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Reel Review

 

A Signature Whine: Shimanoís Curado 150 DC Feels Both New and Familiar, all at the Same Time (continued)

Real World Tests: Back in July, two weeks prior to ICAST, Dan Thorburn from Shimano flew out to give us our first look at the Curado DC Series. He carried with him a pair of right handed Curado DC baitcasters and the first run production of the left handed reels. We were able to fish these initial reels for one day but that was enough to get us excited about the new sealed DC system. Since then we were able to procure two reels and have been fishing them over the last five months spooled with Sunline Shooter fluorocarbon, Finatic Tackle braid, and PowerPro V2 braided line, fishing for largemouth bass in the California Delta and surrounding reservoirs.


The new reel features a more grey/gunmetal finish than the black Curado K Series

Casting: The first thing that I wondered when I heard about the Curado DC from Shimano was just how the company was going to make the DC system affordable enough to hit the $250 dollar price point. When I learned that the Curado DC would debut a new digital casting system with only four modes I began to wonder if this was a scaled back system, and how it would compare to the finely tunable DC 4X8 system found in reels like the Antares DC and Exsence DC reels that enthusiasts love. Within the first few casts with the Curado DC my concerns quickly lessened as I was reassured with not only the predictable magnetic brakeforce on the spool, but also the signature DC whine. Sweet music for any DC fan.   


Testing the cast system over and over again with the different modes and various lines

Some anglers think that Shimanoís DC system is designed for one purpose, to cast further, and while the system certainly helps anglers cast longer distances, even in adverse wind conditions, it is also designed to improve bait placing accuracy. With the Curado DC Shimanoís engineers wanted to simplify things with the four modes, but what they essentially did was create application specific DC controls that make it easier than ever for anglers of all skill levels to not only cast farther, but also cast more accurately, with just about any bait type.


In Mode 4 casting without your thumb on the spool at all is possible

With previous DC systems, while I appreciated the ability to make really refined adjustments to the system, I constantly had to think about my line type, bait, and application to effectively dial everything in. Making changes required thinking, and thus time that my bait was out of the water. The Curado DC takes all the guesswork out of operating the system. You want to cover as much water as possible? Mode 1 applies the least amount of braking and will allow you to catapult your bait. Fishing with braided line? Switch over to mode 2 and enjoy backlash free line management.


Like the Curado K Series the Curado DC provides plenty of access to the spool

The mode that I found the most impressive was Mode 4, which delivers the maximum magnetic braking and is designed for skipping applications. This mode is like having a dual clutch in a sports car versus a manual, and takes more of spool feathering away as the microprocessor does the thinking for you. Iím admittedly a terrible bait skipper and while the system didnít necessarily make me look like a pro it certainly made skipping under docks a whole lot easier. This is the mode that makes the Curado DC a real option for anglers that donít consider themselves baitcasting experts, and those proficient in baitcasting will also appreciate how good this mode is when the wind is against you.


Set to Mode 1 or 2 I was able to cast big heavy swimbaits a very long distance

With the Curado DC set in Mode 4 I was able to cast into a headwind with braided line and with my thumb completely off the spool, and the reel not only prevented any backlashes but also helped me cast farther than I would normally be able to cast with a traditional baitcaster in these conditions. Anglers of all skill levels can benefit from the Curado DCís easy to manage and reliable I-DC4 system.


Max distance casts are as easy as setting the dial to one and launching

Throughout testing I found more to like about the new system, the simplicity and ease of use is stellar, but how well the reel was able to adjust to various lure types and wind conditions is also impressive. Part of it is how well defined each of the four modes are, but I also believe that the new microprocessor is programmed to be more intuitive, or aggressive, depending how you look at it.


A look at the I-DC4 module removed from the non-handle sideplate. The completely sealed design helps eliminate contaminates from entering the system, a big plus for inshore and salt anglers

The new system adjusts more to wind, and while I found it still possible to backlash the older DC 4X8 system I really had to try pretty hard to backlash the Curado DC, at times even resorting to try to trick the system by making really poor casts into structure. Perhaps it is the amount of refinement that the older system requires to dial in, or maybe the new system is that much smarter, either way the result is a system that simply makes it easier to get your bait where you want it with less effort and more precision.


The Curado DC's four mode system was surprisingly easy to use and yet covers a wide spectrum of applications making it easy to get the most out of the DC system

Next Section: A retrieve that feels familiar...

 

 

   

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