A Step Forward, An Inside Look at the New Shimano Curado
Introduction: The Shimano Curado was first introduced in 1991 and
since that time has represented Shimano’s workhorse baitcasting reel. These low
profile baitcasters have certainly evolved over time, increasing in both
features and refinement. Officially launched last week at the Bassmaster Classic
Expo we were excited to get the reel back home and on water. We were able to get
only two days on the water before California finally received some much needed
rain. With the storms rolling in we kept the momentum going and headed into the
lab to break down the Curado and take our first look inside the new reel.
The Curado I comes to the TT Lab.
This new reel weighs in at 7.4oz. and feels solid in hand with an aluminum frame
and reinforced graphite sideplates
Capacity - Rated
Capacity - Spool Volume
+ 1 RB
The side of the Curado I is
aggressively styled, all the way from the swept handle to the angular gearbox
Looking at recent history the popular Curado “D” delivered extreme
reliability while the “E” made a nice leap forward in ergonomics. For many
anglers, even die-hard Shimano fans, the 2011 Curado G was a step backwards. Not
only did it share the same bloated profile and similar build of materials as the
lower-end Caenan, but the Curado E was painted white and introduced as the
Chronarch E Series, replacing one of the best Chronarch’s to date, the D Series
which felt solid and refined yet ultimately proved simply too expensive to
manufacture. This opened the door for many competitors and Shimano knew they had
to deliver something big with the Curado Series.
Unlike the Chronarch 150CI4+ the
Curado I has a cast control dial hidden in the front of the non handle sideplate
so that it is flat for palming comfort
The first thing you notice about the new Curado I is that it is no longer green.
So long "Green Machine," the new reel features a silver and grey pearl finish
that reminds us of the venerable Curado D, and looks right at home next to
Shimano’s high-end reels including the Metanium. The Curado I also has a much
more aggressive profile than the last reel, with angles that all seem to flow
forward, including the enlarged gearbox. Even the SVS infinity cast control knob
is placed strategically in front of the non-handle sideplate, making it possible
to make adjustments while still palming the reel.
Under the "Escape Hatch" we find
the SVS Infinity cast control system
Accessing the Curado’s spool has never been easier, and we were excited to
discover that Shimano gave the Curado I a flip down sideplate called the “Escape
Hatch.” Simply flip the switch positioned on the underside of the reel forward
and the spring loaded non-handle sideplate will pop out and downwards, revealing
the spool and inner workings of the cast control system. This eliminates the
risk of accidentally dropping the sideplate in the field, but thanks to the
externally adjustable SVS cast control system there is also now much less reason
to access the spool in general.
The non handle sideplate remains
attached at all times
The SVS Infinity Cast Control blends the reliability and consistency of a
centrifugal casting system with an easy to adjust external control. The swinging
brake weights are positioned on the end of the spool and adjustments on the
control dial place additional friction on the system during the cast,
controlling spool speed efficiently during each cast, functioning similarly to
the systems found on the premium Metanium and Antares baitcasters.
The drag star is made out of
aluminum and houses a reliable spring loaded audible clicker
Our initial thoughts on the system are very positive, and we found it was
easy to make adjustments to fine-tune for casting everything from deep diving
cranks to weightless rigged plastics. The small numbers, one through six which
are found on the dial, provide a good visual indicator of the current setting.
There isn't more resistance placed on the dial the further you adjust as
rotation only moves the brake pipe forwards and backwards via the gear system
that is concealed within the non-handle sideplate.
An inside look at the new Curado I
reveals the small toothed gearing
Not only is the system easy to adjust on the fly but it allows for very long
distance casts when dialed back, as well as very easy to control pitches when
more precision is required. X-Ship also plays a factor here as bearings support
the pinion gear on both ends, helping to maintain proper alignment with the
drive gear and reduce friction between the spool shaft and gearing. An added
benefit to this design is that the gears stay in the same position under
pressure, delivering a smooth powerful feel, similarly to how the design works
on the Company’s big game Calcutta and Tranx reels.
The Curado I's S3D spool features
thinner more consistent walls to improve balance and reduce vibration
Next Section: A look at the "Cross