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Selecting the right Rod, Reel, and Line for Your Walking Bait Arsenal

Complete ICAST 2017 Coverage


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Reel Review

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

The main reason for the weight difference between the 100MG and the MGFV are that the 100Mg utilizes aluminum gears, while the MGFV makes use of heavy-duty brass alloy gears for more power and durability in power fishing situations. Jeremy went on to state “with its strong brass alloy gears and oversized grips, the Core 100MGFV is perfect for moving big fish out of heavy cover and the 7.0:1 gear ratio will allow anglers to gain line on these fish quickly when they feel the strike, and allow them to set the hook before the fish can turn and bury them into the cover.”


Side by side, a look at the Metanium and Antares head on


In terms of positioning the Core slots in right above the Chronarch and below the Calais series. This is in contrast to the Japanese domestic product in which the Metanium Mg is simply the magnesium version in the existing Met series.


In our tests we compared the Core with the Metanium Mg


The Core actually looks like the more enthusiast offering as it features a darker, stealthier finish, and is completed with a red spool. The Metanium follows the more traditional silver and gold reel scheme. The reels while similar are not completely the same, and the Core MgFV is the only one of the four reels to feature a flipping switch. We put all versions through the test to see just how they stack up to one another and to the competition.


Profiles of the reel are identical, but the finishes are quite different


Real World Test: The test for the Core took us from Lake El Salto in Mexico to Clear Lake, and back to our home water on the California Delta. We tested both the Core Mg and MgFV as well as both the Japanese Metanium Mg and Mg7 for comparison. We only targeted largemouth bass in this series of field tests but fished a variety of lines from mono, to hybrid, and even straight braid. We also fished baits from a multitude of categories including plastics, wires, hardbaits, spoons, and even mid sized swimbaits.


The Core has a darker appearance, and the red spool is a very enthusiast touch


Casting: Both versions of the Core and Metanium Mg share that buttery smooth pitching and casting performance of the Antares AR. The operation of this sideplate is the same as the previously reviewed Metanium XT only the escape hatch sideplate holds much more securely on this reel. It is quick and easy to make adjustments to the VBS cast control. This is a good thing because when you first get this reel you might want to add one extra brake over what you are used to. Why? Because the Core casts better than the Chronarch, and yes it can even beat the Calais (non DC).


The Core balances out perfectly with our Cumara test rod


What’s the secret? The Core’s Magnumlite spool moves the mass of the spool outward, requiring less braking force than with the standard reduced mass spools, allowing anglers to cast further and more accurately. Combine the Magnumlite spool with the tapered titanium levelwind insert found on the Calais DC and line angles and friction are even reduced with each cast.


The rear button on the Core is not dressed up as much as the Metanium Mg, no chrome here


Next Section: Casting continues










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