Angler's Mail tackle editor Richard Howard selected the best products that caught his eye during 2016. Here's his lowdown on the Shimano Stradic Ci4+ RA Reel ...

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HERE’S a fine reel from Shimano that you might have to dig a bit ‘deeper’ for, but that’s because it’s a quality piece of kit that will last.

More importantly a size like the 4000RA size is very versatile too.

Found on high-end Shimano reels Ci4+ is an advanced version of Ci4, this material is two and a half times stiffer so there’s less flex in the reel body or rotor, even under severe pressure. It’s also lighter, the 4000 size I like weighing in at around 310 g, and the 2500RA is 255 g.

I’m a great fan of Fighting Drag systems too, appreciating that easy drag adjustment lever.

These reels also tick a lot of boxes when it comes to line retrieve, with a 6:1 ratio on the 2500 size retrieving 98 cm of line per turn of the handle.

The 2500 size takes 160 m of 0.25 mm line, and the 4000 130 m of 0.35 mm, with spool reducers supplied to bring the capacity down. A reel that you can happily use for feeder fishing, lure fishing targeting specimen fish with piece of mind.

It’s smooth with five shielded A-RB bearings and a roller bearing. And it comes with Hypergear so you transmit more power from handle to rotor.

Hunt around and you might be able to pick them up for between £150 and £160.

Price: 2500RA £179.99. 4000RA £199.99.