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Reel Review

The Shimano Caenan, a Mainstream Contender


Date: 9/7/11
Tackle type: Reels
Manufacturer: Shimano
Reviewer: Zander

Total Score: 6.91 - FAIR

Introduction: Two seasons ago Shimano introduced the Caenan, a new reel that featured a number of elements from their previous spinning and baitcast reels, all within a newly designed form factor. Since then the company has now introduced a number of new reels based on the same mold including the Citica and Curado G reels which debuted at the recent ICAST 2011. Before reviewing those new products we take a look at the mainstream contender that is the Caenan.


Shimano Caenan 100 Baitcaster Specifications

Line Capacity (lb/yds) 10/155, 14/110
Gear Ratio 6.5:1
Line retrieve per crank 27 inches
Weight 7.2oz.
Bearings 3SS BB, 1RB
Additional Features Aluminum Lo-Mass spool, super stopper, 1/8 turn easy access sideplate, high density EVA handle grips, clicking drag adjustment, ceramic line guide, Quickfire II clutch bar
Origin Malaysia
MSRP $89.99


The Shimano Caenan is designed to be a workhorse reel


Impressions: When the Caenan first came out it was touted as a workhorse reel with a great price of only $89.99, many dealers eagerly anticipated the arrival of this new reel and had voiced that there needed to be a more affordable offering positioned beneath the 100 dollar price point.


In the lab we prepare to a closer look at the Caenan


The Caenan competes head to head with the Daiwa Exceler which is priced exactly the same, but two of the immediate differences anglers will notice is that the Exceler is available in both 6.3:1 and 7.1:1 retrieve ratios and makes use of an aluminum frame while the Caenan is only available in a 6.5:1 retrieve ratio and utilizes a graphite frame. On paper the Caenan seems outmatched but the proof really is in just how well the reel fishes.


The drag star is spring loaded


Style-wise the Caenan is a departure from previous Shimano reels and features a two-tone pattern where the center frame is painted a deep red color and the sideplates are light silver. The overall look is sporty, but the use of the lighter color on the outside frames gives the reel a slightly larger appearance. The reel further distances itself in style with use of round EVA Power Grips, the same knobs we originally observed on the Stradic CI4.


The main gearing is brass...


Specification-wise the Caenan is pretty much what anglers would expect from a 90 dollar reel, 6SS+1RB, a graphite drag star, and a ceramic line guide. When I first cranked the reel in the lab the Caenan felt fairly smooth, but did not exhibit the same fluid retrieve that we are used to from Shimanoís other slightly higher priced/positioned baitcasters. The Caenanís gearing exhibited a little more gear-mesh right out of the box and when cranking hard and stopping the reel just didnít feel as connected as the Citica or Curado E reels. How would this translate in the field? Time to find out...


...and houses a very simple drag system


Real World Tests: To test the Caenan we fished this reel for a season and a half targeting a range of freshwater fish including Largemouth, Smallies, and Striped Bass. The tests were conducted using a variety of lines including Berkley Big Game and Yozuri Hybrid, and the majority of test time was logged on bodies of water including Clear Lake, Lake Sonoma, and the California Delta.


The Caenan features a recessed reel seat to give the reel a lower overall profile on most rods

Next Section: A surprising cast









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