July 5, 2022 by Keith Worrall
Amended July 5, 2022 at 11:30 am
Shimano’s flagship spinning reel features best-in-class innovations that improve performance and durability
Leaders never just redefine innovation. Instead, they maintain an infinite evolutionary trajectory. The iconic Shimano Stella family embodies this spirit with the launch of the new Stella FK, a reel featuring innovative technologies that improve power and durability, drag performance and line management. Packed with state-of-the-art features, the redesigned Stella represents the pinnacle of Shimano reel engineering and enhances every angler’s on-the-water experience.
Shimano’s heritage of high-precision gear development continues to evolve within the all-new InfinityXross system, making its debut in the Stella FK family of reels. InfinityXross widens the drive gear tooth horizontally, dispersing the load between the drive gear and the pinion more efficiently. By spreading the contact points over a larger surface area, Stella’s InfinityXross system provides unparalleled gear durability to improve reel performance and longevity. “From a practical standpoint, I want to use the best gear available, and it has to be sturdy,” says Bassmaster Elite Series Professional Jeff “Gussy” Gustafson. “The build quality, waterproofness, rigidity and tolerances of the new Stella FK are absolutely perfect.
“This reel is a dream.”
Shimano’s advanced technology Infinite Reader is the heart of the new Stella FK. Passed down from Stella’s bigger saltwater brothers and debuting in the industry’s best spinning reel designed for a range of freshwater and coastal applications, Infinity Drive features a unique low-friction ring which significantly decreases frictional resistance, providing a smoother and more powerful winding. An exclusive surface treatment on the main shaft coupled with a special treatment dramatically reduces spinning torque, resulting in a reel that can actively reel in even under heavy loads – greatly benefiting anglers when tackling stubborn hunting fish.
“We caught some really big fish in a couple of the smallmouth tournaments this year – five or six pounds – and often using small hooks, light lines and finesse techniques,” notes Gustafson, a champion of the Bassmaster Elite series and an authority on capturing oversized bronze basses. “Having ultra-smooth drag coupled with great furling efficiency is key. After using the new Stella FK, I can’t imagine fishing anything else, especially for finesse presentations.
“I truly believe that Stella is the best spinning reel available.”
The new Shimano DuraCross The drag system bolsters the new Stella FK family with improved stroke stopping power paired with extreme durability. Revolutionary DuraCross pucks incorporate advanced materials woven into a unique pattern compared to conventional drag pucks. The DuraCross system offers the smoothness and function of felt pucks, but with ten times the durability. Thanks to Stella FK’s new DuraCross drag, anglers have the edge in every fight.
One of Gustafson’s favorite parts of the Stella FK is the new Shimano InfinityLoop line management system. “InfinityLoop allows the spool to move up and down at an extremely slow speed, creating a precise, even, parallel winding pattern. With each cast, the line comes off the super smooth spool. It’s very noticeable. » By extending spool oscillation during retrieval, InfinityLoop ensures that line lies as evenly on the spool as possible, virtually eliminating gaps and line piling during retrieval. InfinityLoop benefits anglers with every cast because smooth, even line lay reduces friction when line leaves the spool, dramatically improving casting distance.
Gustafson grew up on the shores of Lake of the Woods in Ontario, Canada and is especially confident with the new Stella FK. “I’m more comfortable with a spinning reel in hand. In the north we fish a lot of deep, clear water so I use spinning gear about 75% of the time at home. This experience carries over to some techniques in the south, where other anglers have traditionally relied on baitcasting reels. With all the new improvements to the Stella FK, I have even more confidence in my spinning gear,” added Gustafson.
Anglers who fish with monofilament or fluorocarbon mainlines are familiar with the challenge of line twisting. Stella FK’s new anti-twist fin eliminates line twist that can develop during fishing, especially when anglers present artificial lures. This innovation is an elastic polymer placed on the underside of the roll, which maintains a constant tension on the yarn as it enters the spool. This exclusive Stella system eliminates twisting before the line contacts the reel and prevents the line from sagging on the reel during retrieval.
A refined propulsion line management system completes the range of technological innovations of the redesigned Stella FK. By adjusting the angle of the spool’s upper lip and reducing the edge of the drag knob, the new propulsion line management system reduces tangles if anglers inadvertently throw a loop in their line during a throw or recovery. By combining improved line management with improved reel and drag performance, Stella FK is a powerful new ally for anglers who demand the best.
“My work relies on these reels and I am lucky to be able to fish with them. They are a work of art and the C3000 Series is the dream reel for bass anglers everywhere,” says Gustafson. A size known for its popularity among anglers around the world, the Stella FK C3000 (STLC3000XGFK) has the ability to handle 200 yards of 10-pound test PowerPro and has a 6.4:1 gear ratio to retrieve 37 inches of line per crank. While touring bass professionals who demand the best rely on the Stella FK, anglers for speckled sea trout, snook, redfish and bonefish on top of the bottom will also appreciate how the new member of the Stella family helps them conquer the inshore fishery.
A base of premium technologies supports all the best-in-class innovations that permeate the Stella FK family. A light and robust magnesium HAGANE body and a cold-forged HAGANE Gear reinforces Stella FK for added durability. Improvements to the reel’s MicroModule II gear teeth and the SilentDrive system allow for incredibly smooth and quiet spooling. Stella’s extreme water resistance, provided by Shimano’s X-Protect system and S A-RB shielded bearings, enhances its longevity. No other spinning reel can claim a stronger legacy or a brighter future.
Evolution is a story of innovation based on heritage. The future possibilities are limitless. Stella’s journey never ends. Look for the Shimano Stella FK (MSRP $749.99-$799.99) in the ICAST New Product Showcase freshwater reel category and learn more about Shimano’s innovative new products by visiting booth 2244 at ICAST 2022.
Gear II micromodule
Long stroke spool
One-piece titanium bail