Stradic is a well-known name among anglers and it has earned a huge popularity. Shimano has introduced many models in the past decades, in 2015 the model called FK. The Stradic FK has a very different outlook than the models before. White colour is eliminated – which was an iconic colour of the previous Stradics – but this is not the only interesting feature in this reel. Let’s take a look inside.
The Shimano Stradic 2500 HG FK
Under the spool you will find the plastic drag click ratchet (2.1.) and the spool washers (2.2.). The rotor nut plate (2.3.) also appears with its two screws. After removing the spool washers, we can find the set screw in the bearing bushing which we must remove before the next step.
On the next picture we can see the drag click ratchet (3.1.) the ratchet spring (3.2.), the spool support (3.3) and a washer (3.4.), the spool bushing (3.5.) – which can be changed to a ball bearing (3.6.) – and the bearing bushing (3.7.) with its set screw (3.8.). Finally, you can see the spool washers (3.9.), only two pieces in this reel.
Next to the rotor we can see the rotor nut lock plate (4.1.) with its screws. Under the plate there is a water proof rubber sealing (4.2.). This is responsible for sealing the main shaft and the pinion gear. The rotor is connected to the pinion with a rotor nut (4.3.).
The line roller support (5.2.) inserting it into the one-piece bail arm (5.1.). The “Power Roller” line roller (5.4.) is supported with a built-in ball bearing. It has two bearing spacers (5.3.) on both sides and a line roller plate (5.5.) in the bail arm (5.7.) which is fixed with a screw (5.6.).
If we remove the bail arm from the rotor in this side we are going to find only the bail hold support guard (6.1.) with its screw.
The line rollers side is more interesting. The bail spring (7.3.) with the bail spring guide (7.4.) is placed in the seat (7.2.). The bail trip lever (7.1.) lays under the spring. A little amount of waterproof grease is always helpful here to prevent wearing. The click spring and pin (7.5.) are also placed this side.
And if once I mentioned wearing… After removing the bail arm, some wearing showed up. The paint actually chipped off the bail arms surface. If you see the picture number 6, you will see that on the connecting part there is no wearing at all so maybe it is mainly caused by painting failure or the bail hold support guard’s screw, which is on the way when the bail arm is opened. Anyway, after one year of normal usage it makes some disappointment.
Under the rotor there is an anti-reverse roller clutch assembly. The roller clutch and its steel reinforce (9.3.) are fixed to the body with 3 screws. In the roller clutch there is an inner (9.1.) and a rotor ring on it (9.2.).
After removing the roller clutch many things will appear. A rubber O ring (10.1.) is the first one on the top, which is responsible for sealing where the clutch is fixed. The friction ring (10.2.) is located inside the rotor and it helps to keep the bail from rotating on the cast. The bail trip strike (10.3.) holds the friction ring in its position. The bail trip strike is fixed by the main body and the side cover. There is no screw like in the Vanquish for example. We can also see the idle gear shaft (10.4), a bearing (10.5.) and the pinion gear (10.6.).
To remove the rear protector (15.1.), you must remove one screw on the bottom. After this you can unscrew the side cover and see what is inside.
When removing the cold forged Hagane drive gear (12.1.), you can see the worm shaft (12.2.) and the main shaft assembly (12.3.) which rides on an oscillating guide. The idle gears (12.4.) are synthetic which is maybe strange for the first sight, but these gears are not under heavy load. These synthetic gears are lighter and they are quite silent too. Until now I have never seen a Shimano reel where these idle gears caused a failure. But I have to mention that in high end reels like the Stella or the Vanquish metal idle gears are used.
The pinion gear (13.1.) is supported by two shielded A-RB bearings (13.2. /13.3.). This technical solution is a must in quality reels nowadays. On the top of the next picture the Aero Wrap II worm shaft (13.7.) runs on two synthetic bushing (13.4. / 13.9.). The idle gear (13.5.) of the worm shaft is a synthetic gear. On the right side of the worm shaft you can see a washer (13.8.), the synthetic bushing (13.9.) and the worm shaft retainer (13.10.) with its screw (13.11.). The front worm bushing (13.4.) is an asymmetric one so it is not possible to change it to a bearing. But on the other side the plastic bushing (13.9.) can be changed to a bearing if we would like to upgrade our Stradic FK. Do not forget to add a washer between the bearing and the worm shaft retainer (13.10.). The other two idle gears (13.6.) are supported with the idle gear shaft (10.4.).
