I picked up the Sahara 4000FD three years ago and was skeptical about it holding up to saltwater fishing. I have used this reel for the past three years as my primary false albacore reel and have loved it! It has landed over 150 albies so far as well as 10+lb bluefish and a few accidental 15lb striped bass. Most $200 reels cant handle that much drag stripping action. I will be purchasing the new FE model and I hope it holds up just as well...( dont forget to give it a rinse in freshwater once in a while!)
Only bad thing is the FD model handle is held in with a plastic cap which tends to come loose if you keep your reel well lubed.
Wow, so I've never treated myself to a nice rod and reel combo till now. Did my research and settled on the Sahara 2500 for my freshwater rig. I'm so glad I went with this reel, it's unbelievably smooth, the drag is top notch, the fit and finish is beautiful, and it casts a mile! You can't go wrong with any Shimano reel, they are truly in a class of their own when compared to equivalently priced brands. I expect this reel to last for years and years.