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Fly Fishing

Chasing Golden Trevalley on the Magnetic Island flats.


Enjoying one of the many beautiful beaches of Magnetic Island.

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Shimano Stella 1000FE and T-Curve 661 Product Review

Over the past couple of months I have been testing out the 1000 size of the latest release of Shimano's flagship spin reel, the Stella 1000fe. I am a big fan of the 1000 size reels, even in North Queensland waters. While they are considered 'bream reels' by most, there is a lot of fun to be had on a whole range of fish up here in the north. Over the years I have used these small reels to chase everything from Sooties, JP and Tarpon in the fresh to Flathead, Bream, Jacks and even Barramundi in the salt. What makes this size real so ideal and pleasurable to use is that they are very light weight and nimble. You can cast small lightly weighted or unweighted plastics and lures all day without getting sore arms. Small plastics and light poppers can be cast considerable distance, and with incredible accuracy, with little effort at all. And matched to the right rod and some good quality braid, these little reels can handle some big fish!

On this occasion I matched the reel to a Shimano T-curve T 661 rod. The T-cureve T-series of rods are Shimano's top shelf range, formerly knows as the Tournament rods. This rod is a 6'6" (1.98m) one piece 2-5kg blank with fuji sic guides and a beautiful cork grips. Spooled up with 8lb Power Pro this little lightweight is capable or some serious fish.

My first chance to try out the combo was on a Kayaking trip to the Burdekin with All Aussie Shock Leader manufacturer Phil Lawlor. The reel arrived in at ProTackle on the afternoon we were due to drive out, so it was a quick trip into the store before heading off. The outfit received plenty of attention from the other guys on the trip and performed admirably on the many Sooty Grunter caught from the kayak.

But this was just a drop in the ocean for what I had planned for this little reel! I have since been using this particular setup to cast lightly weighted soft plastics, like the 3in prongs, into the snags for Mangrove Jack and Barramundi. This setup has the advantage here of being able to get the small plastics right into the mangrove roots and snags where the fish are hiding. But on light line, the challenge begins when the fish hits and heads for cover. The drag on the Stella 1000 is capable of 3kg of pressure, more than enough to push the 8lb Power Pro to its limits. I'm not going to lie, I have been dusted by some big fish. But those that have been landed are a lot of fun and very rewarding, you just have to laugh at those big ones who smash you up!

The reel features no less than 14 Shielded A-RB stainless bearings and 1 stainless roller bearing, has a 5.0:1 gear ratio, weighs just 170g and holds just over 100m of 8lb Power Pro. That is an amazing spec list for such a tiny light weight reel! There is no doubt this is an expensive setup, and if you only fish a few times a year its probably not the reel for you. But if your hard core about your fishing, you won't beat the precision and smoothness of a Stella reel! If you are interested in this or any of the Shimano range then head into ProTackle and talk to the guys about a top deal.

Shimano Stella 1000FE

• X-Ship
• Paladin Gear Durability Enhancement
• Propulsion Line Management System
• Aero Wrap II
• SW Concept
• Shielded A-RB Bearings
• Rigid Support System
• Waterproof Drag
• Maintenance Port
• Dyna-Balance
• Ultra-Light Saltwater Safe Magnesium frame
• Super Stopper II

Shimano T-Curve T 661

• TCurve Blanks
• Fuji SIC guides and reel seats (VSS for
  threadline models and ACS for casting models)
• Split-style butt sections (excluding Estuary Spin
• Enhanced decorative blue trim