To upgrade the bottom bushing to a bearing can give you better performance especially under load. The bushing is the same size as the bearing, so it is very easy to change them. Just do not forget to add the washer between the bearing and the retainer.
The oscillating pawl cover (15.4.) is fixed to the main shaft assembly (15.1.) by a screw. The oscillating pawl (15.2.) runs on a slider bushing (15.3.). This is a technical feature which can be found in most of the reels in the middle-priced line-up. This bushing is higher than the regular bearing with its width. If you want to change it to a bearing it is necessary to add some washers but with normal use it will work fine with the bushing.
The side plate (16.3.) is fixed with 4 screws to the main body (16.1.). The ball bearings of the drive gear (16.2.) are pushed in their places.
The drag knob (17.1.) has a rubber sealing – a special protection gasket – which makes the drag waterproof. The Stradic FK has a cold forged aluminium spool (17.5.) with a diameter of 46,5 mm. On the bottom of the spool there is the drag click. The drag itself contains three felt washers (17.2.) and three metal key washers (17.3.). The maximum drag power is 9 kg in the Stradic 2500 HG FK. The drag washers are fixed with a retainer (17.4.) in the spool.
The Stradic FK has a single machined aluminium handle which is directly screwed into the main gear that helps to eliminate play during turning the handle. The rubber knob (32.1.) gives a comfortable touch and runs on a ball bearing (18.2.) with a washer (18.3.) and on the other side on a synthetic bushing (18.4.). The bushing can be changed to a bearing easily. The knob is closed with a cup (18.5.).
The handle screw cap (19.1.) will close the side plate. An O ring (19.2.) is responsible for the sealing to prevent water or dust coming in to the drive gear or the bearing.
After upgrading 3 bushings to 3 bearings and spooled with braid the Shimano Stradic FK 2500 HD weights nearly 246 gr. The factory standard is 235 g so this result is acceptable.
Shimano Stradic FK summary
The Stradic 2500 HG FK is made with 6 S ARB ball bearing and one roller bearing. They are placed in the following places and sizes:
Spool: no bearing
Spool shaft: synthetic bushing which can be upgraded to a bearing size 7×11×3 mm
Line roller: built-in ball bearing
Pinion gear: 7×14×5 mm and 5×8×2.5 mm
Main drive gear: 7×11×3 mm and 7×13×4 mm
Worm shaft: one asymmetric synthetic bushing front and one symmetric bushing on the bottom (latter can be upgraded to a 3×6×2.5 mm bearing)
Oscillating pawl: synthetic bushing
Handle knob: one 4×7×2.5 mm bearing and one synthetic bushing (latter can be upgraded to another 4×7×2.5 mm bearing)
The Stradic FK is made in 5 different models. They are available from size 1000 to 5000 and with two different gear ratios, 6,0:1 and 6,2:1. Size 1000 has 3 kg of drag power, size 2500 and 3000 have 9 kg, 4000 and 5000 have 11 kg of max drag. These reels are made in Malaysia.
Techniqal features used in Stradic FK reels:
- Hagane Gear and Body
- Rigid Support Drag
- S ARB high corrosion, shielded bearings
- One Piece Bail
- Cold Forged Aluminium ARC Spool
- Waterproof Drag by using protection gasket
- Diecast Aluminium
- Aero Wrap II worm gear oscillation system
- Floating Shaft II
- Super Stopper II
- Power Roller and Propulsion Line Management System
During the ICAST 2015 Shimano won the award in the category “Best Freshwater Reel” for STRADIC C3000HG-FK. In July 2018, when I am writing this article, the price of the Stradic 2500 HG FK amounts about 130 Euro. The reasonable price, the techniqal features used and the possibility of upgrading with 3 plus bearings make this reel very popular. With this upgrade you can reach 9 + 1 bearings with ease which makes the Stradic FK a perfect platform of reel tuning. But it has its limitations of course. The worm shaft’s front bushing cannot be changed to a bearing, and the slider bushing in the oscillation pawl is also not a regular size of a bearing. The only negativity found during the maintenance is the wearing in the bail arm which maybe appeared only in this specific reel. After one year of normal use I haven’t found any problem with the gears or the bearings. We could say of course, because it is a Stradic.
Thanks for reading my article. If you have any questions or comments please feel free to contact me.