December 2021 Update; Scroll Down past the Original Post for CHAPTER 2
2019 Shimano Stella SW (SWC) Design Fault
I'll start by apologising for the delay between the first warning and this post. I needed some time to reach out and hear back from different sources, and needed as well to get my hands on as many retail reels as I could in order to figure out if it's just isolated incidents or a general problem. I am now convinced that it is a general problem and a design flaw, and decided the fishing community would be better served if I bring it to light now so that a fix might be found.
The 2019 Stella SW (SWC) has a lot of play between the bail arm and the rotor (red arrows). The 2013 model had a gap in this area as well, something I highlighted in its own review (CLICK). That in itself is not new or a cause to raise alarm, but look at this video and notice what happens to the washer (blue arrow) when the gap is closed under pressure...
A combination of the destabilising play between parts and a poorly designed washer causes that washer to slip inwards and move out of the way, allowing the metal bail arm to slam against the metal rotor without a buffer now that the washer has slipped away. The above video is of a Stella SWC 8000.
And this one is of a Stella SWC 10000 reel.
Another example, this time it's a 14000.
Another reel; look at the washer climbing out of the reel.
In total 11 actual production retail 2019 Stella SW were checked, all except one displayed the issue. All the sizes released so far are affected.
The curious thing is Shimano seems to struggle too much with these washers beneath both ends of the bail. Check this out
I saved this picture 6 years ago. This is a promotional picture from Shimano itself released with the previous 2013 Stella SW. Notice anything? Let's zoom in...
Yep. Shimano's own official advertising material featured a 30k reel whose washer had fallen out!!
One more, still official promotional pictures of the 2013 Stella SW in 30k size.
And zoomed. Why they would be continuously struggling with these washers is beyond me, but it is what it is.
Anyway, my own take on this issue with the 2019 Stella SW (SWC) is that this slipping washer does not interfere with the reel's operation, so I will not blacklist it and will continue with my plans to test and review it. Some might consider it a minor issue not worth writing about, but that's not for me to decide. If I come across a problem that I can definitively identify I will let you know and it's up to you to choose whether you want to proceed or wait for a fix. I have to say though that this issue, coming right after the issue with the freshwater 2018 Stella FJ (CLICK), leaves me a bit disappointed.
Now if you've been following me for a while you can stop reading here, because you'd have seen this movie before and already are familiar with the events that often follow my finding of an issue with a reel. New readers though prepare yourselves for possible scenarios where you might be told by officials, "real fishermen", and "good Samaritans" on the internet that the issue does not exist. You might also hear suggestions that the faulty reels I'm showing you are all prototypes and I'm just too stupid to know. Or you could even get told that I'm fabricating stuff at the orders of competing brands who bribe me with a combination of cash and prostitutes sent to my house to feed my out-of-control horniness! See past examples of such idiocy HERE. Seriously though, whatever happens and whether the problem is ever acknowledged or not, I'm hopeful that it will be fixed and hope that when it's time for me to post the big review I will tell you that the issue is gone.
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March, 18th, 2019
Shimano's Boys are being Naughty, again!
Never the ones to disappoint, Shimano's little puppies did go into the expected meltdown. It's just been brought to my attention that a Shimano employee named Dan Thorburn has issued a response to my findings, and while a bit old at this point I've only become aware of it now. Gone are the days when I only needed to check a dozen or so active fishing forums to find out everything that's going on, and now with thousands of social media pages and groups out there no human could possibly be aware of all events.
As often happens whenever I point a problem in a reel, a dozen or so random clowns have tried to refute my findings in this Stella SWC. Naturally I ignored it all and wouldn't as much as give any a second's thought or else it would become a strategy for anyone out there to gain exposure, and of course if I begin responding to every dimwit and androgynous mama's boy who has a social media account I wouldn't find time to wipe my butt. It's different though when an official representative of a major brand addresses me, and I'll always make time to look into these instances.
