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Reel Review

The tough task of revamping a legend...the Shimano Curado redefined (continued)

Retrieve: Fish on! Within the first five minutes on the water a fish had locked onto a two-tone senko I had on the end of the line. Was the Curado putting out some good karma? Whatever it was….the reel continued to land fish after fish over the course of the last season. This reel retrieves like a dream, and much smoother than the previous generation Curado. What’s the formula for the silkier retrieve? A purposeful mix of improved gearing, a sampling of improved shielded stainless steel bearings, and a tighter designed all aluminum frame. The old Curado was reliable, but never the most refined reel. I love the use of all metal components on the 100D, from the drag star to the guts, every corner of this reel is made with superior aluminum components.


Thumb away with the wide elongated spool access

The 100D feels smooth and refined and yet delivers plenty of power for retrieving deep diving lures. Like the Chronarch 50Mg the Curado 100D feels more subtle and refined rather than ultra smooth like a traditional Shimano. While the Chronarch B emphasizes smooth retrieve and power the Curado and Chronarch Mg reels seem to deliver a very “linked” feel to the lure, and as a result is excellent for meticulous plastics work. In addition, the diminutive size of the reel makes you want to employ it for finesse fishing plastics, but don’t be deceived, this pint sized performer has what it takes to fish everything from plugs to mammoth swimbaits…..just watch that line cap!


A peek at the underside

For those seeking even more power the 200 sized reels come with HEG (High Efficiency Gearing) which basically equates to larger more powerful gears. The 100D is ideal for a great many applications ranging from retrieving jigs, plastic worms, weightless rigs, crankbaits, and jerkbaits. But if you are looking for a reel optimized for topwater lures the CU200DHSV with the 7:1 ratio is going to help motor buzzbaits quite a bit easier.

The Curado is easy to palm...no surprise there

On the other hand if you are seeking a crossover reel that can target both bass and some smaller inshore species the CU200DPV with the slower more powerful 5:1 ratio ought to be your weapon of choice.

The reel has just a tint of green, for the most part it now looks silver

Drag: The Curado makes use of Shimano’s consistent Dartanium drag material, and the result is smooth constant counter pressure unlike any other. In our lab the Curado put out 9.4lbs of drag pressure, which is pretty close to the published 10lb spec. When you get close to double digit drag pressure with any baitcaster, you have more than enough to deal with just about any bass. Sure there are some lunkers that make you wish you had a Calcutta 300TE mounted on the reel seat, but the vast majority of the time fish don’t really tap into the upper range of the drag, save for very short bursts or runs put out by the most insistent fish


A quality metal clicking drag star is a welcome change from plastic


I was very pleased to hear and feel the reassuring “click, click” when rotating the drag star. This allows for more precise adjustments of the drag settings, and provides for added assurance your drag setting will stay exactly where you want while battling any potential catch.


Even the spool tension knob is now aluminum


Durability: The Curado is armored with a thick clear coat to mitigate against boat rash or wear from your hands. All of the reel’s key components are constructed out of metal and interior components like the dartanium drag and shielded bearings are designed to endure the long haul.


Halfway through our tests we couldn't believe how well this reel balanced out our Powell test rod


What I liked about Shimano America’s implementation of the series was a division of the series. Reels are more likely to wear out if you stress them to the max in one particular area. For example, if I bought the old Curado and fished it insistently with bulky plugs all season the gearing would see a shorter lifespan than if I used it for finesse worming. Now anglers that know what they want to do beforehand can pick the right reel for their exacting application, and not only have a better solution for their unique requirements, but also have a longer lasting one as well. 


The Septon ergonomic power grips feel great, and offer up a lot of adhesiveness


Ergonomics: Over the course of the tests the Curado felt right at home in the palm of my hand. The small profile is identical to that of the Chronarch 50Mg, and while a bit heavier it doesn’t really feel that way unless fishing plastics. In fact it balanced out perfectly with our Powell test rod since it had less rear weight due to the split grip. The takedown plate on the VBS is the traditional screw off and release on the 100D, and like most other Shimano reels the plate swings down and remains attached on a pinion. Septon grips are used on the handles, and as usual they provide a sublime gripping surface. The Septon seems to wear down after time, but interestingly even though the pads look and feel smoother they still feature the same level of adhesiveness. No real surprises when it comes to ergonomics overall, those anglers that are fans of the Chronarch 50Mg may find it puzzling that the Curado 100D is in fact identical in size, but will still appreciate the fact that the Curado is so alike the Chronarch 50Mg in all ergonomic aspects other than sheer weight.


To access the VBS adjustment flip the switch and turn...

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