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ICAST 2019 Coverage



Shimano's Makes Digital Cast Braking Affordable with the New SLX DC Baitcaster


Date: 7/9/19
Location: Orlando, FL
Admission: Buyers & Press Only
Manufacturer: Shimano
Reviewer: Zander

The SLX Series has been a winner for Shimano, helping bolster the brand's appeal in the mainstream segment, offering anglers a reasonably priced aluminum framed everyday workhorse baitcaster. This ICAST Shimano pushes the performance to value ratio with the introduction of a new SLX reel equipped with the company's Digital Cast (DC) braking system.


This may look just like the original SLX reel but has now been souped up with the company's proprietary Digital Control (DC) braking system


The SLX Goes Digital: Once reserved only for the Shimano's highest end reels the DC braking system was introduced to mainstream anglers for the first time with last year's introduction of the Curado DC. The Curado DC was the first baitcaster to make use of the easier to operate I-DC4 digital brake system, which made it easier than ever for a much wider range of anglers to take advantage of the technology. At the time we stated "While the new easy to use Shimano I-DC4 sealed cast control system is innovative in itself, what is equally as impressive is how Shimano was able to make the technology more accessible to a whole new price point, and thus make the DC feature mainstream for the first time."


We thought the Curado DC brough the technology to the masses. The new SLX DC is the first domestic reel to feature the system under $200 dollars


Shimano is now pushing the technology downstream by implementing the exact same I-DC4 braking system in the SLX series. The new reel features an almost identical form factor as the original, and has a new non-handle side sideplate to accommodate the sealed system. Adjustments to the system are made via a small dial positioned in the front corner of the reel, much like the implementation on the Curado DC.


“The main concept behind the SLX DC reels is all about enhancing the casting experience with little if any problems, and no fishing downtime, by virtually eliminating backlashes,” states Shimano product planning manager Trey Epich. “Anglers quickly found the advantages of our DC braking system in the award-winning Curado DC reels, along with the reliability of our SLX baitcasting reels when they arrived at tackle stores in 2018, and while you won’t find some of Shimano’s higher-end features like MicroModule gears and X-Ship in the SLX DC reels, they do provide a more enjoyable fishing experience due to Shimano industry-leading technology.”


A look at the updated non-handle side sideplate which accommodates the same I-DC4 system as the Curado DC


The new reels being introduced include the SLX DC150 and left-hand retrieve DC151 with 6.2:1 gear ratios, the SLX DC150HG and DC151HG with 7.4:1 gear ratios, and the even higher speed SLX DC150XG and DC151XG with 8.5:1 gear ratios. All six SLX DC reels will hold from l50 yards of 20-pound test and up to 105 yards of 40-pound test standard PowerPro braid, or up to 120 yards of 10-pound test and up to 90 yards of 14-pound test mono. The DC 150/151 cranks in 26 inches of line per rotation, while the DC150HG/151HG reels in 31-inches per crank. The DC150XG/151XG blisters in 36 inches of line per crank.


Just like the Curado DC anglers will find four external adjustable brake settings on the new SLX DC. The settings are a ‘max distance mode’ for ultra-long casts in calmer conditions; a ‘braid/mono mode’ for general all-around use of those types of lines; a ‘fluorocarbon mode’ that is best when using these denser lines; and a ‘max brake mode’ for challenging casts (under docks and piers) or extreme conditions, and also the perfect mode for those who now want to fish with the advantages provide by baitcasting reels.


The DC cast control dial is accessible externally at the front corner of the new reel


The SLX is definitely targeted at mainstream anglers, up and coming anglers, and value oriented anglers that still demand performance.


“Any angler who has what we describe as a ‘control freak’ attitude when it comes to fishing and their fishing reels with thoroughly enjoy a day on the water with an SLX DC reel,” notes Shimano’s Marketing Manager, Kurt Mazurek, who is both an avid bass angler and a key player in Shimano’s efforts to introduce to the new reels to accomplished tournament anglers, the ever-growing high school and college bass fishing team scene, and those who simply have been scared off of baitcasting reels due to backlashes. “At Shimano, we know there are conditions when fishing that can’t be controlled, with we can offer anglers the ability to have complete control over their casting with the features found in the SLX DC reels.”


Retailing at $189.99 each the SLX has the unique distinction of being the first domestic reel to make use of the company's DC system and retail for under 200 dollars, and puts the series well within reach of just about all anglers and all budgets. These new SLX DC Series reels are sure to be a hot commodity and will become available at retailers and e-tailers in the November timeframe and e-tailers including Tackle Warehouse are starting to take pre-orders now.









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