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Reel Review

Low Profile Design, Round Reel Muscle, the Shimano Curado 300DSV (continued)


Retrieving (bottom): While the Curado was absolutely excellent for fighting fish that ran, we found it less powerful than round reels when hauling weight up vertically. Interestingly the HEG gearing on the Curado 300DSV seems optimized for fighting fish that run, rather then cranking up sheer weight. This wasnít even noticeable until we targeted Lingcod and Cabazon with Butterfly Jigs.


A quick 1/4 turn and anglers can access the VBS


Once we had one of these heavy fish on we would crank down on the Curado 300DSV to winch them up. The Calcutta 300TE felt so much more powerful when it came to this application. The main reason is due to the difference in power ratios, the Curado 300DSV is great at keeping up with fast runners like steelhead, stripers, and calico bass, but heavy lifting is a bit much for the 6.2:1 ratio. The Calcutta 300TE has a more powerful 5.0:1 ratio, but lacks the speed necessary to work fast lures the way the Curado 300DSV can. Edge: Round reels like the Calcutta and Cardiff have more sheer lifting power when it comes to vertical applications. 


The handle shank is ported for some weight reduction

Drag Performance: One of the biggest requirements of a quality saltwater reel is a serious drag, one that is smooth, powerful, and above allÖreliable. The Curado 300DSV features an oversized dual Dartanium drag design. Our 200 size Curado reels put out 12.12lbs of drag pressure while the Curado 300DSV dished out an impressive 15.3lbs of drag counter pressure, thatís less than 1lb off the published 16lb spec of the Calcutta 300TE.


A look at the familiar SF shaft design

In our tests we hooked into some decent stripers which were no match whatsoever for the Curado 300DSV, in fact it was downright unfair. The Curado 300DSVís drag delivered consistent performance throughout the range, and can be adjusted in relatively fine increments with the clicking star drag. Edge: We have to give respect to the Curado 300DSV for delivering round reel level drag performance in such a small package.

The Curado 300DSV is designed to cast like a premium freshwater baitcaster

Ergonomics: The Curado 300DSV is the new sports car of the saltwater world, and is extremely comfortable to fish with. We enjoyed casting, ripping, and jigging lures more than ever with the low profile comfort normally reserved for freshwater reels. The Curado 300DSV really doesnít feel much bigger than the 200 size when fishing, this is mostly due to the compact layout which maximizes frame real estate thanks to the Magnumlite high capacity spool.


A closer look at the reduced mass VBS hub


While the reel itself is compact, the Curado 300DSV also benefits from a recessed reel foot which brings the reel down a lot lower than any round reel would rest. The Curado 300DSV also features the largest SV power paddles in the lineup. These huge paddles make it easy and comfortable to really crank down on when burning back lures. Adjusting cast controls on the fly is easy with the Curado 300DSV as well. The ľ easy access sideplate makes accessing the VBS system fast, something that cannot be easily done on most round reels. Edge: Itís a no brainer here, in terms of ergonomics the Curado 300DSV brings everything we love about low profile baitcasting to a saltwater application. In fact when I was jigging heavy irons it almost felt as if I was fishing with bass gear and not a salt rig.


This is by far the sleekest high capacity reel we have ever tested

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