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Reel Review

Spotlight on the Middle Child, the Shimano Citica G Baitcaster (continued)

Drag: The Dartanium drag on the Citica G is virtually identical to that found in the Curado G and both reels tested almost identical in the lab. We were able to get 12.1lbs. of drag pressure out of the Citica G at full lockdown, which is 10% more than Shimano’s rating. As in the Curado G tests we found the drag to be both smooth and consistent, much like we experienced with the previous E Series reels.

The Citica's drag star is constructed out of a composite material

The Citica G’s Dartanium drag was able to be adjusted in small increments and when there was a fish on the line we experienced no drag shudder whatsoever. In comparison to the Caenan the Citica G’s drag system not only delivered more pressure but it also felt smoother when under pressure. The drag star on the Citica G is constructed out of composite material so it is both lightweight and corrosion resistant, but doesn’t look or feel as refined as some competing reels at this price point which still make use of an aluminum drag star.

The Citica G has a more conservative finish than the Caenan and Curado G but it is less polarizing and matches up well with just about any rod

Ergonomics: At this point we are starting to see a trend. The Citica G is extremely similar to the Curado G, and when it comes to casting, retrieving, and even drag performance the reels both delivered very similar performance results, albeit the Curado G was a tad more refined. In the ergonomics department both reels share the exact same profile but the Citica G is .3oz. heavier even though it has the smaller knobs. The Citica G weighs in at 7.5oz. and though the reel is comfortable to palm I still have to give it up to the older E profile which felt a little more natural in hand. Alas if you still are a fan of this older profile you will need to step up to the Chronarch 200E.

The reel does palm reasonably well

Durability: The one thing you can count on with most Shimano reels is they are built to last and the Citica G will hold up well under normal use. The reel features a straightforward design with no obvious points of failure and our test reel has exhibited no problems whatsoever, even the finish has successfully warded off boat rash very well.

Unlike the Curado G the Citica G has more traditional barrel grips

Price & Applications: There is no doubt that one of the factors that led Shimano to the decision to redesign the Citica (and Curado) Series reels was cost. The previous reels were made in Japan and the new reels are produced in Malaysia, but more importantly Shimano was able to leverage the same platform for three separate reels. The result was the ability to introduce the Citica G at a price that was just 10 dollars over the previous version, despite the rising cost of raw materials. The Citica G is a very solid performer, so good that in many ways it comes very close to the Curado G in a number of categories. Retailing for 30 dollars less than the Curado G Series the Citica G is a compelling offering at the 129 dollar price point. When compared to the Caenan which retails for 89 dollars the difference in performance is night and day, and when it comes to sheer cranking power alone the Citica G is the reel I would recommend hands down. It is absolutely worth the additional money the very first time you engage in a tug of war with any bass over 4 pounds and you need that instant transfer of power to turn fish.

The Citica G is a good workhorse reel and is a competitive offering at this highly contested price point

Thanks to anodizing on key components like the spool and handle, as well as the use of a composite drag star, the Citica G Series is a great choice for fishing in brackish water or in the inshore. Overall the Citica G is a quality reel at a reasonable price but it will be facing increasing pressure from new competing offerings like the new Revo S Gen 3, Lew’s Tournament MG Speed Spool which retail for the exact same price as well as the Daiwa Lexa 100 and Quantum Catalyst which retail for just 10 dollars more. The space is becoming increasingly crowded and the competition is fierce but the Citica G should be able to hold its own due to the company’s proven track record of long term reliability.

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 Citica 200G7 Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Good overall build quality that is very similar to what we saw on the Curado G. the reel makes use of graphite sideplates and a composite drag star 7.5
Performance The Citica G performed well in testing, so well that in a number of categories it performed just as well as the more expensive Curado G. In every category the reel performed much better than the Caenan, especially when it came to cranking power 8
Price The Citica G is a better value than the Curado G and even though the 129 dollar price point is highly contested the Citica G manages to hold its own well (for now) 9
Features The Citica G has lots of the features that make Shimano baitcasters so popular. There are a lot of traditional features here but the reel doesn't have any really new or exciting features, but we expect that at a reel of this price point. 7.5
Design (Ergonomics) The Citica G gets the same score here as the Curado G and while the new ergonomics are quite good I still prefer the leaner look and compact feel of the previous gen (now found on the current Chronarch E) 8
Application The Citica G is a great multipurpose reel and I like the fact it is available in multiple retrieve ratios. Unfortunately only the 6.5:1 reel is available in left hand retrieve but the series is good for everything from bassing to fishing for inshore species 8

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

+ Though the reel may not be the most flashy it delivers in all the key performance areas - The E Series was so good the G Series doesn't beat it in multiple areas
+ Cranking power is much better than Caenan - There is a lot of competition at this price point and a lot of the new reels are looking quite compelling, can the Citica stay in the spotlight?
+ Great multipurpose workhorse reel  
+ Smooth dartanium drag system delivers smooth and consistent drag pressure  
+ Priced competitively with offerings from other brands at this price point  

Conclusion: The Curado may be the more recognizable series but the Citica is the better value. When it comes to mainstream performance the Citica G delivers in all the areas that really matter. Sure it may not be the flashiest reel but what it lacks in character it makes up for with consistent performance and long term reliability. The Citica G is a reel that anglers shouldn’t ignore if they are looking for a quality workhorse reel that does exactly what it is designed to do, all at a very reasonable price. It will be interesting to see how well the Citica G will stack up to all the new competition now entering the fray, but something tells me this seemingly mild mannered two toned reel has some staying power and will fight to stay in the spotlight.

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