The link I received took me to this FB fishing group, where people were discussing my warning about the 2019 Stella SWC
Further down the long thread, someone published Mr. Thorburn's response. Here it is
I'll get to the meat of it in a second, but first, a specific line truly piqued my interest
What does that even mean? I'm dead serious here, is this in English? How exactly do I advocate for reels? Are people fishing with hand-poles and I'm trying to convince them to put reels on them? This sounds as if someone was using a thesaurus to try and appear deep and intelligent but sadly ended up with a word salad that makes no sense. Just giving you an idea about the quality of cognitive abilities that I'm forced to deal with on a regular basis, in what I must admit is a shameless attempt to gain your sympathy. You think my life is fun? Try spending your days reasoning with people who believe themselves to be geniuses yet writing simple coherent sentences seems way too challenging for them. Anyway, my best efforts to decipher this gibberish lead me to believe that our friend here is having a go at ad-hominem instead of sticking to the facts, therefore it's him and not myself who set the tone of my response. People just need to decide and I'm only happy to oblige.
The gentleman then proceeds to talk about the gap, explain the gap, defend the gap, stand behind the gap, and I have a feeling that if he had his way he'd be swearing his undying loyalty to the gap and promising to always put forward his best gap. That's all adorable and I believe in each individual's freedom to do whatever they want with their gap behind closed doors, but I have just one little question here; what gap?
Here are a few highlights of my post, collected here in screenshots for your convenience but you can also scroll up and read them
Does that look to you like I'm complaining about a gap? Is there any vagueness about what I'm saying? Is it not perfectly clear that I'm talking about the washer SLIPPING out of its place and RECEDING backwards allowing undesirable metal to metal contact?
Here I said verbatim "look at the washer climbing out of the reel", along with a video of another reel showing..... surprise!..... a washer climbing out of the reel. Now when you look at that, does the first, second, or even the 12th thought that crosses your mind even remotely suggest that I'm worried about a gap?
Let's go further...
Still in my post, to which that Shimano dude was responding. I brought up the previous 2013 Stella SWB model to show that the unstable washers appear to be a chronic issue, and here again in two different paragraphs I describe a washer that fell off its place. Not complaining about a gap, and there is no realistic scenario in which someone would show these pictures of dislodged washers if they were only concerned about a gap. Even if we assume that Mr. Thorburn was dropped on his head as a kid and comprehending words has become a chore for him, does he not understand pictures? How could he look at these pictures of the ejected washers yet claim that I'm worried about a gap?
Oh, and he definitely saw the pictures, since he's commenting on them here. But you know what, forget about it all. How about those quotation marks he placed around the word flawed? Owwww! Looks like we've got ourselves an edgy fella here. Kinda reminds me of...
Sorry, couldn't resist. His use of quotation marks is just a whole different level of badassery. Let's hope that no one leaves Mr. Thorburn home alone with Glamour magazines. That would be a big mess. But I digress...
This puts an end to the core subject of this post. Pictures, videos, and precise wording leave no doubt that I was never worried about a gap, which makes me wonder why that bloke would be addressing a fictitious issue instead of the actual one I'm clearly speaking of? Could it be the case that a very little man, and I don't mean physically, found himself in a position where he has to address the concerns of fishermen, and because he didn't want his bosses to know just how extremely little he was he invented a red-herring about a gap to throw everyone off? Or could it be a rare form of extreme inadequacy where a person is severely lacking both in terms of intelligence and basic knowledge of his products that he actually imagined that he was reading about a gap?
Mr. Thorburn said that I was no expert, which happens to be true and something that I've always reminded everyone of. I've never claimed to be anything more than a big fool who likes to fish and talk bollocks and about women, guns, and fishing gear. That said, I sincerely suggest that in the future he should refrain from making proclamations on who's an expert and who's not, because someone who's in my opinion this embarrassingly incompetent shouldn't be pulling that holier than thou act.
For more information and additional examples of the faulty washer design, including in my own reel this time, I recommend that you check the full review of the 2019 Stella SWC which I published later on HERE.
I should wrap it up here, but it's Christmas day and I'm gulping a huge cup of coffee to nullify the mix of tryptophan and red wine attacking my eyelids, so I can afford to have 20 or 30 more minutes of fun with that gem of a statement. Let's keep going...
