Shimano Stradic 8000fj: Service Tutorial and Maintenance Tips

Started by johndtuttle, August 08, 2012, 08:19:31 PM

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Hey guys,

Serviced my Stradic FJ and came across a few pit falls that I thought I would share for those attempting the same. Forewarned is forearmed they say and hope this helps some.

The basic idea is to clean and re-lube and as the reels are notoriously dry from the factory a "pre-service" is recommended before fishing to give max "smoothness" but more importantly to provide additional protection from Salt. Shimano rates this reel for "salt water use" but it is not remotely sealed so some liberal use of marine grease is recommended to provide a bit of increased protection.

This is the Patient:

Ok, This is not going to be a step by step photo epic of every detail as I just shot of few photos of the problem areas. The rest is very straight forward and a verbal tutorial should be adequate. These are just a few notes to help with the tricky bits.

Link to the schematic that we will be using as our reference:

The top stack in the spool is as straight forward as can be. Remove the spring clip and pull out the drag washers noting their order. The washers seemed dry so I put some Cal's grease on them and put them back in. You can be somewhat liberal with a spinning reel as any excess just ends up lubing the shaft and Cal's is fine for that. The Drag Knob (14976) deserves some Cal's grease on it's underside as this forms the seal of the top of the stack. Don't overdo it (but don't stress, if a tiny bit ever ends up in the drag no biggee) just a little thin film. Underside the spool is the clicker, just a dab of cleaning and lube is all that is needed here. The sealing of the underside of the spool is only the close tolerance of the Main Shaft (14980) up into the spool. Keep this greased.

Now, with the spool off you give some gentle wiggles and tugs to pull the plastic clicker and spool support (14978 & 14979) plus any spacers (3503) off. They will more or less all come off together. The spool support is keyed to the clicker so be sure to get them seated properly when putting them back on or you may have line lay issues. Then seeing as we want to get down to the main body we have to take off the rotor and RCA (6395 Roller Clutch Assembly). Easy Peasy. There is a little retaining screw for the rotor nut that comes first then the nut itself. This is righty tight and lefty loose (the normal way) enabled by the retaining screw.

Remove those then wiggle the rotor off and find the RCA bearing below. This is held in place by 4 screws all the same size and color so do your thing and pull it off (best to take the handle off first otherwise you'll have to put the RCA back on to get the handle off). Don't mess with the black screws unless you want to rebuild the RCA (tutorial for rebuilding the Roller Clutch Assembly #6395 : Roller Clutch on Sedona - 2CoolFishing . This link is a Sedona tutorial but should be an adequate guide to doing yours on the Stradic with a little thought as they share similar design, thanks to MattK :)).

The RCA has a little slot on the underside for the Anti-Revese Cam (12902) that orientates it when it goes back on. Just line it up with this and flip the switch back and forth to make sure it's put back correctly.

When the RCA comes off there is a sleeve that is not shown on the schematic that is slotted to the main/pinion shaft but lays loose inside the RCA when it is removed. You will likely find it when it drops out in your hand. No stress, a little squirt of Corrosion-x or the light oil of your choice and back it goes. NO MARINE GREASE near the RCA bearing. It will gum it up and cause it to stop working properly. A little corrosion-x on the inside of the roller clutch sleeve itself where it contacts the shaft is all you need. Cleaning as needed of the RCA itself should be done with carb cleaner and compressed air. Light oil in the RCA will protect it from corrosion but some loss of max drag before slippage will be noted. FWIW I leave mine dry. Pick your poison and take your chances.

The AR Lever itself (12904) will benefit from some corrosion-x to keep it flipping smoothly. Diss-assembly is very simple and should rarely be necessary.

Ok, here comes the first little nut to crack. The "Bail Trip Strike" (14987). This is held in place by a screw and also a little lip on it that makes it nearly impossible to remove first so you actually have to crack the body which opens up the slot it's base is locked into.

Carefully stretch the friction ring (12900) up out of the way to expose the body screws (4362) and remove these first.

