Stradic Ci4+ help - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-22-2019, 05:54 AM Thread Starter
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Stradic Ci4+ help

A few days ago my reel randomly bit the dust. At first I noticed a little more resistance while turning the handle that quickly worsened to it nearly completely locking up. I can manually turn the spool without feeling resistance, so at first I thought it was something in the handle. When I remove the spool, I feel the resistance for a turn or two, but then can freely turn it. When I replace the spool it turns ok until I put any resistance on the line when it will completely seize up again.
I was hoping someone might have an idea that might be easily fixable, but I'm not too hopeful. I have a pretty bad history of things going from bad to worse anytime I attempt to do anything beyond simply taking a spool or handle on and off, lol. Next best help would be a tip for any shops that do repairs in the McKean, Potter, Elk, Cameron Co area. Tried the one in Bradford but they don't do repairs and didn't know of anyone who does. I have used the shop near Pittsburgh, but really don't want to give up my limited fishing vacation days with extra trips back and forth. My last resort would be taking it back to Cabela's where I bought it a few years ago since they would probably replace it.
Thanks in advance for any ideas.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-22-2019, 08:57 AM
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Boy that is a really odd one and I consider myself an armchair expect on Stradics haha. Done all sorts of service to them. To me you've got two options for this.

1. Take the spoil off and carefully remove the drag mechanism. If you do this be sure to do it gingerly and always keep the spoil shaft pointing straight up. There are a few parts held in by the drag that are loose without it in place but will stay in place if kept upright and removed gingerly. You didn't happen to lubricate the drag system at any point? That a death sentence to it. It's clearly written on the gray body of the drag to not grease though so I'm sure you didn't. At this point you can careful, while still pointing the spoil shaft straight up, turn the handle to identify if it's the drag assembly causing the issue. Start veeeery slowly reeling so to not shake parts lose. Take a pic of reel with your phone before doing this so if something falls out you can replace it easy. If the reel still has issues it is in the body of the reel. At this point you'll want to place 1 drop of oil on the ball bearings and open the lube port on the body (after reassembled) and place a drop of oil on the worm gear. If the issue still remains youre in bad shape cause now it's nothing simple and the odds of an average guy fixing it isn't good.

2. Call up tackle unlimited in Pittsburgh. Talk to them about your issue. They may be able to give advice or you can mail it to them to repair. You don't need to drive to them. You'll need a backup reel while it's gone unfortunately.


Have you checked the reel turning with the drag switch flipped off?
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-22-2019, 09:33 AM
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It probably just needs a good cleaning and lube. Most reels (Shimano Stradics included) are not sealed so water and dirt are able to enter into the internal's and contaminate the existing lube. I just cleaned/lubed my sons Stradic 4000FH after it started binding during our last beach trip. I always service my own reels and it is pretty simple if you have some basic mechanical knowledge/ability. There are videos on youtube with step by step instructions on the teardown, cleaning, greasing, and reassembly. If you dont feel comfortable servicing it yourself there are many reel repair shops that it could be sent to for cleaning/repair, just do a Google search for "Shimano reel repair".

Good luck, Tony
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-22-2019, 12:32 PM
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Forget about taking it back to Cabelas. Since Bass Pro owns them their return policy is just 60 days. I know you want a quick turn around but you could send it back to Shimano service in California. I sent one last year that was still under warranty. Luckily I used priority mail with the US postal service. After about a month I called to find out when I would get my reel and they had lost it. Luckily I had my priority mail receipt to prove they had it and signed for it. They ended up replacing the reel with a new one and sending me 300 yds of 20 lb power pro line. Good luck
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-24-2019, 08:36 AM
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I had the same thing happen to my Stradic 1000 last year. Lube got under the spool hub. It softened and destroyed the seal. The seal came apart and pieces jammed up the reel.

I called Shimano and explained the problem and they sent me a new seal.

When I got the seal I took it apart and removed any parts of the original seal and installed the new one.

Last edited by Dogface; 05-24-2019 at 08:50 AM.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-24-2019, 08:50 AM
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The seal is under the hub or whatever they call it. You have to remove the lock screw and the brass nut. The hub will lift off and the seal is right there. Hopefully this is your problem because it is an easy fix.

It looks like I had to remove that gear "thingy" to get the hub off but I forget how I did it.

Reel.jpg

Last edited by Dogface; 05-24-2019 at 08:52 AM.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-24-2019, 08:58 AM
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Just an FYI. Shimano told me that some lubes will soften the seal. I forget what I used but since I never had that reel apart I suspect I sprayed it with WD-40 or G-96. A spray would have been the only way for a lubricant to get to the seal in my case.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-28-2019, 09:47 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the input. I think Tony has it right, it definitely needs a cleaning. With the spool off and it spinning fine, I just kept spinning it for a few minutes until I felt no resistance. Even though I had done that unsuccessfully before, when I did it for a few minutes straight it felt smoother and when I replaced the spool it felt ok without locking. I added a couple of drops of oil to the port and it felt really good. It did fine on the next trip out that was brief due to storms, but it brought it a 16 in brown with no issues. The next trip out, things were going great until I caught a trout and as I was reaching for it over some grass/dirt/mud, the hook came out and lodged in my shirt. I went for the trout first to get it back in the water and set my rod down on a dry spot, but in my Three Stooges like fumbling to get the trout and release it unharmed, I got the line and rod twisted around me and the reel ended up back in the water. Although it didn't get as bad or completely lock up, there was immediate resistance when cranking the reel. It pretty much constantly feels like there is sand in it. I forgot to mention that the first time it happened I had also just dropped the reel into the water.
I searched for some Youtube videos. The Ci4+ specific ones either had no audio or the one that did was in a foreign language. I need to hear what and why I am doing each step. There was a very good one on a different Shimano reel, and if I kind of combine both videos I'm feeling confident enough to give it a go. I'll be in Pittsburgh for a couple of days next week and worst case is I bring them a bag of parts and my tail between my legs, lol.

And I do have a couple of backup lower end Shimano reels but they all have issues like the bail occasionally not turning over and slightly lower gear ratios that are annoying enough that using the gritty Ci4+ is about equal. Using the backups really gave me even more appreciation for a Ci4+.

Now if only someone could fix the absolutely horrible May spinner fishing. By far the worst I have had in 9 years. Sections that reliably produced 30-60 trout for the last few years have had me struggling to get to even 10 or 15 fish. I'm pretty sure it's the water temps since I couldn't even find one above 50 until just this last week.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-28-2019, 06:44 PM
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Youre not alone with the uninspiring May fishing my man. If I owed a boat I'd just crappy fish instead.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-30-2019, 09:45 PM
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I believe Tackle Unlimted closed last year. You might want to try and call before making the drive.
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