New Shimano 18 Stella – Evolution and Technologies

Shimano 18 Stella, a flagship model of small spinning reel of Shimano, will be released for the first time in 4 years with some technical enhancement on Mar 2018. It was unveiled in Japan Fishing Show 2018 in Kanagawa, Japan. Some technical definitions are officially already disclosed. In this article, evolution of Shimano 18 Stella from previous model, 14 Stella, is mainly focused on with some figures and technical explanation along with what I felt in Japan fishing show 2018.

Before going to main subject, I introduce my episode of encounter with Shimano Stella. It was about 10 years ago. I used to go fishing for Japanese seaperch called ‘Suzuki or Sea bass’ in Japanese to the sea every weekend. I bought Stella for the first time because Shimano Twinpower Mg was worn out . When I used Stella at first time, I was so surprised that the retrieving feel was even more smoother than Twinpower I had used and it brought me much information from lure because of its high sensitivity coming from its light-weight. It really matches a sensitive fishing like Sea bass fishing.

Revolution of Shimano 18 Stella

There are main 3 points for evolution of technology applied to Shimano 18 Stella compared to 14 Stella, the previous one.

  • Further improvement of retrieve feeling of ’Smooth and Silent’
  • Drastic improvement of strength of gears
  • Improvement of water proof performance


Technologies applied to 18 Stella are explained with what I was explained by Shimano engineer in Japan Fishing Show 2018.

Micro Module Gear Ⅱ (Newly adopted)

Shimano HP

‘Micro Module Gear Ⅰ’ was applied to 14 Stella for good feeling in retrieving. As for ‘Micro Module Gear Ⅱ’, gear teeth profile is optimized to fit the ideal shape of so-called ‘involute curve’ by adding a machining process, which provides suppressed gear vibration leading to smoothness of retrieving. I tried to ask Shimano engineer some deeper questions regarding ‘Micro Module Gear Ⅱ’, he said it was hard to speak more.

Silent Drive (Newly adopted)

This is a technology which makes clearance between parts inside reel smaller. More specifically, ‘Smooth and Silent’ is performed by narrowing clearance, backlash and swinging between parts of such as drive gear, worm shaft, worm shaft pin and worm shaft gear.

HAGANE Gear (Adopted to Twinpower XD)

Shimano HP

‘Hagane Gear’ is a key technology for strength of gear inside a reel of Stella. ‘Hagane Gear’ technology is already installed in 14 Stella. Drive gear is strengthened significantly without changing the material and gear size with 18 Stella. Although specific alteration points for ‘Hagane Gear’ are not disclosed, I guess that gear teeth profile and supporting stiffness of gear is optimized.

X-Protect (Adopted to Twinpower XD)

Shimano HP

‘X-Protect’ is a technology for enhancing water proof which provides the protection from rust while keeping a smoothness of retrieving. New body structure, called ‘Labyrinth structure’, which keeps a reel away from water is adopted as more enhanced technology of ‘Core Protect’ adopted to 14 Stella. In addition, a water repellent effect is given to roller clutch.

Reel spec. of 18 Stella

The specification of Shimano 18 Stella is shown in below table. (Table.1)

Table.1 The specification of Shimano 18 Stella

Changing point of lineup from 14 Stella

Some changing points from 14 Stella are listed below.

  • 5000 series newly added
  • Shallow spool adopted to all of below 2500 series
  • All high gear (HG) series with shallow spool
  • Normal spool combined with normal gear / extra high gear (XG)

Besides, changing points of lineup in each spool size are as follows,

1000 series

  • super shallow spool added
  • 1000SSSHG/1000SSSDH added

2500 series

  • abolition of 2500 series

3000 series

  • C3000SDHHG added
  • C3000MHG added
  • abolition of C3000HG/3000HG

4000 series

  • 4000MHG added
  • abolition of 4000/4000HG

5000 series

  • C5000XG added

C5000XG in 5000 series is added newly to a lineup of 18 Stella. #3 PE line can be equipped, so it is useful for middle-size yellow-tail fish.

Reel weight

Reel weight of 18 Stella is lighter by 5 to 15g than the same series of 14 Stella such as C2000S, C3000 and 4000. (Fig.1)

Fig.1 Difference of weight between 18 Stella and 14 Stella

Others feature

Ball bearing is reduced to 12 bearings in comparison with 14 Stella. I consider that ‘Micro Module Gear 2’ improves smoothness, which helps to be compatible between smoothness and light-weight.

Release timing

Mar 2018 (in Japan)


Evolution of 18 Stella is summarized as following based on its enhanced technology and spec.

  • Further smoothness by ‘Micro Module Gear Ⅱ’ and ‘Silent Drive’
  • Higher durability and reliability by enhanced ‘Hagane Gear’
  • Higher water proof performance by ‘X-Protect’


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