RE: Shimano Sidestab 2500
You should be fine with this reel. I'm not a big fan of rear drag systems, but the reel should be fine. If you plan on doing a lot of fishing however, I might have gone with the Solstace, Sedona or Symetre in Shimanos. These would last you longer, cost about double more, but you would definitely feel the difference.
My overall opinion is that when it comes to fishing, especially for steelhead, you should save a little and get a little better reel. I don't mean one for over $100 either. Some of those prices are really rediculous and for what, better looks, a few extra BBs? A reel in the mid $50 to $80 range will last you a long time and will perform quite well. As far as brand goes...they are all pretty good anymore with today's technology. Shimano, Diawa, Okuma, Pflueger/Shakespeare, Penn, Quantum...whatever, when it comes to the brand, its personal preference at that point. I would have, however, saved a little more cash and purchased something a little bit better. For as much fishing as I do, I don't think a $25 dollar reel will last much more than a season. You get what you pay for as long as its within reason. Good Luck!