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Reel Article: Shimano Calais DC Preview

Inside the new Shimano Calais DC (continued)

DC 4x8 is born: The original 8 settings available on the TE DC proved to be excellent for long distance casts but not nearly as good for short accurate techniques like flipping and pitching. These are techniques that are most often used with a low profile baitcaster, so addressing these issues was a key priority with eth Calais. To provide the greatest range of flexibility for anglers Shimano developed four very different modes, each of which is complete with its own range of eight settings….thus a total of 32 different settings is now available with the new Calais. Let’s take a closer look at each of the four modes (X, L, A, & W).


Check out that drag star! Cold forged and drilled


X Mode: (Extreme Distance) When it comes to sheer distance the X-Mode will get your lure going the absolute farthest. This mode is designed only for optimal conditions and the curve does a good job casting heavy metal lures with low wind resistance like jigs and spoons. This mode is ideal for casting competitions and surf casting but not recommended for normal fishing situations. In this mode brake settings lower than X-4 should really only be used by expert casters in absolutely perfect conditions.


The sideplate remains attached as you adjust to one of the four modes


L Mode: (Long Distance) L-Mode is most similar to the original Calcutta TE DC’s system, and is designed to control backlashes immediately upon releasing the bait and analyzes spool rotation during the middle portion of the cast. This setting is great for a wide range of baits, and will serve bassmen well. It provides more control than a VBS equipped reel and adds distance to each and every cast. L-Mode is all about fewer backlashes, less effort and overall longer casting distances.


A Mode: (Accuracy) A-Mode does not utilize compensation braking like X & L modes. Instead, it continues to brake during all portions of the cast. This is the strongest braking mode and is designed to prevent overruns by reducing spool rotation immediately after the cast and then continuing to add tension after the middle stage of the cast. This mode is basically what the old circuit was lacking and is ideal for accuracy casting styles like pitching and skipping.


The Calais uses a Magnumlite spool for the quickest start up


W Mode: (Wind Mode) This mode is designed to combat the elements. When wind hits it slows down the lure, not the spool…causing backlashes. This mode actively prevents these types of backlashes by constantly updating the amount of brake force depending on how the lure acts in the wind. This mode is ideal for striper fishing, when lures with a fixed center of gravity are used (crankbaits, jerkbaits, spinnerbaits, buzzbaits, or any lure that does not cut through the air). The W mode analyzes spool speed and adjusts the amount of braking force to ensure that the spool is spinning just fast enough to allow line to keep up with the lure but not surpass it causing a backlash.


A close up of the heart of the system

Refinement: Mechanically the Calais DC is just as advanced as it’s new digital circuit heart. The reel uses the company’s most advanced Magnumlite spool, and a tapered Titanium levelwind insert provides the lowest startup friction of any Shimano insert. The Escape Hatch sideplate makes it easy to switch between master modes, and fine tuning on the water is easy with the external switch. The US model differs slightly from the Antares DC as it features a large cranking handle complete with Septon PV power handles. The reel’s drag star is cold forged and drilled, and the Calais rests upon an ultra low recessed reel foot. It is available in both right and left hand retrieves, generates 12lbs of drag courtesy of Dartanium disks, and features 11 A-RB bearings for a fluid feel. The reel is currently only available in ultra fast 7.0:1 gear ratio, capable of pulling in 31 inches per crank. The extras do add up and the Calais weighs in at 9.5oz, which is .2oz heavier than the CL200ASV.

To minimize friction Shimano engineered a tapered levelwind insert

Conclusion: The Calais DC is shipping now, and will be available just about everywhere Shimanos are sold. This reel is the flagship of not only the Calais line, but all of Shimano’s casting reels. Price of ownership is $649.99. That is certainly a lot to pay for a fishing reel, but the Calais DC is so much more than just “another” baitcasting reel. This reel has the refinement of a swiss watch, the brains of a PDA, the style of a exotic sports car, and the performance of….well, for that we will have to reserve our judgment for when we have an opportunity to see what this technological powerhouse can really do in the field. For now suffice to say that the Calais DC is without a doubt a revolutionary reel, and one that simply is without equal when it comes to technology, engineering, and sheer innovation.










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