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Enthusiast Reel Review

Shimano Lowers the Price Barrier to DC : Their 2017 Scorpion DC (continued)

Retrieve: Aside from the obvious DC braking system, everything else about this reel is very familiar. Its main gear is made from 'Hyper-Tensile Brass' and unlike the Scorpion BFS, this reel's main gear looks like brass. Turning the standard, 84 mm handle reveals a very smooth, somewhat refined, but not too refined feel typical of what you'd expect from a Scorpion or Curado level reel.

A close-up of the gear's teeth.

Each knob is supported by one bearing and one bushing.

Power: The reel's main gear is on the larger side of average by today's standards but still not obnoxiously oversized so power is decent. Available in two, middle of the road retrieve ratios (6.2:1 & 7.2:1), the Scorpion DC is built for some good, general, run of the mill applications. My 7.2:1 reel made for an excellent shallow cranking reel and it never locked up on me pitching a jig in and around shallow weeds catching fish.

The drag system.

Drag: The Scorpion DC sports Shimano's familiar drag system with one fibrous disc inside the main gear and another on the back side of that same gear. It's rated to 5.5 kg (~11lbs) of maximum pressure and out on the water delivers very smooth and consistent performance. I seldom have any worry over a Shimano engineered drag system.

One bushing supporting the levelwind worm gear.

The reel is mostly black save for this one little red highlight.

Design & Ergonomics: Though the Scorpion DC is very compact in size and super easy to palm I did find it a little heavy for its compact size. This could be all the extra machinations from the DC braking system but we measured the Scorpion DC at 7.6 ounces out of the box as compared to the Scorpion 70 which weighed 6.5 ounces in our lab. Again, the reels are stated as different sizes, but the look almost identical in hand.

How did Shimano keep the price down on this reel? One was to keep production at their facility in Malaysia and not Japan.

The Scorpion DC is silent no more and all is right in the world of DC reels.

Price & Applications: When the original Scorpion DC was available back in 2011, the exchange rate was non too favorable from the US side. Cost of that reel was in the range of $345 - $450. Today's Scorpion DC can be found for under $300 and is on sale right now, at the time of this writing for $288 at JapanTackle.


2017 Shimano Scorpion DC Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Solidly built reel 9
Performance The whine is back!! 9
Price The most affordable DC reel to date! 7.5
Features i-DC5, X-Ship, Hagane body, titanium coated line guide, carbon drag washers 8
Design (Ergonomics) Super compact reel but just a tad heavy for its size 8
Application Safe for fresh or saltwater and useful in just about any technique relative to line rating and capacity 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:


+ The DC whine is back! - Just a tad heavy given its compact size
+ Nice, compact size - Not available in US tackle stores
+ Anti-rust bearings  
+ X-Ship makes the reel just a little bit more smooth  

Conclusion: The Scorpion DC is silent no more and all is right in the world of DC reels. Shimano is getting more stealthy in the appearance of these reels, and where the adjustment dial is located, but there's no doubt the systems work. The only thing missing is an uplink to your phone via a Strava-like application so you can know how much line is on the reel when not in use, how far was your cast, the rate at which you're picking up line, how close you were to your intended target, the cumulative distance of all your casts for the day, average cadence of your retrieve, calories burned, etc.. Or how about an UBER like feature of the fish around your bait and the ability to trigger which one to strike by selecting it with your finger via your phone? Too much?

Interested in a Scorpion DC? Be careful, that whine is very addicting.


In all seriousness, it's nice to see Shimano has finally re-invested in the idea of an "affordable" DC reel with their latest Scorpion DC. I'd love to see a Curado DC in the US market. A quiet day on the water may never exist again with all the whirring going on from this boat or that and over on the shore.


But that's ok, if you're reading this article, then you probably already know how to find one, and if not, all you have to do is read a little further. But be careful, that whine is very addicting.


Looking for a 2017 Shimano Scorpion DC?

Try JapanTackle









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