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ICAST 2019 Update Coverage

One for the Enthusiasts: The Shimnao Antares A70 Baitcaster with MGIII


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SOLID! The Shimano Bantam MGL Baitcaster

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


Reel Review

Shimano’s Sleek Curado 70 Baitcaster - Smaller, Faster, and Better (continued)

Features: The top feature of the Curado 70 is the small form factor and that Shimano was able to pack in all the features of the larger reel into a compact baitcaster that feels just as, or even more, refined. Though the Curado 70 only has 5+1 bearings it delivers a very smooth connected feel, even more so than the 200I.

The Curado 70's main gearing is constructed out of brass for durability

The only thing that probably could have made the reel feel even smoother is if they loaded the knobs with high quality support bearings. The reel’s drag pumps out more pressure than the company’s own ratings and the X-Ship is probably the key feature that helps the reel feel powerful enough, for the Curado 70’s compact size and gear ratio.

No bearing supported knobs here

Features Ratings for Shimano Curado 70 Reel

External Brake Adjust (1-2)


Knob Bearings(1-3)

Clicks (1-3)

Reel Cover (1-2)

Oil (1-2)





Rating (=Tot/Pos* 10)










The Curado 70's smaller profile feels extremely comfortable when palming

Design/Ergonomics: The Curado 70 ergonomics are outstanding, and probably the best aspect of this reel. The second you palm this reel it not only feels comfortable in hand but also natural, and when you go back to the full sized Curado 200I it actually feels bulky in comparison. The new reel feels solid and compact and even though it has a smaller footprint it doesn’t seem like any of the knobs or dials are positioned unnaturally.

Though smaller in width the Curado 70 still offers plenty of access to the spool

In fact, the cast control setting on the Curado 70 is also positioned much better than the standard Curado near the top of the sideplate, so it doesn’t affect palming, and is also easier to see and reach when making adjustments on the fly.

Design & Ergonomics Ratings for Curado 70 Reel

Handle Length (1-5)
Knobs (1-5)
Palming (1-5)
Overall Weight (1-5)
Ease of Breakdown (1-5)
Rating (= Tot/Pos * 10)

Application: The Curado 70 doesn’t offer the same level of refinement as the Aldebaran but it does offer a similar form factor at less than half the price. This tiny powerhouse of a reel is great for power fishing plastics and jigs, even punch work, or on the opposite end of the spectrum spooling up with light fluorocarbon lines and finesse fishing. The only application in which we found the reel didn’t excel was when it came to cranking, where the reel was sometimes too fast and even underpowered for comfortably working certain diving cranks that put a lot of resistance on the line during retrieves.

The high speed retrieve made the Curado 70 a good option for fishing ripbaits for Stripers

At 199 dollars the Curado is priced 20 dollars more than the larger Curado 200I, which follows historical Shimano pricing of putting a slight premium on the smaller reels. The Curado 70 reels feel more refined than the standard Curado, and are in reality much more like a completely different series all things considered.

Application Ratings for Shimano Curado 70 Reel

Horizontal (1-5)



Big Baits (1-5)

Topwater (1-5)



Rating (=Tot/Pos *10)










The competition at the 200 dollar price point is fierce, and for the same investment anglers can also consider the Daiwa Tatula 100 Type-R ($199), Abu Garcia Revo STX ($199), Lew’s Tournament Lite G Speed Spool ($179), 13 Fishing Concept A ($175), and Okuma Helios baitcasters ($199). While all of these competitors offer their own unique take on a mainstream reel, if anglers are looking for a high speed reel with a very small form factor the Curado 70 is probably going to be the frontrunner, as anglers will be attracted to either the robust range of features, or simply the well-recognized Shimano brand name.


On the other end of the spectrum the Curado 70 handles light fluorocarbon lines for finesse fishing for Smallies


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 Curado 70 Casting Reel Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Good overall construction using quality materials. The Curado 70 feels solid and exhibits very good tolerances 8.5
Performance Strong casting and drag performance and great for power and finesse fishing. The only area where the reel didn't feel totally at home was extended cranking, especially when fishing deep divers. In these situations a lower, more powerful, gear ration is preferable 8.8
Price A good price for a reel of this quality. Would be a "great" rating if priced the same as the 200I Series 7.5
Features Top features include the compact form factor, Hagane body, SVS cast system and X-Ship 7.8
Design (Ergonomics) Great ergonomics throughout. The Curado 70 is only 1oz. lighter than the 200I but the reel has a considerably smaller form factor that is much more comfortable to palm 8.4
Application Not as multi-talented when it comes to applications as the larger 200I reels but more refined and more comfortable to fish if you put a premium on lightweight overall rig weight 8.4

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

+ Good build quality - Not available in lower gear ratios
+ Very refined for the price - Best for power and finesse fishing, not ideal for power cranking
+ Flexible caster  
+ Quality drag  
+ Available in both right and left hand retrieve  
+ Excellent ergonomics  

Conclusion: The new more compact 70 reel holds the torch well in the ever growing Curado pedigree. Retrieve ratio and line capacity aside I personally like the new reel better than the standard Curado 200I Series in just about every way. The Curado 70 reel looks better, offers better ergonomics, and even feels more refined during pinpoint casts. If these new reels were offered in the complete spectrum of retrieve ratios there is no doubt that they would eat into standard Curado 200I sales. The way that the Curado 70 resides in the current lineup they are a worthy complement to the existing series, which now offers anglers reel options optimized for power or speed.

Smaller, Faster, Better. The new Curado 70 does not disappoint

If you don’t need, or want, the lower gear ratios or the higher capacity afforded by the Curado 200I versions then I would recommend going straight to the Curado 70 Series. The new compact reels not only look the part when it comes to a high-end baitcaster, but they offer a level of refinement that you can easily expect from much higher series reels. These reels simply fish great and have a high level of desirability. I “like” the Curado 200I Series, but I find myself “wanting” to fish the sleeker, and sexier, Curado 70 Series.

The Shimano Curado 70 satisfies the need for speed with a highly ergonomic new footprint

Smaller, faster, better, all describe the new Curado 70 reels, and they are arguably the best Curado low-profile baitcasters to date. While the new Curado 70 reels are certainly not a do it all mainstream reel, everything that they are designed to do is accomplished exceedingly well, making this yet another Curado to win our Editor’s Choice Award, and likely the best seller within the compact baitcaster market at this price point.

Looking for the Curado 70? Try Tackle Warehouse









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