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Enthusiast Review

Be Very Careful of What You Ask: Shimano Japan's Metanium Mg DC

Date: 6/17/08
Tackle type: Reel
Manufacturer: Shimano Japan
Reviewer: Cal

Total Score: 7.83


Introduction: Since the debut of Shimano's Conquest 100/101DC, Tackle Enthusiasts throughout the world have been anticipating the release a low profile version of these digitally controlled reels. Two years ago, Shimano Japan answered this call with the debut of the Antares DC/DC7. While the reel lived up to the expectations of the Antares moniker, Enthusiasts were not quite satisfied.


Introducing the Shimano Metanium Mg DC


The Antares DC/DC7 was a little too big, a lot too heavy, and of course, very expensive - not usually an issue with the Enthusiast crowd but given recent economic conditions, a very recent concern. No, instead the cries were, "Why can't Shimano make a light weight, low profile baitcaster with digital control? Is that too much to ask?" Perhaps not! Introducing the Shimano Metanium Mg DC!


Shimano Metanium Mg DC Specifications

Line Capacity (lbs / yds) 12lb / 120yds
Gear Ratio (actual retrieve) 6.2:1
Measured Weight 6.9 oz
Measured Max. Drag 9 lbs
Right and Left Hand Option Both
Number of Bearings 8+1
Features Digital Cast Control, also available in 7.0:1 Retrieve Ratio
MSRP 47,000 JPY ~ 435.00

Impressions: At first handling, the Metanium Mg DC is definitely everything for which we've asked of Shimano. It is light, it is small, it is easy to palm, it is simply a lot of fun to handle. Not quite as fun as the Conquest 50/51, but really this is about as comfortable and reassuring as it gets with a low profile reel. Yes, I feel it palms even better than the Scorpion 1000/1001 Mg.


With this new reel, Shimano Japan introduces a new DC system - Intelligent DC

But of course, nothing with Shimano Japan is ever as simple and obvious as it may seem. Whether that is a shorter than expected handle or a different take on an already successful casting system. In this case, it is the later. The Metanium Mg DC does not just sport the DC system from the Conquest line, nor does it sport the DC system from the most recent Antares line. No, the Metanium Mg DC comes with an entirely new DC system which causes us to pause and take a moment to learn and understand. Interestingly enough, through all of it, this DC system is there to learn with you.

The angler chooses between four primary modes, and the internal brain makes the necessary micro-adjustments dynamically

With the new, I-DC4, it's all about Intelligent Digital Control and the convenience it affords its owner. Familiar are the four settings of L, M, A, and W, but unfamiliar are their updated definitions: L for long distance; M for middle distance (instead of multi); A for all around (instead of accuracy), and W for windy. With the Antares DC, the adjustment between these four paradigms was made beneath the non handle sideplate. Further adjustment within each paradigm was afforded by an external dial. The Metanium Mg DC eliminates the need for these further adjustments and the inconvenience of opening the sideplate to switch between paradigms.

Quick and easy access to the spool is not something of which veteran DC reel owners are accustomed


With the external dial on the non-handle sideplate owners of the Metanium Mg DC can switch between the four paradigms and micro-adjustments within each setting are now handled by the intelligent brake system that automatically and dynamically adjusts to each and every cast instantaneously.

The heart and soul of the new Metanium Mg DC


Now, while the brake settings of L and W remain virtually the same, the definitions of M and A bear a closer look. "M" is intended for those individuals who typically whip out their casts with a lot of force making snap cast after snap cast instead of using a nice, fluid motion. It is recommended for use when the reel is spooled with nylon lines and presents braking force throughout the cast to better control your line.


Quick and easy access like this facilitates quick shots of lube for the spool bearings - something not easily done with other DC reels.


"A" is intended for the more fluid motion casts with a brake force that diminishes towards the end allowing for just a bit more distance than you otherwise might experience in a cast. This braking profile is recommended for use when your reel is spooled with fluorocarbon lines.


Shimano Metanium Mg DC Line Capacity Chart

Daiwa Samurai Braid
Toray Superhard Nylon
Sunline Shooter Defier Nylon
Toray SuperHard Upgrade FC
80 yds
100 yds
100 yds
85 yds


Real World Test: So how does all this actually translate on the water? We performed an accelerated series of tests with the Metanium Mg DC in an effort to find out. Though I had it paired primarily with a Megabass F7-76RSDti White Python, I fished it with a variety of fishing lines outlined in the table above.


The Metanium Mg DC sports a standard 80mm handle together with a retro fighting drag star


Next Section: Time to pitch the new DC









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