Stella FJ (Stella 2018) Warning
(UPDATED- Scroll down to the update, highlighted in red font)
Earlier this year Shimano released the 2018 freshwater Stella, known as Stella FJ in export markets. The reel first appeared in exhibitions in Japan at the beginning of the year, then they went into serial production and were sold retail beginning April-May 2018.
During the 4 months since release I began receiving reports of a problem where the bail hits the spool when the spool is near to or at the highest position. Sometimes the hit is on the side of the spool, and others it's in the centre of the spool. Here are some video samples of reports I received, sizes 2500, 4000, and 5000.
Once I received a considerable number of reports, I made some enquiries with contacts in the trade in Japan, and was told that the first production runs did have this problem which was not in pre-production exhibit reels. I was informed that the issue is being rectified it in subsequent production runs. The problem is not limited to a size or a geographical region.
If you have one of these reels in any size check if your bail clears the spool at the highest position, and if it has the problem get in touch with your seller or Shimano to get a replacement, and send me an email using the CONTACT form and let me know which size and what's the code on the round sticker found on the foot.
Final Update March 2019- 6 months on, I can say that all reels produced now are free from that ridiculous fault. I will no longer add to or update this page, and hopefully anglers with affected reels who haven't got a replacement yet will be able to do that with ease. From reader reports some were given harder times than others, some were only offered fixes, which is certainly not what one expects when they spend hundreds on a top dollar reel.
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September, 14th, 2018