Shimano Stella FK 3000 Spin Reel Review

  • Grant Dixon

Grant Dixon describes his experience opening a box containing one of Shimano’s latest and greatest works of art – the Stella FK 3000 spin reel.

I now know how the motoring journos feel when they are handed the keys to an exotic vehicle.

----- Advertisement -----

When jumping into the latest dream car you often have to be something of a rocket scientist to get the best out of all the modern technology you are faced with, but not so the Stella – flick the bail arm over, cast, wind the handle to re-engage, and retrieve. Nothing could be simpler.

This is the same process with any spin reel, but the Stella is not just ANY reel. In Shimano terms, it represents the peak of reel innovation, crammed full of the latest technology. And the proof is in the using.

Over the years, I have fished many of the Shimano spin reel range, including the Twin Power and Vanquish options that grace my tackle collection.

So, what makes the Stella worth the big step up in price tag? I was soon to find out.

Hooked up. The Stella 3000 proved to be a great combination when paired with the Shimano Dialuna 7’3” rod.

Matched to a 7’3” Shimano Dialuna rod, it’s first outing came when the persistent easterlies forced us to try our luck within the confines of the Whangarei harbour. Guide Nik Key had been keeping me up to date with inside info, and we had been enjoying some exceptional fishing in 2-10 metres of water around the Parau Bay area. There hadn’t been any monsters caught, but snapper and trevally to 60cm certainly pull string in shallow water.

----- Advertisement -----

I was looking forward to a Mokohinaus trip with Tony Orton aboard his charter vessel (appropriately also named Stella) and a couple of good friends, but the easterlies kept us closer in at the Hen and Chicks. Rusty was keen to catch his first legal kingfish, so while he and Nod slow-trolled their live-baits, I was able to soft-bait for snapper. Rusty got his kingfish, while Nod, Tony and I took care of the snapper, catching plenty – the best six of which ranged from 63 to 69cm.

The reel is well-matched to the rod. The line unloads off the spool with minimal resistance. This is due to two new technologies – the Propulsion Spool Lip design that aids casting distance and prevents backlashes and wind knots from forming, and the Infinity Loop; an advancement in the spool’s oscillation which allows it to move up and down at exceptionally low speeds – creating a precise winding pattern with less overlap that significantly reduces friction as the line leaves the spool. Where I really noticed this was casting the lighter quarter ounce jigheads around the harbour shallows and into the wash close to the rocks.

The stella 3000 comes with a hefty price tag, but you get what you pay for.

On the retrieve, the Stella needs just a light touch. An upgraded X-SHIP feature, the Infinity Drive, is responsible for this. Once the main shaft was supported by the pinion gear, that job now done via a low-friction bushing that significantly reduces frictional resistance. In addition, the main shaft now undergoes a proprietary surface treatment to drastically reduce rotational torque, resulting in a reel that you can wind even under heavy load. The smoothness of the Stella’s performance is further aided by advancements in manufacturing technology and gear tooth design that effectively distributes the load on the tooth surface across a wider area to reduce wear.

“Silky smooth” might be an overworked phrase when it comes to describing top-end reel performance, but it is the only one that adequately describes the Stella. I thought my Twin Power and Vanquish reels were great, but I fished these in rotation on similar rods and the step up to the Stella is significant, but then, so is the price!

A couple of other features worthy of mention is the Dura Cross Drag that incorporates innovative materials woven into a unique pattern. Without sacrificing smoothness, Shimano claims the new washers are 10 times more durable than previous ones. A polymer anti-twist fin has been located near the line roller, maintaining line tension to reduce sagging, which in turn prevents the line from falling off the bottom of the spool or wrapping around in an uneven manner.

Offshore Adventure’s Tony Orton rates the Shimano Stella CFGFX3000/Dialuna combo and choses this as his personal soft-baiting outfit.

The Stella FK range incorporates five models, from the diminutive 1000FK size up to the C5000XGFK, something for targeting trout and salmon, through to a kingfish light tackle tamer.

----- Advertisement -----

For many people, the benefits of such high-end technology has obvious advantages – it is back to the old Rolls Royce v Toyota Corolla argument; both will get you from A to B, but at different levels of performance, comfort and style. I have always been a believer in purchasing the best quality tackle I can afford, and for much of my life that did not include Shimano or any other top-end tackle, regardless of brand! This time around, I am going to indulge my TAS (Tackle Acquisition Syndrome) addiction and have ordered one, primarily to use for soft-baiting. You get what you pay for, and I can’t wait to enjoy that feeling of unwrapping a Stella one more time.


Model: Shimano Stella C3000XGFK

Retrieve rate: 37” per crank

Gearing: 6.4:1

Bearings: (To Come)

Spool capacity - Mono: 6lb/230yds 10lb/140 yds

                        - PowerPro 10lb/200 yds/40lb/105yds         

RRP: $1295

Rate this


Post a Comment

Required Field

Fishing bite times Fishing bite times

Major Bites

Minor Bites

Major Bites

Minor Bites

Fishing Reports Visit Reports

Bream Bay Fishing Report - 23/03/23

Anchovies on the menu – for everyone This is the time of year when the... Read More >

Hauraki Gulf – Snap Fishing Adventures - 23/03/23

Gulf full of bait Autumn has turned out to be better than summer with crisp... Read More >

Tauranga Area Report - 23/03/23

A good tarakihi bite Great to have some very nice weather patterns lately and some... Read More >

Hauraki Gulf Fishing Report - Espresso - 23/03/23

Find the anchovies, find the fish!  Tiny, tasty anchovies are on fire! Here, there –... Read More >

Fishing Reports, News & Specials

Popular Articles

Softbait Fishing - Part 1 - gear selection

John Eichlesheim writes an article about selecting the right equipment for softbait fishing... Read More >

Softbait fishing Pt 2 - tips and tricks

Techniques, tips and tricks of softbait fishing – getting the most from your soft baits.... Read More >

Surfcasting - setting yourself up

Gary Kemsley helps sort out the necessary gear for intending surf fishers.... Read More >

Squid - How to catch them

Squid fishing is a rapidly growing aspect of fishing - Paul Senior shares some hints and tips to get started.... Read More >