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Reel Review

Judgment Day for the Lethal Calais 200ASV Baitcaster (continued)

Ergonomics cont'd: The CL200ASC does feel great in hand and it just feels natural when palming just note that the surface can feel slick when it is raining and watch out for this reel on very hot days after it has been resting out on the deck as it can get pretty hot. The reel also features all the fancy “clickies” on all the adjustment knobs and both the drag and cast control can be tuned in precise increments.  

All the knobs have the "clickies"

Durability: The T-1000 is just about impossible to kill and recovers from a barrage of bullets, punches in the face from Arnold and even grenades in the chest. Only a vat of molten steel finally destroys the Terminator. More than any other Shimano reel the Calais looks bulletproof and when it comes to sheer durability it really is exceptional. The entire reel is built out of aluminum, that includes the frame and both sideplates and all are coated with the Calais’s ultra-durable reflective finish that not only looks wicked but resists corrosion and physical damage well.

Larger power grips are provided for better leverage, while a nice size we definitely like the Septon grips on the DC version better as they are devoid of the notches

This shiny finish is very hard and while it can take on small scratches up over time these scratches do little to distract anglers from the overall beauty of the reel. The finish will not flake or take on deep scrapes like many painted reels and this is one of the few baitcasters where the guts of the reel are just as robust as the outside finish. Shimano approves this reel for use in saltwater and the reel’s greaseless spool support bearings and entire drag system held up well throughout a season of fishing both in fresh and saltwater.

The CL200ASV is an excellent hard and soft swimbait reel

Price and Applications: Over the years as Shimano’s own reels improved the cost of the Calais has become increasingly hard to justify. When the Calais was originally introduced it was a quantum leap over the other reels in the company’s own lineup but with the latest Curado, Chronarch and lightweight Core offerings the 400 dollar price tag seems steeper than ever before.

The Calais CL200ASV is made in Japan

But for those anglers that want the ultimate in elegance the Calais series exudes sophistication and refinement. The CL200ASV version brings that same level of quality and performance to a reel that can be used for everything from swimbaits to inshore fishing and with the added capacity this reel can tackle hard running species including full sized stripers and even Peacock Bass. Shimano backs the Calais Cl200ASV with their Platinum Service Plan which enables anglers to send the reel back for regular services and lubes to ensure the reel continues to perform well over the long term.

Ratings: (We've re-calibrated our ratings standard for 2008 and have included a key at the bottom of the following matrix as a guide):

Shimano Calais CL200ASV Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality The Calais series has always been a quality built series that makes use of top notch materials and construction, this latest iteration is no different 9.5
Performance Great fro bigger baits and fishing big, this lure is good for swimabit fishing as well as extra large cranks 9
Price It is getting harder and harder to justify the high price of the slightly dated Calais series but if your looking for a Calais with higher capacity they simply don't get much better than this 6.5
Features The Calais CL200ASV has all the features anglers like in the original series just with a higher capacity and bigger power knobs. We would have liked a lightly souped up drag system in this model 7
Design (Ergonomics) Excellent design for palming but a high overall weight is an issue for any angler looking to create a lighter combo. This reel balances out well with swimbait rods. The larger grips are great for fishing larger baits for bigger fish.  8
Application This is probably the most application specific Calais reel. While it can be used for teh complete range of applications it excels at bigger baits and targeting larger species. When fishing finesse the traditional Calais or the 100 size are preferable 7

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:

                 Plus                                    Minus

+ Extremely refined - Heavy (9.3oz.)
+ Smooth and consistent drag - Could use a beefier drag
+ Smooth retrieve even with bigger baits - Still a costly reel at 399 dollars
+ Very good overall durability  
+ More capacity than traditional  Calais reels  
+ Power knobs are good for heavier fresh and inshore applications  


Conclusion: The Calais series has long represented the flagship of the Calais lineup and the DC model really is in a class of its own, but are the standard Calais reels starting to get a little long in the teeth? When we first saw Terminator 2 in 1991 the special effects were also ahead of its time and the T-1000 showcased some incredible computer animation.


Deadly performance and styling that still looks futuristic even today, the Calais CL200ASV is a great choice when fishing big and targeting harder fighting species

We got that similar feeling we got when we first saw the Antares/Calais models and even though it’s a little less impressive all these years later and while we would have liked to have seen more differentiators added to the new APV and ASV models, the fact remains that these reels continue to stand up to the test of time both in performance and styling. This reel is ideal for big baits and targeting top of the food chain freshwater species as well as occasional saltwater inshore work. The CL200ASV is not without flaws but with such a deadly combination of refinement, performance and sheer enthusiast appeal the Calais CL200ASV, and the entire Calais series in general, still has what it takes to “terminate” the competition.


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