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Reel Review

Sweet to the “Core,” Shimano’s new premium magnesium baitcaster

Date: 9/13/06
Tackle Type: Reels
Manufacturer: Shimano
Reviewer: Zander & Cal

Total Score: 9.08 + EDITORS CHOICE AWARD!

Introduction: Shimano fans have been begging for it, a premium based magnesium baitcaster capable of going head to head with the ultralight Daiwa offerings. Shimano has responded with the introduction of the Core. The Core is the US equivalent to the import Metanium Mg, and slots in above the Chronarch and below the flagship Calais series. We travel to Mexico and back in a four month field test to see just how good the Core really is.


Shimano Core 100MG & 100MGFV Specifications

Line Capacity (lb/yds) 10/110, 12/90
Gear Ratio 6.2:1 (7.0:1 on 100MGFV)
Line retrieve per crank 26 inches (30 inches on 100MGFV)
Weight 6.081oz. (6.73 on 100MGFV)
Bearings 4BB, 1RB
Additional Features S-ARB bearings, Magnumlite spool, HEG gearing, tapered levelwind insert, Super Free, super stopper, escape hatch, septon handle grips, dartanium drag, clicking drag adjustment, magnesium with protectant finish
Origin Japan
MSRP $349.99 ($379.99 for 100MGFV)


The Core is the new high end magnesium based reel from Shimano


Impressions: For domestic anglers, the Core is the US version of the Japanese Metanium Mg. As soon as the left hand version of the Metanium MG was available in Japan, we placed orders for both the standard and high speed retrieve versions, and after receiving the reels, opening up each package to check each one out, holding them in our hands to get a feel for their size and weight, one thought struck us immediately. They obviously didn’t share the same profile as the current generation Metanium reels and they sure didn’t feel like any of the previous generation Metanium reels.


The reel features a similar escape hatch design, making it comfortable to palm, and still easy to access the VBS system


Instead they seemed to have a slight resemblance to the older models, but they’re smaller and a bit more compact. Our next thought was which reel in the Shimano lineup best matches the size and profile of the previous generation Metaniums but in a smaller package? The Antares AR (or Calais 100A for US Anglers.)


A look at the top of the Core


When compared with the Antares AR side-by-side with a set of calipers the similarities continued to emerge. While not a dead on dimension for dimension match they sure were awfully close. One thing is clear, the new generation Metanium MG and Core reels from Shimano represent the lightweight, high performance reels for which we’ve been longing.


Jeremy Sweet Shimano US Reel Product Manager inspects the prototype Core reels at El Salto


We were first introduced to the Core reels a month before their official debut at ICAST by Shimano’s Reel Product Manager Jeremy Sweet at legendary Lake El Salto, Mexico. The Core would represent the highest end magnesium reel in the US Shimano lineup and weighs in at 6.1 ounces for the Core 100MG and 6.7 ounces for the flipping version Core 100 MGFV. This is made possible with a combination of magnesium in the construction of the frame and sideplate, plus the use of the thin walled Magnumlite aluminum spool.


Though the Metanium Mg is in the Met series it actually bears a lot of similarities to the Antares


“While our use of magnesium provides the overall ultra light weight of the Core reels, “Sweet said, “we lessen the weight further with a drilled handle shank made from cold-forged aluminum and a Reduced Mass Variable Brake System (VBS) Hub. It all comes together in a compact design to provide a comfortable, lightweight and maneuverable fishing experience.”


Deja Vu when it comes to the buttons and rear spool access


Next Section: Delve into the Core









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