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The new 2018 Shimano Stella FJ series, was intended to be better, smoother and more efficient than previous models. The FJ range is designed for the freshwater/inshore saltwater market.

The Stella name is the absolute top of the line when it comes to Shimano. The Stella is where they put all of their best and latest technology. So does this reel live up to the standard set by its predecessor the FI?

So lets break it down, and discuss everything you need to know about this latest high end spinning reel, from one of the leading fishing reel makers.

Sizes Available:

5 sizes are available;


STL1000FJ: Designed for ultralight freshwater, and light tackle saltwater fishing.

STL2500HGJF: Has 20lb of maximum drag, which is a huge amount for a 2500 sized reel. Designed specifically for freshwater, and light inshore saltwater use.

STLC3000XGFJ: The 3000 is a very versatile size. This is good for targeting fresh water species such as Bass, but also performs very well in saltwater from the surf or off from a boat.

STL4000XGFJ: Designed for inshore use, but can do well at targeting large freshwater species.

STLC5000XGFJ: This is a new size edition from previous models. Comes with a ball handle.

Shimano Stella FJ 2018 Main Features & Technology:

Stella FJ Technology

Hagane Gear: 

The Hagane Gear system is designed to give the reel a smoothness that lasts over time, as well as strength and power whilst keeping the reel light. In the 2018 FJ design, Shimano has evolved the Hagane Gear system even further. Without changing the design or changing the gear sizes, they’ve managed to match strength ratings of the Hagane Gear in models that are a full size larger in the previous Stella.

Hagane Body: 

Designed to reduce flex in the reel. Also providing good support for the internal gearing.

Micro Module Gear II:

This is the real showpiece of the new Stella. State of the art gear tooth design, combined with Micro Module II gear technology, have produced an incredibly smooth reel compared to any previous model. Reel noise has also been significantly reduced.

Silent Drive: 

Every part of the reel has been reviewed, any clearance gaps and wobbles have been reduced. As a result, the reel is very smooth and quiet.


Shimano has switched from Core Protect to X-Protect in this reel. The result is that the reel is 5 times more corrosion resistant than previous models. This highlights how this reel is equally at home in saltwater as it is in freshwater.

G Free Body:

This is a body technology that brings the reel center of gravity closer to the rod. This makes a big difference on angler fatigue, and also improves hand comfort during a long days casting.

One Piece Bail:

The stainless steel bail wire has no gap for the line to snag on, and also reduces friction allowing the line to get on the roller quicker.

12+1 S-ARB Bearings:

Highly corrosion resistant ARB ball bearings, which are also shielded for improved protection.



Drag Power To Weight Ratio


Casting Ability


Value For Money

Our Review:

I have to admit I am a big Stella fan. When it comes to the Stella name, you expect the best of the best. This is a high end reel, and you should expect a lot for your money.

Shimano never holds back with its flagship range, and they always attempt to put every piece of their best technology into this reel.

But has it worked? Is the FJ any better than the previous models before it?

Well to cut straight to the point … yes it has! This is a fantastic reel. However, if you were expecting something drastically different than the FI then you may be slightly disappointed!


With this latest incarnation of the Stella, Shimano only ever set out to improve upon an already VERY good reel. There are no new technological breakthroughs with this reel. If you take a look at all the manufacturers, there is already a very high standard of technology already existing in each an every one of them.

With this reel, Shimano has succeeded in fine tuning an already good design, and the results have truly worked. Also they have managed to bring the price down with this model.

In my opinion, you’re certainly getting what you pay for with this reel.

The work they’ve done on the gearing has resulted in a very smooth and quiet reel. These reels are a pleasure to cast with, and your energy when turning the handle is providing much more efficiency.

If you’re like me and predominantly fish in a saltwater environment, you’ll be happy to know that the shift from Core Protect to X-Protect has made this reel very corrosion resistant, giving you good piece of mind.

So if you’re in the market for a high end spinning reel, that is versatile in both freshwater and inshore saltwater fishing styles, then the Shimano Stella FJ is seriously worth a look.

Make sure you check out below which retailers currently have the best price and shipping deals for you. Also please leave a review and rating of the reel below.

(Images Courtesy Of Shimano Fishing)

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