Our Georgy boy, being the accomplished scholar of metallurgy he apparently is, explains that one of the jobs of that washer is to keep "dissimilar metals" apart. That phrase is commonly parroted by ignoramooses attempting to convince simpletons that they are in the know, and those simpletons usually gasp in awe at the complexity and mystical aura of the phrase, sounding all scienti'ftical and stuff. This wouldn't be the case here of course, since that dude's knowledge is so genuine and thorough no such pretension or silly games are needed. Well, I'm a bit confused though because of this...
The washer comes in the 2019 Stella SWC sizes 8000 and up, but doesn't come in sizes 6000 and smaller, despite the surrounding parts being the exact same metals with the exact same finish. Apparently Shimano Japan forgot to consult with Mr. Thorburn and hear his interesting theories about "dissimilar metals", otherwise they wouldn't have committed this terrible mistake in Stellas 6000 and smaller.
See? I did not type a complex explanation of when that term actually applies which you'd have no way of verifying, nor did I ask you to take my word on anything. I simply used the Stella's own construction to smack down his idiotic ramblings, leaving no feasible way for him to wiggle out. And by the way, this washer being only in sizes 8000 and up has been the case in the 2008 Stella SW and the 2013 Stella SW in addition to the 2019 Stella SW discussed here, which in my opinion goes to show just how little that person knows his own company's products, the products he's coming out swinging and lecturing me about. What an absolute joke.
Now that I've basically ruined that whole "dissimilar metals" routine, here is another term that pseudo-experts everywhere can use to blow the panties off their followers; Young's modulus! Next time I fish a reel and dislike something about it, just tell people that I'm completely wrong because of Young's modulus and watch their eyes widen in utter astonishment at how fabulously scientist'y you are.
Mr. Thorburn goes on to state that in the past I apparently tried to point out issues that they never had a problem with. Will get back to this in a second, but more importantly did you see the quotation marks again around design issues? At this point he's long left the territory of George Costanza or anything a stable person would do and entered a deeply dark realm...
...the realm of Tik Tok girls hysterically throwing air quotes around while revealing such profound truths as that not being morbidly obese is an act of colonialism and similar momentous revealations. His friends and coworkers need to stage an intervention asap before we lose the poor chap forever and wake up one day to find him doing the chest wax challenge on Instagram. You don't wanna see that, no one does, I promise. I digress again though.
So he says that in the past I pointed out issues that weren't there? I wonder what he would be referring to...
Could it be this?
That's when back in 2013 I commented on the shaking rotor of that year's Stella, it was dismissed by another of Shimano's extremely "honest and knowledgeable" representatives, then fishermen around the world responded by confirming that the issue I highlighted exits in their reels, leading to Shimano Australia's acknowledgement that it actually does. Don't take my word for it, click HERE and see the events as they unfolded with your own eyes.
Could Mr. Thorburn then be referring to this?
That's when I warned that the 2018 Stella (FJ) had a hilarious design fault where the bail wire would not clear the spool, supported by video evidence from my readers in all corners of the globe. That warning had been up for more than 6 months and widely shared at the time Thorburn made his statement, and the only attempt I've seen to respond to it was some randomer claiming that I bought several Stellas and damaged them then sent them abroad to be filmed with actors. Check that warning and see the fault yourselves HERE.
Just how delusional one has to be in order to refer to these widely publicised embarrassments as victories of any sort? I think I need to revisit my theory about him being dropped on his head, because that sort of damage wouldn't come from a normal 1 metre drop while being carried by an average height adult. To sustain the kind of brain damage needed to say something that unearthly stupid one must have been held by an adult during a butched bungee jump where the rope was a tad longer than it should causing the adult to smash the child's head against a rock beneath the bridge, twice! Seriously though, we're living in a time where reporters can stand in front of a burning building and tell us with a straight face that things are fiery but peaceful, so I'm not sure why I'm even surprised. You have the links, see them yourselves, then you can decide if those claimed victories were real or just a figment of that weird fella's wet dreams.
