We found out a month or so ago that Shimano was re-vamping their lineup of Shimano SW Spinning Reels. The SW stands for saltwater and they feature very strong drags and are the class of the Shimano lineup when it comes to spinning reels. With this new series, Shimano added a B and named them the Shimano Stella SWB Spinning Reels. To confuse people a little more than they already are, Shimano released several versions of the same reel with different gear ratios. So today we are going to look at the STL5000SWBXG which features the highest gear ratio of the three (yes three!) 5000 size Stella SWBs.
The gear ratio on the Shimano Stella SWB STL5000SWBXG is a very fast 6.2:1. Like all Stellas, it is supposed to be fished in certain situations. I guess technique specific would be a good description. It’s great for jigging or when you are fishing with any lure that you need speed for.
Everything on the new Stellas was upgraded. They incorporated X-Ship and a bunch of other X features that you can read about on the J&H Tackle web site, but the main improvements have to do with making the reel more rigid and reducing flex. The main gear is 30% larger and the drag system is smoother and stronger than the previous generation. The body of the reel is aluminum and fifteen ball bearing make this reel ultra smooth.
Taking a cue from Daiwa and Penn, the Stella STL5000SWBXG has seals to keep water and salt out. It is not completely sealed like a Van Staal so you cannot dunk it or swim with it, but it can take a splash without a problem. This is one of those features that doesn’t directly help you catch more fish but it does dramatically reduce the incidences of failure on the boat and cleaning time when you are off the boat. Definitely useful.
I generally like Shimano cosmetics, but this reel is not pretty to look at. While the Shimano Sustain’s black and silver combination is one of my favorite looking modern reels, the Stella SWBs are a mix of four colors that really don’t go with one another. Gold, silver, black and blue on the same reel create a Frankenstein effect. If you want to buy a Stella SWB then you will have to see beyond the exterior and into the interior which is a beautiful thing.
The Shimano Stella SWB STL5000SWBXG Spinning Reel won’t come cheap at $1059.99 but if you are looking for a badass 5000 size spinning reel for jigging, then it is definitely worth a look. Come into the store and check it out!