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Complete list of all current ICAST 2014 coverage
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Glide Week : Riding the S-Wave!
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Abu Garcia Raises the Speed Bar with their Rocket!
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Daiwa’s Steez EX 100XS offers a Deadly Combination of Both Speed and Precision
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First look inside the new Curado I baitcaster
 


 


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TT Preview : Shimano’s New Red Cumara Series Goes KR-Concept (continued)

New K-Series guides for the KR Concept were designed through significant testing in which a number of key hypotheses were analyzed to form the core principals of the new design. These included leveraging the original “New Guide Concept” and making tweaks to improve sensitivity and line handling with the new guide train, adjusting guide height, and adding a running guide to adjust for mid rod stress. Fuji also found that at a certain point further reducing guide sizes showed diminishing returns and thus created new guides specifically for this design.


The new Cumara rods make use of a combination of standard sized guides and micro guides

When it came to mounting the new hardware rather than tweak their original rods with new guides Shimano went back to the drawing board and leveraged their in-house blank previous technologies. The new worm/jig rods were redesigned with the HM-1 blanks that were first used on the Cumulus Series. This was designed to improve sensitivity while reducing weight. Shimano also made sure to do this without compromising strength or power.


Shimano went to great lengths to remove material from the reel seat. We first saw this on the recent redesign of the Company's Crucial rods

The new Cumara rods provide plenty of access to the blank with proprietary reel seats and EVA handles grips that are pared down to an absolute minimum. Though the new rods use the new Fuji KR-Concept the actual rings are Alconite based versus SiC. When I first saw the handles on the new Cumara rods I wondered if Shimano had gone too far in their effort to minimize weight, and while palming reels the grips feel comfortable but when holding the rods in more traditional cast position behind the trigger the grip only fills the front half of my hand. We will share the ROD WRACK results and ergonomic findings in the actual reviews but the initial look at the rods demonstrate excellent overall lifting power and the tapers that you would expect from a powerful jigging rod.


The way the guides are designed and laid out are intended to improve line handling and casting performance

The Cumara spinning rods feel very light in hand and also feature the new resin and graphite blend based on the HM-1 blanks. Here the material is designed for balance, low overall weight and extreme sensitivity. The tapers, actions and lengths are designed specifically for finesse techniques like worming, drop shot and shakey head fishing. Like the casting rods the spinning rods feature absolutely tiny EVA grips but in this case they fit my hand perfectly as I position my hand over the spinning reel arm and the grip provides a comfortable tactile surface.


The butt of the Cumara rods are also compact for weight reduction

These rods look very clean with everything pared down to a minimum while providing maximum blank exposure both ahead and behind the tiny reel seat. Spinning reels are locked firmly into place by tightening the foregrip and because they are up-locking there are absolutely no threads to get in the way.


Each rod is labeled with the intended application

The Shimano Cumara Crankbait rods are a slightly different animal and feature a combination of the HM-1 and TC4 materials to create a softer more forgiving rod, which is exactly the attribute you want when fishing crankbaits and need to keep treble hooks pinned. TC4 stands for T-Glass, C-Carbon and 4 for four layer construction.


The cranking rods feature HM-1 + TC4 blank construction

Like the other rods in the Cumara series reducing weight while maintaining power were key to these rods. In the lab I could tell that these rods exhibited a nice crisp feel yet when WRACKED they exhibit that more relaxed taper. The company has introduced six crankbait specific rods that are designed to toss everything from mini shallow cranks to big lipped deep divers. These rods start at 7 feet in length and go all the way up to 7’11” and can accommodate lures from 1/4oz. to 1oz. 


Each of the new Cumara rods are technique specific and are made from butt to tip to address specific applications. Whether you are looking to fish finesse plastics or a umbrella rig Shimano has an option in this new lineup

Conclusion: We have begun fishing these new rods and compare them side by side with the previous generation Cumara rods. What we can say is that they fish different but do exhibit excellent sensitivity. While we are still getting used t some of the ergonomics and styling the rods have proven to be excellent casters. Stay tuned for the in-depth reviews but for those that are already looking to jump in to the new Cumara Series the rods are available at a number of e-tailers including Tackle Warehouse where we purchased our first test rod. The original Cumulus rods retailed for around $349 dollars and the Cumara which uses the same basic blank can be had for around $249-$259 depending on model, a price point that will appeal to many more anglers. It is clear that Robby Gant, Senior Rod Product Manager, has created a robust line that addresses every bass application with the new Cumara Series. Whether you are looking to finesse fish or cast spreader rigs there is an application specific Cumara rod that can address your application, and while it remains to be seen just how well they will perform in all the metrics there is no doubt that Shimano is making a statement with these bold new red, KR-Concept armed Cumaras.

Looking for the Shimano new Cumara rods? Try Tackle Warehouse


 

 

 

 

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