Now completely all over the place and hopelessly grasping for every straw he can find, he seemingly pulls that desperate appeal to authority thing. I've already discussed that sort of fallacy before and voiced my opinion of it, so not to repeat myself here is a screenshot of my previous comments
I'm making a sincere plea for everyone to quit this because it's painful to watch men essentially reduced to calling themselves feeble and inept. Any other argument, no matter how terrible it is, is way more respectable than this shameful act. At any rate, funny how those magnificent engineers who supposedly wouldn't let anything slip by did allow 2008 Stellas and 2009 Twin Power to be officially recalled due to faulty rollers, as seen in this capture of the official announcement by Shimano
Or how those allegedly infallible engineers that he trusts 100% made Saragosa F reels with melting drag knobs that required another recall, as seen in this capture from 2011
Guess who is that "Dan" who's acknowledging the issue and the redesign of the faulty parts? Yep, our Georgy boy. What an absolute mess that guy is. Truly sad.
Here he claims that the promotional photos of the 2013 Stella SW were taken 4-6 months before release, then does what I can only interpret as throwing his own marketing department under the bus. Such a stand up guy. As if it's the job of the marketing department to comp through every photo and catch mechanical failures that everyone in the technical chain before them failed to spot. Anyhow, his claim that the pictures were taken 4-6 months before release is untrue. Check this out
There is something called EXIF information that's preserved in unaltered photos, and since I get my stuff from primary sources my photos maintain the original information showing that they were taken on December 6th 2012, along with the authors Seven Seas Creations, Ink./Seig o Saito; in addition to the camera model and other photography parametres. But how about the release?
I looked through my vast archives, and it wasn't hard to find pictures of 2013 Stella SW reels, US model with the sealed box, being delivered in New York March 8th 2013. That's exactly 3 months and 2 days after the promotional photo was taken, which contradicts the 4-6 months claim, and in my opinion shows a tiny tiny man fabricating stories on the spot as he goes. In reality these reels arrived in the US even earlier by mid February 2013, and that's delivered to the other side of the world from where they were made, therefore the production date would be even earlier than that. Anyhow, here are the two original photos used in this example with the embedded EXIF data so you can examine them yourselves, and I have further proof preserved by internet crawlers if ever needed Photo 1, Photo 2.
Still referring to that 2013 Stella SW, he assures the concerned fisherman that the fallen washer seen in the pictures did not make it into final production. Just take a moment to consider if that claim sounds logical; had the design fault been caught indeed and the washers been changed before production, don't you think that it would've been on the forefront of everyone's mind and they'd have reviewed the promotional material filmed while the washers were dangling and removed them? I'm saying this because I want you to always filter everything you hear through logic and not take it as fact no matter who's saying it. But that's not the proof I'm presenting to show you that Mr. Thorburn was in my opinion lying again. Here is the proof...
These are Shimano's own schematics of the 2013 Stella SW, with the long format part number unique to each part and good for ordering without specifying the model. This one is of the 20000 size
And this is the 2013 Stella SW in 30000 size. See the serial number of the washer in both reels, and on both ends of the rotor? Keep reading....
These are the schematics of the 2008 Stella SW in 20000 size. The serial number of that washer is exactly the same as found in the schematics of the 2013 Stella SW, therefore the claim that the washer was caught and changed before the production of the 2013 Stella is untrue since it's the exact same washer from the previous 2008 model. But what if Mr. Thorburn decides to claim that the schematics of the 2013 Stella SW were already made and printed before they caught and changed the washer? Well...
These are the schematics of the 2019 Stella SW, size 20000
And these ones belong to the 2019 Stella SW, size 30000. Same washer as in 2008 and 2013 models, never caught, never changed, and in my mind it leaves no doubt that we're dealing with what in my opinion is a sleazy amoeba and a pathetic liar who can't even craft a solid lie because of his ignorance of basic facts about his products.
But what if he tries to save face by making the laughable claim that a changed part would still have the same serial number? Well, let me preemptively shut that down. Check this out...
These are the schematics of the original 2008 Stella SW 8000 where the line roller had the serial "12413"...
