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Enthusiast Review


Channeling the Joy of a JDM Classic : Shimano's Scorpion 70/71 Platform


Date: 8/10/17
Tackle Type: Reel
Manufacturer: Shimano
Reviewer: Cal

Total Score: 8.23 - EDITOR'S CHOICE

Any tried and true JDM bass reel enthusiast has a special place in their tackle heart for the Shimano sub-brand of "Scorpion". This is the lineup that has initiated the majority of Tackle Enthusiast for the last fifteen to twenty years. Whether it was the original 1500 or the compact 1000 to the follow up XT through the globalized 200, the JDM counterpart to Shimano's workhorse Curado series has always carried with it a mysterious aura (sometimes deserved, sometimes not) of being better than its JDM counterpart. Today, we take a look at the latest, compact iteration of this vaunted line with a look a the new, Scorpion 70/71.


Shimano 2016 Scorpion 70/71 Specifications

Line Capacity - Rated 10lb / 110yds
Line Capacity - Spool Volume 10.4 cm3
Retrieve Ratio
Inches Per Turn (IPT) - calculated
Weight 6.5 oz
Spool Weight 16 g
Handle Length 84 mm
Bearings 7 + 1
Bearings per Knob 1 bearing, 1 bushing
Levelwind Bearings None
Tested Max Drag ~18 lbs
Origin Made in Malaysia
MSRP $198


Impressions: As its name would suggest, the Scorpion 70/71 is the JDM counterpart to the newly introduced Curado 70/71 written up in October of 2016 by Zander. Truth be known, I've had my Scorpion 71 for longer than Zander, but since he controls the publishing as our Editor in Chief, he skillfully worked his review in before I had a chance to even begin writing.


Introducing the Scorpion 71.


The Scorpion 70/71 is, in a nutshell, the perfect sized low profile casting reel. Are you one of the lucky ones who, by my urging sampled the magic of the discontinued Shimano Conquest 50/51? Well, this compact little, low profile wonder carries with it some of that same grin inspiring magic straight out of the box. Visually, it's about the same size as the Aldebaran and Scorpion 1000 XT, but when you tuck it into the palm of your hand and grasp the reel, it feels almost ten percent (10%) smaller.


What happened to the red/maroon paint?


In a stark departure from previous iterations of reels in this lineup since I can remember, this Scorpion does not feature a dark red/maroon finish! Instead, it's a stealthy deep, dark grey with subtle red highlights at the spool and spool tension knob. The handle is sleek and machined metal and the handle knobs, while compact and comfortable, are not contoured left or right hand. The dragstar clicks, but the spool tension knob remains silent on adjustment.

Shimano's "70" size actually feels about 10% smaller than the "100".

Real World Tests: The Scorpion 71 is one of those special reels that I could not wait to get out on the water. I spooled it with some unique to me fishing line - Lucky Craft's Iron Athlete Topwater line - and mounted it on a Fenwick HMG casting rod for our real world tests.

Despite its diminutive size, the Scorpion 70/71 comes with an 84mm handle.

Casting: The Scorpion 70/71 features Shimano's latest SVS Infinity Braking system. Shimano stopped short of providing this little wonder with the MGL spool, but it doesn't need it. With the four internal brakes on the spool, and the external dial to fine tune the brake's performance, this little wonder casts and pitches like a dream.

We miss the old contoured knobs for left or right hand retrieve, but these are very comfortable nonetheless.

I'm sure I've mentioned in one or two reviews over the past year that Shimano is back and it all has to do with their new braking system. The Scorpion 70/71 is so very easy to cast with baits ranging down to one quarter of an ounce (1/4oz) and up to as high as you dare go, I didn't even care if a fish came up to hit my bait (I was primarily fishing Megabass's new Diamante topwater bait). I just wanted to get the bait back in so I could launch it over and over again with nice, easy swings.

Casting brakes can be fine tuned by that dial you see on the non-handle sideplate.

Next Section: Scorpion Retrieve and Drag









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