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Reel Review

The tough task of revamping a legend...the Shimano Curado redefined (continued)

Price: Up to this point you haven’t really heard any gripes from me, that’s because there haven’t been any. The Curado 100D met my expectations in terms of retrieve and drag, and actually exceeded them in terms of casting and durability. Well, unfortunately the love has to end somewhere….and with the Curado D it comes to an stop in the “pricing” category….or does it? In the past Curado’s have been viewed as many as the ultimate mainstream reel, one reel that can do it all…at a reasonable price. So when Shimano bumped up the retail price 50 dollars over the previous Curado SF and 70 dollars over the CU100B anglers were not only surprised but some were downright livid. (Trust me, I got the emails)


The sideplate flips down on a hinge, much better than a removable one

But those that went ahead and bought the reel started to understand why, especially those that already owned the Chronarch 50Mg. The Curado D is not the “Curado” of the past….in fact it’s a far better reel. But then why call it a Curado?


The latest iteration of VBS...reliable, and easy to adjust

Let me explain in one of my famous (or infamous) automobile parallels. If the previous generation Curado is the staple of the lineup like the 3 series for BMW, then the new version is like a 330 versus the previous generation 325. Its not quite a “M” series in that it isn’t supertuned, but it does come with a higher sticker price because the new reel offers more refinement including a bigger engine (gearing), better brakes (drag), and yes….even more performance and handling (casting via the Magnumlite spool). But unlike BMW that just increased the price of the series, Shimano actually went back and created something for those that can’t afford the upgrade in price. Hence the Citica was redesigned to still offer more performance than the previous generation Curado, and the very mainstream Cruxis was born.

The frame cavity minus the spool

While I am not yet a fan of the rather bohemian looking Cruxis, the Citica has thus far proven to be a serious contender for the mainstream market. What surprises me is that for the much more ergonomic finesse 100 size you have to go Curado, as the Cruxis and Citica are only available in the larger 200 sizes. Nonetheless while it somewhat pains me to say it, the Curado D is indeed worth the 199.99 dollar price tag and in many ways should be more preferable to anglers than even the 249.99 dollar Chronarch Mg, which may be lighter but not nearly as durable.

The hidden porting in the thin walled but well reinforced Magnumlite spool



Notice how thin the edge is on this new spool


No that's not the Curado...its the Chronarch Mg we used for comparison testing...the Curado feels like a heavier version of this reel (and yes, that's a compliment)


The Chronarch ported spool in comparison


Aggressive porting on the handle not only looks good but helps reduce weight


finally...two of the many reasons I grew to love the Curado D over the last 9 months



Shimano Curado D (100D) Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Excellent quality in this reel. The fit and finish is outstanding, no more plastic here. Doesn't use any exotic materials in construction but overall build quality is exactly what we expect from a entry level premium offering 9
Performance The Curado D ups the level of performance seen in any Curado to date. While it may not be revolutionary in design it does take the best of Shimano and put it in one heck of a nice performing package. Casting accuracy was excellent, and the dartanium drag proves itself yet again 9
Price A hard pill to swallow for any angler used to paying sub 150 dollars for their serving of Curado delight. But in all fairness this is not your Curado of years past and the Curado space has been taken up by the Citica now....while it may be hard to get used to once you fish the Curado amnesia and delight do begin to set in 7.5
Features All the Shimano features you want and love. The series gets more bonus points than even the Chronarch Mg when you consider the ability to choose from three different retrieve speeds. On its own the 100D also gets a .5 bump simply because it makes use of a new ultra thin walled Magnumlite spool....which feels great 9
Design (Ergonomics) Excellent...nearly perfect implementation. It is lighter than the previous generation Curado and easy to palm. If the button was cushioned with a thin layer of Septon or the VBS access was externally adjustable then we would have perfection. (yes, we understand the patent issues) 9.5
Application A reel for every application and then some. The Curado 100D is your best all around choice but if you want more power or more speed their is a bigger Curado with your name on it. The Curado also is also a better reel to fish saltwater inshore than the Chronarch Mg 10

Total Score


Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

J Redesigned to be a premium offering while Citica takes the place of the position of the old Curado L Significant increase in price (though it really is much more than just a normal Curado now)
J Ergonomics are top notch  
J Magnumlite spool casts and feels great  
J Top notch materials...no more plastic  
J Basically a heavier Chronarch Mg  
J Multiple reels for different applications  

So, did Shimano get it right with the new Curado D? Absolutely, unequivocally…yes. The 100D offers all the performance of Shimano’s greatest features and some new tricks including the clever Magnumlite spool. Comfortable to palm, enjoyable to fish, and with different reels to match three very diverse applications the Curado series went from utilitarian to lavish when it comes to addressing unique angler needs. If you are looking for one Curado with which to do it all, then the 100D will suit you best, but it is good to know that should your needs require something more substantial, one of the larger more powerful 200 size Curados stand ready. Shimano’s engineers had no easy task when they decided to update the Curado, and its very good to see the company took some risks, even at the expense of keeping the price point fixed, in order to introduce a more refined…superior product. Is the Curado D an upgrade from years past? Yes. Would I personally pay the extra 50 dollars for the new solution? I already did, and would do so again. This reel is so good it is up to the performance level of some of the previous generation Chronarch’s we have encountered. While the color of the Curados have changed over time our familiar green friend from yesteryear is still alive, and Shimano not only successfully modernized the Curado, but managed to preserve the heart and soul of the legend in this exceptional multi-talented performer. Once you get over the additional speculation and start fishing the “D” you too will understand why this reel has “Editors Choice” written all over it….we did. 












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