Top-of-the-line Spinning Reel in Pursuit of Ever-evolving Functional Beauty

Top-of-the-line Spinning Reel in Pursuit of Ever-evolving Functional Beauty

STELLA has been designed to attain the ultimate smooth reeling. Shimano developed the SBL (Shimano Balance Lock) to significantly reduce shaking while rotating the handle. Such shaking was accepted as the norm for a spinning reel. Since its sensational debut in 1992, STELLA has been popular with overwhelming support from users around the world. The amazingly smooth reeling feel could be experienced the moment an angler used the reel. It was developed by using cutting-edge precision machining technology through research on the delicate tactile sensation of the fingertips. STELLA is characterized by outstanding balance, powerful and light rotation, a streamlined gear module and structure, and material and design of ultimate beauty. It dramatically changed the history of spinning reels and continues to evolve as an all-time star that leads other models.


Birth of Ultimate Technology That Changed the Conventional Wisdom of Spinning Reels

“What are the true needs of anglers?” In the 1990s, Shimano started to develop the top-of-the-line spinning reel. The development project was based on the concept of fidelity to the five senses of anglers and unparalleled, outstanding performance. One of the issues identified was shaking during reeling. Shaking while rotating the handle was peculiar to spinning reels due to their structures. Shimano took on the challenge of solving this problem. After trial and error, the balance of the center of gravity was adjusted three-dimensionally based on findings in terms of vibration engineering. This achieved amazingly smooth reeling. Shimano further investigated the findings and developed a system whose shaking during reeling was significantly reduced. The system was named SBL.

To eliminate rotation noise, a metal housing with high rigidity and precision was used. To ensure a smooth feel and direct response during reeling, the manufacture of housings was outsourced to a camera parts manufacturer to attain precision equivalent to that of precision electronic devices. In terms of the design, Shimano was committed to excellence for each part in pursuit of beautiful appearance and refinement to embody ultimate functionality. These efforts led to the release of STELLA, a spinning reel characterized by the finest beauty and precision, in 1992. The first STELLA model was exhibited at the Tokyo International Fishing Show. The product was suspended using a single line and attracted great attention. The reel was free from shaking during the handle rotation, and offered a light and smooth reeling feel. STELLA fascinated visitors, and enjoyed overwhelming support as the flagship model of spinning reels in the market. The SBL was used for products of various grades, and it became the standard for high grade models of respective reel brands.

Commitment to the Reeling Feel and Beauty as the Source of Tradition and Evolution for 30 Years

The sensational debut of the first STELLA model also revolutionized the subsequent technology development of spinning reels. The model released in 1995 was equipped with the SHIP (SMOOTH & HIPOWER SYSTEM), which dramatically increased the gear reeling performance. The design was also improved significantly. In 1998, a slim body was used to achieve a compact design. The reel was equipped with the SUPER SHIP, which attained powerful and smooth reeling, and the 3D curved rotor, which remarkably decreased line entanglement. The model released in 2000 featured a slow oscillation mechanism to improve the casting distance and feel. The metallic all-chrome-plated finish became an object of adoration among anglers.

In pursuit of a better reeling feel, STELLA further evolved in the 21st century. In 2001, Shimano deployed the AR series, which featured an aluminum housing, and the FW series, which featured a magnesium housing, in pursuit of refined designs. The slow oscillation mechanism also evolved. Shimano developed the S-System (Smooth, Silent, Strong), which attained an exquisite balance between the casting feel and a smooth reeling feel. In 2004, the S-System evolved to the SR concept, with “R” for reliance added. The product incorporated the SR-3D gear, which was derived from the pursuit of ideal gear teeth based on 3D analysis, and A-RB (anti-rust bearing), which was characterized by enhanced rustproof performance of the bearing. The model released in 2007 was equipped with the AR-C spool, which optimized the resistance of the line during release and significantly improved the casting distance. Problems during casting decreased dramatically.

In 2010, STELLA returned to the basics. Technology innovation to thoroughly improve the rotation performance made it possible to increase the diameter of the drive gear while maintaining the body size. The model was equipped with the X-SHIP mechanism, which achieved both powerful response and a light feel by optimally arranging the pinion gear and drive gear to ensure engagement. The model released in 2014 was equipped with the Micromodule Gear, which was first used in bait reels. It was the first spinning reel to incorporate the gear. The number of gear teeth was increased to enhance smoothness. The G-free body aimed to ensure high operability and reduce fatigue due to casting by improving the balance of the center of gravity. It was highly acclaimed because anglers felt as if the rod and reel were extensions of their body. The latest model released in 2018 was equipped with the Silent Drive, which reduced the backlash by eliminating gaps in the reel and attained quietness and smoothness. The product achieved ultimate comfort by harnessing all of Shimano’s technologies available, including the Micromodule Gear II, which attained ever higher precision, the HAGANE GEAR, which produced a smooth reeling feel thanks to the hard and tough gear, the HAGANE BODY, which was a lightweight and highly rigid body, and the X-PROTECT, which further enhanced the waterproof performance.

STELLA aims to deliver the supreme reels by using the best technologies, materials and designs. “Stella” is an Italian word that means “star.” As the name indicates, STELLA still continues to evolve to go beyond the ultimate as the star of Shimano’s reels.