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Enthusiast Review

Stop Whining? It's Shimano Japan's Scorpion DC (continued)

But what you lose in flexibility, you gain in real world application. One characteristic I've always been disappointed with in my other DC enabled reels is their lack of performance during pitching situations and the inability to really cast and manage baits lighter than three eighths of an ounce. The Scorpion DC7, while better with baits that weight three eighths of an ounce on up, can and will allow you to cast and pitch baits down to one quarter of an ounce. That's right, I said it can pitch well too.

50lb Suffix 832 Braid.

So while the reel itself is not as versatile from a settings stand point, it's better in terms of being able to handle a variety of presentation techniques. In that sense it's a more practical reel than its DC brethren.

In the lab it goes ...

Retrieve: The Scorpion DC comes in two retrieve ratio options both of which are available in left and right hand retrieve. The standard Scorpion DC features a 6.3:1 retrieve ratio while the DC7 features a 7.0:1 gear set. We tested the DC7 and measured it at twenty eight (28) inches of line pick up per turn of the handle - at a full spool.

The Scorpion DC7 features a 7.0:1 gear ratio. The standard Scorpion DC features a 6.8:1 ratio.

Out on the water, the DC7 operated smoothly and demonstrated sufficient power in battling both largemouth and mean spirited peacock bass. As one might expect it feels just like the Scorpion 1500 XT/Curado E/Chronarch E in that it's not the most powerful reel I've fished, but it's also not the worst in terms of torque. It's sufficient.

The drag stack is simple but effective.

Drag: Though Shimano's drag stack has always been more simple than robust, for us, performance of their drag system has never been lacking. Last year, we measured the standard Scorpion 1500XT at nine pounds of maximum pressure - pretty powerful for such a simple drag stack. This year, we measured the Scorpion DC7 at an equally strong, nine pounds of maximum pressure.

Shimano's drags always deliver smooth and reliable performance.

Actual performance when a fish is on the line? As always, smooth and consistent - a characteristic of drag we find more important than actual maximum stopping power especially when battling something like a peacock bass. I don't care who you are, if you try to stop or man handle a good sized peacock bass, you're in for a lesson because the harder you pull, they'll take that energy, turn it around in a heartbeat, and absolutely destroy the weakest link in your tackle. Maximum pressure does no good here, you need smooth, consistent performance to wear the fish down and bring it alongside the boat for release.

Serving duty aboard an Evergreen Swimbait stick.

Availability: The Scorpion DC and DC7 has been in production and available since early 2011. This is a reel with no USDM counterpart, so if you purchase this reel and it requires service or warranty support, you'll need to send it to your vendor in Japan where they can hopefully assist you in acquiring the necessary parts and repairs. It is a definite downside to purchasing tackle outside of its intended market, but a necessary evil when dealing with manufacturers who do not offer a global product line despite the obvious fact that we're dealing in a global economy.

The hits continued in the Amazon.


Shimano Japan Scorpion DC7 Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality A well made reel 8.5
Performance Does everything that you ask of it and then some 9
Price The lowest priced DC reel to date, but still pricey due to the exchange rate 7
Features i-DC+ is a good, set it and forget it type of brake system 8
Design (Ergonomics) Leaves me wanting more 7
Application A good general purpose reel 8

Total Score

Ratings Key: 1 = terrible : 2 = poor : 3 = lacking : 4 = sub par : 5 = mediocre : 6 = fair : 7 = good : 8 = great : 9 = excellent : 10 = unbelievable!
For More Details of the updated rating system visit our explanation here


Pluses and Minuses:


+ Set it and forget it convenience - No more DC whine
+ Almost affordable DC - For those who like to fine tune their DC systems, i-DC+ does not allow that type of adjustment
+ Two available retrieve ratios and both in right and left hand retrieve  


Conclusion: The Scorpion DC7 is a very fine fishing reel, but in the end it leaves me wanting more. Perhaps it's the fact Shimano muted that iconic DC-whine in this reel or maybe it's because it's "only" a Scorpion. Maybe it's the fact this fishing reel sports a rather ho-hum finish, simple stamped handle, or kind of passť two tone paint. Maybe it's all of the above coupled with the fact that because of the lousy exchange rate, this is a three hundred fifty dollar ($350) reel, and for that kind of money, I expect a few more enthusiast worthy traits.


Another swimbait fish at Clear Lake, CA.


Judged objectively on its own merits, this reel will score well - save for the cost of acquisition. But I guess my search will continue. Within Shimano Japan's own lineup, I'd prefer the Metanium MG DC, but talk about how the exchange rate impacts cost. Back in 2008, the Metanium MG DC could be purchased for $435. Today, this very same reel is now roughly $620 or more!


Switch the reel over to a Megabass stick and look what happens!


Put this in reverse perspective and if the exchange rate were back to what it once was, the Scorpion DC/DC7 could probably be found for right around $225. Now that would be attractive. Unfortunately, there's no use crying over a lousy exchange rate, but maybe we can hope that Shimano America Corporation will someday create a similar, DC-enabled reel for the masses - Chronarch or Core DC anyone? Oh, but don't forget the whine.









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