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First Look Inside the New Shimano Curado K Series Baitcasters


Reel Review


Fish harder and faster with the souped up Shimano Curado 200DHSV (continued)

Drag: The performance of the drag on the Curado is excellent. It uses Shimano's Dartainium drag material that provides super stopping power along with a smooth and consistent pressure. Shimano specified the drag pressure to be 12 pounds. In our lab we measured 12.12 pounds of drag pressure. In the field the drag produced great results when the drag was set properly. When we caught large bass and stripers, as they neared the boat they made mad dashes away from us and without a smooth drag like this the fish could have easily snapped the line. Real life applications rarely require so much drag pressure, but smooth drag output is a must have...and the Curado 200 delivers. If you look back at our previous Curado 100D test you will remember that that reel outputted 9.4lbs of pressure on the same scale. The 200HSV is capable of 2.72lbs of more counter pressure, which helps make this reel an even more rounded out package for anglers fishing multiple applications.


Shimano's Dartainium drag washer material is used on the Curado


Ergonomics: Like Zander said in the recent Shimano Citica review, I was too thinking that the newly design would downgrade the ergonomics of the reel because of the overall size and total weight of 9.8 ounces. After using it for a while it didn't bother me at all. In fact it actually felt really nice when feathering the spool thanks for the wide opening, and when palming the reel while working lures and fighting fish. The reel does sit quite low on the reel seat because Shimano designed the new Curado with a recessed reel foot which improves its overall ergonomics.

PV Power Paddles are now being used. These oversized Septon grips are really comfortable when retrieving


One great new addition to the Curado 200DHSV are PV Power Paddles. These oversized Septon grips are extremely comfortable to grasp when gripping and cranking aggressively. You can easily clamp down the knobs when fish strike, and the larger paddled grips provide first-rate security when reeling in big fish. I liked these PV Power Paddle grips so much I wish Shimano would put them on many of their other premium reels, especially those that feature low gear ratios which are designed for power. These knobs provided a comfortable point of leverage for our entire field test.


Though the Curado 200D appears to be big it's still very palmable


Durability: There's no question here which model Curado is the most durable, looking at the 200D, 100D, and the previous 200. The latest Curado 200D is built like a tank. Look at the old and new 200 sized Curados and you can tell right away that the new reel uses almost zero plastics compared to before. The reel also uses quality bearings and the new finish not only looks good mounted on just about any rod, but also proved very resistant to scratches or boat rash.


The Curado 200 DHSV taken apart for inspection


The Curado is now built even more durable than before


Price & Application: While some people were turned off by the increased Curado pricing, other anglers jumped right in and bought one because they understood where the new Curado D was positioned. The new Cruxis pretty much took the place of the old Citica, while the new Citica D replaced the old Curado. The new Curado D now closely resembles the old Chronarchs. Knowing this many early adopters jumped on the Curado 200D, and haven't looked back since. From our tests and comparisons above you can tell the new Curado 200D is much more than what the old reel was.


Open the access plate and it'll dangle there while you adjust the brakes. This will prevent the sideplate from falling out of your hands


Application wise, the Curado 200DHSV can handle multiple species without a problem from freshwater to inshore saltwater fish We battled largemouth bass, blacks, and spotted with all types of lures from crankbaits to plastics, and also ripped for striped bass with hard minnow baits. If our rockcod season was open we would have loved to fish for them with the Curado 200DHSV to give it an even more thorough testing, but unfortunately we didn't have that opportunity. An overall great reel with plenty of power to play tug-o-war with many different species, and is worth the cost of ownership.


The metal clicking drag star provides minute adjustments


Zander's take: The Curado series of reels has earned a place in my regular tackle arsenal, and more and more I find myself pairing these reels with 6'6" to 7 foot rods for both plastics and topwater work. I still prefer the ergonomics of the 100D when it comes to palming and finesse fishing plastics, but the 200 sized reels excel in certain applications. The HSV we tested proved to be a much better choice for power fishing, and the oversized gears provide an exceptional balance of speed and power, not to mention that trademark silky refined Shimano feel.


By the end of the field test JIP had found a new favorite topwater reel


The materials used throughout the reel also are a notch above the smaller 100D, and the aluminum handle sideplate, souped up gearing, power paddles, and 1/4 turn sideplate all add up to a even more alluring package for the same price. When I compare the Curado to the Citica 200 series the Curado continues to stand out, simply because it is offered in a high speed ratio and also feels more refined while both casting and retrieving. At the end of our test I also grew to like the reel's overall ergonomics, now only if I could wrestle the 200 reel away from JIP long enough to use it for some ripping, but this is becoming increasingly unlikely considering how much he likes to it for froggin' these days.



Shimano Curado 200DHSV (CU-200DHSV) Ratings (?/10)


Great construction with tight tolerances, and makes use of nothing but quality components. Shimano built this reel to handle anything and it shows. In terms of materials and construction the 200 series reels are actually a notch above the already very good 100D


A great performer in all categories. Casts are controlled and retrieves are powerful and silky smooth thanks to the Japanese built components. Anglers get even more drag pressure with the 200 series reels than the 100, helping make it even more well rounded reel


No one liked the price increase but if you understand what this reel has to offer, the price tag is and will be acceptable by many anglers. The reel has really proved itself to us, and were starting to consider the price as "reasonable"


This reel features way more than the old model and has everything you would find in higher end offers by Shimano, including aluminum handle sideplate, souped up gearing, special septon power grip knobs, and a special low profile seat

Design (Ergonomics)

Larger in size and weighing in a 9.8 ounces might be too much for some while others accept it given the power and structural soundness you get from the a solid reel like this. Anglers with larger hands will actually find the 200 sized reels to be more comfortable than the diminutive 100D, and after fishing it for an extended period we found the reel to rate just a tad lower than it's smaller counterpart


Now look back at all the other categories and ask yourself what this reel cannot handle. Yes, this reel is solid and built with great components making it a great reel for many freshwater and even some saltwater species. You can bet that when rockcod season finally opens we will be pitting the 200 against Cabs and Lings


Total Score


Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

J Quality construction L Size and weight could be an issue for some anglers
J A big improvement from the old model  
J Powerful retrieves, no sacrifices here  
J Excellent oversized grips  
J Can easily handle freshwater and saltwater species  
J High gear ratio model, great for power fishermen  
J Quick 1/4 Turn Easy Access Sideplate  

Conclusion: Add it all up and Shimano has a slam dunk with the Curado series. Our initial lack of respect for the reel's larger profile has now been replaced with admiration for the reel's well thought out implementation and stellar abilities in the field. This reel is built tough, and while stronger and more robust than ever it continues to deliver a smooth refined retrieve that is to be expected from a higher end Shimano. What it boils down to is Shimano has a created a Curado for everyone with the new series. If small profile and refinement is your thing than the 100D is your best bet, but if power fishing and retrieving topwater baits are among your favorite ways to incite strikes then the larger more powerful 200 sized Curados will better fit the bill. It would be a crime to not award the even better built 200DHSV an Editors Choice award, making Shimano the only reel manufacturer this year to win an Editors Choice Award at all, let alone twice!












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