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ICAST 2019 Update Coverage

One for the Enthusiasts: The Shimnao Antares A70 Baitcaster with MGIII


Small but Mighty, the Megabass Dark Sleeper Swimbait
SOLID! The Shimano Bantam MGL Baitcaster

Selecting the right Rod, Reel, and Line for Your Walking Bait Arsenal


Enthusiast Reel Review (Comparison)

Round One of the TackleTour SuperCast Shootout: The Abu Garcia Mörrum Ultra Mag S2 SX1601C vs Shimano Conquest 101DC (continued)

Drag: Both reels deliver smooth, drag performance with up to four to four and a half pounds of maximum drag pressure as tested in our lab. Both reels also sport micro-click adjustable drag stars. The Abu, in particular, emits a very unique clicking sound that enhances the experience. Initial pulls on everything from largemouth bass to feisty spots to even hard pulling carp revealed flawless performance. Between the two, Shimano edges out Abu in silkiness as Shimano's proven componentry is just too much to overcome. Winner: Conquest

Detailing on the Ultra Mag is modest at best but the ZPI spool upgrade gives this reel a little extra flare

Ergonomics: This is where the two reels begin to separate more clearly. The Abu Garcia gains points for it's more than one ounce weight savings over the Shimano but then loses those points almost immediately with the almost awkward way the reel fits in one's palm. In addition, the plastic thumbar on the Abu is just a tad off when clicking the reel over to make a cast. We've read this reel is designed primarily for pitching presentations, and while the thumbar is placed well for this type of grip, we found it was too high and often in the way when shifting our hand slighty to make an overhead or sidearm cast with the reel.

Detaling on the Conquest 101 DC is exquisite

Conversely, the Conquest 101DC, with its recessed reel seat and padded, metal thumbar is about as comfortable as a 100 sized round baitcaster can be. Its palming profile is very comfortable and its rounded edges comfort your palm rather than dig into it after a full day of use. The stock handle is a bit short, but we replaced he handles in both these reels so this factor was neutralized in this comparison.
Winner: Conquest

The Conquest sits slightly lower in the reel seat than does the Abu Ultra Mag and is the more comfortable of the two to palm

Design: With the added accents of the ZPI upgrades, our Ultra Mag S2 is almost exciting. However, there is simply no getting over the very plain and industrial detailing of this reel. The Conquest 101 DC, on the other hand, is exquisite. I'm not normally a fan of combining silver and gold detailing, but what Shimano has done with their DC reels is truly exceptional. While the stock handle of the Conquest 101DC is nothing to scoff at aesthetically, the ZPI Carbon enhancement, with its added length, compliments this reel to no end. Winner: Conquest

Not without its own distinctiveness yet still on the conservative side, we welcomed the introduction of the ZPI spool upgrade on this reel for added pizzaz


Abu Garcia Mörrum Ultra Mag S2 SX1601C Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Swedish construction at its finest. But minus points in material selection for the thumbar and line guide 8
Performance There is ALMOST no beating Swedish engineering 9
Price MSRP for this reel is a bit steep 7.5
Features Stock features are modest, but with our upgrades, this reel is quite exceptional 9
Design (Ergonomics) Too high in the reel seat and an awkward thumbar 7
Application Intended primarily as a pitching reel and probably better suited for this application given the ergonomics of the thumbar 8

Total Score


Abu Garcia Mörrum Ultra Mag S2 SX1601C Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

J Swedish Engineered Precision L A little on the conservative side in appearance
J Micro-Click Adjustable Drag with a very unique sound and feel  L Plastic thumbar and line guide
J External Brake Adjustment  L Sits high on the reel seat
J ZPI Available Upgrades  L Awkward thumbar


The Shimano Conquest 101DC's exquisite detailing


Shimano Conquest 101 DC (?/10)

Construction/Quality Shimano at its best - except for the backplay 9
Performance Near perfect...nuff said 9.5
Price Shimano's priciest bass sized casting reel 7.5
Features DC Cast Control, Dartanium Drag, ultra smooth gearing 9.5
Design (Ergonomics) Excellent palming size and comfort. Exquisite detailing. All the performance of the larger reel in a tiny package 10
Application Casting + Pitching + fresh or saltwater applications 9

Total Score


Shimano Conquest 101 DC Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

J Comfortable to palm even for a round baitcaster L Stock handle is undersized
J Smooth performance  
J Digital Cast control is outstanding complete with sound effects  
J Fantastic drag  

Conclusion: If there's one thing for certain, it's that both of these reels are incredible pieces of machinery. The Shimano Conquest 101DC is simply the more contemporary of the two reels. The Abu Garcia Mörrum Ultra Mag S2 SX1601C is a reel that will appeal to the true traditionalist and it's a reel we'd like to see Abu Garcia update with a lower position on the rod, a more ergonomic thumbar, and no plastic parts. For now, in round one of our first ever SuperCast shootout, the Shimano Conquest 101DC simply had too much offense for its Abu competitor. Stay tuned for the next round in our playoffs where Daiwa Japan will take on Daiwa Japan in a sibling rivalry with the winner to go head to head with the Conquest 101DC in the main event.












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