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Reel Review

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


Durability: The Curado 300DSV is primarily constructed from aluminum, and that includes the handle side sideplate. The reel features the same painted finish as it’s smaller siblings. Inside the gearing is impressive, and the drags are not only durable, but easy to service when the time comes. It only took us about three minutes to access the inner workings of the reel, not too bad for that seasonal maintenance.


One of the best things about the Curado 300DSV is the comfort offered with the ergonomic design


The finish is more prone to scratches than a traditional anodized round reel, and in comparison to baitcasters the Curado 300DSV is no worse or better in terms of cosmetic durability. Edge: When it comes to functional durability the Curado 300DSV is as good as larger round reels, but in terms of abuse to the finish wear and tear is going to show more on the Curado 300DSV than on a round reel like the Calcutta 300TE. Are saltwater anglers going to lose sleep over a few scratches? Probably not.


Still not too big to palm

Price & Applications: The Curado 300DSV really doesn’t have any direct competitors, but then it was designed to give traditional round reels a run for the money….and it does exactly that. Daiwa has the Coastal, but with a 12/140 capacity it is really designed for inshore use only. The Curado can handle striped bass, salmon, snook, jacks, bull reds, peacocks, yellowtail, tarpon, and even small tuna.


Extra large Septon grips

Retailing for $249.99 the Curado 300DSV is priced in between a Calcutta B and similarly sized Calcutta TE. Ask yourself what applications you will employ for your saltwater reel. If most of your fishing is done straight down you would be best off with a round reel that sacrifices speed and ergonomics for sheer power, however if you are planning on fishing lures and targeting any species closer to the surface the Curado 300DSV can do what other reels simply cannot.

The finish on this reel may not be as durable as a pure anodized round reel but in terms of baitcasters it is as good as it gets

Turning back to the first time I fished the Curado 300DSV I remember wondering if this reel had enough range to appeal to anglers. The 200 size reels could already handle just bout any freshwater fish, and the 100 size was optimal for any finesse fishing. Don’t think of the Curado 300DSV as a pure freshwater or saltwater reel, it is fact very much of both. The reel has enough finesse abilities to cast smaller lures with accuracy, and has enough capacity, brute gear strength, and drag counter pressure to match up with saltwater species that would put just about any other low profile baitcaster to shame.


Zander manhandles a Cabazon to the surface with a Butterfly Jig fishing the Curado 300DSV



Shimano Curado 300DSV Ratings (?/10)


Top notch construction, and the same quality as the other Curado reels. Aluminum frame and handle sideplate, this reel can handle saltwater punishment


Excellent performance in both freshwater and saltwater applications. Not as strong as round reels when it comes to sheer lifting but in terms of balance of speed and power the Curado really gets the job done. The gearing is smooth and powerful, and the souped up Dartanium drag makes short work of all but the biggest saltwater fish 


We penalized the other Shimano Curado reels for the increase in price but were getting over it. The reel has proven to be worth the extra money, and this is even more obvious with the larger Curado 300DSV. Your getting a lot of reel for the money, and it is priced reasonably in comparison to mainstream saltwater round reels 


This reel in itself is a feature...there is no other low profile baitcaster with the attributes that the Curado 300DSV showcases. The spool capacity is exceptional, yet casting ability remains very respectable, and the reel overall feels very refined in comparison to any round reel under the Calcutta TE series

Design (Ergonomics)

Top notch ergonomics. When put on a rod it doesn't really feel much bigger than the 200 size at all. The power handles feel great, and access to the VBS cast control system is quick and easy


This isn't a freshwater reel, nor is it just a saltwater reel...its absolutely both. The Curado 300DSV spans a very wide range of applications and can be used for all but the most finesse fishing where the 100 and 200 sizes are better suited


Total Score


Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

J Great layout, great capacity in a low profile reel L Not as powerful on sheer winching as round reels
J All the latest Curado features  
J Gearing offers exceptional balance of speed and power  
J Top notch ergonomics  
J Can easily handle freshwater and designed for serious saltwater  
J Allows anglers to get creative with saltwater lures  
J Quality drag can handle big fish  

When it comes to advanced engineering nobody does it like Shimano, while a larger Curado may not seem as interesting on paper as an entirely new-fangled reel like the Calais 4x8 DC, the reel absolutely makes sense. The Curado 300DSV was born out of necessity for a more ergonomic reel that blends excellent casting performance, high line capacity, and high speed retrieve without sacrificing power into one complete package. Shimano didn’t just throw Curado 200 guts into a slightly bigger frame coupled with a high capacity spool. They looked at the application itself, asking anglers what they wanted most from a high capacity baitcaster, and the answer they received was…”no compromises.” Shimano doesn’t ask crossover anglers or saltwater fishermen to make any sacrifices as they implemented oversized drive and pinion gears, seriously souped up the Dartanium drag, and tweaked the overall ergonomics to appeal to both types of anglers. Could this series get any better? Perhaps further application specific design. If they offered the Curado 300DSV in a lower speed 5.0:1 gear ratio the reel would also excel at deep applications (of course some of our editors are waiting for the left handed model as well), but for now no other reel offers the best of both worlds like the new Curado can. The Curado 300DSV completes a sweep of awards for the lineup, and is the only reel series in TT history to win an award in every size, simply because the 100, 200, and 300 size reels are all unique and capable of standing on their own merit. If you pursue big freshwater species, or are a saltwater angler looking for the sleekest combination of speed and power ever found in a high capacity casting reel….your search is officially over.












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