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Reel Review


 

More Bang for the Buck : The Shimano SLX DC Baitcaster Series

 

Date: 3/25/20
Tackle Type: Reels
Manufacturer: Shimano
Reviewer: Zander





 

Total Score: 8.30 - BEST VALUE AWARD

 

Introduction: Shimano continues to make their digital cast control (DC) technology available in more affordable reels, and for the first time has equipped their SLX series with the same I-DC4 cast control system first introduced in the Curado DC two years ago. The SLX DC Series marks the first time that a DC equipped reel has been available to US anglers under the 200 mark.

 

Shimano SLX DC 150 HG Baitcaster Specifications

Line Capacity (lb/yds) 10/120, 12/110, 14/90
Gear Ratio 6.3:1, 7.2:1 (HG), 8.21(XG) - all available in left or right hand retrieve
Line retrieve per crank 26-35 inches depending on model
Weight 7.6oz.
Bearings 4+1
Additional Features Hagane Body (aluminum), I-DC4 cast control, long handle, oversized grips, S3D Spool, brass gearing
MSRP $189.99

 


Shimano's most affordable DC equipped baitcaster yet, the SLX DC

 

Impressions: The SLX Series has been a stellar performer for Shimano in terms of market acceptance, and overall sales. With a $99.99 dollar price point it now occupies the segment that used to be the sweet spot for previous generation Citicas, and is truly an affordable everyday workhorse reel.

 

Besides the aggressive $99 dollar price point what is also key to the SLX's popularity is the baitcaster's solid Hagane Body construction, which basically means that the reel's frame is constructed out of metal, aluminum in this case, for improved stiffness to better isolate gearing and reduce body flex under stress.

 

The original SLX Series exhibited quality ergonomics with a comfortable profile for palming, and featured oversized power knobs providing plenty of grip. The original reels made use of the reliable VBS centrifugal cast control system, which is basically a set and forget system for most anglers, but also comes with the same backlash challenges for some users that do not employ baitcasters on a regular basis. Which is exactly where the SLX DC comes into play. The SLX DC is built on the same platform as the original SLX reels, and similarly to the Curado DC, exhibits a slightly wider profile to accommodate the I-DC4 system within the non-handle side sideplate.

 


The SLX DC is built on the same platform as the original SLX Series

 

Real World Tests: It you read our previous review of the original SLX baitcaster you probably already know that we found that reel to offer plenty of bang for the buck. I treated the new SLX DC independently and re-tested all aspects of the reel as if this was a completely different platform. I also wanted to compare it closely with the Curado DC, which up until now, has been the most affordable DC equipped reel.

 


The main difference? The addition of I-DC4 digital cast control

 

Casting: When Shimano introduced the Curado 150 DC two years ago they surprised the world by bringing one of their most premium and technologically advanced features to the masses. They did this by simplifying the DC 4X8 system into the less complex, but still very effective, I-DC4 system.

 

Just like the Curado DC the SLX DC's I-DC4 provides four casting modes, versus the full range of settings that were found on premium reels in the past like the Calais 4x8. While the I-DC4 system has far fewer settings it is also considerably easier to use for those that are unfamiliar with the technology.

 


The SLX DC is an excellent caster, and casts just as well as the more expensive Curado DC

 

The I-DC4 control modes include: Mode 1 is designed to achieve maximum distance (least amount of magnetic braking), Mode 2 is designed specifically for managing braided line, mode 3 is for fluorocarbon or stiffer lines, and Mode 4 offers maximum control (largest amount of magnetic braking) for applications like skipping.

 


The I-DC4 module is the same system that Shimano deployed on the Curado DC two seasons ago, and is a sealed easy to dial in digital cast control system that is self powered with each cast

Next Section: Casting performance versus the Curado DC

 

   

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