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Shimano Stradic FK Spinning Reel Review
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Kistler Rods Magnesium 2 Review
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DUO Realis Onimasu Swimbait Review
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First Look Inside Shimano's New Compact Curado
 


 


Enthusiast Review


Can the Brenious Hold up to Fresh as Well as Salt?

 

Date: 10/12/15
Tackle Type: Reel
Manufacturer: Shimano
Reviewer: Cal






Total Score: 6.91 - FAIR

Introduction:
The term "bait finesse" is easing its way into the consciousness of North American bass fishermen with each passing year. The concept of making finesse presentation with bait casting gear is nothing new to bass anglers in Japan, but it's taking a long time to grab hold outside of that country. Part of the reason for disregarding this very effective strategy is the cost of the specially designed reels - especially when these reels must be imported from Japan because there are no USDM alternatives. Reels like the Pixy, PX68, Aldebaran BFS, T3 AIR and more all cost in excess of $350. Well, in 2014, Shimano Japan introduced a bait finesse option priced around $250 targeted at saltwater fishermen. But will this reel help those freshwater anglers working with a more finesse budget too? Here's our look at Shimano's Brenious finesse baitcaster.

 

Shimano Brenious Specifications

Line Capacity - Rated 6lb / 55 yds
Line Capacity - Spool Volume 9.2 cm3
Retrieve Ratio
7.7:1
Inches Per Turn (IPT) - calculated
24 - 27.5"
Weight 7.1 oz
Spool Weight 11 g
Handle Length 80 mm
Bearings 6 + 1
Bearings per Knob 1 bearing, 1 bushing
Levelwind Bearings none
Tested Max Drag ~10.08 lbs
Origin Made in Japan
MSRP $249


Introducing Shimano's Brenious Baitcasting Reel.

Quality/Construction: Shimano's Brenious finesse baitcaster shares the same overall design as the Chronarch 50E which in turn is essentially an aluminum version of the former Aldebaran. It features a glossy black finish with very good frame and sideplate tolerances. The handle has a fair amount of play in it and the knobs do as well, but less than the handle.

 

Quality Ratings for Shimano Brenious

Finish (1-5)
Frame & Sideplate Tolerance (1-5)
Handle Tolerance (1-5)
Knob Tolerance (1-5)
Total
Possible
Rating (= Tot/Pos * 10)
4
4
3
4
15
20
7.5


Designed for saltwater applications, we take it out to test its applicability to freshwater bass fishing.

Performance: What sets the Brenious apart from the Chronarch 50E is it's spool It features a very shallow and narrow spool that carries very little line. I filled mine with 5lb Seaguar Tatsu Fluorocarbon, and mounted it on the now discontinued Edge Rods Black Max bait finesse casting rod. This rod was built on a drop shot blank and features spiraling REC Recoil guides.


The Brenious's handle is a standard 80mm in length.

Retrieve: The Brenious comes with a fast, 7.7:1 gear ratio. This is faster than the Chronarch 50E (6.4:1) and also faster than the quickest Aldebaran (7.0:1), so Shimano did cut special gears for this reel and didn't just repurpose something from a previous design.


Taking the reel back to the lab for a closer look.

Actual quality of the reel's retrieve is good and pretty much what you'd expect from this platform - smooth and connected. I didn't notice any unusual clicks or knocks during retrieve and the 80mm handle is sufficient for this reel's duty as a finesse caster.

Performance Ratings for Shimano Brenious

Retrieve (1-5)
Drag (1-5)
Power (1-5)
Casting Range (1-5)
Brakes (1-5)
Total
Possible
Rating (= Tot/Pos * 10)
4
4
3
3
4
18
25
7.2


No wonder that drag is so smooth, the reel is packed with grease.

Drag: Our Shimano Brenious peaked at a hair over ten pounds (10lbs) of pressure when tested against The Machine with the drag tightened down as far as I could get it with my fingers. As always, what's more important to us, however is how smooth and consistent that drag performs at regular settings. Referencing the reel's Sweet Drag Performance Chart below, we can see the Brenious has an exceptionally smooth and consistent drag.


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

Experience out on the water backed up our findings in the lab. I had the dag set very loose while fishing a drop shot rig on this reel and while I didn't catch any bass over 3 pounds during the Brenious's test period, the drag performed flawlessly nonetheless.

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

Lock - 8
Lock - 6
Lock - 4
Lock - 2
Lockdown
Avg % Change
Start Up
.47
.61
1
3.4
10.08
Sustained
.43
.58
.97
3.45
9.03
Lowest Value
.27
.46
.83
3.12
7.10
Change in Startup vs Sustained
8.7%
4.9%
3.5%
1.4%
10.4%
5.8%
Biggest Drop from Sustained
37.1%
20.7%
14%
9.5%
21.4%
20.6%
Drag on this reel was tested with the dragstar fully tightened. Then with each successive test, the drag was backed off with two short pushes of the dragstar with our thumb.

 

Next Section: Power and Casting Finesse Style


 

 

 

 

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