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Reel Article: Shimano Calais DC Preview

Inside the new Shimano Calais DC

Date: 8/09/06
Tackle Type: Reels
Manufacturer: Shimano
Reviewer: Zander

Introduction: Three years ago Shimano revolutionized cast control technology with the introduction of the Calcutta TE DC. Since then we’ve all known it was just a matter of time before the technology made its way into a low profile baitcaster. This year at ICAST Shimano integrated the proven technology into their flagship Calais line. While this was no surprise, we were astounded by the number of new refinements that Shimano made to the technology. Such advancements definitely warrant a closer look, and we examine just what makes this latest implementation of the Shimano “Digital Control Circuit” so exclusive.


The ultra refined new flagship of the Shimano casting lineup...the Calais 4x8 DC


The design: While the new DC is undoubtedly a purebred Calais, the new reel’s profile is noticeably different from any of the previous Calais reels. The reel is by far the most aggressive looking Calais design, and features a more pronounced angular face. The lustrous profile is complemented with a spiral drag star, and attractively machined cast control knob. In terms of enthusiast highlights this reel has components that look just as good as some of the best aftermarket tuning parts.


The reel features a asymmetrical spool window for the ultimate ergonomics


A closer look at the original circuit: Born from necessity, Shimano saw drawbacks in both centrifugal and magnetic cast control design. Magnetic systems often lack true freespool settings, and centrifugal systems require time to adjust….time better spent casting and retrieving. The original Calcutta TE DC addressed these issues with eight different pre-programmed braking patterns, giving anglers longer casts and fewer backlashes, and the ability to make changes with a quick click of the knob.


Metal, Metal, and more metal


Concerns over durability were quickly replaced with admiration for the original reel, as anglers grew to trust the waterproof digital control system. The circuit rarely (if ever) failed in the field, and our test reel was even deliberately dunked in saltwater….yet continues to function flawlessly today. The circuit recharges itself with each and every cast, making the circuit maintenance free. Reels with conventional systems (magnetic or centrifugal) usually reach 15,000 to 20,000 RPM. With the original circuit the Calcutta TE DC was achieving 30,000 RPM, which represented a 50-70% increase in rotation.


A close look at the external cast control adjustment, here anglers can adjust 8 sub-settings


Yet anglers still found the reel to exhibit excellent line control. While this technology is still considered cutting edge, the team at Shimano still felt there was room for improvement. So rather than just shove the original circuit into the Calais they spent the last year and a half improving the system that would ultimately find its way into the final reel.


The Escape Hatch reveals the master mode settings


Next Section: Modes, Settings, and Refinements









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