What do others thinks?
I don't fish in saltwater so magnesium is not a concern. The Daiwa TDZ 2500 costs over three times as much and is over an ounce heavier and also has a magnesium rotor. The Shimano is an excellent value.
I'll share some more information I came across, for those looking at the Shimano Stradics as I did before. Hope this helps.
Here's a quote by Junn, the owner and reel repair expert at http://www.japantackle.com under the "recommendations" heading: (in japan, they always get the new model reels 1-2 yrs earlier than the US so they know a lot of the problems with the new models by the time it gets to the here. Unfortunately, at least with Quantum and Shimano, when problems are noticed in japan, the reels are NOT fixed before coming to the US so US customers complain about the same problems years later).
" Warning !! Shimano TwinPower/Sustain MG, Biomaster/Stradic MG reels,,,, These reels have been sold since 2000 in Japan, and have bad reputations about lines getting winded on spool shafts inside spool skirt. The enlarged spool cause large opening between spool and rotor, and line easily gets in. To prevent the trouble, please keep line tension, and always feather spool after casts.
Warning !! Some reported 2001, 2002, 2003 Shimano reels' bail wire cuts lines, and I confirmed this problem with 2002 Shimano Biomaster 2000 and 2500. The metal part, looking like tear drop, at bail wire has sharp edge at the connection with bail wire, and it cuts lines. This mostly happens with PE braided lines and very thin lines (up to 5lb). Please check the connection place before you purchase a new Shimano reel. To fix the problem, put a little glue to cover the gap and edge.
Basically, Daiwa spin reels have less line troubles. And after Shimano introduced slow oscillation system, the difference is more obvious. Non-trouble is far more important than 3 yard additional casting distance, in my opinion. Now all Shimano and Daiwa reels are very smooth. Daiwa needs turn-in, and later gets better. Shimanos rotate very smooth from initially, but get rougher faster than Daiwa."
I think we will be posting more detailed drag info when we do some of the "head 2 head" stuff we are attempting to do soon. Either that or perhaps we can do a drag study; a quick comparison to all spinning drags would be cool.