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Reel Preview

Shimano takes the next step with improved design offerings on some of their most popular reels

Date: 9/08/04
Tackle type: Reels
Manufacturer: Shimano
Reviewer: Zander

Introduction: Shimano unveiled their exciting new 2005 lineup at the recent ICAST, and in doing so completely revamps some of their most popular reels to make them even better. Sporting aggressive new designs, more refinement for specific applications, and improved technology, this lineup of reels adds to Shimano's already mammoth list of quality product.


The Chronarch B features proven technology, and some new innovation, all packaged in an aggressively styled ergonomic frame


Chronarch B Series: The Chronarch has been a benchmark in low profile reels for more than 10 years, so when Shimano went to the drawing board to introduce the next generation model it was with great consideration. The Chronarch B now utilizes High Efficiency Gearing, Lo-Mass Drilled Spools, 6+1 A-RB anti-rust bearings, VBS and super free pinion gearing, all sandwiched in a very radically styled aluminum frame with new "Escape Hatch" sideplates for faster access. The Chronarch B looks much more aggressive than the current model, and the sideplates are deliberately molded to be more ergonomic, translating to a better overall fit into your hand. There will be a saltwater version of the Chronarch B which will have more line capacity and a blazing fast 6.2:1 gear ratio. All reels will have a much more durable finish from an "Ion-plating" process, and scratch guards on top of the frame provide an extra buffer. This is likely to be the most anticipated baitcasting reel in the Shimano lineup, and has already won the prestigious ICAST award in the reel category. Making it three years in a row that Shimano has won the best reel category, and two years in a row that Shimano has won the overall "Best of Show!" (Calcutta TEDC, Chronarch B) The Chronarch B series will retail for $269.99.


The Chronarch 50Mg is the lightest baitcaster in the Shimano lineup and will certainly appeal to Japanese tackle enthusiasts who had to import Scorpions up till now


Chronarch 50Mg: The Chronarch Mg is not as modern looking as the new Chronarch B reels, but Japanese tackle enthusiasts will recognize the Mg as the US version of the renowned Scorpion. The 50Mg is smaller than the Chronarch 100Mg, and features the Septon handle, a recessed reel foot, Lo-Mass drilled spool, and a drilled handle shank for further weight reduction. The 100Mg weighs in at 6.95 ounces, and the new 50Mg hits the scales at a much improved 5.9 ounces. Finally, a special coating makes it possible to use the Mg in brackish and saltwater environments. Suggested retail for this lightweight is $249.99.


Meet the newest member of the Shimano round reel family...the affordable Corvalus


Corvalus Series: Shimano's newest series of round reels are the Corvalus family. Intended to pull both fresh and saltwater duty, these workhorse reels will come in 200, 300, 301. 400, and 401 sizes. Features include a durable one piece aluminum frame, aluminum sideplates and spool, VBS, Super Stopper and Assist Stopper, powerful 5.2:1 gear ratio, 3+1 stainless steel bearings, plus a clicker and non-disengaging levelwind on the widest model. The Corvalus is a well balanced reel priced aggressively at $69.99 to $79.99 depending on size.


The new Stradic MgFA now comes with the complete range of S-Concept features and the capability to pull light saltwater duty


Stradic MgFA: Shimano introduces a brand new magnesium Stradic. The current version of the Stradic MgF was lightweight but didn't have all the s-concept benefits of its siblings. Well no longer, the new Stradic MgFA boasts a lightweight magnesium frame, S-Concept design, and a special coating makes it safe for saltwater use. This reel is designed for more comfort and sensitivity on drop shot rigs, bait tipped jigs for walleye and perch, and casting for bonefish and redfish on the flats. Suggested retail for this reel is $189.99.


The flagship Stella gets the royal treatment with even further refinement from
"three dimensional analysis design."


Stella: Shimano's flagship spinning reel undergoes some extreme refining, and will feature 4 new sizes added to the lineup. (1000FB, 2500FB, 3000FB, and 4000FB) With the Stella series, "you have a product that once you use it, you won't be able to go back to anything else," states Jeremy Sweet with Shimano's product development staff. The Stella now integrates SR-Concept which includes the SR-3D gear, an oversized drive gear designed with three-dimensional analysis. Three dimensional what? Sounds like something right out a science fiction novel, but what this term actually means is that the surface of each tooth is contoured exactly to the tooth shape on the pinion gear! With the ultimate gear surface in contact with the pinion gear tooth surface, smoothness, torque, efficiency and durability all increase. There are also "SR guard fins," coated with titanium, placed strategically on the rotor and select reel body parts to offer impact damage protection. A contemporary "Rigid Support Drag" eliminates spool wobble even at the lightest drag settings, and the "SR handle" screws directly into the drive gear for absolutely zero backplay. The all weather drag uses a waterproof gasket, natural wool drag washers, and has 48 adjustment points! With a resume like this the Stella is definitely among the most refined reels made for the most discriminating of anglers. The Stella will retail for $499.99 to $529.99.

Conclusion: Shimano's lineup of reels has never looked as robust as it does this upcoming season. Across the board the theme of the Shimano redesigns is more...more refinement, more performance, and more value. The reels highlighted in this preview are just some of the reels in a long list of updates that goes through the entire lineup from the ultra refined Stella to the very affordable Sedona. We predict that the Chronarch B series of reels will be a hot commodity in stores as the radically redesigned exterior complements the rich features and materials utilized in the guts of this reel. There certainly is a battle brewing in the low profile baitcast category this season, stay tuned for individual in depth reviews and shootouts of these stirring new reels!


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