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LIVE ICAST 2018 COVERAGE from Orlando Florida
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Selecting the right Rod, Reel, and Line for Your Walking Bait Arsenal

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TackleTour Exclusive: On the Water with the New G.Loomis Conquest Rod Series
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Ready to Combat the USDM : Evergreen International's Jack Hammer
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First Look Inside the New Shimano Curado K Series Baitcasters
 


 


Reel Review


The Baitcaster Shimano needed to get right, the Curado I Series (continued)

Drag: Shimano’s drag systems have always been more on the more simple side with a focus on consistency and reliability. While many of Shimano’s competitors have adopted more exotic materials the company has for the most part stuck with designs and materials that they know will perform well over the long term. For the Curado I rather than go with the familiar dartanium drag material Shimano has opted to integrate a multi-disc drag system consisting of carbon and metal washers to deliver more surface area and overall smoother stopping power.


Fig 1: The
Sweet Drag Performance chart above shows the consistency in drag performance of our Curado I casting reel.

This “cross carbon” drag system proved to be quite consistent in our lab tests, with the ability to really up the pressure towards the back end of the adjustment spectrum. It is quite easy to achieve 12lbs of drag pressure by simply turning the drag star to the point it requires two fingers, but really clamp down on the drag and you can expect over 15lbs. of drag pressure. Even at the higher end of the range we found the drag system to be quite smooth. This also translated in the field where the drag not only did a good job protecting lighter lines but also doled out plenty of pressure once fish were hooked up and pulling.

Sweet Drag Performance for Curado I(2.5 Turns to Lockdown)

Lock - 8

Lock - 6

Lock - 4

Lock - 2

Lockdown

0.67

1.83

4.63

9.77

13.82

0.65

1.95

4.93

10.31

13.49

0.54

1.41

3.70

8.00

12.19

3.4%

6.4%

6.4%

5.5%

2.4%

16.6%

27.6%

24.9%

22.4%

9.6%

Drag on this reel was tested with the dragstar fully tightened. Then with each successive test, the drag was backed off with two short

It is also important to note that Shimano has once again gone back to a metal drag star, unlike the cheap feeling plastic one on the last Curado. (Thank goodness, and about time) This change may seem trivial but most anglers prefer the more solid and robust feel of the metal drag star, not to mention it looks considerably higher end as well.


The Curado's new color is much less polarizing and looks good on just about any rod

Ergonomics: When it comes to ergonomics I wouldn’t go so far as to call the Curado I a masterpiece but it is surprisingly good. From first glance the reel seems to have sharp aggressive profile and it definitely draws inspiration from the much more expensive Metanium, and when it is palmed it contours naturally in hand.


Though the reel looks angular it is actually very comfortable to palm

Design and Ergonomics Ratings for Shimano Curado I Casting Reel


Handle Length(1-5)


Knobs(1-5)


Palming (1-5)


Overall Weight (1-5)


Ease of Breakdown (1-5)
 


Total

 
Possible


Rating (=Tot/Pos *10)

4

4

4

3

4

19

25

7.6

The reel falls right in the middle of the continuum when it comes to weight, yet the Curado I feels solid and refined, and the oversized power grips provide generous surface area in which to crank down aggressively. Perhaps the biggest improvement to the ergonomics is the externally adjustable SVS Infinity Braking System which no longer requires a sideplate takedown to make precise adjustments on the fly.


The cast control can be adjusted with one finger but we found it a rather tight

Price & Applications: The Curado I retails for $179 dollars which is 20 dollars more than the outgoing Curado G version that it replaces. The new reel is definitely worth the extra 20 bucks as it offers advanced features that really translate into real world performance, and you would normally have to pay much more for these features in reels from Shimano’s own lineup. The Curado I is a better than the Curado G in every way, it looks better, it casts better, it delivers better winding power, it even feels more natural in hand… it is just plain better.

Quality Ratings for Shimano Curado I Casting Reel


Finish(1-5)


Construction Tolerances(1-5)


Handle Tolerance(1-5)

 
Knob Tolerance(1-5)


Total


Possible


Rating(=Tot/Pos * 10)

5

4

4

4

17

20

8.5


The aluminum handle is slightly offset

While the Curado I is a really serious contender the competition has also not been sitting idly by and anglers will now have more options to choose from than ever before. Some of the biggest “workhorse reel” competition now comes from Lew’s who has gained a lot of marketshare with their BB-1 Speed Spool Series which ranges in price from $159-$199, Daiwa’s Tatula continues to gain steam as a mainstay reel and retails for only $149.99 and of course there is a complete lineup of Abu Garcia Revo reels ranging in price from the affordable $129 dollar Revo S to the more refined $199 dollar STX. Add in the latest reels from Quantum, Okuma and 13 Fishing all at the sub 200 dollar mark and you have a downright brawl in this hotly contested segment.


Overall the Curado I is a massive step up from the previous model in just about every category

Next Section: Time to brawl

 

 

   

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