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Event Article: 2008 ICAST Coverage

Shimano redefines the Clarus, Convergence, and Scimitar rod lines

Date: 7/16/08
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Manufacturer: Shimano
Reviewer: Team TackleTour





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 palming comfort


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 year warranty


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.











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