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ICAST 2019 Update Coverage

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Reel Review

The Shimano Caenan, a Mainstream Contender (continued)


Price & Applications: So just where does the Caenan play? This reel is positioned below the Citica series and is the mainstream performer of the bunch. The 90 dollar price point is always a tough section of the market to compete in, and anglers have to be willing to make some sacrifices in terms of materials and refinement, in the case of the Caenan those sacrifices are noticeable. I prefer the Citica E over this reel in both performance and ergonomics, and the price premium in my opinion is worth the extra delta. While the E-Series reels are still available now that option is quickly disappearing as reels are being gobbled up at retailers and e-tailers nationwide as sale prices are in place to liquidate the remaining current generation reels and make room for the incoming G-Series.


The Caenan makes use of a ceramic line guide and is rated for mono, fluorocarbon, and PowerPro lines


In the future the liens further blend together as the G-Series Citica and Curado reels now feature the exact same form factor as the current Caenan, but make use of a more rigid aluminum frame. We havenít fished the new reels yet but you can be sure we will be comparing them in detail once they become available. Do the new aluminum frames improve and fix some of power issues we saw with the Caenan? Will consumers welcome the updated look and feel of the Citica and Curado G reels, or will they be left wishing they had stocked up on the E-Series? Only time will tell.


The Caenan is made in Malaysia


I personally still prefer the clean compact look and feel of the E-Series, and while I am glad that this can still be had via the updated Chronarch E-Series I am also sad to see the elegant Chronarch D get phased out. Shimano was looking to better tie the Citica, Curado, and Chronarch series together, and while the new Chronarch reels look a lot sportier with their two tone finishes I find it hard to get over the fact these are simply slightly up-tuned Curadoís from yesteryear.


The Caenan is great for smaller fish but with bigger fish and more pressure on the line the cranking power loss is noticeable


Keeping the new reels in mind the Caenan continues to slot in below the three brothers (Citica, Curado, and Chronarch) and even though it came out first it is basically the down-spec version of the Citica and Curado G reels. The reel gets the job done and can be used in saltwater, thanks to the absence of a metal frame and shielded ball bearings, but it is the lack of a aluminum frame that gives this reel somewhat of a hollow feel and less power under load. Overall the Caenan is a decent workhorse reel for a sound price, you just have to be realistic about what it is and what it isnít, this is by no means a proper comparison with a Curado E, and it remains to be seen how it stacks up to the Curado G.


Ratings: (We've re-calibrated our ratings standard for 2008 and have included a key at the bottom of the following matrix as a guide):

Shimano Caenan 100 Baitcaster Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality The Caenan is rated GOOD in this category makes use of lower grade materials than the higher end siblings and use of graphite throughout helps make this reel affordable but gives the reel a somewhat hollow feel 7
Performance The reel performs well in casting and the drag while simple did the job, unfortunately the lack of HEG gearing and the flex in the graphite frame leave a lot to be desired when it comes to translating cranking power efficiently 6.5
Price The Caenan gets good points here and is a reasonably priced reel all things considered, but given the option I'd still pony up for the Citica or Curado E. We will soon see if the same holds true for the new G-Series 8
Features A FAIR rating here. The Caenan has a lot of the Shimano mainstream features but a lot the refinement that we like about mid-range to premium Shimano baitcasters is missing in this reel 6
Design (Ergonomics) The Caenan is a workhorse reel and held up well over the entire season but when compared with other higher priced siblings the reel really wasn't able to stack up to the Citica E which can now be found online for just a bit more. Anglers will either love or hate the round EVA grips on the Caenan, and I personally prefer the design on spinning reels more than on a low profile baitcaster like this. The Caenan does do a good job weighing in at a very respectable 7.2oz. and balances out well with many rods 7
Application The Caenan 100 only comes in one retrieve ratio but it can be used in saltwater applications, but once again that cranking power makes this reel best used for smaller species 7

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:

                 Plus                                    Minus

+ Even though there is no Super Free the Caenan casts well - Cranking power when there is pressure on the line
+ Recessed reel foot makes the reel easier to palm - Could be more refined, not the same fluid feel of many Shimano reels, past and present
+ Low overall weight - Noticeable play in the handle
+ Corrosion resistant and rated for saltwater  
+ Reasonable price  


Conclusion: We are used to seeing some really good product from Shimano and while the Caenan leverages a lot of what makes Shimano baitcasters so good including VBS cast control, a low-mass spool that starts up quickly, a quality clutch design, but when it comes to sheer winding power the Caenan falls short when there is pressure on the line.


It may not be the most refined Shimano reel but the Caenan gets the job done at a reasonable price


While the Caenan may not be the most refined reel it does get the job done, and though cranking refinement and power were not as good as some of Shimanoís other reels we have to consider that this particular reel is also very aggressively priced. The Caenan proved to be light and exhibited very respectable ergonomics but at the end of the tests I found that I still favor both the look and feel of the higher-end E-Series reels, and given the opportunity would prefer to spend the extra money to get into one of those more sophisticated offerings. Especially when there are still some really good deals to be had on last season reels from e-tailers right now. For those anglers that really want to stick to that 90 dollar price point the Caenan will deliver, but it leaves us even more curious as to just how the new similarly styled but souped up aluminum based Citica and Curado G will fish.


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