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In theory some of the smaller reels should be stronger than their slightly larger siblings. In the Daiwa range a lot of models use the same body and gearing for 2000, 2500 and 3000 size models. The increase in capacity is created by using a wider diameter spool and rotor. This in turn creates a faster retrieve from the equivalent gearing due to spool circumference increasing and therefore slightly more strain on the gears.
I don't know if Shimano reels adopt a similar approach, it should not be too difficult to compare the reels though.
Daiwa make a 2500R in some series of their reels. This is a larger body with stronger gearing but with a 2500 size spool and rotor. This is intended to make a very strong but more compact reel intended for high 'strain' fishing using braid.
 
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