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Event Article: 2006 ICAST Reel Coverage

ICAST Coverage Day 1 (Reels) - Paradise for Reel Enthusiasts in Las Vegas

Date: 7/19/06
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Admission: Buyers & Press only
Reviewer: Team TackleTour

Introduction: Fishing reels have come a long way, and are much more than just mechanical multipliers of days past. Today’s reels make use of the latest technology, and some would even dare to say are functional works of art. Precision engineering, innovative designs, and improved ergonomics are all characteristics of the reels we have observed here in Las Vegas at day one of ICAST 2006. It quickly became evident to us that this year the reel offerings are a reel enthusiast's dream come true. 


ICAST is the highlight of the year for both manufacturers and tackle junkies. It is here in "Sin City" that tackle manufacturers are finally able to showcase there wares for the industry media and buyers. We were all eager to see firsthand what will soon be shipping to the major catalog and retail stores. 


Jeremy Sweet, Shimano Product Manager unveils the Calais DC 4x8 at ICAST


Shimano:  We already knew Shimano was bringing out the big guns months ago, when we first got wind from Japan that the Antares DC had been officially hatched. Jeremy Sweet, Reel Product Manager for Shimano greeted us at the Shimano booth where Jimmy Houston was already answering questions about the new Calais DC 4x8.  The Calais DC is the reel many of us have been waiting for since the initial introduction of the Calcutta TE DC. The original DC system had one pre-programmed braking curve on the PCB inside the reel. Then there were eight settings on the reel to increase and decrease the amount of braking. This was a great curve, and suitable for most bass fishing however the system was not as good for slow spool speed applications like short flips and pitches.


Jimmy Houston walks through the advantages over the previous TE DC cast system

The new Calais DC 4x8 has not one but four different mode profiles, and eight settings for a total of 32 different variations of braking. These profiles are X, L, A, and W. 


X Mode: Extreme Distance mode is designed for casting extreme distances in ideal environmental situations. This curve is designed for casting low-profile metal lures like jigs and spoons. 


L  Mode: Long Distance mode controls backlashes immediately upon releasing the bait and analyzes spool rotation during the middle portion of the cast. This is the mode most anglers will use for the majority of their applications, and is ideal for low air resistance baits like jerkbaits, lipless cranks, and plugs.


The Calais DC is stunning


A Mode: Accuracy Mode addresses the biggest limitation with the original TE DC, the challenge of controlling low rotation speeds. This mode now generates enough force to deal with low speeds and brakes during all portions of the cast. This is the mode for those that enjoy flipping, pitching, and skipping. 


W Mode: Wind mode is designed to do exactly what it sounds like...deal with wind gusts. To prevent backlashes in headwinds by adding or subtracting brake force immediately after the lure is released. By constantly updating the amount of force anglers can actually cast further without fear of a backlash. 


Remember, all of these modes can be fine tuned with one of 8 settings accessible with the switch outside of the reel. 


Zander and Cal examine the new reel


Ergonomically the Calais DC is an absolute beauty. The reel's lines are ergonomically sculpted and will appeal to anglers that love the original. Other upgrades from the original Calais include a power handle and enlarged Septon grips. The drag star is cold forged and drilled and looks extremely aggressive in appearance. The spool is a black version of the ultra thin walled Magnumlite spool first introduced on the Curado. 


Head on view, notice the power handles on this burner version


The Calais DC will be available in both right and left hand retrieve, and comes loaded with a total of 11 bearings. The reel is only available in a ultra fast 7.0:1 gear ratio and weighs in at 9.5oz. Retail price for the Calais DC will be 649.99. 


The side view


In addition to the Calais DC Shimano also follows up the success of their Curado series with a 300DSV. "The new Curado 300DSV will change the way you think about low profile baitcasting reels. Now you can expect large reel performance in a sleek, comfortable design that offers all of these benefits: High Speed and Power, Excellent casting performance, comfort and maneuverability, and high line capacity" said Jeremy Sweet.     


The reel features a asymmetrical spool opening and a Magnumlite spool


Though the Curado 300DSV boasts a massive 240yd capacity with 12lb test it doesn't really look all that much bigger than the 200. It features a ultra deep spool that makes use of Magnumlite design. This reel was designed with power in mind and is the new workhorse reel in Shimano's baitcasting lineup. In fact, Jeremy fully encourages anglers to use this reel for saltwater applications. 


The quick takedown plate reviews both sets of controls

To test the durability of this reel the CU300DSV was field tested in Argentina by Jeremy and the legendary Larry Dahlberg. Hundreds of Golden Dorado up to 60 pounds were caught and released over four days of intense action. 


The new Curado 300DSV, is a low profile baitcaster with serious round reel capabilities


The lures were utterly destroyed by these hard hitting fish, that would charge the marlin chuggers at full retrieve speed. No other reel was up to the techniques used, and no line survived through the tests...but the Curado 3000DSV walked away without a scratch.


The spool is extra deep for saltwater applications but still casts great due to Magnumlite design which features ultra thin spool walls


Though not as highlighted as the Calais DC and the Curado DSV, mainstream anglers will be very interested to learn that the Citica will now be available in a 100 size. The DSV comes with a standard deep spool, not the Lo-Mass drilled spool. This actually bumps up reel capacity for a reel of this size. A Curado DSV model 100 is also on the way.


Meet the newest Citica, the CI100DSV


The Citica 100DSV will feature a 6.2:1 ratio and weighs in at only 7.4oz, which is exactly the same as the Curado 100D. It will retail for $119.00 just like the other Citicas. Unfortunately for now left hand fans will have to wait as only the right hand version has been announced. 


This reel is a mainstream palmers dream come true, and a great deal for all those who looked at the Curado 100D but wished for a reel closer to the 100 dollar price point


Jeremy Sweet holds up Shimano's exciting new reels the Calais DC and the Curado 300DSV

Next Section: Daiwa goes straight up Enthusiast!









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