellent drag and smooth reel.
  • The Shimano Stradic CI4 always impresses me. No other brand can beat this spinning reel.
  • I have no issues with Shimano reels. Used it in freezing rain with no problems. This is a quality made product.
  • Love this reel. No issues with line twist, smooth casting and drag. I own two.
  • I own four because these reels are strong, lite and smooth.
  • Pricey
The Reviewmeter shows you an overall score that you can easily refer to. The highest rating is 10 (100% positive feedback)
Of the 426 reviews we found in total, 15% were negative, and 85% were positive.


The lightweight reel is excellent for fishers who use a lot of artificial lures. A lot of casts are made in a day. Every ounce that can be saved makes a difference at the end of the day. The reel is one of the lightest available. It is super smooth.

The reel weighs seven ounces with a line on it. Seven ounces is exceptionally light. A lot of other reels are ten ounces or more. If it gets dunked mounted on a reel with a cork handle, the reel will float. A heavier reel would sink. This new model shed some weight from its predecessor. This Shimano reel is 20 percent lighter than the Shimano graphite reel.


The handle on the old model did not have the angle of the Shimano CI4. It takes some getting accustomed. The ‘CI’ in the name stands for ‘Carbon Infusion.’ The four is the number of electrons in each carbon atom. The Side Plate, Rotor, and Stradic CI4 frame are made from advanced, reinforced carbon fiber. Six testers have given the craftsmanship of the reel a rating of five out of five.


The drag capacity is more much that is typically needed. It has a 20-pound drag. A drag of ten pounds is usually sufficient. There are CI4 2500 reels that are five years old and well-used that still look like new. It holds up well and is reliable. It has a ten-year warranty that comes with all Shimano reels. Durability earned a rating of 4.7 out of five. It is waterproof. Handling rotation is effortless.


X-Ship technology improves the durability of the gear and eliminates the friction between the gear and the spool shaft which enhances the casting performance. It allows for longer casts. A built-in Fluidrive II system and Dyna-Balance rotor, along with Shimano’s Propulsion Line Management System, provides exceptional casting capabilities and smoothness while mitigating issues of line management. It is ideal for flicking small vibe lures and soft plastics.


The Stradic CI4 delivers unrivaled lightweight precision and strength. It is more than 150 percent strong than the regular Shimano graphite reel.


The Shimano Stradic CI4 is an expensive reel. It typically sells for over $200. It is available on Amazon for $222. Price received a rating of 3.8 out of five. The CI4 is also referred to as the 2500 series.

There are also the 3000 and 4000 series. The CI4 is less expensive than reels of the other two classifications. The higher the classification number is, the more expensive the reel. Some reviewers prefer the CI4, even if the price was not a factor. The MSRP IS $119.


Shimano’s flagship HAGANE Body and HAGANE gearing provide durable, reliable, and lasting performance. They give the anglers the strength needed for offshore and inshore action.


The CI4 is designed for inshore fishing. It is smaller and lighter than reels for offshore fishing. Both the 2500 and 3000 series are the same size. The weight schematics are the same. Even the spool sizes are the same from the top.


The drag rating is 20 pounds. Spinning reel drags, such as the CI4 operate by adding less or more pressure on the drag washers. The more friction or drag between the washers, the more reel drag is put out.

Increasing the drag-washer surface area is a simple way of achieving maximum drag. Manufacturers found ways to intensify the drag without overloading parts of the reel, increasing breakaway of the reel, or sacrificing smoothness.

Drag should slip before other parts of the reel yield or break, even at the max drag setting. Torque is equal to the force multiplied by the radius. That torque equation governs reel drag systems.

The radius is the distance from the spool’s center to the line. The more line on the spool, the less drag needed to exert. Reducing the diameter of a line doubles the line tension. Most anglers don’t need more than 25 to 30 pounds of drag.

Anglers want to the fish to tire. Higher drag exhausts the fisherman. The drag setting depends on the size of the line and the targeted species. The Shimano Stradic CI4 has a maximum drag force of 20 pounds.


The difference between the 2500 and 3000 series is that the 3000 has a bit more gap in the spool that allows for more line. 2500 with ten-pound lines is rated for 150 yards. More has been loaded on the spool by angles. Lines of 150 yards is more than enough to handle snook, redfish, and trout.


Versatility was rated as 4.2 out of five.

Gear Ratio

The number of times a spool rotates for each time the handle is turned is called the gear ratio. It is an indicator of how fast the line can be retrieved. The speed that occurs depends on the size of the spool. Small freshwater reels that are an inch or a little more bring in from 18 to 24 inches of line at a 6:1 ratio.

That is the gear ratio of the Shimano Stradic CI4. If the diameter of the spool is two inches in diameter, approximately twice as much line in brought in per rotation, or 36 to 48 inches. A 6:1 ratio makes massive fish harder to catch. The CI4 is built for smaller fish.

Line Capacity

Mono line capacity is expressed in pounds per yard. The monoline capacity of the Shimano Stradic CI4 is available in 6/200, 8/140, and 10/120. The first number is the line weight. The second indicates the capacity of line yards the spool can hold.

