* (9 February 2019) A new article has been added to the Blog page.
* (5 February 2019) I wanted to see what the actual production reels will be like before I break this news, and now that the frames for the serial production 19' Stella SW are being manufactured I can confirm this- the parallel foot is gone, and the serial production Stella SW that will hit the shelves next month will have a traditional foot with a slight angle. I will tell you about other sizes in the future when they are about to roll out of the factory.
* (1 February 2019) Okuma is working on some interesting releases that will fill various gaps from upper mid-range (Saragosa SW level) to right blow flagship (Catalina level). Timeline is not clear yet, but always good to have more options and I've been impressed with how they did things lately.
* (23 January 2019) Omoto Severo has been discontinued. Very sad because it was a quality Taiwanese built heavy duty reel, which has been on the Top Picks since they worked out the bugs highlighted in the review. The problem facing high end reels built by non-mainstream companies, such as the Severo or the Blue Marlin BMJ/BMC, is that they cost a lot to build thus sell at relatively high prices, which drives fishermen to familiar mainstream products. I hope Omoto tries again in the future.
* (21 January 2019) Continuing to add more videos to the WARNING about the hilariously faulty Shimano Stella FJ (2018 Stella). If a Shimano service centre tells you that your bail wire was damaged in shipping -as has already happened- throw this warning link in their faces and tell them you'll proceed with a credit card or Paypal charge-reversal or dispute, using my page as evidence of faulty goods sold. Not picking fights, just trying to protect my fellow fishos who deserve respectful treatment and a brand new replacement no questions asked.
* (9 January 2019) Some data and specifications of the 2019 Stella SW including the new 14k PG, and I put some pointers in English. CLICK HERE. More sizes will be out this year, don't worry. Now that it's officially out you'll be finding more information everywhere very soon. As usual upon full release I'll buy a few retail reels and give them a thorough real life extended field-testing, then you'll have a realistic review. Once again, you heard about this reel and saw it here way before anyone else did starting with the December 5th update below, so please support this site by clicking HERE so I can continue to provide this sort of worldwide exclusives.
* (14 December 2018) Part #3 of this worldwide exclusive (#1 and #2 highlighted in red below). A very short clip of the 2019 Shimano Stella SW. You can see the new body shape and the new vertical text on spool instead of the traditional horizontal SW text ... CLICK.
* (10 December 2018) More of this worldwide exclusive - CLICK. A beautiful shot of the 2019 Stella SW being tested. Only a perfectly waterproof reel can survive such a ride in the gunnel while being violently attacked by saltwater sprays. We shall see in due time. Also, to address another question I keep getting, the rotor is not composite. Still a fully metal rotor, but has cutaways on top mated with a composite cap to reduce weight.
* (5 December 2018) 2019 Stella SW is coming. Click -> Photo 1 & Photo 2. That's the "major release" I mentioned in September 6th news update down below. Update December 5th- Receiving high volume of emails about it. The reel is coming out in ALL SIZES; I only posted two examples. The reel is lighter, it has new drag washer construction, upgraded gearing, intricate "maze" type water protection, full sealing, and other features that I'll discuss later.