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Shimano Stella FJ (2018 Stella) Warning

(UPDATED- Scroll down to the update in red font)

Earlier this year Shimano released the 2018 freshwater Stella, known as Stella FJ in export markets. The reel first appeared in shows 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 its release I received reports of a problem where the bail wire hits the spool when the spool is at the highest position or close to it. Sometimes the wire hits the side of the spool's lip, other times it hits its centre of the spool. Here are some video samples of reports I received, sizes 2500, 4000, and 5000

Once I received a sizable number of these 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 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 located in the foot.

Final Update March 2019 - 6 months on, I can confidently 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. When someone spends hundreds of dollars on a reel they shouldn't have to worry about such nonsense.

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Alan Hawk

September, 14th, 2018