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Reel Review

2009 Highspeed Reel Shootout : Shimano Reinvents the Chronarch!

Date: 8/23/09
Tackle type: Reel
Manufacturer: Shimano
Reviewer: Cal

Total Score:
8.33 - GREAT


Introduction: More so than the Curado or Calais or even the Metanium, Scorpion, or Antares, the Chronarch name within Shimano’s suite of low profile casting reels holds a very special place with me. I had a fleet of 6 Chronarch SF’s and when the Chronarch B came out. I sold all but one in preparation for what I thought would be my new mainstay reel. I acquired the JDM version of that reel, the Metanium XT, and while it performed up to Chronarch standards and then some, I grew to dislike the look of that reel and sadly, ended up abandoning the Chronarch line.


Introducing the revamped Chronarch D


Even before then though, while fishing my fleet of Chronarch SF’s, what I really missed was the previous generation Chronarch 100/101a and its pearl white finish. Something about the finish of that reel really inspired me to want to use it more and more. In fact, I still have four 101as in my collection of reels but rarely use them anymore because they’ve been surpassed in performance several times over by current generation products. Still, I can’t bear to part with them. Such is my connection with what I consider the original Chronarch even though there were versions that came before the pearl white version.


Shimano Chronarch CH100/101D7 Specifications

Line Capacity (lbs / yds) 10/110 : 12/90 (Manufacturer Spec)
Gear Ratio 7.0:1 (tested) : 5.0:1 (CH100D5)
Measured Weight 7.6 ounces
Measured Max. Drag 11 lbs measured max drag
Number of Bearings 6 + 1 Roller
Size of Spool/Sideplate Bearings 3x10x4 : 3x10x4 : 4x7x2.5 (handle)
Length of Handle 85 mm
Spool Weight 11 grams
Features Shimano VBS Casting Brakes, S A-RB Bearings, Magnumlite Spool, HEG Gearing, Septon Grips
MSRP $300

Impressions: Enter our trip to Dream Lake Alabama during the Fall of 2008 with Shimano. The event was our first chance to gain some on the water insight and experience with the new Curado and Citica reels, but when we arrived, Jeremy Sweet, Product Manager for fishing reels with Shimano pulled us aside to show us what he was working on. It was a true enthusiast tackle buff moment, but before we could see what he wanted to show us, the businessman in him returned and Jeremy swore us to secrecy. We obliged and what did he pull out but six prototype Chronarch Ds including two lefties!

The Chronarch D is essentially, an aluminum version of the Core

Realistically, all this reel is, is an aluminum version of the Core but what it represents is a return in form, color, and function of an old favorite – it is very reminiscent of the pearl white Chronarch from the late eighties but has a more modern day appeal with the slick two tone design that looks like the paint finish on an exotic car. 

Though a little tall compared to the classic 100/101a...

Field Tests: Even though we were able to fish the prototypes at Dream Lake, we always wait for full production run versions to perform our final evaluations, so when the reels became available earlier this year, I did not hesitate to order one. Zander also procured a few and we set out on a six month field test that took us from the California Delta to El Novillo Lake in Mexico.

...it is still a very comfortable reel to palm.

Casting: Spooled with the hollow braid, fluorocarbon topshot method shown to us by Dean Yoshizumi, I paired my new Chronarch D7 with a Mattures medium heavy swimbait rod and fished wakebaits and big topwater lures with this combination during our entire stay. The primary lure I fished on this rig was the new, six inch, injection molded Punker from Black Dog Bait Company, and I was able to launch this bait unbelievable distances with the Chronarch D7. Overhand and sidearm casts alike, the Chronarch D7 was not intimidated with casting duties of this bait.

The Chronarch D comes standard with an 85mm handle...

Back home at Clear Lake and mounted on a Daiko BRSC-70MG cranking stick, I respooled the Chronarch D7 with some 14lb Sunline MachineGun cast and went to task with some large, shallow running cranks primarily Lucky Craft’s BDS3. The Chronarch D7 cast this bait equally well and equally far with no adjustments necessary in the brake settings between the two baits. Enough cannot be said about the smooth casting performance of this reel.

...and form fitting Septon Grips.

Next Section: On to the retrieve









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