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Reel Review

Living up to the legacy? Shimanoís Curado G (continued)

As we already established many Shimano reels in the past have shared the same design as their counterparts, and were differentiated through the use of different materials or souped up specifications. But here is exactly where the issue stems from. The new Chronarch E Series wasnít a majorly souped up version of the Chronarch E, while there are some minor improvements to the drag the biggest thing separating the new series from the Curado E line is the pearl white finish instead of the familiar green motif. The concern about the new Curado G was that instead of sharing the look and feel of a higher end series it suddenly became the twin of the more affordable Caenan, albeit with an aluminum frame instead of graphite.

Like the previous version the Chronarch G features an aluminum frame and graphite sideplates

At ICAST we got a closer look at the new Curado and while it was easy to see that it shared the same profile as the Caenan we were fond of the new darker green color which immediately made the reel visually appear smaller than the two-tone Caenan. The matte black metal handle also complemented the darker color and gave the reel a stealthier overall look. The reel looked bigger in profile than the Curado E version, yet it weighs less. The real question is how well would the Curado G perform and would it stand up to the legacy of this established series.

The Dartanium drag system provides reliable and consistent stopping power

Real World Tests: To test the Curado G5 we purchased a mass production reel directly from Tackle Warehouse and headed to both the California Delta and Clear Lake to fish a variety of lures and techniques ranging from tossing plastics to slow rolling spinnerbaits. All tests were conducted using 10 and 12lb. Berkley Big Game, Yozuri Hybrid, and Powerpro lines. Throughout the tests we fished the new Curado G side by side with the two previous generation Curado reels as well as the newly introduced Chronarch E series.

Time to see what the Curado G can do in the field

Casting: The new Curado G has two less bearings than the previous generation reel, and they both utilize shielded stainless steel bearings, but the Curado E also incorporated one S-ARB bearing. The reduction in bearing count helps reduce overall weight but Shimano has done a good job maintaining overall casting and retrieve feel. When it comes to sheer casting distance the new G model is comparable to the previous generation reel, dial the VBS system back and let the Magnumlite spool do the work. The reelís spool starts up quickly and the tension knob keeps backlashes well under control on the tail end of casts. One element that is noticeably missing is the titanium IP line guide that graced the Curado E models, and while we didnít see this influence overall casting distance or accuracy we will continue to monitor how this affects long term durability when fished with braided lines.

The Curado G casts well, both long casts and short pitches are easy

Retrieving: Those of you that read our Caenan review know that we really felt this reel felt short in a number of areas, but none more so than when it came to  sheer cranking power. The previous generation Curado E delivered outstanding cranking power and when fishing either the E5 or E7 whenever there was a fish on the line the reels felt both powerful and stayed smooth. The Caenan on the other hand felt burdened and lacked the sheer winding power to muscle in big fish with ease, this is mostly due to the complete graphite construction which doesnít provide as much rigidity.

The reel features a slightly larger profile than the previous Curado E but every reel now comes with the excellent extra large PV Septon grips which are comfortable and provide a solid grip to fight big fish and are much better than the round handles on the Caenan

The Curado G may have the same form factor as the Caenan but the aluminum frame makes an enormous difference. The Curado G is smoother due to bearings and the better isolated gearing but when it comes to sheer winding power the results are like night and day versus the Caenan. The Curado G delivers a smooth and powerful retrieve and is really a testament to just what huge difference frame stiffness makes during retrieves. Iíve taken on both largemouth bass and Pacific run stripers with this reel and have never felt a lack of winding power or detectable flex.

The Curado G felt smooth right out for the box but the previous version stayed smoother a little better over the long term

Next Section: A familiar drag









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