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A First Look Inside Shimano’s New Curado Compact High Speed Reels


Date: 3/6/16
Tackle Type: Reels
Manufacturer: Shimano
Reviewer: Zander

Introduction: Officially introduced this weekend at the Bassmaster Classic Expo the new Curado 70 baitcasters from Shimano are the most compact Curado Series reels that we have seen to date. The new lineup is all about a smaller footprint but equally as exciting is how blazing fast these new compact reels are.


Shimano Curado 70HG and 70XG Baitcaster Specifications

Construction Aluminum frame
Line Capacity - Rated 10/105, 12/85
Retrieve Ratio 7.2:1 (HG), 8.2:1 (XG)
Inches Per Turn (IPT) 28" (HG), 32" (XG)
Weight 6.5 oz
Bearings 3 S A-RB + 2BB + 1RB
Drag Type Carbon and Steel Multi-Washer
Origin Made in Malaysia
MSRP $199.99


Shimano officially debuts the Shimano 70 HG and XG reels (right) at the Bassmaster Classic this week, we were lucky enough to get the reels into our lab for a look inside


The new lineup includes the Curado 70HG and left-hand 71HG with 7.2:1 gear ratios, and the even faster retrieve Curado 70XG and 71XG, each with a blistering 8.2:1 gear ratio. All four of these reels feature a compact, lightweight durable Hagane body design, and weigh in at only 6.5-ounces.


Compared to the existing 200I Curado the new reel looks much more compact and sleek

The Curado 70 reels come equipped with Shimano’s innovative SVS Infinity braking system to provide easy-to-manage, consistent spool control and brake force. The SVS Infinity system is accessible via an external adjustment knob which allows for quick, precise adjustments when conditions change or switching baits.


Both the Curado 70HG and 70XG reels feature the same compact profile and footprint


I actually prefer the position of this new knob which is flush in the upper non-handle sideplate, versus the full sized Curado 200 I models which has the dial located in the lower front of the non-handle sideplate, and I find comes in contact with my finger when palming the reel.


Shimano elevates the new reel with their Hagane and X-Ship designs

The Curado 70 comes loaded with Shimano’s Stabile Spool Design (S3D) which features a thin wall aluminum spool to provide better balance, Shimano claims that anglers will notice less spool vibration with this design. My experience with it is that it feels very consistent when casting long distances or short pitches and feels solid under load. Backing up the spool is brass main gearing and five S-ARB anti-rust ball bearings, and a one-way roller bearing for absolutely no handle backplay, plus Shimano’s X-Ship for even more smoothness and durability.


A look at the internals of the SVS Infinity Spool System

Speed is the name of the game with these new Curado 70 reels and with the choice of two gear ratios, anglers can reel in 28-inches of line with 7.2:1 HG models, and a whopping 32-inches with the higher speed 8.2:1 XG reels. Though small the reels still offer plenty of capacity for bass and even some inshore applications. The Curado 70 reels will handle from 105 yards of 10-pound test monofilament or fluorocarbon line and up to 70 yards of 14-pound test and when used with PowerPro braid, the reels will hold 115 yards of 20-pound and up to 80 yards of 40-pound test.


The S3D spool features an ultra thin wall for better balance and reduced vibration

The Curado 70 reels feature a carbon and steel drag system that is sandwiched on both sides of the master gear for maximum surface area. Stay tuned as we run our complete “Sweet Drag” tests on the new reels for the complete review, but Shimano rates it for a maximum 10lbs., which we believe is actually conservative based on what we have seen in the lab so far.


Under the sideplate we find massive master gearing

Styling and profile-wise the new Curado 70HG and XG are not as aggressively styled as the Caenan and Casitas twins, and features smoother more flowing lines. In my opinion these new Curado 70 reels are much more attractive than the larger Curado 200 reels, and I prefer the solid color and black highlights on these new pint sized speed demons. As you might expect the Curado70 reels also palm much better with the comfortable new compact profile.


On both sides of the main gear we find carbon drag washers

Overall we are really liking what we are seeing from these new reels and thus far have found them excellent for the complete range of casting applications, and cannot wait to see how they really perform with fish on the line. Whether you are pitching, flipping, or finesse fishing with lightweight fluorocarbon lines these new compact size Curado 70 baitcasting reels, available in both right- and left-hand retrieve and two gear ratios, are arguably the most exciting new reels for the masses this coming season at only $199 dollars each.


The new Shimano Curado 70 HG and XG reels are compact and fast, and with a price point under 200 dollars these reels might just be the go-to baitcasters for mainstream anglers this season

In terms of availability the reels are just becoming available now, though getting your hands on some of the models may be hard to get for the next few weeks as e-tailers and retailers scramble to bring them in.

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