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ICAST 2019 Update Coverage

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TT Exclusive: The First Look Inside the Shimano Calcutta D (continued)

The Calcutta series has always been known for elegant simplicity in design. This is one of the reasons why the reel is so popular among anglers that fish both fresh and saltwater because it not only is extremely reliable but also easy to perform routine maintenance on.


The drag system exposed


The Calcutta D is no different and there are only four screws on the handle side to remove to access the entire reel once the handle has been removed. To remove the handle anglers need only use a coin to remove the locking screw and then unscrew the X-Drag knob. Underneath and connected to the handle is a flange that extends downwards to apply pressure onto the internal drag washers.


The entire gearbox assembly lifts right out of the frame


The Calcutta is able to deliver a very smooth drag with a wide range of settings by sandwiching six composite and steel washers within the gearing. The entire gearbox on the Calcutta D is mounted on a composite housing that cannot corrode. The entire assembly can be lifted out of the one piece aluminum frame which exposes the spool.


With the gearbox removed we can finally access the spool


Removing this assembly is the only way to access the spool. By pulling out the spool anglers will find the VBS system with six adjustable brakeweights. Anglers will need to commit to the adjustments they make since it is not possible to change the brakeweight settings on the fly without a quick access sideplate. The benefit of this design is the solid feel we experienced earlier as well as extra protection from corrosion for the spool bearings as well as the frame.


The VBS system is located on the other side of the spool


The entire frame and sideplate, inside and out, are coated with Shimano's E.I. surface treatment which protects the reel's bare aluminum material from corrosion and abrasion. This coating gives the reel a brilliant silver finish that feels smooth yet is not slippery when gripped.


Inside the frame is the fully isolated spool bearing


The Calcutta was one of the easiest round reels that we have ever broke down, and we could easily perform a major service on this reel in the same time it takes to just break down some competing round reels currently on the market.  


Simple and elegant, the new Calcutta D is among the easiest and fastest reels to disassemble and maintain

With the reel re-assembled we were able to make a few casts inthe parking lot before the sun set. The biggest question over the long term is probably how the X-Drag performs in the field as well as the hidden VBS system, and we really look forward to putting the reel through the paces in the field when we get back from Florida. From what we have seen thus far this new Calcutta stays true to what makes this series so popular and yet manages to up the ante significantly when it comes to cranking power, drag design, corrosion resistance, and palming ergonomics. One of the things we really appreciate about Shimano is that they are constantly looking at ways to innovate and push the design envelope. This ICAST they could have easily added the X-Ship and E.I. coating features to the existing Calcutta series and called it a day, instead they are taking a risk and are rolling out an asymmetrical reel with a completely re-thought out drag concept. Fearless design is always a gamble but it helps move the entire industry forward, and with an appetizer like this we cannot wait for the main course that is ICAST 2012. See you in Florida!  









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