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Complete ICAST 2017 Coverage
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TackleTour Exclusive: On the Water with the New G.Loomis Conquest Rod Series

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Reel Review


Shimano Continues Their Roll : Chronarch CI4+ (continued)

Retrieve: The first thing I noticed with the Chronarch CI4+ - or maybe I should say didn't notice? - was the absence of that hollow feeling I've experienced with other carbon framed reels. That initial impression I received from this reel on the showroom floor held up on the water. Maybe it's because of its smaller size and frame, but because of its weight, this reel feels closer to an Mg reel than it does carbon fiber. It's not the same, but it's close and that's a good thing.

Performance Ratings for Shimano Chronarch CI4+

Retrieve (1-5)
Drag (1-5)
Power (1-5)
Casting Range (1-5)
Brakes (1-5)
Total
Possible
Rating (= Tot/Pos * 10)
4.5
5
4
4.5
5
23
25
9.2

The Chronarch CI4+ is available in two retrieve ratios, 6.2:1 and 7.6:1. Our tests were conducted with the 7.6:1 reel and when spinning the handle, the reel is smooth but with a slight connected feel to the gears, again similar, but not the same, as the feeling I get from an Mg framed reel.


Fig 1: The Sweet Drag Performance chart above shows the consistency in drag performance of our
Shimano Chronarch CI4+.

Drag: Featuring Shimano's latest Dartanium II drag washers, the Chronarch CI4+ maxed out at roughly ten pounds (10lbs) of drag pressure on The Machine. More importantly than its top number, however, was its sweet drag performance. The Chronarch CI4+'s drag is amongst the smoothest, most consistent we've tested to date! The chart above illustrates this fact with very few spikes and valleys in the drag curves save for the top, lockdown drag measurement. But even this curve is smooth compared to other reels we've seen at this setting.


The drag washers were caked with grease.

Sweet Drag Performance for Shimano Chronarch CI4+ (#.# Turns to Lockdown)

Lock - 8
Lock - 6
Lock - 4
Lock - 2
Lockdown
Avg % Change
Start Up
1.46
1.96
3.1
6.07
9.01
Sustained
1.41
2.03
3.15
6.15
9.59
Lowest Value
1.14
1.77
2.86
5.64
8.67
Change in Startup vs Sustained
3.6%
3.7%
1.6%
1.4%
6.4%
3.33%
Biggest Drop from Sustained
19%
13%
9.8%
8.3%
9.6%
12%
Drag on this reel was tested with the dragstar fully tightened. Then with each successive test, the drag was backed off with two short pushes of the dragstar with our thumb.

 


Micro-gears are not touted as a feature on this reel, but we thought we'd take a closer look anyway.

 

Power: The 7.6:1 retrieve ratio version of the CI4+ has decent power capable of pulling a Strike King 10XD through the water at slow speeds without locking up, but this is certainly not a reel I'd choose for deep cranking. However, judging from the 7.6:1's performance, I bet the 6.2:1 reel might be able to handle those duties in a pinch.


The Chronarch CI4+ comes with an 84mm handle.

Casting Range: The F6-72X4 isn't a great rod with which to test a reel's low end casting capabilities, but even so, I was able to cast and present even three eighths of an ounce (3/8th oz) jigs with this rod using the Chronarch CI4+. Given the reels free rolling spool performance, I'd venture to guess, matched with lighter line and an appropriate rod, bait finesse techniques are not out of this reel's capabilities.


Externally adjustable cast control on a Shimano? SVS Infiniti makes it possible!

Brakes: The reel's ability to handle lighter baits can be attributed, in part, to Shimano's new SVS Inifniti braking system. Though different, and perhaps, simpler, than the one implemented on the Metanium, the SVS Infniti system on the CI4+ features four adjustable (on or off) brakes mounted on the spool, and an external dial numbered from one to six (but with eight clicks between each number) that can be used for fine tuning the brake system.


You can also set brakes on the inside - then fine tune with that dial on the outside.

One thing of which to be aware when fishing the new SVS Infiniti brake system is the need to periodically lubricate the metal surface on the interior of the non-handle sideplate. This metal surface moves towards and away from the brakes as you turn the brake setting dial on the outside. The flying brake arms on the spool rub against this surface and can become quite noisy if the metal surface is not lubricated with a fine layer of oil.


Unfortunately we found no bearings on the levelwind.

Next Section: Lighter and Stronger?

 

 

 

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