There are 5 body screws that have to be removed. It's a terrible photo below but you get the idea. One of the body screws is hidden in the shadowed recess to the left. In this photo below the rear plastic cap and friction ring have already been removed.

You end up with a group like this:

Note that the two from under the friction ring (on the left) have different threads than the others. Shown also are the two from the plastic cap with the notoriously hard to see on the schematic long one (12468) that has caused some to come to grief. It's in a hidden spot on the stem that is easily over looked and practically impossible to note on the schematic:

Take a look here at the Bail Trip Lever for a second:

If you look carefully at the photo above the tweezers are holding the ear where the retaining screw holds it and the underside has a little lip that fits the slot on the body formed by the 2 halves with an additional lip (slightly discolored at it's base) that locks into the slot formed when the body comes together. This is why you do the friction ring and the body screws first. I simply modded mine after it was out and took a utility knife and trimmed off some of the little secondary flange on the stub that was making it so locked in. This allows you to take off the bail trip in a somewhat more natural order before removing the friction ring. THIS IS NOT A RECOMMENDATION simply a relation of what I did. This bump of nylon is the auto bail trip and I unconsciously manually trip my bail anyways from using Stellas so if this ends up causing any problems with auto tripping the bail it is inconsequential to me. The next time in there I will remove it for good converting to manual trip only and simply put the retaining screw in to plug it's hole. This will leave behind the little slot for the part that may collect some schmutz/sand/goo but will not allow any entry into the reel.

Ok, in the photo below we are now inside and it looks like this. The grease from the factory is pretty light stuff and it has more or less all worked it's way out of where it belongs. If things are clean you can simply re-spread it around (and I did on the worm gear as lighter is better there) but lightly "Alan Tani-ized" the remainder with Marine Grease. You should know the drill so no "after Tani-ization" photo should be necessary.

Especially try to get all the mating surfaces so that a bead of marine grease will seal the body when re-assembled. Also be sure to get some on the outside of the bearings that support the pinion (13188 and 13274) and the handle (13989) and in their receptacles. These are shielded but a good greasing will form one more barrier.

If you want to get in there deep and take apart the worm gear/idle gear etc you should find it as straight forward as can be and if you have the confidence and competence to attempt it no tutorial should be necessary. Bear and mind the Oscillating Slider (12912) usually has it's screws (5841) secured with Loctite so don't strip them when removing them and have some of your own to add back to keep them tight or you may come to grief. Hint: You have to start with the Worm Shaft Retainer (12914) on the back of the body.

Then, an area of interest, where the handle meets the Main gear. The gear has a hollow shaft that the handle threads into. The only seal of the body in this area from the outside and salt is the tolerance of the bearing in it's housing and around the shaft so be sure to get good grease on all surfaces as well as the opening to the outside:

There is no seal on the handle like a Stella has just mating metal surfaces so this should be a regular area of maintenance and observation to be sure you are not coming to grief. Liberal use of Marine grease and fresh water rinses as it will definitely get drips around the base where it threads to the shaft.

Then we come to the Line Roller Bearing. A recent post was asking for help as his (possibly older FI) had become frozen. With the FJ there is an important change to Shimano's basic design that is a classic example of Shimano refinement and a possible pitfall: The Line Roller Oil Cap (14250). The rest of the assembly is the standard Shimano Japanese Puzzle of inter-fitting parts that have to be in the precise order and orientation (pun alert :)) to function. If you're like me you fiddle with flexing the arm over after taking off the screw (12440) and the whole assembly ends up going shooting across the table and you lose the order of the parts :(.

Well now, additionally, this microscopic piece of black sand drops out of there and that is the aforementioned Oil Cap. This is not a Cap at all but an extremely short tube that lines up with the exterior hole and a recess in the Line Roller Plate (14982) to allow oil to be squirted directly inside the Line Roller. Yep, that's it next to the plate. It's small so don't drop it ever. And you thought other parts were small!

