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Shimano Curado 150 DC – Bringing Digital Cast Control to the Masses

Date: 7/2/18
Tackle type: Reels
Manufacturer: Shimano
Reviewer: Zander

Shimano’s Digitally Controlled (DC) braking system is not new, it is a proven technology that has been reserved for the company’s highest end, mostly JDM, reel offerings. That is until next week when Shimano will officially launch the Curado 150 DC, the first mainstream baitcaster in the U.S. to make use of this externally adjustable microprocessor controlled technology. We hit the water with four of these reels with Dan Thorburn from Shimano to see, hear, and feel firsthand what the newest DC reels have to offer.


Shimano will officially introduce the Curado 150 DC at ICAST next week


Impressions: With ICAST 2018 just a week away things are starting to really heat up with manufacturers starting to give anglers a preview of some of their new products in advance of the show. Shimano is one of the companies that consistently draws some of the most interest from attendees, and is known for leveraging the show as a stage for some of their most significant launches.


As the name implies the new DC reel features a digitally controlled braking system

This year one of those launches will be the new Curado 150 DC baitcaster which is positioned above last year’s Curado K, and will mark the first time that the company’s digital cast control (DC) system has been made available in a mainstream reel.


The Curado 150 DC has a wider front profile to accommodate an external cast control dial

TackleTour readers are likely already very familiar with Shimano’s DC technology, but to some mainstream anglers the idea of having a computer cast control system still sounds like science fiction. The DC cast control systems make use of a combination of three primary components, a PCB which provides a platform for all the components, the magnetic braking system, and the microprocessor that controls the entire system. The DC system doesn’t require any batteries to be replaced and is powered by the very casts that it helps manage.


The reel has a low profile but slightly less line capacity than the Curado K due to a larger diameter spool to accommodate the magnetic braking system

The first DC reels were a huge hit among enthusiast anglers, many of which were fascinated by the technology, some hypnotized by the signature whirring sound of the DC system at work. But for the most part only enthusiasts were willing to shell out the many hundreds of dollars to get their hands on a reel equipped with this technology. I remember saving up and purchasing my first Calcutta 200 DC back in 2004 and looked back to that article where I stated in the conclusion:

“This (Calcutta DC) reel can benefit baitcasting anglers of all levels. Beginners will enjoy a reduction of line issues, while experienced casters will relish the boost in accuracy and total distance achievable with the Calcutta DC's advanced electronic braking. Shimano has a habit of bringing their technology down the spectrum and implementing once premium features into their entire lineup. Does that mean that one day we will see even their low profile baitcasters sporting the new digital circuit? Maybe. But until then if you fancy fishing the ultimate in casting sophistication the Calcutta DC is the only dish on the menu that can satisfy.”


A look at the bare spool

Fast forward a decade and a half since I wrote that review and the appetite from anglers has only become more demanding in what we expect feature and performance-wise, and while we have seen many low profile reels over the last 15 years make use of that DC technology most of these reels, other than the short lived Calais, were primarily reserved for the JDM market. Leaving many US anglers having to import them to satisfy their DC fix.


Comparing the Curado 150 DC with the JDM Scorpion DC, finally US anglers have a mainstream DC baitcaster


Over the years Shimano’s DC system has continually been refined and improved, and like many technologies the use of modern day electronics and manufacturing processes has helped reduce the cost of an electronic and magnetic system that was once reserved only for the company’s most expensive halo products.


Mode 3 is designed specifically to fish fluorocarbon lines


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