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Shimano sustain 2500

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SHIMANO SUSTAINIn the last few years Shimano has made a few changes in the hierarchy of their spinning reel range. Where Stella used to sit at the top followed by the no longer produced Twin Power, you now have the Biomaster closely followed by the Sustain. This is a great thing for anglers as you can grab yourself a Sustain for less than half the price of the Stella and it’s a workhorse of a reel. Cosmetically I personally like the plain black look, it’s a nice departure from the usual, however, it does look a lot like a cheap reel you would buy from K-Mart; mechanically though it is far from that. The 2500 has 8+1 bearings, and that “1” bearing is the roller bearing, I highly suggest not buying reels for use in saltwater without that “1” bearing as the roller will generally be the first thing to go in reels without  a roller bearing. The drag can dish out 8kg of pressure that you’re probably never going to use more than 3kg of, but that’s ok, it means it’s equipped to dish a lot more so you won’t be wearing out the washers anytime soon.


I could sit and explain the many different logos such as X-ship, Paladin and Magnumlite that are plastered all over this reel, but really, who cares? I’m pretty sure most of you don’t, you just want to know if it’s smooth, performs and that it will last. So let’s get to it. A great feature of the sustain is that it casts beautifully. The spool-lip is designed to have minimal friction as line leaves the spool and this is evident when spooled with braid and fluorocarbon. It’s accurate, smooth and provides good distance when casting light lures. The 2500 is fairly light at 235 grams and balances beautifully with 7’ rods of about 1-3kg and 2-4kg so is a joy to cast with for extended periods.


The Sustain has great fluidity when wound but still feels solid. It’s a lot smoother than the Stradic Ci4 and the Stradic FJ so three extra bearings do make a difference. A 6.0:1 gear ratio makes it versatile as you can retrieve lures at high speed when chasing tuna, salmon, tailor etc.. and you have the drag to fight them with. Line lay is excellent whether using braid or fluorocarbon.



I’ve had the opportunity to tangle with bream, flathead, jewfish and snapper to 4.5kg with this reel and its performance is excellent. The fight is where a reel should perform at its best and the Sustain really shines in the fight. The three things I look for are a smooth drag, a strong frame that doesn’t bend or buckle and some good crank power. The drag is faultless, smooth, and responsive with no latency on the first strike. At pressures that were maybe nearing 4kg when turning snapper on shallow reefs the frame in no way bends or buckles and the gearing system is very strong providing good crank power when bringing in a fish or retrieving heavy lures at speed.


I’ve had two Sustains for about about six months now and they have gotten a lot of use in saltwater environments. They perform as good as what they did the first week I got them and they don’t seem to be slowing down. While they’re not as fluid and light as a Stella they really are the next best thing in the Shimano line up. Falling somewhere in the mid-high price point they are great value for money and are very durable so will last you a long time. After spending quite a bit of time with the 2500 I am really keen to usE the 5000 on some larger fish.

Edited by Hooked Up


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