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Is anyone else having issues with some of the really lightweight spinning reels flexing under the load of a decent sized fish? I'm using 10 lb. braid on 2500 or 3000 reels, and the ones I am particularly talking about are the Shimano Stradic Ci4, to some extent the Daiwa Ballistics and a Shimano Exsence I have. I don't really read too much about others having these issues but it drives me crazy. Trying to understand exactly what is flexing, whether it is the rod (I'm usually using spinning rods with an exposed blank for the reel seat), the frame of the reel where it meets the rod, or something else.
 

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I normally fish Stradic CI4+ 3000 reels on Loomis E6X rods and haven't experienced the issues you're describing. Have caught some really nice reds and big trout on the outfits without problems.
 

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My ballistic LT and CI4+ both In 2500 do have a bit of deflection in the reel stem/seat, but they have both caught a bunch of redfish With zero problem. It is noticeable if I push on it, but I have never noticed it fighting a fish.
 

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It's an issue enough that it feels insecure. Not sure how else to describe it but it's enough that I can feel wobble as I'm fighting a nice red. I believe it may be the reel seat on certain rods. I have never noticed an issue with my St. Croix Avid Inshores, but have on my Phenix Feather and to a lesser extent my Cajun Atled Versatile rods. However, like you mentioned, WC, I can feel the flexing on the reel stem if I push the reel with a bit of force.
 

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I think the flex is probably the reel seat. The rod blank will have some degree of flex throughout its length. The exposed blank will show the flex more than being covered with a handle.
Just my $.02 worth.
 

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Not a spinning reel, but I bought a couple of 13 Fishing casting reels on sale a couple years ago so that i could reserve my curados for fresh water. They have a composite reel seat, which appears to be a fancy word for plastic by the looks of it. But I've caught a bunch of reds on it, including my personal best -27 lbs - and it hasn't given way.
 

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That "flex" you're feeling is just what you get with lighter materials being used these days on some reels (and the reelseats that you'll find on some rods..). The alternative is to go back to the days when every rod I ever built had a chrome on brass reelseat -that never ever had the slightest bit of flex, guaranteed... Older reels were made entirely of metal -not a bit of plastic anywhere in the drive components.... They'd last forever, if you could get parts for them - but they weren't something you'd want in hand, casting and retrieving all day long... not at all...

In short, the older gear was heavier and probably lasted longer - but is that really what you want in hand for a day of casting on the water? Probably not.... There actually is a bit of good news about gear that has a bit of flex in it. It's sudden impacts on your fishing line that loses fish - either by them shaking free or the line breaking (braid is particularly prone to this sort of stuff) - with it's "no stretch" character I can snap a lure free from a tree - something that just wasn't possible with monofilament lines.. So a bit of flex or "give" in reel or other component actually might work in your favor (even if it doesn't feel right....).
 

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That "flex" you're feeling is just what you get with lighter materials being used these days on some reels (and the reelseats that you'll find on some rods..). The alternative is to go back to the days when every rod I ever built had a chrome on brass reelseat -that never ever had the slightest bit of flex, guaranteed... Older reels were made entirely of metal -not a bit of plastic anywhere in the drive components.... They'd last forever, if you could get parts for them - but they weren't something you'd want in hand, casting and retrieving all day long... not at all...
This is kind of what I was suspecting. Some of the newer materials, at the expense of being extremely lightweight, are not as sturdy. And I agree I'll take the newer materials over the older clunky stuff.
 

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I would bet is it the reel seat. I used design fishing rods for a big manufacturer, and we would tool our own reel seats sometimes. You had really pay attention to the tapers in pockets on the reel seats, and test out a lot of different reels on the reel seat before you approved tooling. Looking at that phenix rod it is custom made for them. The older spinfishers, and abu garcia round baitcasters were usually the worst in creating issues. That is strange on the Cajun rods, I have never seen that issue with an actual Fuji reel seat. You can always zip tie them down, not really the best option, but works.

I have had an issue with the light weight reels becoming deformed from catching a lot of big fish in a row. Like 20 big striper in a river in heavy current in an hour. It was really strange, the reel become really rough and would barely reel. When I got home I tried out the reel a few hours later it was fine. I think it just heated up from all the flexing and got temporary deformed, and returned back to its normal state after it cooled down. Since then I have just looked at metal stemmed reels for any fishing I do that is not for large mouth bass, or something smaller.
 

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Really great info, I appreciate it.
 

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What we used to advise new rod builders was to always bring the reel you were going to use with you when selecting components to build that special rod. Over the years there’s been such a wide variation between reel makers that it’s a very good idea.

None of this would prepare you for working with one of those old custom makers (like Seamaster or Fin Nor) which deliberately made reelseats turned out of bar stock aluminum, then anodized - but were only meant their own reels... and wouldn’t work with some other reel brand... I actually have one or two of them from years ago (back before graphite, as it was called then)z

To this day I’ll occasionally shorten the threaded end on some Fuji seats to better fit a particular reel if appropriate...
 
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