Shimano updates a favorite among anglers, get ready for the
redefined "Calcutta B"
When you look up conventional baitcasting reels in just about any fishing book
you are more than likely to find yourself gazing upon the instantly recognizable
Shimano Calcutta. The Calcutta has been a favorite among anglers for well over a
decade. With a simple yet elegant design, and a well deserved reputation for
quality and value, the Calcutta has certainly proven the test of time. It is with great
care and consideration that Shimano redefines this legend by adding the latest
technology to this much beloved series of reels.
Get ready for the soon to be
introduced Calcutta B reels, chock full of new performance enhancing upgrades,
but kudos to Shimano for staying true to their elegant
About the new Calcutta B Series: Why mess
with a good thing? Shimano believes that by redefining the popular Calcutta
Series it will be able to add more value to anglers with a minimal price
“With the new innovations and
technology Shimano has brought to fishing reels – and to anglers - since the
original Calcutta 200 started a renewed trend in round reels with simplistic
design, we felt it was time to bring some of the new features and redefine the
entire Calcutta series,” said Jeremy Sweet with Shimano’s product development
staff. “But as anglers will see, we continued with the proven Calcutta
construction and performance features, and have added features already proven in
other Shimano reel series.”
To our relief the refreshed designs
left the overall reel dimensions alone, and the reels stay true to their
straightforward yet chic form. Shimano plans to release 10 new models over
the course of the year. These 10 reels more than cover the current Calcutta
offering, and anglers will be excited to see prominent new Calcutta's like the
CT200GTB that offers upgraded finesse and light line capabilities. The
performance and feature delta between the new Calcutta B's and the existing
ultra refined TE reels is narrowing.
The new Calcutta B 100 and 200 series reels feature an easy access sideplate
The original Calcutta's were all
about simplicity, function, and above all reliability. So what do the new
Calcutta B reels really offer anglers?
Shimano does a good job bringing technology down the line and quality A-RB
bearings are used on every Calcutta B reel. These bearings are at least 10 times
more corrosion resistant than standard stainless steel bearings. In addition
each reel gains at least 1 bearing over its predecessor. For example the CT100B
has one bearing more than the original CT100.
Dartanium Drags: This
proven drag material finally makes it to the normal Calcutta Series. Delivering
a wide range of settings and smooth performance under pressure, this welcome
addition delivers more fish stopping power to these affordably priced reels.
Assist Stopper: All
Calcutta B reels, save the 50 & 100 sizes, benefit from "Assist Stopper." This
back up anti-reverse system helps reduce stress on the one way roller bearing to
increase durability and the overall lifespan of the reel.
The Calcutta B eliminates one of our only gripes about the original...the
difficulty of changing brake settings in the field. The original Calcutta's
required anglers to remove the spool to access the brakeweights, but the new
Calcutta B's make use of an easy access sideplate that is similar but not
identical to the TE's. This allows anglers to adjust the VBS system quickly and
easily. (This feature is available in 100 and 200 sizes only) In addition the
new Calcutta B's feature Shimano's popular Septon grips which are soft to the
touch and do not get slippery even when wet.
GTB Version: The GTB
version is the flagship of the new Calcutta B lineup and gets the royal
treatment when it comes to performance enhancing modifications. In addition to
all the above mentioned features, the CT200GTB features a drilled crossbar to
reduce weight, a massive +5 bearing count increase, and a Lo-Mass Drilled spool
for improved casting capability.
Say hello to the newest Calcutta B
reel, the CT200GTB, little brother of the Calcutta TE
Launch Dates & Pricing: Performance does
come with a price and the new Calcutta B's will cost 20 to 50 dollars more than
their predecessors depending on the model. Most of these B reels only cost 20-25 dollars
more while the CT200GTB will bear a 50 dollar premium over the original CT250.
So when will these reels be available? The 50B will be available in March, the
100's and 200's will be available in April, and the 400's and 700's will hit
stores in early May.
Shimano's new Calcutta B's offer plenty of new features, and from the initial
information it certainly looks as if the reels are geared towards even more
specific applications. The added technology and refinement are a big plus, and
with an average cost increase of less than 30 dollars it certainly would seem
that Shimano is about to hit yet another home run. Whether the new Calcutta B's
will be able to captivate anglers for another decade is uncertain, but I
wouldn't bet against Shimano. Perhaps what is most stirring, and a relief at the
same time, is that even though Shimano packed in so many new performance
enhancing features they managed to stay true to the original unpretentious and
tasteful round design that helped make these proven reels a fan favorite in the
first place. A job well done.