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For the Love of Big Baits – Shimano’s Curado 200 DC


Date: 7/20/22
Tackle Type: Reels
Manufacturer: Shimano
Reviewer: Zander

Introduction: Shimano’s DC system is already popular among big bait anglers that employ the company’s numerous DC equipped reels for tossing big baits. With the growth in the swimbait market there has also been increased demand for affordable DC reels with more line capacity. Shimano’s biggest baitcaster launch this ICAST is the introduction of the new Curado 200 DC.


Shimano Curado 200 DC Specifications

Line Capacity (yards) 8/180, 10/155, 14/110
Retrieve Ratio 7.4:1 (HG) or 8.0:1 (XG)
Weight 8.1 oz. 
Bearings 6+1 bearing
Drag 11 lbs. (220HG) 12 lbs. (200XG)
Features Aluminum frame, I-DC4 cast control, Micro Module gearing, Z A-RB bearings, S3D + SF spool, X-Ship
Origin Made in Malaysia
MSRP $269.99

This ICAST Shimano launches their biggest Curado DC reel, the new 200 DC

Curado Level Up: The JDM Shimano DC cast control system is still the most advanced casting system available in baitcasters today and the I-DC4 made it easy for anglers of all skill levels to benefit from the digital system. Taking the guesswork out of the many modes and fine tuning of the 4X8 DC this simplified fully contained system has four modes that helps anglers cast a wide range of lures in all conditions.

The Curado DC features the familiar I-DC4 cast control system

As a refresher, the I-DC4 control modes: Mode 1 is designed to achieve maximum distance (least amount of magnetic braking), Mode 2 is designed specifically for managing braided line, mode 3 is for fluorocarbon or stiffer lines, and Mode 4 offers maximum control (largest amount of magnetic braking) for applications like skipping.

A look under the sideplate

Enthusiast swimbait anglers love the larger JDM DC low-profile baitcasters including the Antares DC Monster Drive, Antares DC, and Exsence DC but all these reels must be imported and are also quite expensive. In the Americas the current DC reels include the Metanium DC, Curado DC, and SLX DC which are all compact 100-150 class baitcasters. The new Curado 200 DC is basically an upsized Curado DC and features the familiar squared shape with the cast control dial on the upper front of the frame. The new reel is wider to accommodate a larger spool capable of increasing the line capacity by 40%. This enables anglers to fish with additional mono, fluorocarbon, or get even more creative with their braid to leader setups.

The new spool is able to accommodate up to 40% more line than the current Curado DC

Like the Curado 150 DC this new larger Curado features a Hagane aluminum body and a Ci4+ sideplate, micro module gearing, S-ARB bearings and the same gunmetal finish with green and gold anodized components. The new reel looks every bit like what you imagine a larger Curado should be.

The reel features a wider profile but looks every bit like a Curado

There are two retrieve ratios available, and the HG comes with a 7.4:1 ratio while the XG comes with a faster 8.5:1 retrieve ratio. These retrieves should address both big bait and heavy power fishing applications well, including fishing full sized glides, wakes, and topwater rats. It is interesting that the new reel features basically the same Cross Carbon drag, and the rated drag pressure is nearly identical to the 150 sized reels and is rated at 12lbs. for the HG reels and 11lbs. for the XG reels. Realistically this amount of pressure is more than enough for bass fishing applications, but it would have been nice to see a souped up drag. Who is going to say no to more fish stopping power?

It wouldn't be a Curado with some green and gold

Shimano sent us a Curado 200HG prior to the show and I’ve had the opportunity to fish it for only two trips before the ICAST crunch. So far, the new reel has proven to be an excellent big bait launcher, and I like the larger profile which I am used to on my swimbait rods. The Curado 200 DC weighs in at 8.1oz., which is only .3oz. heavier than a standard Curado 150 DC HG, and .3oz. lighter than the beloved Antares DC Monster Drive. It pairs very well with swimbait rods in terms of balance, and it seems just as smooth as the smaller Curado DC when it comes to retrieve feel. Cast a big bait with the Curado 200 DC and that familiar DC whine sings beautifully.

Spooled up and ready to launch some big baits. This Curado was made for the love of swimbaits

Our Quick Take: Shimano made the Curado DC for American swimbait anglers. Sure, you can cast a big frog or power fish with this reel but the anglers that will really benefit from the additional line capacity are those that like to send the biggest, and heaviest baits, out there. Daring anglers to test the line cap on this reel the DC whine is ever present, and swimbait anglers will love it. Like the current I-DC4 equipped reels this new Curado is priced for the mainstream at $269.99 and will be available in October. There is no doubt that these reels are going to sell out, and at this price they will serve swimbait anglers well as primary workhorse reels or go to work as an “affordable” backup to more expensive JDM DC big bait slingers.

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