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Reel Review

Living up to the legacy? Shimano’s Curado G (continued)

The Curado G does exhibit some minimal play in the handle but no more so than we saw on previous generation reels, and though the bearing count is down versus the Curado E the new reel feels fairly smooth and on par with competing reels at this price point. Over the course of the tests the reel did lose some of the initial “out of the box” friction free feel, but it was nothing that a routine maintenance and lube didn’t address.

The new reel also sits slightly higher than the previous version

Drag: The Curado G’s drag is rated the same as the Curado E at 11lbs. and we were able to get just over that in the lab at full lockdown, but not as much as the Curado E which we got 12.7lbs on. These maximum specs are at complete lockdown and seemed like the older assembly allowed us to really clamp down harder on the actual drag washer. Nonetheless the new Curado G achieves the company’s published rated specification and is able to dole out consistent and shudder free drag performance both in the lab and in the field. This drag is far superior to the system in the Caenan and is stronger, smoother and more consistent, especially when the system is heated up and under extended pressure.

We were worried cranking power was going to be an issue like with the Caenan but the Curado G proved to deliver a powerful retrieve

One thing that I do feel has been downgraded is the actual drag star which is no longer constructed out of cold forged aluminum and is now made out of a plastic composite. The Curado E’s drag star though heavier provided a very solid leverage and also looked higher end. The benefits of moving to plastic on the Curado G are both lower weight and improved corrosion resistance but most anglers that primarily use this reel for targeting largemouth will still prefer the more solid high end feel of aluminum.

The Curado G's clutch button is larger and longer than the previous version

The Curado G’s drag star also incorporates a newer audible clicker design with a small spring loaded pin sandwiched beneath a pitted washer. The result is a unique sounding “click” which isn’t better or worse, just different. This design is somewhat similar to spring loaded clickers on some fly reels and so far it has performed flawlessly.

Like other higher end Shimano baitcasters the Curado G makes use of the proven VBS cast control system which is accessible under a 1/8 turn easy access attached sideplate

Durability: When it comes to durability the Curado G held up well throughout our tests and we didn’t experience any failures. The green finish is as tough as ever and resisted boat rash very well. In terms of applications this new reel is good for everything from freshwater and brackish conditions to inshore saltwater fishing. The new composite dragstar, while cheaper feeling, will not rust and Shimano does a good job providing extra protection for key components that come in contact with the elements by anodizing both the entire spool and handle, and even though there are no S-ARB bearings in the new reel all the stainless steel bearings are shielded.

The new reel is easy to palm but I still prefer the ergonomics of the shorter flatter design of the Curado E

Ergonomics: When it comes to ergonomics the results are a little mixed. The new Curado G is .4oz. lighter than the previous version but achieves this by moving away from a higher bearing count and the aluminum drag star. Are these sacrifices worth the slight weight reduction? While the weight difference is perceptible I still prefer the smaller profile of the Curado E (Now Chronarch E) over the wider more rounded Caenan form factor. The older version feels more comfortable to palm and while the new version is certainly palmable it feels like it takes up more volume in your hand. In reality the Curado G’s frame at the widest point is 68mm which is nearly identical to the previous version, but the height of reel at the non-handle sideplate is 42mm versus 40mm on the Curado E, the length of the reel from clutch to the front is also 3mm longer on the new reel, all of which may not seem like much, but is enough to make a noticeable difference. Overall the new reel  looks and feels just a little big longer, bigger and pointier. The one big relief here is the use of the oversized paddle grips instead of the round EVA knobs on the Caenan, so much better in terms of grip and comfort!

The Curado G does not have a titanium IP line guide

Next Section: Living up to the legacy?









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