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Reel Review

 

A Masterpiece - Shimano's Metanium 150B Baitcaster (continued)

 

Price & Applications: The weight reduction of the Metanium's Magnesium versus the Bantam's aluminum CoreSolid body and use of Ci4+ drag star is 1.3oz. (6.3oz. versus 7.6oz.), and while that may not seem like a lot, it is one that anglers can absolutely feel when they fish with the new reel.

 

 

The Metanium's magnesium frame gives the reel a completely unique handling, and makes it immediately seem like it would be well suited for bait-finesse applications, which it is. But to relegate the Metanium to just finesse applications, or sole use with light fluorocarbon lines, would be a waste.

 

The Metanium may be light but it also has very robust internals including a full sized brass master gear, and a bearing supported pinion gear, which combine to improve both performance and long term durability.

 


Shimano's new Metanium addresses all the areas that were minor gripes in the Bantam, and even adds some performance and refinement in the process

 

One of the reasons that the Metanium is painted, versus the raw metal look of the Bantam, is that the Magnesium frame requires some additional protection. The reel has tight tolerances, features shielded bearings, and has a CI4+ drag star which is corrosion proof, and all add up to a reel that is saltwater capable, but I'd recommend it primarily for just fresh and brackish water use. If you want a compact reel for inshore use the Bantam will still be the better choice.

 


The knobs are supported by bearings

 

The Metanium 150 B retails for $419 dollars, which is $80 dollars less than the Metanium DC, and $70 dollars more than the Bantam MGL. As much as I like the I-DC5 system the compact form factor and super solid feeling magnesium construction of the new Metanium give the new reel the edge for me. When compared with the Bantam MGL things are a little more complicated. I think the Bantam's styling is more unique, and for heavy cranking and power oriented applications like punching, deep cranking, or full-sized swimbaits, these are all applications where the Bantam excels.

 

If you are an angler that puts a premium on low weight, the unique feel that only magnesium bodied reels offer, or casting performance across all lure weights, then the new Metanium is absolutely worth the price premium.  

 


While the Metanium is a great baitfinesse reel it can easily handle power fishing applications

 

In terms of competition from other brands there isn't anything quite like the Metanium 150 B on the market. There are other reels that are priced in this range but none that offer the blend of refinement and power that the Metanium's unique combination of the magnesium CoreSolid design and that exceptional MGLIII + SVS Infinity Braking setup delivers.

 

 
We are seeing a trend here in terms of casting. Whenever Shimano pairs the MGIII Spool with SVS Infinity braking and silent tune (like in the Antares A) the reels are absolute casting machines

 

Ratings: (We've re-calibrated our ratings standard for 2008 and have included a key at the bottom of the following matrix as a guide):

Shimano Metanium 150 B Casting Reel Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Extremely well built with tight tolerances and excellent materials. Hard to believe this is a magnesium based reel based on how solid it feels at all times 9
Performance The Bantam was already a good caster, this new Metanium is a great one. It is so good that it feels more refined, and can even cast further than the Metanium DC. The only area that it really could be improved, and similar to the Bantam, is the inclusion of a more robust drag 9.5
Price This reel isn't cheap but it is absolutely worth the money. With the magnesium CoreSolid design it really is a unique baitcaster in a crowded market 8
Features The Metanium is more like the Bantam than the previous generation Metanium and yet it delivers the refinement and low weight that Metaniums are known for. Top feature is the magnesium based CoreSolid body but another notable combination of features is the MGL III spool, SVS Infinity cast control, and silent tune isolation that all add up to make this one of the best casting reels in the Shimano lineup 9
Design (Ergonomics) The Bantam with the squared off look is still the more unique looking reel but the Metanium does look sleek, stealthy, and in-character. The Bantam delivered a great palmable form-factor, the Metanium goes the extra mile by doing the same at only 6.3oz.  8
Application While the Metanium is perfect for baitfinesse applications to use it just for finesse work would be a waste. This reel is both refined and powerful, and can be used across most bass applications. The reel capacity is a bit light for the longest casting lures and we wouldn't recommend it for prolonged use in saltwater but everything else is fair game 7

Total Score

8.41
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
+ The magnesium CoreSolid design delivers low weight and rigidity - Magnesium body still not recommended for saltwater use over long term
+ Excellent handling and sensitivity. Makes us remember why magnesium is such a great frame material when implemented well - Drag is smooth and able to be adjusted in fine increments but doesn't offer very high max pressure
+ MGL III Spool plus SVS Infinity plus Silent Tune adds up to make this a beast of caster in distance and control - Hard to procure currently as demand is greater than supply
+ Excellent ergonomics  
+ Tiny but powerful. Main brass gearing is smooth, robust, and durable  
+ Extremely refined and fun to fish. So good it rivals more expensive reels  

Conclusion: With the Metanium 150 B Shimano demonstrates their capabilities of constructing reels with an optimal blend of strength and refinement, and when it comes to baitcasters nobody does this better than Shimano. Similarly to how Daiwa currently reigns on the top of the enthusiast spinning reel game with their Monocoque Body design. These type of uni-body reels deliver more torque, performance, durability, and refinement than competing reels, but also come with a price premium. In the case of the Metanium that $419 dollar price is absolutely worth the price of entry. 


In Shimano's current high-end baitcaster lineup the Metanium 150B is the one to get. This reel is a masterpiece, and belongs in every enthusiasts arsenal!

The Metanium may look like a souped up Bantam, and while it may not scream "enthusiast" visually all it takes is a few moments in hand, and handful of casts to appreciate just how refined, and well balanced, a performer this compact baitcaster really is.

The Bantam ushered in a very strong platform and the Metanium improves on it in just about every regard. Where the Bantam wins anglers over with it's solid construction and brute power the Metanium blends magnesium with the CoreSolid design and feels surprisingly more refined with the MGLIII spool. Simply put the Metanium 150 B is a masterpiece, and not only the best Metanium ever built, but also a sweet spot within Shimano's own lineup when it comes to performance, ergonomics, and price.

While the Metanium is a serious investment this latest version is truly a special reel, and there are times where I even find myself putting down the Antares A, or my JDM Exsence DC reels, just to spend a few more moments appreciating just how well this new reel fishes. The hype surrounding the Metanium is warranted, and if you can find in the ratio you want don't hesitate to grab it. The Metanium 150 B is an Editor's Choice Award winner, and a masterpiece that absolutely belongs in every enthusiast's arsenal!

 

Looking for the Metanium 150 B? Try Tackle Warehouse


 

   

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