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Enthusiast Review


Welcome Back Shimano : The 2013 Metanium (continued)

Features: Shimano's 2013 Metanium comes with a host of standard features, but not all of them are apparent on our checklist. For starters, this is a magnesium framed reel equipped with SARB bearings throughout. SARB is Shimano-speak for corrosion resistant bearings. This includes a double bearing supported pinion gear, or again, in Shimano-speak, "X-ship". This is another reason for the smoothness by which the reel's handle turns.

 

But no bearings at the levelwind worm gear.

 

As previously mentioned, the reel's brake system is adjustable both on the inside and outside. The non-handle sideplate of this reel comes completely off when opened up, there are no bearings on the levelwind, two bearings under each knob, a micro-click adjustable dragstar only (no clicks on the cast control knob), no cover reel cover supplied, but a vial of oil in the box for the reel's bearings.

 

Features Ratings for Shimano Metanium 2013

Ext Brake Adjust? (1-2)
Levelwind Bearing (1-2)
Knob Bearings (1-3)
Micro Clicks (1-3)
Reel Cover (1-2)
Oil (1-2)
Total
Possible
Rating (= Tot/Pos * 10)
2
1
3
2
1
2
11
14
7.86

 

Design & Ergonomics: Ergonomically, I would have liked to have seen the longer handle on all three versions, but the 84 millimeter handle is still better than average. The knobs on this reel are among my favorite; the reel's profile is super comfortable to palm; its weight is ideal. The only thing I didn't like about this reel design wise is the placement of the screws securing the handle sideplate. These screws are hidden on the inside face of the reel to provide a cleaner design on the outside, but breaking down the reel is just a tad more cumbersome because of it. You have to consciously hold the sideplate as you're unfastening the screws to be sure it doesn't fall off and is followed by all the gears and other loose parts on the inside of the reel. For this small aspect, the score is average.

 

Design & Ergonomics Ratings for Shimano Metanium 2013

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
5
5
5
3
22
25
8.8

 

Application: With three separate retrieve ratios, a good drag, and smooth, powerful retrieve, this reel can just about do it all. An even slower retrieve option would make this reel great for cranking, but you can get by these days with a 6.2:1. Spool capacity is the only thing stopping this reel from being able to handle big baits, and while you can throw finesse baits with this reel too, a shallow spool option would make it more ideal for use with light line.

 

Application Ratings for Shimano Metanium 2013

Horizontal (1-5)
Vertical (1-5)
Finesse (1-5)
Big Baits (1-5)
Topwater (1-5)
Total
Possible
Rating (= Tot/Pos * 10)
4
5
4
3
5
21
25
8.8

 

Ratings:

Shimano Metanium 2013 Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Shimano reminds us why they're among the best reel manufacturers on the planet. 9
Performance Just one cast is all you need to appreciate the performance of this reel 9.2
Price Now available domestically, this is still a reel priced at over $400 6
Features Benefits above and beyond what our scoring system acknowledges, but in those characteristics we do score, there are a couple of items missing 7.86
Design (Ergonomics) Shimano returns to a profile, weight, and design I can really appreciate 8.8
Application Super versatile reel. Add a couple of spool options and an even slower retrieve and there's no holding this reel back! 8.8

Total Score

8.28
Ratings Key: 1 = terrible : 2 = poor : 3 = lacking : 4 = sub par : 5 = mediocre : 6 = fair : 7 = good : 8 = great : 9 = excellent : 10 = unbelievable!
For More Details of the updated rating system visit our explanation here

 

Pluses and Minuses:

Plus

Minus
+ JDM in the USDM - finally! - No low gear ratio option
+ Light - No micro-click spool tension knob
+ Sufficient power  
+ Really good casting range  
+ Super comfortable to palm  

  

Conclusion: The 2013 Shimano Metanium encompasses just about everything I covet in a low profile baitcasting reel. It is comfortable to palm, light, has good power, a smooth drag, the casting brakes are adjustable from the outside, and has really good casting range. Honestly, this reel had me on the very first test cast. Yes, it's that good.

 

Right about now is where I would bemoan Shimano USA's lack of vision and intestinal fortitude for not bringing this reel over to the US market.

Right about now is where I would bemoan Shimano USA's lack of vision and intestinal fortitude for not bringing this reel over to the US market - or really, Shimano Japan for just not making this reel a global product. And before I go much further, this is all in deference to the Chronarch Ci4+ which I have, but have not yet had the opportunity to fish. But of course, wait, though still technically a Japanese Domestic Market (JDM) reel, the new Metanium IS now available in the US and it IS backed by standard Shimano warranty and repair service (one year from date of purchase to the original owner).

But wait, though still technically a Japanese Domestic Market (JDM) reel, the new Metanium IS now available in the US and it IS backed by standard Shimano warranty and repair service.

 

Diehard fans of the Shimano brand have loathed us and our recent reviews of their product claiming bias or that we simply had something against the brand. They weren't willing to accept the view that in our eyes, Shimano was moving backwards. Too concerned with the state of economy, too concerned about making a profit instead of designing and engineering what they have always built - among the best product in the market.

 

The 2013 Metanium is the reel I've been waiting for Shimano to produce since the 2009 Aldebaran. If you overlook this reel, you're really missing out.

 

The 2013 Metanium - now easily attainable in the US and Japan, and therefore we can only assume globally - is proof Shimano knows how to build product that is relevant and worthy of consideration. The only question left now is, do you, as a consumer, have the intestinal fortitude to reward them for this decision. You want one of the best, general purpose, low profile baitcasters you can mount on your rod? If you can afford it, the 2013 Metanium is the reel I've been waiting for Shimano to produce since the 2009 Aldebaran. If you overlook this reel, you're really missing out. Welcome back Shimano.


Want to purchase a 2013 Metanium? Try one of these top tier TackleTour approved retailers:

 

Tackle Warehouse, Hi's Tackle Box, Monster Fishing Tackle


 

 

   

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