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Enthusiast Review

Welcome Back Shimano : The 2013 Metanium


Date: 2/16/14
Tackle Type: Enthusiast
Manufacturer: Shimano
Reviewer: Cal

Total Score: 8.28 - EDITORS CHOICE AWARD

For years, we've wondered why large manufacturers like Shimano go through the effort to make specialized products for one market versus another when the overall applications of each product are more or less the same. Of course, we're speaking primarily about fishing reels, and even more specifically, bass fishing reels.


Introducing the 2013 Shimano Metanium.


The perception many US consumers have is the grass is always greener and the reels made for the Japanese Market are better than those made for sale here in the United States. Bearings are better, braking systems are better, finishes are better, overall performance is better. True or not, that is the perception and rather than wage a pointless debate, consumers simply turn to the Internet and order the reels direct from Japan. It is the age of information afterall and the Internet makes access to items you might otherwise find difficult to locate, all that much easier.



(ttvideometanium13mg) Shin Fukae, 2013 PAA Angler of the Year introducing the new Shimano Metanium.


Well, we're happy to see that Shimano America Corp has finally seen the light. This past fall, they announced the availability of former JDM only product, officially in the North American Market. These aren't watered down, relabeled, "untuned" versions of existing reels, but in a move that took even us by surprise, Shimano is importing the latest iterations of their Antares and Metanium reels for sale in US tackle stores. We were already in possession and in the process of reviewing the 2013 Metanium reels prior to this announcement, but now that the reels are readily available here in the States, we felt it was time to step up the pace on the products review cycle. Here now is our look at Shimano's 2013 Metanium low profile baitcasting reels.


Shimano Metanium 2013 Specifications

Line Capacity - Rated 8/140, 10/120
Line Capacity - Spool Volume 12.48 cubic centimeters
Retrieve Ratio
HG = 7.4:1
XG = 8.5:1
Inches Per Turn (IPT) - calculated
15.3 - 26.7 inches
18.3 - 30.67 inches
21 - 35.2 inches
Weight 6.1 oz
Spool Weight 12 grams
Bearings 9 + 1
Tested Max Drag ~8.42 pounds
Origin Made in Japan
MSRP $419.99


Quality/Construction: The 2013 Metanium is a 100 sized, magnesium framed reel available in three different retrieve ratios (6.2:1, 7.4:1, 8.5:1). It carries a similar form factor to the new Chronarch Ci4+ but the frame materials on the two reels are different. The Metanium is a magnesium framed reeling featuring a dark grey top plate matched with a light grey or silver finish everywhere else. The frame and sideplate tolerances on our two Metaniums were perfect but there is a small degree of play in the handles both back and forth as well as in and out from the body of the reel. The reel's knobs are tight to the handle.


Quality Ratings for Shimano Metanium 2013

Finish (1-5)
Frame & Sideplate Tolerance (1-5)
Handle Tolerance (1-5)
Knob Tolerance (1-5)
Rating (= Tot/Pos * 10)

Performance: I purchased both the standard and XG versions of this reel and fished them for several months with a variety of line types and a bunch of different rods all in an effort to get a good overall feel for the product.

The Metanium benefits from Shimano's new SVS Infinity braking system which includes an external dial to fine tune braking adjustments.

Retrieve: The 2013 Metanium reels by Shimano feature a new "micro module" gearing system. Both the primary and pinion gears have approximately twice the number of teeth of a comparable Shimano reel without the advancement. These smaller teeth increase the contact points between gears which should translate into less gearing noise and ultimately, smoother more powerful performance as you turn the handle of the reel.

The 2013 Metanium comes in three ratios, the standard 6.2:1, the HG 7.4:1, and the XG 8.5:1.

Naturally we opened one of our reels up to see if this really was the case and while the teeth are indeed smaller than we're accustomed to seeing, they didn't appear quite as small as some of the marketing material we'd seen for the micro-module gears. Not that it really matters because on the water, these Metanium reels are super smooth.

Contoured septon grips are standard on these reels.

Next Section: Let's dig into performance metrics









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