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Reel Review

 

Designed for Sending Big Baits - Shimano’s Curado 200 DC (continued)

 

Drag: This current generation of Curado reels makes use of the company’s cross carbon drag system which is a simple and effective system. When you look inside the Curado 200DC this equates to a pair of rigid carbon washers that sandwich the main brass gearing and interface with steel washers as tension is applied via the clicking drag star.

 


Sandwiched between this brass gearing are two carbon washers making up the "Cross Carbon Drag" system

 

Even though the system is comprised of less washers than many competing designs adjustments are both fast and precise. The system is very smooth and even when fish crushed wakebaits and rats on the surface, or close to the boat, this smooth drag helped keep them pinned on the trebles.

 


While very smooth and able to be adjusted in fine increments we wish the system was souped up in this new reel to deliver greater max pressure

 

The only thing that could be improved with the system is if the total drag surface area could be increased while maintaining the level of control and reliability. Though the 200DC is a larger reel it basically puts out the same drag pressure as its smaller siblings. The HG reels are rated for 11lbs. and the XG reels are rated at 12lbs. and on the machine in our lab we observed a max pressure at full lock of 12.2lbs., which is just over the rated spec and near identical to what we previously measured with the Curado DC 150.

 


While not the most powerful drag the Curado 200K's system is smooth and keeps fish pinned on trebles

 

Realistically 12lbs. of drag pressure is enough for most bass fishing applications but a more powerful top end would be nice in a reel with this size, capacity, and targeted use. As a dedicated A-rig or swimbait reel some extra stopping power would be a welcome addition and make it even more capable for larger and harder pulling species.

 


The Curado's main gear features very finely cut teeth

 

The fact is that while smooth and reliable the Curado 200 DC’s drag falls well below the max stopping power of some competing reels, many of which are smaller and lighter in size. This is the one area where the Curado 200 DC could be improved.

 


At one time I would have thought the 90mm handle was huge. These days it looks pretty standard for a reel of this size

 

Ergonomics: The Curado 200DC feels like a tank in more ways than one. The reel is well built and feels very solid with the aluminum alloy frame and Ci4+ sideplate, but it is also dimensionally larger than the 150DC and weighs in at 8.1 ounces. The Curado 150 DC was already a substantial reel weighing in at 7.9 oz. (150XG), and the new 200 pushes the reel over the 8-ounce mark. The size and weight of the reel make it a little big for all but the largest cranking and flipping setups, but it feels right at home paired with dedicated swimbait sticks.

 


Ergonomically while larger than the 150DC the new Curado palms pretty comfortably

 


The wide reel provides excellent spool access

 

Being right in the middle in size the 200 DC feels big on traditional outfits and small on swimbait setups. On swimbait rods the reel looks more compact in comparison to 200 size round reel options and is considerably smaller than the Tranx 300 or Curado 300 baitcasters.

 


One reason to change out the handles is the lack of bearings

 

Price and Applications: The Curado 200 DC retails for $269.99 which is a very reasonable price for a reel of this size and capability. This is a premium over the standard Curado 200K which retails for $189.99 so it all depends how much value you place on the DC feature. If you prefer a stealthier reel the 200K offers a very similar retrieve feel, the same bearing count, the same line capacity, weighs .5oz. less, and comes in more gear ratio options.

 


The Curado 200DC weighs in right over 8 ounces

 

The 200DC arguably looks and feels a little higher end with the gunmetal finish, but the Curado’s 200K’s non-handle sideplate is smaller making it sleeker and a little more comfortable to palm. What it ultimately boils down to is whether you want the DC feature, and whether that addition is worth $80 more dollars to you.

 


Though mid-sized the Curado DC looks and feels perfect on swimbait sticks

Next Section: Built with Big Baits in Mind

 

   

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