This is what it looks like from the outside when re-assembled. The little hole next to the screw is your oil maintenance port:

One tip to make putting it back together easier: The plate and the cap can be "glued" in down with Marine Grease to hold them in place while you line things up. Just slather some in there and press them in or you will spend some time with them continually falling out and spending some time on the carpet with a magnifying glass to find the bits again. :(. Once back together you can really see that this type of refinement is what Shimano is all about. Some would say less is more and it certainly is a pain to re-assemble. But as far as I know they are also the only company trying to make it easier to get oil in there in a VERY common problem area.

Putting the entire assembly back together is not tough once you orient the Line Roller (10422) properly. It has different diameters on either end so it will only go back with the larger end closest to the bail arm. After that all the rest of the parts will only fit one way to make it all as compact as possible to fit together and screw tight properly. Be sure to get the last Line Roller Washer (14981) in the right order to prevent binding of the Ball Bearing (13981) at the heart of smooth Line Roller operation.

Shimano also puts a drop of Blue Loctite on the Line Roller screw. If you regularly monitor this area you can go without and just use some grease Tani-style, if you want to put it back together and forget about it probably best to add some back to keep it tight. I lined up my slot on the screw head with the hole (more perfectly than shown in the photo) so that I have a reference that I can simply inspect to see if it is ever loosening as I went with grease.

Ok, if you have the inclination you can get into the Bail Spring to grease stuff in there for extra protection. Just be careful of these bits too as the schematic is not the slightest help putting it back together. Those of you that have know what I mean. Two screws (3492, 9379) to remove the Bail Spring Cover (12922).

The thing to keep in mind is that the Bail Spring Guide (11159) goes in a little slot on the inside of the Bail Arm itself. This is blind to you when you are trying to re-assemble. The easy way for me is to put the Bail Spring (10790) on last after it is all back together and tightened down, otherwise it's in the way. Don't lose the Spring Guide Support (10752) when you take off the Spring. Keep an eye on the Click Spring and Click Pin (7919, 7920) and if you look carefully at the photo below you can see the Pin peeking out from under the arm as it has fallen out of position. Reality is that 3 things have to lined up semi-blindly so a measure of trial and error is necessary to get the Bail Trip Lever (12889) and all the bits into their slots inside the arm but out of your view. Deep breaths and patience :).

I did not disassemble the handle for this pre-service or take apart the bail completely. Bear in mind that you may be venturing into "blue loctite" territory for these otherwise very simple assemblies. Grease their screws and be prepared to deal with loosening (ie small screw driver in your tackle box) and eternal vigilance (or risk losing parts) or have some of the Blue handy if you take them completely apart and want to put them back together and forget about it (at the risk of corrosion). I simply applied some Corrosion-X from the outside on all exposed nooks and crannies/articulating surfaces to provide some additional protection before fishing. Best, imo, to use grease sparingly on anything that would routinely come in contact with sand, light oils attract less and rinse easier.

Ok, that's what I've got for now. Like I said, not a photo epic and for the straight forward parts you should not need much. I am no reel expert just a reel nerd that wanted to give back to the community that has helped us all and follow in the foot steps of ichiban, Scoobydoo, Alan Hawk and Alan Tani etc (even though my efforts pale in comparison) to share some info that might help others.

As I get deeper in the reel I will add more photos and post any other pitfalls I discover over time, so check back if you have an interest.

best regards


Hey guys,

This is one of those I have been meaning to do for a while and the opportunity arose helping another guy elsewhere so here we are!

The Shimano Clutches for their spinning reels all use the same principle so if you can do one, you can do them all. Shimano clutches are famously strong and reliable and are made of excellent materials (all stainless and composite) so they have little trouble with corrosion other than their sleeve on the main shaft. Which is no knock on Shimano as everyone has trouble with their sleeves as they have to be of softer stuff than the stainless steel rollers to let the rollers bite.

This is one of those "Black Boxes" where Angels fear to tread but if you have some photos to guide you and a properly prepared work space so you don't lose any bits it really is not hard at all ;D.

So, if you want to thoroughly clean out your clutch then this tutorial is for can also simply soak the clutch in your favorite plastic safe solution to remove dirt and grease then dry without taking it apart for general cleaning if you don't have the nerve...And if your clutch is really a true basket case and fails these attempts at rehabbing it then the good news is they are very cheap from Shimano and come with a new sleeve inside.

