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Enthusiast Reel Review


Beware the Bait Finesse Addiction : Shimano's Scorpion BFS (continued)

Retrieve: The Scorpion BFS comes with an eighty four millimeter (84mm) handle and almost tear dropped shaped knobs that are not contoured for left or right hand retrieve. Turning the handle reveals a somewhat smooth retrieve on what appears to be some type of composite material main gear. It's actually what Shimano is referring to as "Hyper-tensile brass". It's odd because the main gear is all black and we associate brass with being, well, brass colored, but it's obviously a brass alloy. It has the effect of making this reel unusually stealthy inside.

The drag washer is relatively small and the main gear looks like a composite material - it's "Hyper-Tensile Brass".

Drag: The Scorpion BFS has a very light, finesse drag rated at only 3.5Kg (~7.7lbs) maximum pressure. That's certainly more than enough if you're using fishing line that's rated at six pounds or less.

The interesting characteristic of the Shimano BFS's drag however is that it comes bait click enabled and makes a sound much akin to a spinning reel when you have a fish at the end of the line pulling drag.

The heart of that clicking drag (upper left washer, and mushroom pin and spring, center).

The Scorpion BFS is half an ounce lighter than the standard Scorpion 70.

Design & Ergonomics: As mentioned earlier, the Scorpion BFS appears to be made out of the same shell as the Scorpion 70 only it's a half ounce lighter than the 70. Mounted on the TX-713 K2, the reel is super easy to palm. The 84mm handle is a good length with the only thing really missing on this reel being the custom contoured knobs for left or right hand retrieve. We only really miss them because Shimano started this practice years and years ago. The tear drop shaped knobs on the Scorpion BFS are actually perfectly comfortable.

There's one bearing and one bushing under each knob.

The plastic bushing at the levelwind worm gear.

Back to the guts we discovered the Scorpion BFS is X-Ship enabled and has one bearing and one bushing per knob, and a plastic bushing at the levelwind worm gear. The audible clicking drag is not a feature you can turn on and off unless you're up for disassembling the reel and removing the mushroom pin and spring.

That extra bearing in the frame where the pinion gear meets the spool equals X-Ship.

Formerly the realm of super pricey reels, this BFS beauty can be had for right around $268.

Price & Applications: The Scorpion BFS, is of course, a reel built for light line and light bait applications. Given its super shallow spool, there's really nothing else you can do. Formerly the realm of super pricey reels, this BFS beauty can be had for right around $268 depending on your JDM reel source of choice. That's certainly not a budget price point but it won't necessarily break your tackle budget either.


2017 Shimano Scorpion BFS Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality A solid Scorpion tier reel with just a small amount of play in the handle 9
Performance The ease with which it casts a drop shot rig was quite surprising 9
Price Good value in a BFS enabled baitcaster 7.5
Features Externally adjustable magnetic brakes... is this really a Shimano? ... double bearing supported pinion (X-Ship) and standard length handle... 3 spare brake magnets to customize your settings 8
Design (Ergonomics) Lighter than the Scorpion 70 and just as comfortable to palm 9
Application A very solid performing BFS option and one to consider seriously if you're on a budget (rated saltwater safe) 8.5

Total Score

Ratings Key: 1 = terrible : 2 = poor : 3 = lacking : 4 = sub par : 5 = mediocre : 6 = fair : 7 = good : 8 = great : 9 = excellent : 10 = unbelievable!
For More Details of the updated rating system visit our explanation here


Pluses and Minuses:


+ Excellent ergonomics - Line Capacity - but you know that going in
+ Fine casting performance  
+ Great feature-set  
+ Good value overall  

Conclusion: Given my experience with the Shimano Brenious, I really wasn't expecting much when it came to the Scorpion BFS. Of course, where we were taking a product designed for one thing and using it for another in the Brenious, the Scorpion line has always been made to target bass, so the Scorpion BFS is Shimano's true, more budget minded attempt at a reel for those wanting to fish finesse bass techniques with a casting reel.

If you're an enthusiast on a budget and are looking for a true BFS reel to support your light line addiction, you should put the Scorpion BFS near the top of your list.


Like most fishing reel products, when Shimano puts their minds to it, they get it right and they got it so right with the Scorpion BFS. They even shifted their braking paradigm by going magnetic instead of centrifugal just for the purposes of this reel. If you're an enthusiast on a budget and are looking for a true BFS reel to support your light line addiction, you should put the Scorpion BFS near the top of your list. In fact, the Scorpion BFS is such a good value, it has earned our Best Value Award!Beware the bait finesse addiction.


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