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Reel Review

Judgment Day for the Lethal Calais 200ASV Baitcaster


Date: 9/16/09
Tackle type: Reel
Manufacturer: Shimano
Reviewer: Zander

Total Score: 7.83 - GOOD

The Calais CL200ASv looks like a weapon sent from the future to destroy all other reels and while it may not be as ominous as the liquid metal Terminator T-1000 in the movie T2-Judgment Day, I can’t help but reflect on the deadly shape shifting assassin when examining at the Calais’s glossy almost organic shaped form factor. The Shimano Calais series has always been about delivering the ultimate performance and refinement and while it certainly is not a lightweight reel the new 200ASV model is designed to extend the range that the series addresses to include heavier freshwater and light saltwater applications.  


Shimano Calais CL200ASV Specifications

Line Capacity (lb/yds) 10/210, 14/120
Gear Ratio 6.2:1
Line retrieve per crank 26 inches
Weight 9.3 oz
Bearings 10BB, 1RB
Additional Features Greaseless spool support bearings, super stopper, assist stopper, power grips, dartanium drag, clicking drag adjustment, metal plated finish, all aluminum construction, cold forged handle shank, recessed reel foot
MSRP $399.99


Impressions: If you haven’t seen Terminator 2 you’re missing out on a classic, as well as some of Arnold’s best one liners. In the movie the T-1000 is a poly-alloy liquid metal advanced model Terminator that is able to change shape, and in default form the T-1000 looks like a metal humanoid with a reflective metal skin which reminds us of the fit and finish found on the Calais. While the Calais may not be able to transform into various armaments like a T-1000 it looks nothing short of “lethal” when it comes to “bassing weapons.”  


The Calais CL200ASV is a high capacity model for both fresh and saltwater applications

While they are certainly not lightweights like the competing Daiwa Steez reels Shimano approaches flagship-level performance with a completely different angle. Both the Steez and Calais reels are very refined in their own respects but whereas the Steez reels are very lightweight and ultra-responsive the Calais reels are more about delivering a solid construction and buttery smooth performance.

though heavier than the standard Calais the reel does balance out well with longer rods including swimbait sticks

Over the years Shimano has added more reels to the original 200A including the smaller sized CL100A and the CL200APV (power version) which features the same line capacity as the original but a slower more powerful 5.0:1 gear ratio. Also added to the series is the CL200ASV (saltwater version) which is designed with a deeper spool for larger line capacity.

The reel features a cold forged handle shank

Like the other Calais reels the CL200ASV features 10 A-RB + 1 A-RB but because it has a more robust handle and the knobs it weigh .3oz. heavier than the original. Unfortunately those anglers that like using lefty reels are out of luck as both the APV and ASV models are currently only available in right hand retrieve.

One of the most striking things about all Calais reels is the shiny metallic finish

Real World Tests: To test the Calais ASV we primarily used it for heavier freshwater applications, including swimbaits, but also employed it for some inshore applications including tossing soft-bodied  plastics for Halibut and rubber jigs to target rockfish.

We used mono, fluorocarbon and braid in our tests

Casting: The longest casting reel in the Shimano lineup is the Calais DC but to compare this reel with other more traditional reels is almost unfair considering the digital cast control’s unique design and the overall cost of the reel. The CL200ASV makes use of Shimano’s traditional VBS centrifugal cast control system which requires anglers to access the sideplate to make adjustments. The VBS system works well and the sideplate remains attached so you don’t need to worry about dropping it in the water when making changes to the brake weight settings.   

The reel features generous access to the spool

The Calais CL200ASV features a deeper more traditional spool and while it may not start up as fast as the Lo-Mass drilled spool found on other Calais reels this is hardly an issue if you are utilizing the reel for the heavier applications which it is designed for. I found the CL200ASV to be exceptional for tossing swimbaits and casting both hard and soft varieties pretty much as far as we wanted was easy. If a fish took the lure right after it hit the water there was always plenty of capacity to let the fish run.

The liquid-metal styled Calais looks and feels like a weapon, bass should be very afraid...

In short accurate casts the CL200ASV also did better than I expected and while not designed to be a finesse reel the Calais was able to toss weighted Texas rigged plastics and jigs 1/4oz. and up just fine.

On the non handle side sideplate is the turnkey access


But if you are really looking for a reel to primarily use for finesse applications the Calais CL200ASV is overkill and you’re better off with the lighter and more affordable Chronarch, it is with the heavy stuff that the CL200ASV really shines.


Open it up and anglers gain access to the proven VBS cast control system

Next Section: A silky retrieve even with big baits









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