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Shimano Unveils New Citica I Series Low Profile Reels for Mainstream Anglers


Date: 6/6/15
Tackle type: Reels
Manufacturer: Shimano
Reviewer: Zander

Introduction: Information on new products from a number of manufacturers continues to be leaked or released in greater frequency, which is the norm this time of year as manufacturers gear up for ICAST. As a preemptive strike ahead of this year’s show Shimano is unveiling the new Citica I Series baitcasting reels.


In advance of ICAST Shimano is unveiling the redesign of their Citica Series

The Citica Series has always played a supportive role to the popular Curado line and this year the new reels seem to continue to follow that methodology. The Curado I Series has been a big winner for Shimano, winning back anglers with an ergonomic design, external cast control of the excellent SVS system, and powerful cranking thanks to the X-Ship technology, all of which is available for a reasonable price of $179.99 dollars for any of the three retrieve ratios (5.5:1, 6.3:1, and 7.2:1).


The new reel makes use of Shimano's Hagane design concept and metal components for greater frame rigidity

Shimano must be thinking “why mess with a good thing” with the redesign of the Citica as the new I-Series clearly features the same platform as the Curado. The new Citica I not only looks identical to the Curado I in footprint it also weighs in the same at right around 7.4oz.


The reel weighed in right between 7.4 and 7.5oz.

The Citica I leverages much of the same technology as the Curado as well, and we are happy to see that Shimano decided to keep the same “Hagane Body” which features use of metal versus graphite in the reel’s body for greater rigidity and a more stable platform in which to transfer raw cranking power. The Citica I also now gets the same X-Ship system which is designed to give the reel increased gearing by efficiently transmitting each turn of the handle.


Look familiar? The Curado I and Citica I are clearly cut from the same cloth

The Citica I also gets Shimano’s S3D (Stable Spool Design) technology which starts with a more balanced and uniform thin wall spool constructed out of aluminum to reduce vibration during casts. As with the Curado I the new Citica features the same basic externally adjustable SVS infinity braking system which we have found to be excellent at not only controlling casts but helping maximize casting distance and accuracy.


The Citica I features a thin walled S3D aluminum spool

The SVS system makes use of brake weights that use inner friction against a raceway found on the non-handle sideplate, which also features an easy takedown swing out design. The external adjustment makes it easy to make quick changes in the field for various lure types and weights.


Externally adjustable SVS cast control system... check!

We just received our test reels and haven’t had time to put the Citica I through the complete range of lab tests yet, but from what we have seen the new reel seems to have a near identical drag system. The bearing count is all also the same as the Curado I at 5+1 and the components on the drag star and the handle are identical as well, just with a more stealthy black anodizing on the handle. Overall the new Citica’s finish is a little more conservative than the Curado I and yet in many respects it reminds us of older generation Curados.


The Citica I (right) has a darker more stealthy look that the Curado I with the black anodized handle and single color frame and sideplates

While we really like the fact that Shimano is delivering all the great features of the Curado I we have to wonder if the identity of the new reel will be able to stand on its own, or will the new Citica I be so good that it cannibalizes some of the share now held by the Curado I? If anglers want the more powerful 5.5:1 retrieve ratio they will need to stick with the Curado I as the Citica I will be available in only the more traditional 6.3:1 and fast 7.3:1 retrieve ratios.


To sum it all up the Citica I is basically the new more affordable sibling of the award winning Curado I

So who will the Citica I likely appeal to? Once you get over the fact the new reels are a virtual clone of the Curado Series mainstream anglers that are looking for a well-rounded workhorse reel will likely find that the Citica I not only checks all the boxes but now represents an even better value than the already reasonably priced Cuardo I. The new Citica I reels retail for $149.99 for all models, which is $30 dollars cheaper than the Curado I reels. The new Citica I reels will be officially introduced at the upcoming ICAST show but we have confirmed that a limited number of reels are shipping to select tackle dealers in the U.S. and Canada this week so owning a new Citica I prior to the official launch is certainly possible.









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