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No Secret, Shimano’s Curado I Reels Look like the Real Deal


Date: 2/21/14
Tackle Type: Reels
Manufacturer: Shimano
Reviewer: Zander




Introduction: The Curado Series is among the most important series of reels for Shimano, a mainstream offering that has been the standard among workhorse baitcasters for over two decades. Leading up to the Bassmaster Classic this weekend Shimano has been showing the new Curado I to dealers and I got my first glimpse at the Big Rock Show in Las Vegas in early January. At the time this reel was “top secret” but as we all know, keeping secrets in the fishing industry is near impossible.


Pro Anglers Cody Meyer and Jared Lintner show us the new Curado I reels at the Classic, this is probably the single most important launch freshwater reel for Shimano  this year


Rumors started to circulate that Shimano was updating the new reel, soon images surfaced and the buzz ramped. In the last 24 hours Shimano officially unveiled the new reel at the Bassmaster Classic Outdoor Expo in Birmingham Alabama, and for the first time the public was able to get their hands on the new reels.


Though Shimano tried to keep it a secret the excitement was all over the net prior to today's hard launch of the Curado I at the Bassmaster Classic Expo, now the general public gets their first official look and opportunity to purchase the new reel


Shimano’s campaign “Get More” pretty much expresses what this new reel means to anglers. The new Curado I moves away from the traditional dark green finish to a much more modern looking silver color that reminds us of the venerable Curado D and the two tone design ties the reel to Shimano's new higher end offerings, doing a good job channeling the Metanium's styling. 


The new Curado I features a design and tooling all its own


By offering multiple gear ratios in the reels – the 200PG has a slower 5.5:1 gear ratio, the 200 and 201 have a 6.3:1 ratio, and the 200HG and 201HG have a fast 7.2:1 gear ratio, “anglers have the right reel for the baits they are using,” said Robby Gant with Shimano’s product development staff, “plus the benefits from our latest baitcasting reel technology including SVS Infinity Braking System, S3D Stabile Spool Design and X-Ship.”


Much sleeker and more aggressively styled than the previous version


The new Curado I reels utilize Shimano’s new SVS Infinity Braking System which provides easy-to-manage, consistent spool control and brake force  by harnessing ‘inner friction’ to provide consistent brake force. The SVS brake weights leverage ‘inner friction’ against the raceway during the cast, SVS Infinity is designed to effectively control spool speed especially when using lighter lures. One of the biggest benefits to anglers is the inclusion of an external adjustment knob which provides for quick, precise adjustments in the field. To further improve casting and retrieve feel Shimano’s Stabile Spool Design (S3D) is engineered to reduce spool vibration. Gant explained that S3D technology has enabled the Company to construct a thin wall aluminum spool that provides better overall balance.


The new reel features a thin walled yet durable and well balanced spool called S3D (Stabile Spool Design).


In hand the reel is noticeably smoother than the previous generation Curado and delivers a silkier feel. Under line pressure we noticed that the gearing also feels more precise and powerful. With five S-ARB anti-rust ball bearings, and a one-way roller bearing we detected almost no handle backplay, the Curado I also includes other proven Shimano features including Super Free and Super Stopper, a Cross Carbon Drag, and an Offset Handle Design. “With X-Ship, we support the pinion gear on both ends with bearings, keeping it in precise alignment with the drive gear even under heavy loads,” said Gant. “It’s proven technology from our Tranx and Calcutta D series – reels primarily used with big baits to target big fish. As anglers have always expected from our Curado reels, they are ready to handle every day, every weekend on the water use.” X-Ship also is designed to enhance gear durability over the long term.


The reel features a offset handle design and those big power grips we love


At time of launch there are a total of five models being introduced including the Curado CU200PG, CU200, CU200HG, and left-hand retrieve CU201 and 201HG. To cast lures like bigger crankbaits and spinnerbaits – and to work more water, the Curado 200PG retrieves 23-inches of line per crank. The CU200 and 201 can provide more versatile use – jigs, small crankbaits, lipless cranks, jerkbaits and swimbaits – while retrieving 26-inches of line per crank. Anglers can expect 30-inches of line retrieved per crank to come tight quick when fishing worms and jigs with CU200HG and 201HG. All five Curado I reels handles from 190 yards of 30-pound test to 80 yards of 65-pound PowerPro braid (or up to 110 yards of 14-pound mono).


The Curado I has a distinct angular gearbox that completes the reel's new more angular and aggressive styling


Conclusion: No longer a secret, this introduction represented a hard launch for Shimano and while there are limited numbers of reels available they are indeed available now from certain e-tailers and retailers. Shimano has definitely invested in the new Curado I Series and from everything we have seen this new reel definitely looks like the real deal, a reel that is not only worthy of the Curado name, but one that is going to help win back many anglers that were disappointed in the last version. When you look at the features on paper the Curado I definitely gives anglers “more” for the money, and at $179.99 for every version this reel is priced for battle in the highly contested mainstream market. We are very excited about what the new Curado I brings to the table, and while we are all busy watching the excitement unfold at the Classic you can be sure that as soon as we get a chance to hit the water with the new reel we will definitely put it through all the paces to see just how the new reel will live up to the Curado legacy.


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