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Enthusiast Review

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

Retrieve: Click that spool over and while the Scorpion 70/71 does not benefit from Shimano's Micro-Modulus gearing, the gearing does feel smooth and precise (despite a small degree of backplay in the handle). Opening the reel up reveals smallish gear teeth with Shimano's traditional, single disc drag.

Underneath that sideplate is a set of four brakes you can turn on or off.

Drag: That single disc drag delivered in our lab just barely under eighteen pounds (18lbs) of maximum drag pressure (actual measurement was 17.8lbs). Out on the water, set at less than maximum lockdown, the sweet factor (smoothness and consistency) of the drag was very good though I didn't catch any bass of significant real size during our tests (largest was about five pounds).

While the Scorp 70/71 doesn't come with micro-modulus gearing, the gear teeth are pretty small nonetheless.

Design & Ergonomics: I'm not certain how Shimano determines a reel is 100 vs 200 vs 70 in size and I was quite skeptical that the 70 really was smaller than a 100, but as I mentioned earlier, cupping the reel in your hand, and comparing it to a 100, you can tell there is a very slight difference in size between the 100 and 70 sized reels. It could very well be Shimano simply tapered the contact points of the reel while you're palming it, but whether the actual size differences are real or simply perceived, one thing for certain is the Scorpion 70/71 is very comfortable to palm and light enough to be barely even noticeable when mounted on a fishing rod.

Checking out the levelwind reveals a supportive bushing - no bearing.

My only slight negatives to the reel's design is the non-clicking spool tension knob and the fact the non-handle sideplate detaches entirely when you open it up to access the spool. I did not feel the need to lubricate the inner surface of the non-handle sideplate to cure any excessive casting noise that plagued some people with the earlier SVS Infinity spool designs.

Underneath each knob is one bearing and one bushing.

Price & Applications: Thanks to a relatively favorable exchange rate, the Scorpion 70/71 is currently available for roughly the same price as the Curado 70/71. One advantage the Scorpion has over the Curado at this point in time is the reel is available in up to three retrieve ratios not just two, so if you like using a slower, 6.3:1 retrieve ratio for certain applications, you can do this with the Scorpion 70/71 while that lower gear ratio is not available in the USDM Curado.

Only thing holding this reel back is line capacity - and that's to be expected in a compact reel.

As far as actual applications are concerned, your only real limitation with this reel is line capacity. Because it is a smaller, more compact reel, it will hold less line than others, but if you're in a situation where you can get by with 8-12lb test, you should have plenty of line to do whatever it is you please. If you're in a pinch an don't want to purchase a reel specifically tuned for the situation, you can drop down to 6lb test with the Scorpion 70/71 and handle some bait finesse situations as well.


Shimano 2016 Scorpion 70/71 Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Aside from the typical handle play, this reel is super clean out of the box 8.5
Performance Really did everything I wanted it to do 8.8
Price Considering its price point at the time of his writing ($198) - a very good value in a JDM reel 7.5
Features SVS infinity brakes, X-ship bearing, sweet drag performance, normal sized handle, this reel is feature packed 7.8
Design (Ergonomics) This reel really fits my hand well and is so very comfortable when mounted on a fishing rod 8.4
Application A versatile little reel with its only real drawback being line capacity - an inherent problem you can learn to deal with 8.4

Total Score

Ratings Key: 1 = terrible : 2 = poor : 3 = lacking : 4 = sub par : 5 = mediocre : 6 = fair : 7 = good : 8 = great : 9 = excellent : 10 = unbelievable!
For More Details of the updated rating system visit our explanation here


Pluses and Minuses:


+ Super comfortable size - Line Capacity - only because I have to list something
+ Really fun to cast  
+ Did I mention it's a super comfortable size?  


Conclusion: Every now and then, Shimano demonstrates their knack for building a classic reel. Whether it's the Conquest 50/51 platform, or the original Scorpion 1000, or the high tech Antares DC book ended by the Conquest DC or Stella from any generation, there's no denying their engineering prowess.


Hurry up and take the photo Zander so I can put this fish back and get back to casting with this reel!


Judging from the smile that was across my face during testing, and the extra effort Zander exhibited in getting the scoop on me with the Curado 70/71 review, the Scorpion 70/71 is well on its way to that classic Shimano JDM status.


In fact, I have the very reel desire to purchase a couple more of these little gems if it weren't for one thing. I just received notice from JapanTackle that my Chronarch MGL is on its way. Such is the life of a JDM Tackle Enthusiast - so many reels, so little budget with which to own them all.


Looking for a Shimano 2016 Scorpion 70/71? Try JapanTackle









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