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Complete ICAST 2017 Coverage
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TackleTour Exclusive: On the Water with the New G.Loomis Conquest Rod Series

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First Look Inside the New Shimano Curado K Series Baitcasters
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An Easier to Fish Schooling Bait - The PDL Rig
 


 


Enthusiast Review


A Shining Star Amidst a Milkyway of Reels: The Antares by Shimano (continued)

 

Power: The Antares is available in two retrieve ratios, a 5.6:1 and a 7.4:1. I only fished the 5.6:1 and tested its power by throwing deep diving cranks like the Strike King 10XD and Lucky Craft SKT Magnum cranks. Both baits were handled quite easily by the Antares. The buttery smooth retrieve of the 5.6:1 version of this reel makes it an excellent choice for cranking and this reel has become my go to reel for throwing cranks.


A look at the pinion reveals another perspective of the finely cut teeth on the new gearing system.

Casting Range: Matched with the line and rod I had to test, the Antares was able to handle baits down to one quarter of an ounce relatively easily. Matched with lighter line and a more baitfinesse type rod, this reel may be able to handle even lighter baits. This is a very free casting reel.

 


Time to get to "work".

 

I've never been one to believe in the limits of a reel's mechanical ability regarding an upper end weight limit when it comes to casting so the only limitation I see with the Antares and big baits, is line capacity. If you mix in braid with a heavy mono or fluorocarbon leader, you might be able to squeeze by, but what I'm about to share might call that into question.


Testing the Antares's casting ability. The little red circle is my 10XD sailing towards that clump of tules off in the distance.

Thanks to Shimano's next generation centrifugal braking system, the Antares not only handles a wide range of baits, but when you tie something on and crank up your cast, it sends baits further than expected too. I'm talking the ease and distance of a DC like casting system. The only thing missing is that DC humm!


I didn't reach the tules, but that was no fault of the Antares - I had to stop the reel short or I would have run out of line - right down to the backing!

Case in point? I moved my Antares over to an Edge Rods 806-1 Crankbait stick to see how it would handle the duties of casting and retrieving big cranks like the Skeet Rees Magnum from Lucky Craft and the Strike King 10XD. The 10XD was first, so I tied it on, made a test cast, and got some really good distance. After cranking the reel back into the boat, I made an adjustment to the Antares's casting brakes via its external dial. I then revved up and really let loose on a cast asking Zander to document with some photos. I had to stop the cast short with my thumb because I cast all the way down to the backing on my reel! I repeated the motion and duplicated the effort several times in a row.


The Antares has a flip open hatch for access to the spool and casting brakes.

Brakes: Speaking of that next generation brake system, the Antares features Shimano's new SVS Infinity brakes. This system is made up of flying centrifugal brake arms that can be turned on or off by opening the flip open sideplate and pivoting the red brakes on the reel's spool. Once set, micro-adjustments can be made via an external dial at the bottom front of the reel. This is the same system found on the Metanium, Chronarch Ci4+, and Curado I although there are slight differences between each model to make them work within the respective geometries of each frame.


Once open, you can adjust the centrifugal brakes same as the Metanium.

The actual brakes are a little tough to adjust if you have chunky fingers, but I prefer this setup to the former brakes which you could accidentally push off the spool if you weren't careful. With these brakes, it's all about feeling that little "click" of engagement or disengagement.


But the new innovation for Shimano is being able to fine tune the brakes from the outside too.

Features: One would expect a flagship reel from Shimano to score very well in the features department and once again, our expectations were pretty much met. Thanks to the new SVS Infinity brakes, the Antares now features an external brake adjustment dial, along with two bearings per knob, micro-click adjustments on the drag and cast control, a reel cover in the box, and a vial of oil. The only feature we score and in which the Antares was lacking is a bearing supported wormgear at the levelwind.

 

Features Ratings for Shimano Antares 2012

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
3
2
2
13
14
9.29


The only feature really missing from the Antares is a bearing supported levelwind.


A lot of manufacturers are doing it, but not Shimano nor is there really the opportunity to add them in yourself.

Next Section: Classic style, without the weight

 

 

 

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