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Reel Review


2009 Highspeed Reel Shootout : Shimano Reinvents the Chronarch! (continued)

Retrieve: The production run Chronarch D’s are noticeably smoother than the prototypes we fished at Dream Lake Alabama. Surprisingly enough, the Chronarch D even comes with one bearing under each knob. What this reel is missing are the large cranking knobs found on the Curado E series. As strange as it may seem now, I actually wish the Chronarch had these knobs. Nevertheless, as mentioned, the actual retrieve of this reel is buttery smooth.

Access to the VBS brakes is through the side hatch...

One slight problem I did have with my Chronarch D7 while really working the reel hard on fast retrieves with the BDS3s and walking the six inch injection molded Punker, was the non handle sideplate tended to flex. I encountered this same problem with the Metanium XT I had in the past and since writing the review, have experienced this issue with the Metanium MG DC as well – all reels that share the same sideplate design as the Chronarch D. It is disconcerting to say the least.

...and access to the spool itself is gained by unscrewing this cover which also houses the sideplate bearing.

Drag: The Chronarch D7 sports Shimano’s familiar Dartanium drag system and tested out in our lab with eleven (11) pounds of maximum pressure. Out on the water, the Chronarch’s drag performed predictably smooth throughout its range with easy, non-studdering startups. Those familiar with Shimano’s drag will find no surprises here and those not familiar with this system will find it delivers smooth and consistent performance.

The newly designed Magnumlite spool weighs all of 11 grams.

Design & Ergonomics: If you’re a fan of the Core’s ergonomics, you should like the new Chronarch D. It is a very comfortable reel to palm. There are those who find the reel a bit tall in the reel seat and though I did find some of the other reels in our High Speed Reel Shootout easier to palm, the Chronarch D was still within comfortable tolerances for me.

From big baits ...

Of course there are a couple of things I would have like to have seen in the production version of this reel like the Curado’s knobs, two bearings under each knob (though there is one per knob at least), a clicking cast control/spool tension knob (present in the Revo SX and Daiwa Zillion), and a left handed low speed option (available in the Daiwa Zillion). I guess no reel is perfect - not even the Chronarch.

... to cranks, the Chronarch D handles it all.

Application: From jigs and soft plastics to big baits, the new Chronarch D handles it all easily and competently and is available in both 7.0:1 and 5.0:1 (right hand only) retrieves. Just how far down will the reel go in lure weight? Stay tuned for our High Speed Reel Shootout Wrap Article to find out as well as how this reel performed head to head with our other contenders.


Shimano Chronarch CH100/101D7 Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality A reel worthy of the Chronarch name 9
Performance Enough cannot be said about the casting performance of this reel 9
Price It's a Chronarch, that means upper echelon 6.5
Features A super light Magnumlite spool, Dartanium drag, HEG gearing, S-A-RB bearings 8.5
Design (Ergonomics) A very comfortable reel to fish though a smidge tall in the reel seat 8
Application Fresh and saltwater safe 9

Total Score

Ratings Key: Ratings Key: 1 = terrible : 2 = poor : 3 = lacking : 4 = sub par : 5 = mediocre : 6 = fair : 7 = good : 8 = great : 9 = excellent : 10 = unbelievable!
(For a detailed explanation of the ratings go here)

Pluses and Minuses:


J A close return of the classic Chronarch ergonomics L 5.0:1 is not available in lefty
J Casts like a dream L No clicking cast control knob
J A good sized handle (85mm)  


Conclusion: So, is the new Chronarch D worthy of its moniker? Absolutely. It is a surprisingly smooth and easy reel to cast, is equally smooth on the retrieve, and has a low, sleek design reminiscent of the 100a and SF models of the past. Granted, there are a few creature comforts missing and that I’d hope to find on a three hundred dollar ($300) reel, and that flexing sideplate is distracting when really torquing the reel, so while it is worthy, it is still not perfect.


We welcome the return to form of an old classic and TackleTour favorite. The Chronarch D is worthy of its moniker.


So, is there a perfect reel amongst our four shootout contestants? One that is close? Does the Chronarch D take the prize, or maybe Daiwa swept the categories. Could an upset be brewing with Quantum or Abu dethroning one or both of the above? The high speed tests are over, and the jury is in. Stay tuned for our High Speed Reel Shootout Wrap Up article and the announcement of our winner!


Looking for a Chronarch D? Check out Tackle Warehouse.










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