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Enthusiast Reel Review


Don't be Fooled, Here's the Deal on Shimano's Exsence DC !!

 

Date: 7/6/14
Tackle Type: Reel
Manufacturer: Shimano Japan
Reviewer: Cal






Total Score: 8.53 - (Enthusiast) BEST VALUE AWARD

Introduction:
When the lifecycle of Shimano's Chronarch D was unexpectedly cut short, fans of this reel scrambled to purchase the last remaining pieces. To this day, the Chronarch D is a highly sought after reel for its refinement and excellent casting performance. While the reel is technically still available with a magnesium frame and known as the Core, not all consumers are fans of magnesium framed reels for their limitations to freshwater environments and considerable increase in cost.


Introducing the Exsence DC from Shimano Japan.

But instead of abandoning the aluminum platform of this reel all together, back in Japan, Shimano repurposed the tooling, enhanced the reel with a DC braking system, and marketed it as a saltwater specific reel for sea bass. But does a reel know it's only supposed to be used for one specific species of fish? Of course not! While in Japan last fall, I acquired the newly available left hand version of this reel to see if it still has the same magic as the former Chronarch D. Introducing our review of Shimano Japan's Exsence DC!

 

Shimano Exsence DC Specifications

Line Capacity - Rated 10lb / 110yds
Line Capacity - Spool Volume 13.1 cm3
Retrieve Ratio
8:1
Inches Per Turn (IPT) - calculated
20 - 33.5 inches
Weight 8.5 oz
Spool Weight 19 g
Handle Length 90 mm
Bearings 9+1
Bearings per Knob 2 bearings
Levelwind Bearings None
Tested Max Drag ~9.76 lbs
Origin Made in Japan
MSRP 35,700 JPY (~$350)

 


This reel is available in only one retrieve ratio.

 

Quality/Construction: The Exsence is a very familiar form sharing, as mentioned earlier, the same overall shape as the former Chronarch D. The finish of this reel is charcoal grey with a very slight change in shade to a lighter grey on top of the reel. The frame and sideplate tolerances are very good but the handle does have some backplay in it. The knobs on our Exsence's handle are tight with no play in and out from the handle.

 

Quality Ratings for Shimano Exsence DC

Finish (1-5)
Frame & Sideplate Tolerance (1-5)
Handle Tolerance (1-5)
Knob Tolerance (1-5)
Total
Possible
Rating (= Tot/Pos * 10)
5
5
3
5
18
20
9.0


X-Ship is now a common feature in Shimano's baitcasting lineup.

Performance: The Exsence was designed as an inshore to be fished with braid primarily. I fished this reel primarily with fluorocarbon line and matched up with either a Shimano Expride rod or a Shimano/Jackall Poison Glorious.


Paired with a Shimano Expride rod and ready to go.

Retrieve: Turning the handle on this reel is very reminiscent of my Shimano Chronarch Ds - smooth and dependable. The fast 8.0:1 retrieve ratio on this reel was unexpected. It'd be nice to have the option of some slower retrieves, but in the ocean, faster is no doubt better. The bearings in each knob help with the smooth feel of this reel and while I mentioned earlier about the backplay in the reel's handle, this quirk wasn't a bother while actually fishing the reel.

Performance Ratings for Shimano Exsence DC

Retrieve (1-5)
Drag (1-5)
Power (1-5)
Casting Range (1-5)
Brakes (1-5)
Total
Possible
Rating (= Tot/Pos * 10)
4
5
4
5
5
23
25
9.2


Drag is provided by this single disc.

Drag: The Exsence, like most low profile baitcasters coming out of Japan is rated at 4.5 kgs of drag pressure. This equates to percentage points under 10 lbs (straight conversion equals 9.9208 lbs). The maximum drag we tested the Exsence out to with the dragstar tightened down as far as my fingers would tighten the drag was 9.76 lbs and I'm not one to really crank down super hard on the dragstar. Given that, the reel's max drag rating is easily achieved if that is your goal.


Fig 1: The Sweet Drag Performance chart above shows the consistency in drag performance of our
Shimano Exsence DC.

As explained in the past and repeated here, our goal is always to chart out how a reel's drag performs under a consistent pull because for those of us who do not button down our drags, the factors of smoothness and consistency are more important. In this regard, the Exsence performs very consistently. It has a very sweet drag.

Sweet Drag Performance for Shimano Exsence DC (#.# Turns to Lockdown)

Full Turn
Full + 2
Full + 4
Full + 6
Lockdown
Avg % Change
Start Up
0.6
1.09
3.56
5.69
8.63
Sustained
0.6
1.16
3.71
5.82
9.09
Lowest Value after Start
0.48
0.97
3.34
5.31
8.32
Change in Startup vs Sustained
.20%
6.7%
4.2%
2.4%
5.4%
3.8%
Biggest Drop from Sustained
20.2%
16.6%
10%
8.8%
8.5%
12.82%
Drag on this reel was tested with the dragstar tightened one full turn from all the way off. Then with each successive test, the drag was tightened with two short pushes of the dragstar with our thumb. After the "+6" adjustment, the drag was buttoned down finger tight and tested one last time

Next Section: Geared for Power




 

 

 

 

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