2008 ICAST Coverage
Shimano redefines the Clarus, Convergence, and Scimitar rod lines
Introduction: Mid way through the season Shimano surprised us with the
introduction of their Lucanus system, so it stood to reason that this ICAST the
company would focus on freshwater rods. Like the strategy with reels Shimano's
rod team refreshed the mid range of their lineup starting with the very rod that
put Shimano back into the rod game, the Clarus.
Shimano introduces a brand new
cleaner more refined Clarus lineup
The Clarus can be likened to the Curado in
importance, and represents the big volume mover. When the Clarus first debuted
it was met with glowing reviews by consumers that finally felt like there was a
Shimano rod worthy of the company's reels. Since then the company has introduced
higher end rods including the popular Crucial and premium entry, the Cumara.
The new Clarus rods make use of
darkly colored IM-7 blanks
The Cumara while mild in styling compared to JDM
offerings, is still considered a rather bold domestic rod. The clean styling
makes it a popular choice for pairing with both Core and Chronarch Mg reels.
Looking at the new Clarus rods we can definitely see some of the Cumara's clean
styling elements translated into this more affordable rod.
The Clarus rods are equipped with
Fuji Concept lightweight aluminum oxide guides
So what does the new cleaner more refined Clarus
offer anglers this season? Shimano starts with a higher grade IM7 graphite blank
and adds Fuji New Concept Aluminum Oxide Guides, grade A cork grips, and Fuji
graphite reel seats.
Below the Clarus line the
Convergence rods get a series makeover as well
Justin Poe, rod product manager at Shimano worked
on all the rods refining the action, so even those with the same specification
and numbering as previous versions will feel more refined in feel. There were a
lot of rods to go through, and Shimano is introducing a whopping 71 new skus.
Selected casting models come
equipped with Shimano's bio-grip exposed reel seat that is designed to improve
The one thing that didn't change is the fact that
the new Clarus A remains an exceptional value at only 69 to 89 dollars each
depending on rod.
The Convergence rods also make use
of Fuji Aluminum Oxide guides. Like the Clarus rods the Convergence series comes
with Shimano's lifetime over the counter warranty
Convergence A: Positioned below the Clarus
A are the updated Convergence A rods. The blanks bear a similar appearance to
the new Clarus, just in a brown color. The blanks on the Convergence A are IM6
but the rods make use of Aluminum Oxide guides as well. Another differentiator
are the custom biogrip reel seats.
Shimano's Scimitar series now
features a cleaner design and is designed to perform beyond their affordable sub
40 dollar price point
Like the Clarus great effort was put into
improving the refinement of the action in the Convergence A series. The
Convergence series will now retail for 49 to 79 dollars depending on model, and
there are a total of 41 new skus being introduced.
The Scimitar rods come with a 1
Scimitar A: Finally we come to the
extremely affordable new Scimitar A. While not glamorous the Scimitar A is
designed to get the job done, but with styling that parallels the Clarus A and
Convergence A the updated series looks a whole lot more polished than the
previous version. Along with the upgraded appearance the Scimitar A features a
graphite blank, diamond polished aluminum oxide guide rings, and custom reel
seats. There will be 24 new rods in this series, and best of all is that they
will retail for only 39-59 dollars.
Shimano rod product Manager Justin
Poe holds up the new Clarus while Woody sneaks into the picture
Conclusion: The Clarus A was the most
exciting new offering in the Shimano freshwater rod lineup, and will pair very
well with the updated Citica E reels for a total outfit that only costs a little
more than 200 dollars. if you already own a rod from the previous series it is
interesting to compare the differences side by side. Not only do the new rods
feel more crisp and refined they look much cleaner, and now the Clarus,
Convergence, and Scimitar rods all look like siblings in a series. Mainstream
anglers rejoice, Shimano's new mainstream rod offerings offer plenty of
sophistication for less than the cost of a tank of gas.