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A Step Forward, An Inside Look at the New Shimano Curado I (continued)


Shimano not only updated the cast control system on the new Curado they also re-engineered the spool. The new S3D spool employs a uniform thin wall aluminum construction that is balanced exactly to reduce spool vibration, and is ultimately designed to improve casting and retrieve performance and feel.


Brass gearing and smaller teeth help improve gear mesh and long term durability

The Curado I Series is now available in standard 6.3:1, fast 7.2:1 and powerful 5.5:1 gear ratios, and all versions come with 5 S-ARB bearings and 1 roller bearing. Though the reel isnít loaded with a high bearing count it does feel smooth when retrieved as Shimano continues to go with bearing quality over quantity. The S-ARB bearing are all constructed out of stainless steel and are specially treated to be significantly more corrosion resistant than standard stainless steel bearings, Shimano claims 10 times more. The roller bearing does an excellent job and we couldnít detect any amount of backplay in our test reels.


A look at the cross carbon drag system that positions washers on both sides of the master gearing for dual pressure and increased surface area

Inside the reel the Curado's gears have small teeth that mesh together tightly, and the drag system consists of a combination of stainless steel and carbon washers both inside the master brass gear as well as behind it.


The Curado I faces the "Machine" as drag settings are tested


In our tests we found the "carbon cross drag" system to be quite powerful, delivering 15.4lbs. of max drag pressure. Lock to lock we also found the new drag system offered more increments of varying pressure than the previous generation reel. All of these adjustments are made with a drag star that we were happy to see is once again constructed out of aluminum, no more cheap composite drag star on this generation.

Fig 1: The Sweet Drag Performance chart above shows the consistency in drag performance of our Curado I casting reel


Sweet Drag Performance for Curado I(2.5 Turns to Lockdown)

Lock - 8
Lock - 6
Lock - 4
Lock - 2
Avg % Change
Start Up
Lowest Value
Change in Startup vs Sustained
Biggest Drop from Sustained


The Curado I is one of the easiest reels to break down and service


It is also worth noting just how easy the Curado I is to take apart and maintain. Unlike so many other competing reels the Curado I focuses on refinement and simplicity, with key components reinforcing each other so that just a few screws are all it takes to take down the non handle sideplate and access the primary drag and gearing system.


The offset handle is paired with large Power Grip handles for plenty of fish fighting leverage


The Curado I's new proprietary platform makes a statement, and the feature list that the new reel series boasts is also equally as robust. This might just be the Curado that Shimano fans have been waiting for. All in all we not only like what we see but we also like what we feel when we cast and crank on the new reel.


Time to spool the Curado I back up and hit the water


The Curado I "feels" very solid, considering it has an aluminum frame and graphite sideplates. Though the sideplates are graphite we found them to be very rigid and we look forward to seeing just how well they hold up to the pressure of bigger fish during field testing. In the lab the new Curado I continues to impress and not only has plenty of new features that makes it a superior reel over both the previous generation Curado and current Chronarch E Series, but it certainly appears to be engineered to provide the kind of reliability that we expect out of a workhorse reel bearing the Curado name. While the field tests are just beginning, from what we have experienced with the new reel series thus far, we can already confidently state that Shimano has taken a step forward with the new Curado I ...maybe even two.










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