And these are the schematics of the exact same reel after the recall with the redesigned replacement line roller and the added balancer, and the serial of the roller has of course changed and now it's "13747". So, had the washer of the 2013 Stella been caught and replaced as that sad excuse for a human being claimed, its serial number would've changed, which did not happen. Now just in case my theory about the bungee jumping incident turns out to be true, here is a summary of this entire point in a manner that even this nitwet would understand very well...
To get back to where we started, Mr. Dan Thorburn said this...
One can imagine how good he must have felt about himself after typing that, and I wouldn't be surprised if immediately after he threw his phone aside and broke into a dance in front of a mirror while loudly proclaiming "SLAAAY QUEEEEN". Well, I look much less glamorous sitting on a couch with an empty mug that I'm too sleepy to throw in the sink, yet it's my moral responsibility to give him a bit of an advice myself; knowing your intellectual limitation spares you public humiliation. See, I too can say one-liners, except mine are true, and way funnier.
Now let me step over a couple of lowly employees and talk to Shimano directly. And to be precise, talk to Shimano USA, since in my opinion it seems to be the sick arm of the company and the sewer from this filth always emanates. I mean I know people in Shimano Japan and they are fine gentlemen, Shimano UK has brilliant people whose vast knowledge always made me feel like a newbie whenever I stopped to chat at the CLA Gamefair, and Shimano Australia is a reflection of that country's population straightforward no nonsense attitude and with such incredible people as Tim Schofield whom my readers kept telling me bent over backwards to find them rare parts they needed. Why is it then that Shimano USA acts in what I believe to be the trashiest of manners? If a fisherman says that they found a problem in a reel and you happen to disagree, should the response be "that's not an issue because of that or this reason", or should it instead be "what does he know he's clueless we thrashed him before"? That response might be acceptable only if the fisherman had said "I found a problem in the reel and your sister is really fat", but short of that this is no way a respectable company should behave. Is this how you want to be perceived and the way you wish to present yourself to the world?
I hope that someone who's in the position to steer matters would give this a considerable amount of thought and make sure changes are made. I'm not saying this because I'm bothered or annoyed. Quite the contrary, I'm here having fun with memes and sit-com references, I'm getting easy material to entertain my readers in these tough times of lockdowns and reduced activity, and it's not exactly the worst feeling in the world whenever a billion dollars corporation comes after me just to send it back with a tucked tail and a reversed "Timberland 10 1/2" imprinted on its hind quarters. I am instead hoping for a change because fishermen deserve to be treated with respect and have their concerns addressed honestly, not continually be met with what in my opinion is a torrent of lies and denials wrapped in a rare mixture of ignorance and incompetence. Fishermen are an intelligent group, and no matter what their backgrounds are they always have the sense to look at whatever I present to them, see that it's fully documented and explained, backed up with irrefutable pictorial and video proof from multiple sources, and time after time they react resoundly enough to rattle you into mobilising and issuing these statements. If these naive attempts to dismiss and waffle had worked in the past no one would be caring about what I have to say again, but the fact that fishermen still care enough to force you to jump into action again and again is all the evidence needed to show the futility of these tactics. Quit it, and let's all instead embrace the spirit of Young's modulus. I mean have you seen the rack on that thing?
Finally, new readers should not even entertain the idea that I "hate" a company or a brand. I'm a big tool indeed but the one thing I got going for me is that I'm not the most emotionally immature person around. That means my love is for my flag, my family, and Naomi Watts, and my hate is reserved for injustice and people who hurt others. I don't love or hate goods or services because that's pure insanity, and I'm not there, at least not yet! Ironically, a quick look at my Top Picks page at the time of writing and a comparison of the number of Shimanos on there to all other brands combined should quash any illusions that I'm driven by anything other than practical facts and my desire to offer my best advice to the global fraternity of smelly fishos.
That's all. I plan to post a new review sometime after the holidays, so keep your eyes on the News page for any updates. Until then I wish all of you, including good ol' Mr. Thorburn, a wonderful Christmas and a great start of 2022.
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December, 25th, 2021