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Reel Review

Shimano's new Citica 200E - Completely Redefined (continued)

Impressions cont'd: When I first saw the Curado E and Citica E in pictures I was immediately excited by what appeared to be a more aggressively styled, yet much more compact reel. The Curado E featured a return to a more green finish, while the Citica E would receive a more subtle pearl grey paint job. On paper the reels offered almost the same weight and identical profile as they obviously both came off the same production line in Japan. What separated the series once again were the number of reels available in the series with different retrieve ratios and an assortment of performance and refinement boosting features.

The Citica offers generous access to the spool

While the Citica E is available in a mainstream 6.3:1 gear ratio the Curado E comes in a wide range of speed grades ranging from 5.0:1 for slow cranking to 7.0:1 for burning applications. Three bearings separate the two series and the Curado E comes with a Magnumlite spool versus an aluminum lo-mass spool on Citica E. Other differences between the two reels include a titanium line guide versus ceramic, cold forged dragstar versus standard metal alloy, and Septon PV power grips versus traditional rubber knobs.

The new reel palms comfortably

Both reels feature an all aluminum frame, and both sideplates are now graphite. This was done to reduce overall weight, but Shimano engineers designed the sideplates to still offer the rigidity and strength of aluminum. We were interested to see if this was the case, and whether the graphite handle side sideplate would adversely affect rigidity under pressure, it was time to hit the water and get to testing. 

Zander gets a strike on the popper seconds after it lands

Real World Test: To test the Citica E we purchased a mass production reel as soon as it was released to market about 30 days ago. We fished the reel on our home water of the Delta and concluded our tests by travelling to Alabama where the new reel was tested by over 30 dealers on Dream Lake. Here we compared our notes with what the East Coast buyers thought, and like us they were fishing the Citica E side by side with its sibling reel the Curado E.

The Citica's gearing is surprisingly refined for a reel at this price point

Casting: The Citica E features VBS cast control implementation and overall distance and accuracy were near identical to the Curado E when tossing crank baits, jerkbaits, wirebaits, and even Texas rigs. Yet there was one area where the reels really differed, and that was when it came to casting anything extremely light in weight.

We tested the Citica E side by side with the Curado E to determine actual performance differences

When pitching weightless rigs the Curado E shined while the Citica E was average. The Magnumlite spool on the Curado E combined with the Titanium coated line guide helped make it easier to reach quick startup speeds necessary for short casts that depended on accuracy. Once there was any weight on the end of the line the gap in performance narrowed out immediately.

The Curado E has a cold forged handle while the Citica's is cut from alloy

Next Section: An insane topwater bite tests the Citica E









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