Here is the little devil:

The three keeper screws to mount it on the body have already been removed and the two that keep it together (smaller ones) are shown. Note the position of the screws to the "no grease" lettering (above). If yours is different then come up with your own method to be sure you use the same ones (the ones not used correspond to the proper tapped holes in the reel body. you really want it to go back together smoothly with a minimum of attempts and fiddling). A picture with your phone or some such works wonders.

With the cover off we see a felt-like seal. Careful, everything is just resting in there! I prepare a landing zone with a white towel spread out at my feet to catch anything that makes it off the bench:

That felt seal can be pulled off with the "keeper" ring below. Note the ring is keyed to the body of the clutch and can only be replaced one way. This is essential as there are little "nooks" in the keeper ring that have to accept the rollers perfectly:

Note carefully how the springs set next to the barrel rollers and how the ears coming off the top of the springs are flapping in the breeze with the cover removed. The longer leg coming off the bottom of the spring is oriented down. This is good and how it should look before you try and close it again:

The springs and rollers lift right off their posts and nooks respectively:

The "Cage" lifts right out:

Showing the "metal piece" below that is keyed to posts on the back of the black cage. Depending on the model it lines up with a post to allow you to turn the clutch on or off to allow back reeling:

The posts (a little fuzzy, but when you put it back together and realize this later you are a bit reluctant to redo the image :) ):

When the Cage with the metal piece is back in the body of the clutch from below it looks like this:

So putting it back together is best clean and dry. You can oil or grease the interface between the sleeve and the shaft but don't get any on the barrel rollers. Simply reverse the steps to re-assemble.

The key is that the final black cover goes on with a clockwise twist to load the springs and this lines up the screw holes properly. Put the screws in the same holes you found them oriented by the "no grease" lettering etc as shown in the photo so everything goes smoothly with a minimum of fuss and it doesn't come apart unexpectedly and parts go flying. If your clutch looks a little different use another method to remember where they go.

To get it back in the reel line it up with keeper posts in the body of the reel (watch for a bushing for the worm gear that wants to get in the way on some models) and you are done!

The black box has been peered into despite our better judgement and the demons defeated! I feel mildly heroic.

;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D


Good work John - thanks for sharing.
Cheers, Justin
Fortitudine vincimus - By endurance we conquer


Excellent this the reel you upgraded with bearings on the worm shaft


Very nice John! No need for a lot of pictures, servicing this reel is probably not for beginners anyway. They are better off practising on e.g. a Spheros first :)
I tried to use this little guy to oil the line roller, the needle fits just inside the "oil cap tube":

But it was difficult to assess how much oil actually went in. Probably too much, because it was oozing oil when I fished it afterwards....

I also noted when taking the roller assembly apart, that there were "voids" on both sides of the line roller bearing. I'll keep an eye on whether water can get in. I'll bet it can on the "oil tube" side, not sure about the other side of the bearing. An option might be to fill the voids with marine grease, at least it will minimize the amount of water that can get stuck in there. Time will tell, for now I'll just be inspecting for water from time to time. And give it the regular fix of oil through the port :)

tight lines,


Quote from: Clem on August 09, 2012, 11:33:41 AM
Excellent this the reel you upgraded with bearings on the worm shaft

I haven't gone the extra mile yet. I will upgrade the handle bushings to bearing soon but if/when I do the bearings on the worm shaft I will do both ends and that requires a bit of improvisation. I would do it only for academic interest to see how much it affected the reel under load as I have Stellas for that role when truly needed. The Stradic is just my "kick around the docks/beach reel" atm, though I hope to test it on Albies this year.



Quote from: paal on August 09, 2012, 12:29:21 PM
Very nice John! No need for a lot of pictures, servicing this reel is probably not for beginners anyway. They are better off practising on e.g. a Spheros first :)
I tried to use this little guy to oil the line roller, the needle fits just inside the "oil cap tube":

But it was difficult to assess how much oil actually went in. Probably too much, because it was oozing oil when I fished it afterwards....

