Return of the Enthusiasm : Shimano Japan's Calcutta Conquest
Total Score: 8.42 - ULTIMATE ENTHUSIAST AWARD
As I sit down to write this review, I looked back on the last time I explored a Shimano Calcutta/Conquest DC (digital cast control) reel. A quick look through TackleTour's archives reveals a review published in August of 2011 for the Conquest 50/51DC. Has it really been almost 10 years since I fished this platform? Shimano Japan renewed their Conquest DC line in 2019, but only offered it in the 200 size. Forgetting that the form factor of their latest Conquest reels is actually one size removed on the palming size (meaning the 200 size actually palms like the older 100), I bypassed that model. Then, earlier this year (in 2020), Shimano Japan introduced the 100 size - and in two gear ratios at that. When I heard the news, I immediately placed an order. Here now is our review on Shimano's 2020 Conquest 100/101 DC.
2020 Shimano Calcutta Conquest 100/101 DC Specifications
|Line Capacity - Rated
||12lb (0.310mm) / 100yds (90m)
|Line Capacity - Spool Volume
|Inches Per Turn (IPT) - calculated
14 - 22.5
17 - 27
|Bearings per Knob
|Rated Max Drag
||Made in Japan
||67,000 JPY (~)$628
Introducing Shimano Japan's 2020 Calcutta Conquest DC 101HG
In that review back in 2011, I lamented the fact the Conquest 50/51 DC lacked the artistry of the non DC version I've had since 2003. Shimano Japan refreshed their non-DC Conquest lineup in 2014 and updated the look while maintaining the original artistry. What they also did was somehow reduce the diameter of non-handle side of the reel so each model palms a size smaller than before. The 2020 Conquest 100 DC shares that same form factor, and perhaps just as important, some of that same artistic spirit in its design.
The new, pewter grey colored finish conjures thoughts of some
rare mythical metal like vibranium
Shimano's new Conquest DC is now presented in a dark, almost pewter grey, monotone color scheme giving it the appearance of being crafted from some rare
mythical metal like vibranium. Perhaps Shimano sourced this rare metal in order to tame reverberation of the reel's new DC braking system.
Compared to the original 100DC, the new 100 is a size smaller on
the non-handle side
Taking a tour around the reel to note all the fine detailing eventually leads to the non handle sideplate. Non-DC Conquest reels feature a ported design at this location with several layers of holes forming concentric circles around the reel. In the original Conquest, there were three layers of holes that circled the entire sideplate. In the 2014 refresh, these holes were in two layers covering two thirds of the sideplate's outer diameter only to be interrupted by a new, external brake adjustment dial.
Comparing Conquest designs from left to right: 2014 Conquest 101,
2011 Conquest 51DC, 2020 Conquest DC 101HG, Original Conquest 51
The DC versions take a slightly different approach with a single line of circular indentations, instead of holes, spanning half of the reel. These marks are accentuated by tear shaped, score marks running from the edge of the reel towards the center ending in the afore mentioned marks. These shapes are like artistic depictions of tiny meteors that crashed into the sideplate each leaving a crater in the reel's surface.
This design evokes thoughts of
digging his claws into Captain America's shield
In the latest Conquest DC, Shimano modernizes the entire motif with horizontal channels of varied lengths almost in the shape of a waning moon. These channels each start off at about half depth but then suddenly penetrate the sideplate entirely like scars from a metal claw tearing into the reel. Imagine Wolverine digging his claws into Captain America's shield. It's kinda sorta almost like that except, this is a DC reel not Marvel.