The 6/200 means six-pound mono line should hold 200 yards of line. That same spool will also carry 140 yards of eight-pound line and 120 yards of ten-pound line. PowerPro is a brand of braided fishing line. When used with the CI4, the line capacities that can be used are 10/150, 15/145, and 30/100.


The bearings of the CI4 is six plus one. Fishing reel bearings are used throughout the reel wherever components spin or rotate. They are found under drag washers, pinion gear, and the spool. The facilitate and level wind devices. Smooth would not be in the description of a fishing reel without ball bearings.

Instead of an enjoyable experience, fishing would be an ordeal. Small ball bearings serve to reduce friction between the moving parts of spinning reels like the CI4. The number of bearings ranges from three to 11.

Most reels, especially high-grade spinning reels, use stainless steel, precision radial ball bearings. They are relatively inexpensive to produce. Surface wear is common even when lubricated. The lifespan is shorter than ceramic balls.

The Shimano Stradic CI14 uses ARB ball bearings. They are deep groove bearings made with steel having a low level of oxygen and a minimum number of macro-inclusions for more extended service. ARB deep groove ball bearings have an optimized finish on contact surfaces that maximize the effect of a lubricant.

Anti-friction bearings operate under a rolling friction principle. The overcome friction by rolling between two metal sleeves or groove tracks called rings or races. Only two points of the bearing contact the rings at one point in time. Usually, roller bearings are used in lower speed applications with higher load, because there is less friction. The CI4 has one roller bearing.


Anti-reverse of a spinning reel is the feature that engages the drag and prevents a reel from turning backward. The Shimano Stradic CI4 has an Anti-Reverse switch that allows the fisherman to choose whether or not to engage it.

It helps anglers ‘back-reel’ instead of allowing the fish to fight the drag. Some fishermen feel anti-reverse is a weakness and should be eliminated from most high-end saltwater reels. The back-reel is very effective for smaller fish. The CI4 is a reel for small fish.

X-Ship Technology

Technology impacts every aspect of life. Fishing has changed considerably due to internet capabilities and technological advancement. With an increased need for accessibility, affordability, and convenience, anglers don’t want to spend hours of trial and error when choosing fishing gadgets.

Manufacturers are challenged to provide friendly and efficient fishing reels. By minimizing the rotation resistance, the X-Ship has achieved greater power transmission efficiency through a more substantial gear optimum positioning and improved two face accuracy and different capacity.

The rigidity of components such as the bail, handle, and rotor is enhanced to eliminate power loss resulting from flexing and distortion. The synergy generated by X-Ship and rigidity of components allows more direct cranking without loss of power at the handle.

The X-Ship system allows smooth reeling even when the load is heavy. It is a unique mechanism that uses two-point pinion gear support by bearings, optimum positioning of the drive gears and pinion, and an enlarged drive gear. Even fighting large fish, the X-Ship transmits the input power efficiently which enables powerful reeling.

HAGANE Concept

HAGANE is a Shimano reel design concept that aims for eternal smooth reels. Unique metalworking technology that includes cold forging has been taken to extreme levels in the pursuit of building the ideal fishing reel.

Shimano reels are impressively strong. Discerning angles have chosen them for years. ‘HAGANE Gear’ is precisely cold forged to be tremendously durable and strong from the root of the gear to the edges of the teeth.

The Micro Module Gear System engages between the super-refined teeth to provide seamless reeling. The ‘X-Ship’ system achieves smooth and powerful cranking due to the gear system designed to transmit input power effectively.

HAGANE Body is highly rigid and eliminates distortion and flex during reeling. It protects the reel’s interior from unexpected impact. Integration of the metalworking technology gives the angle a smooth reeling feel that is unique to Shimano reels.

Highly rigid metals like magnesium and aluminum are used in the HAGANE Body. The reduce weight to the limit that eliminates distortion, warp, and flex of the reel. Smooth reeling occurs with little loss of power. The body protects the Micro Module Gear System from shock and the engagement of the HAGANE Gear, while the smooth operation is maintained.

Key Feature

6/120, 8/140, 10/120 mono line capacity
10/150, 15/145, 30/100 PowerPro line capacity
20-pound maximum drag
Bearings: six 5 ARB bearings and one roller bearing
Built-in Dyna-Balance
Fluidrive II System
Gear ratio 6:1
HAGANE gearing and Body
Shimano’s Propulsion Line Management System
Weighs approximately seven ounces

Bottom Line

Freshwater reels are the mechanical devices used to hold and spool out the fishing line. They have a bracket that fastens the reel to the fishing rod, a handle used to retrieve line, and a brake that slows running fish.

The Shimano Stradic CI4 is a spin-casting reel. It has a mechanical pickup that is used in retrieving the line and an anti-reverse level, mentioned above, that prevents rotation of the crank handle while fish pull line from the spool.

Because the line doesn’t pull against spool rotation, lighter lures can be used. Lightweight fishing gear aids in preventing fatigue and makes the fishing experience more enjoyable. The seven-ounce weight of the CI4 is what attracts many anglers.

Its performance is what makes it a favorite. About the only complaint, anyone expresses about the reel is the price. The ten-year warranty ensures the angler won’t have to invest in another reel for some time.