In the DC Multiverse, Scorpion Receives New Powers
Total Score: 8.33 - EDITOR'S CHOICE AWARD
Shimano's JDM brands, Aldebaran, Metanium, Conquest, Antares, receive a lot of attention, but for many an enthusiast, it's still all about Scorpion. In the parallel universe that is the USDM, Scorpion's double, Curado, also remains the manufacturer's most sought after. While the two lines share similar origins, as is the case in all good mult-verse stories, there are subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) differences. For example, in the JDM-verse, Scorpion has had DC powers since 2011. It wasn't until 2018 where Curado discovered theirs. Now, ten years after Scorpion was first endowed with these capabilities, Shimano Japan has introduced the third generation of this platform and infused it with something new. Here's our look at the 2021 Shimano Scorpion 150/151DC casting reel.
Shimano 21 Scorpion 150/151 DC Specifications
|Line Capacity - Rated
||12lb (0.31mm) / 120yds (110m)
|Line Capacity - Spool Volume
|Inches Per Turn (IPT) - calculated
15 - 26
18 - 31
21 - 35.5
||XG = 90mm : HG & Standard = 84mm
|Bearings per Knob
||1 bearing, 1 bushing
|Rated Max Drag
||i-DC5, X-SHIP, S-ARB, Aluminum Frame, Micro-Module Gearing, MGL III Spool, Micro-Click Drag Adjustment, Saltwater Safe
||Made in Malaysia
Introducing Shimano Japan's 2021 Scorpion DC
For all the talk and marketing campaigns surrounding frame and gear material, size of gear teeth, number and placement of bearings and resistance to corrosion thereof, spool weight, micro-click adjustments, and more, to me, the one characteristic that defines a casting reel is the braking system. Most manufacturers rely on a system based on either centrifugal or magnetic principles - some use both concurrently. To date, only one manufacturer empowers their reels with a high tech system controlled by a computer chip. Think about that. In this day and age where most everything is digital, the great majority of casting reels remain analog. Not that there's anything wrong with analog, but digital makes everything more convenient and I certainly enjoy convenience.
The new Scorp DC is available in three models, standard, HG, and
XG. They are distinguished by different rates of retrieve
The debate between centrifugal and magnetic braking systems and which is superior or simply better for this application or that will persist likely into perpetuity. Arguments with Shimano's DC system primarily surround the system's cost to acquire and sound. Sound is the sore point with a lot of DC system detractors. Shimano Japan has been keen to this criticism for years. In fact, in an effort to appease those detractors, the 2011 Scorpion DC was silent. Shimano muted the system. To my knowledge, that is the only variant of their DC family that was built that way. I hated it. It felt defective. How can you tell if the brakes are actually engaged without that tell tale DC whine? It's like going to a club that doesn't play music, or a NASCAR event with electric cars, or a blockbuster movie with a sound system set to mono.
The clean, non-handle sideplate of the 2021 Scorp DC
So while I'm sure the debate occurs before the design is complete for each DC variant reel, I'm pleased to report that Shimano's 2021 Scorpion DC is equipped with a brake system that is indeed audible. The reel's size returns to that of the original 2011 DC variant's in terms of line capacity and shares a similar color scheme to that model as well (silver with red highlights). The 2017 variant was a smaller, 100 sized reel and black with red highlights. For a more contemporary comparison, this 2021 Scorpion DC is the same shape and size as the 2019 Scorpion MGL.
It is has the same shape and form factor as the 2019 Scorpion
Real World Tests:
Considering the 2021 Scorpion DC is a 150 sized reel, I really only had one purpose in mind when I acquired it - big baits. Where most big bait anglers rely upon 300 - 400 sized reels, I've rarely felt the need for that type of line capacity. I guess you can liken this approach to my preference for 50 sized reels when fishing conventional baits though the difference is not quite as dramatic.
My interest in acquiring this reel was to pair with my iRod
Kaimana SWC794C-H in service of tossing big baits
This Scorpion 151XG DC replaced my custom painted Core 7 aboard my iRod Kaimana SWC794C-H at the tail end of our Rat Rumble tests continuing on through the evaluation of some new-to-me glide baits. For line, I spooled the reel with roughly 60 yards of 50lb Seaguar Threadlock Hollow Braid and installed a top shot of 30lb Sunline Saltimate Saltwater Nylon Shock Leader.
External brake adjustments are made with this dial at the bottom
front of the non-handle sideplate
Casting: After several variations and iterations of their digital control brake designs, Shimano seems to have settled upon three as their mainstays for the last several years, i-DC4, i-DC5 and 4x8 DC. The 2021 Scorpion DC is equipped with the manufacturer's i-DC5 braking system. This is the same system found in the 2017 Scorpion DC and a lot of the recent generation JDM DC reels. The difference here is this new Scorpion is also equipped with an MGL spool. This is a deadly combination of powers and the same melding of abilities found in our Ultimate Enthusiast Award winning 2020 Calcutta Conquest DC.
But first, you need to set this internal dial to match the type
of line you're using, or in more simple terms, F = most force, N = middle, P =
least amount of force
Section: Digging into the i-DC5 cast control