Shimano Unveils New Citica I Series Low Profile Reels for Mainstream Anglers
Introduction: Information on new products from a number of
manufacturers continues to be leaked or released in greater frequency, which is
the norm this time of year as manufacturers gear up for ICAST. As a preemptive
strike ahead of this year’s show Shimano is unveiling the new Citica I Series
In advance of ICAST Shimano is
unveiling the redesign of their Citica Series
The Citica Series has always played a supportive role to the popular Curado line
and this year the new reels seem to continue to follow that methodology. The
Curado I Series has been a big winner for Shimano, winning back anglers with an
ergonomic design, external cast control of the excellent SVS system, and
powerful cranking thanks to the X-Ship technology, all of which is available for
a reasonable price of $179.99 dollars for any of the three retrieve ratios
(5.5:1, 6.3:1, and 7.2:1).
The new reel makes use of
Shimano's Hagane design concept and metal components for greater frame rigidity
Shimano must be thinking “why mess with a good thing” with the redesign of the
Citica as the new I-Series clearly features the same platform as the Curado. The
new Citica I not only looks identical to the Curado I in footprint it also
weighs in the same at right around 7.4oz.
The reel weighed in right between
7.4 and 7.5oz.
The Citica I leverages much of the same technology as the Curado as well, and we
are happy to see that Shimano decided to keep the same “Hagane Body” which
features use of metal versus graphite in the reel’s body for greater rigidity
and a more stable platform in which to transfer raw cranking power. The Citica I
also now gets the same X-Ship system which is designed to give the reel
increased gearing by efficiently transmitting each turn of the handle.
Look familiar? The Curado I and
Citica I are clearly cut from the same cloth
The Citica I also gets Shimano’s S3D (Stable Spool Design) technology which
starts with a more balanced and uniform thin wall spool constructed out of
aluminum to reduce vibration during casts. As with the Curado I the new Citica
features the same basic externally adjustable SVS infinity braking system which
we have found to be excellent at not only controlling casts but helping maximize
casting distance and accuracy.
The Citica I features a thin
walled S3D aluminum spool
The SVS system makes use of brake weights that use inner friction against a
raceway found on the non-handle sideplate, which also features an easy takedown
swing out design. The external adjustment makes it easy to make quick changes in
the field for various lure types and weights.
Externally adjustable SVS cast
control system... check!
We just received our test reels and haven’t had time to put the Citica I through
the complete range of lab tests yet, but from what we have seen the new reel
seems to have a near identical drag system. The bearing count is all also the
same as the Curado I at 5+1 and the components on the drag star and the handle
are identical as well, just with a more stealthy black anodizing on the handle.
Overall the new Citica’s finish is a little more conservative than the Curado I
and yet in many respects it reminds us of older generation Curados.
The Citica I (right) has a darker
more stealthy look that the Curado I with the black anodized handle and single
color frame and sideplates
While we really like the fact that Shimano is delivering all the great features
of the Curado I we have to wonder if the identity of the new reel will be able
to stand on its own, or will the new Citica I be so good that it cannibalizes
some of the share now held by the Curado I? If anglers want the more powerful
5.5:1 retrieve ratio they will need to stick with the Curado I as the Citica I
will be available in only the more traditional 6.3:1 and fast 7.3:1 retrieve
To sum it all up the Citica I is
basically the new more affordable sibling of the award winning Curado I
So who will the Citica I likely appeal to? Once you get over the fact the new
reels are a virtual clone of the Curado Series mainstream anglers that are
looking for a well-rounded workhorse reel will likely find that the Citica I not
only checks all the boxes but now represents an even better value than the
already reasonably priced Cuardo I. The new Citica I reels retail for $149.99
for all models, which is $30 dollars cheaper than the Curado I reels. The new
Citica I reels will be officially introduced at the upcoming ICAST show but we
have confirmed that a limited number of reels are shipping to select tackle
dealers in the U.S. and Canada this week so owning a new Citica I prior to the
official launch is certainly possible.