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Reel Review

Sweet to the “Core,” Shimano’s new premium magnesium baitcaster (continued)

Drag cont'd: Magnesium lightweight reels don’t always boast the most robust drags, but the Core also bucks that trend. Both Core models boast a spectacular 11.0lbs of drag counter pressure, which is actually 2lbs more than the similarly sized Calais 100A! Compare that to the Daiwa Fuego which cranks out 8.8lbs, and the Steez which is capable of the exact same 8.8lbs of counter pressure. When it comes to a serious drag the Core doesn’t mess around!


Flip the escape hatch and you have instant access to the Core's VBS system


Durability: As with all Magnesium reels durability is an area of concern. The Core is coated with the same protectant as the Chronarch Mg to guard against premature corrosion from exposure to saltwater. The Core 100MGFV features a more robust drive gear that is made out of brass, versus the lightweight aluminum drive gear used in the standard Core and Metanium Mg reels.


Same goes for the Metanium Mg


All of the reels feature premium A-RB bearings, and a rubber shielded cast control knob. We punished the reels in our tests and the Core and Metanium Mg both can take a surprising amount of abuse for a magnesium reel.  


Even the bearing support bracket on the Core is red


A look inside the Core Magnumlite spool


Ergonomics: The real benefit of magnesium is weight reduction, ultimately resulting in what many anglers view as improved ergonomics and better balanced rigs. After fishing with magnesium reels normal aluminum or graphite based reels can feel downright cumbersome, though they are still my choice for any real power fishing applications….until now. The Core offers a proper blend of durability and weight reduction, giving anglers more confidence to fish heavier lures and applications. This is not a reel just for plastics and finesse applications.


The VBS system up close and personal


The Core also matches up beautifully with the Cumara series of rods, and though the team at Shimano denies it, the pair seem like they were “made” for each other. The Core however does pair perfectly with a great many rods we tried it with, and balances out especially nicely with custom split grip rods, both domestic and import. 


The Core offers a surprisingly powerful retrieve for a magnesium based reel, all thanks to HEG gearing


Next Section: Excellent ergonomics, exceptional palming










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