I also noted when taking the roller assembly apart, that there were "voids" on both sides of the line roller bearing. I'll keep an eye on whether water can get in. I'll bet it can on the "oil tube" side, not sure about the other side of the bearing. An option might be to fill the voids with marine grease, at least it will minimize the amount of water that can get stuck in there. Time will tell, for now I'll just be inspecting for water from time to time. And give it the regular fix of oil through the port :)

tight lines,

Yea, it seems Shimano's concept is "open" with their line rollers as the Stellas are similar and I believe they contend this "play" reduces twist. In either case the roller itself (10422) can move back and forth quite freely and does not form much of a seal in it's cradle/housing. I can only surmise that this is intentional to give max performance of the part (ie minimal rolling resistance) as it certainly does not shield the internals of the assembly from water much and leads to more worry as to what insidious processes may be going on inside there after each use in saltwater.

In the past I have always taken advantage of that open nature to get oil inside, but the new maintenance port is quite an improvement.

And marine grease inside won't hurt anything and can help with reassembly as well too. I doubt that mixing oil and the grease together over time would bother anything either.

I used to be more aggressive like that with grease, but as my reels make it to the beach regularly I dialed it back a tad because it's a sand magnet. Oil in some areas seems to attract less and is more easily rinse-able.



what are your overall thought on the stradic fj's. looking at getting a few more mid sized spin reels. or would you spend the extra on a sustain??


Quote from: spearo776 on August 29, 2012, 10:35:43 AM
what are your overall thought on the stradic fj's. looking at getting a few more mid sized spin reels. or would you spend the extra on a sustain??

I am no expert analyst of reel engineering so I previously posed this question to Alan Hawk as I was struggling with the same quandary and had the same questions.

He could only theorize that the additional cost of the Sustain FG was due to the high cost of Ci14 in the rotor material in addition to other very small refinements, some of which are possible for a do-it-yourself-er to add himself over time (ie bearings rather than bushings in the handle and for the worm gear etc). These in conjunction with the bearing in the spool *may* cause smoother drag performance at the very highest end of the drag range and some small increases in cranking power for the Sustain FG (less binding from parts flexing due to their support by nylon bushings in the Stradic FJ rather than supported by bearings in the Sustain FG).

Here is an excellent tutorial on the web for just such home bushing to bearing upgrades if you want to elevate the Stradic to nearly Sustain level:

I personally have not stressed my Stradic FJ on anything more than a 7lb Striper as of yet.

Others have reported very satisfactory performance on Amberjack to 60lbs which is a serious fish.

The assumption is that you really need the toughest reel in this class and will push it to it's limits. I personally feel the Stradic is *by far* the tightest most powerful feeling spinner in it's ~$200 Class as compared to Penn, Daiwa and other Shimano offerings (no other contenders to consider really) that I have used and would be a great choice if the 8k and ~300 yards of 40lb test meets your needs. If you really need the additional capacity of a 10K then currently a Saragosa (easily "x-shipped" by adding an additional pinion bearing, available on ebay) is very, very solid as well. The additional refinements of the Sustain seem to be at a premium price-wise and are an option if you don't have the time to tinker.

If the smaller sizes meet your needs then it really is a question of your pocket book versus very small gains as the expected lower stress should be handled by any of the above for many years.

FWIW the replacement of bushings with bearing is very worthwhile for the long term durability of the reel as misalignment of parts under load is what causes rapid wear of gears etc and in this sense the Sustain would be a tiny bit tougher reel right out of the box. These additional bearings in the Stradic FJ and other refinements (line lay, spool design especially) are what makes it the King of it's Class as compared to it's direct competitors price-wise.



john, send me a pm with your address.  i'd like to send you a wrench!
send me an email at for questions!


Quote from: alantani on August 29, 2012, 05:50:40 PM
john, send me a pm with your address.  i'd like to send you a wrench!

Got the wrench Alan, thanks much.  :)


send me an email at for questions!