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Reel Preview

Shimano blends Power with Weight Reduction with the Sophisticated new Chronarch D (continued)

There will be two versions available, the CH100D7 with a quick 7.0:1 gear ratio and the CH100D5 with a 5.0:1 gear ratio. The D7 is capable of bringing in 30 inches of line per crank and the D5 will retrieve 9 inches less per crank. Both reels will weigh in exactly the same. The D7 will be available in right and left hand retrieve and the D5 will only be available in right hand retrieve at the time of launch.

A look underneath, this new Core offers a significant weight reduction over the "B" version and is also lighter than the classic "A" and "SF" reels

We fished the Chronarch D and performed some abbreviated field tests to get a better idea of how the new reel actually compares to the current “B” version as well as the Core. The Chronarch D is instantly appealing because it blends the performance and fluid feel of the current version with the more compact and ergonomic design of the Core. The Chronarch D feels natural in hand and the white color really brings back fond memories of the popular “A” version.

The same flip down easy access of the Core reveals the reduced mass VBS hub

In terms of refinement the Chronarch D felt a bit smoother than the Core as well as the Curado thanks to the high-end bearings throughout including in the knobs. The Chronarch D may sacrifice a bit of weight over the Core but brings an extra level of sophistication with a new cold forged aluminum handle shank that is drilled for weight reduction and an accompanying cold forged aluminum drag star. The handles are all septon and as with other Shimano reels feels grippy both wet and dry.

In the sun it is easier to see the two tone treatment in the finish, it reminds of a Lexus paint  job

When fishing the Chronarch it instantly felt familiar, probably because we have put in so many hours with the Core/Metanium Mg. Suffice to say if you like the Core then you will love the Chronarch D. The Chronarch feels more solid than the Core, and honestly a bit more refined as well. The Core does weigh noticeably less and is 1.52oz. lighter than the Chronarch D so anglers seeking the ultimate light weight rig will still opt for the Core, but the Chronarch D at a lower price point will surely come into play as another option.

The reel sports a tapered Ti levelwind insert

Because the Chronarch bears the same profile as the Core our next question to Shimano was whether or not there would be a new Mg version as that position would logically already be occupied by the Core. Jeremy Sweet, Reel Product Manager at Shimano confirmed that there would indeed no longer be a Chronarch Mg in the lineup.

There will be two reels available at time of launch, the D7 (7.0:1 gear ratio) and the D5 (5.0:1), only the D7 will be available in both right and left hand retrieves at the Jan release

In terms of performance the reel feels fluid on retrieves and exhibits no backplay in the handle. Like the Core the Chronarch D feels more “connected” in terms of gearing tolerances than some Shimano reels in the past.

The sleek face of the new Chronarch D

When casting the Chronarch D was excellent across the spectrum and especially good at controlling extremely light weightless rigged plastics. We caught a number of fish during the test but none were really big enough to test the upper limit of the drag, but the dartanium drag did feel very smooth. 

The reel makes use of all metal components and the drag star and handle are both cold forged

The recently launched Curado E is actually more compact in form factor than the Chronarch D but is more angular, the Chronarch has more fluid lines and both reels weigh in exactly the same. When it comes to which reel feels better when palming it will come down to individual ergonomic preferences.

Septon "Technical L" grips are used on both versions

The Chronarch D will slot in nicely between the new Curado E and magnesium based Core. In terms of price the new Chronarch D will retail for 30 dollars more than the current “B” version at 299.99. The Chronarch D will be available at both retail stores and online e-tailers shortly after the New Year.

The handle has been shaped and drilled for weight reduction

Conclusion: The Chronarch D will appeal to anglers that like the Core’s design but don’t require the level of weight reduction that necessitates the use of magnesium. The Chronarch D merges the weight reduction of Shimano’s recent reel introductions with the sheer cranking power and fluid feel of the current Chronarch B. This new Chronarch offers just about all the features that make Shimano reels so popular and feels very solid for a reel weighing only 7.6oz. We look forward to how the reel will perform over the long haul and will follow up this preview with a complete in depth field test.

The Chronarch D returns to much of what made the original reels so popular but adds in all of Shimano's latest advancements, it actually feels more solid and refined than the Core in many respects

So far we like what we have seen and are excited about the different retrieve ratios, especially with our “year of the Crank” reviews coming up. For many anglers the Curado series has always been a mainstream workhorse reel and the Chronarch represents a more refined offering that crosses over into premium territory. This latest version holds true to this positioning and offers many features that enhance refinement, and are designed to make this reel not only functionally superior but a pleasure to fish with as well. For those anglers that felt like the Chronarch B strayed too far from all that the series should be the new D version is going to be a very welcome addition to the lineup as it recalls some of what made the Chronarchs of yesteryear so popular and still preserves much of what is good with the current reel.









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