As many of you know there is wide range of casting reels on the market today. Anywhere from color, size, innovation, availability (ADM vs JDM), and of course price point.
In the past few years reel manufacturers have dramatically broadened their product lines. Most of the time they do a really good job at staying in tune with consumer demands and other times they don’t. Shimano however has listened to the consumers once again. Utilizing their DC technology, historically found in their high-end reels, Shimano has now offered the DC feature in the Curado series of reels. Just in case some of you aren’t sure what DC technology is we will give you the simple explanation directly from Shimano. “Shimano’s new Digital Control braking system utilizes a microcomputer to monitor spool speed 1,000 times every second and apply the perfect amount of brake to prevent backlash and maximize distance. Anglers of all skill levels will appreciate less thumbing and trouble-free casting in all conditions.” Now keep in mind that this technology is not new to Shimano. Shimano has offered this technology in their high-end reels for quite some time now. We like that. We like the fact that Shimano has had plenty of time to refine this feature and we believe they have found a way to produce a more cost-effective way to do this for the Curado series. Will that come at the expense of the angler? Let’s hope not but we will see in about a month of springtime abuse on giant LM & SM.
For those of you who are looking to invest in some new reels for 2019 we would highly suggest you take a look at the Shimano Curado DC ($249.99). Now keep in mind there is a fair amount of reels on the market today at this price point. For those of you who live where the wind is never an issue, you can stop reading now. The rest of us however may want to consider the benefits of having a reel that really does what it claims to do. If you are so lucky to never have windy days while on the water than maybe just consider yourself very lucky. Don’t get me wrong I’m not saying that the Curado DC is not a great reel, I’m just saying that if wind is not something you face most of the time while fishing you may want to explore other products.
So of course we picked a sunny day with E/SE wind ranging from 10-15 mph. And yes we tied on a spinnerbait and faced directly in to the wind. Most of us know that on some days 10-15 is just a breeze. On other days however we see 20-30 mph no problem. Now, does this reel hold up to the claim in 20-30 mph conditions? Not sure yet. But I’m pretty sure we will find out here soon. Now to the DC part. It works without a doubt. All you need to do is fine tune your braking to the appropriate size of your bait and let it fly. Now of course you need to apply your thumb right before the bait enters the water, but at no time during each cast did we put our thumb on the spool to adjust the speed as we normally would with other reels. Pretty cool actually. Having the freedom to turn directly in to the wind and make a long cast is pretty comforting and significantly helps with time management for you tournament anglers. For those of you that don’t tournament fish even better. Think about the primary reason for why you fish. You fish to create memories, enjoy the outdoors, catch fish, and of course relax. What better way to relax than to not have to mess with a backlash while the bite is on. Over the course of the next month or so we will really put this real to the test. Stay tuned, we will post an update on how the Shimano DC is holding up.
We’ll see. Based on Shimano’s reputation and consistency with quality we would think this reel should hold up rather well.
Just as in previous years Shimano offers the Curado DC in both right and left hand models. Speeds of course fall right in line with what Shimano historically offers. Right or Left hand anglers have the choice of 6.2, 7.4, and 8.5:1 reel speeds. We haven’t seen a 5:1 speed yet but we wouldn’t be surprised if they release one here in the near future. Drag is maxed out at 11 lbs and the overall weight is 7.8oz for the 6.2 and 7.4 while the 8.5:1 reel comes in at 7.9oz.
Brands with “Free Floating Spools” are out there. Those brands claim that the “Free Floating Spool” technology is similar to DC technology. When we say similar what we mean is the reel is designed to help avoid and or eliminate back-lashing. Check them out. We have quite a few of the “Free Floating Spool” reels and they do work. Price point is pretty similar to the Shimano Curado DC. Post on reels with “Free Floating Spools” coming soon.