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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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Enthusiast Review


Can the Brenious Hold up to Fresh as Well as Salt? (continued)

 

Power: This isn't really an area of much concern with finesse reels because you're typically using very light line with very small hooks. As long as you're able to battle with your catch (and I was), and the reel's handle is of sufficient length (it is), that's all you can ask for with a finesse type reel. The Brenious doesn't hold enough line to even toy with the idea of tossing deep diving cranks with it.


A look at the 7.7:1 main gear.

Casting Range: This is where finesse casting reels are made - in their ability to cast lure combinations you'd normally only associate with spinning gear. The Brenious was just average in this regard. Despite a super light spool, and very little line on the reel to slow the spool down, I really had to make an effort to cast anything lighter than one quarter of an ounce (1/4 oz). Even drop shot rigs with the long pendulum of a three sixteenths ounce (3/16ths oz) weight were a challenge. This reel was capable of it, but not over using a spinning combo.


The Brenious features an 8-point SVS brake.

Brakes: The Brenious comes with an eight point SVS braking system adjustable only by flipping open the sideplate of the reel. It is the same system used in the Aldebaran BFS though unfortunately, the spools are not interchangeable. The Brenious spool does fit in the Chronarch 50E's body, but the brake block on the Chronarch 50E's spool interferes with the Brenious's sideplate not allowing it to close, so the opposite is not true.


There is one bearing and one bushing per knob.

Features: The Brenious doesn't fare too well against our standard check list of features. The reel's casting brakes are not adjustable from outside, there is no bearing on the levelwind worm gear; there is only one bearing per handle knob; the dragstar has micro-click adjustments, but the spool tension knob does not; there is no cover for the reel out of the box; and the reel does come with a vial of oil.

 

Features Ratings for Shimano Brenious

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)
1
1
2
2
1
2
9
14
6.43


No bearings to support the levelwind worm gear.

Design & Ergonomics: The Brenious is a very comfortable reel to fish. It's hard to argue with the size of Shimano's 50-sized reels. The reel's handle is of sufficient length, and the knobs are very comfortable to grasp. It's obviously very easy to palm, but one thing that did feel odd, given this reel is made for finesse applications, was the reel's weight. I'm used to using magnesium framed reels for finesse applications, and this pint sized aluminum caster doesn't feel right, weight wise, when trying to cast ultra light bait offerings.

 

Design & Ergonomics Ratings for Shimano Brenious

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)
3
4
4
3
4
16
25
6.4


The Brenious is actually intended for saltwater finesse applications for perch and bream.

Application: The Brenious is actually intended for saltwater finesse applications for perch and bream. Naturally, we test most everything against black bass, so our scoring for this reel might be a little unfair though a lot of the testing is still universal (casting range, retrieve, drag, etc.). As a finesse baitcasting reel for black bass, this reel leaves a lot to be desired. As a reel for saltwater bream, lure weights are likely higher, so perhaps the reel will perform better.

 

Application Ratings for Shimano Brenious

Horizontal (1-5)
Vertical (1-5)
Finesse (1-5)
Big Baits (1-5)
Topwater (1-5)
Total
Possible
Rating (= Tot/Pos * 10)
4
4
4
1
3
16
25
6.4

 

Ratings:

Shimano Brenious Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality We've seen this reel before (Chronarch 50E body) 7.5
Performance I expected more range in casting performance 7.2
Price A good price considering this is intended a finesse baitcaster 7.5
Features The only thing really different about this reel is its spool 6.43
Design (Ergonomics) A little heavy for a finesse caster 6.4
Application With finesse apps in mind, somewhat flexible, but ultimately this is a specialty reel 6.4

Total Score

6.91
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
+ An affordable bait finesse reel - sort of - Doesn't cast light stuff very well
+ Comfortable to palm - A little heavy for a finesse baitcaster

  

Conclusion: The Shimano Brenious left me wanting for more. If you're in the market for a finesse baitcasting reel but are on a tight budget, you might do well to save a little longer and go for something a little higher end. Keeping in mind this is really a reel designed for saltwater perch and bream, it still has limitations worth noting with regards to how comfortably it can cast light weight bait offerings.


The Brenious is a fun little reel to fish, but for freshwater finesse applications, you might be better off with spinning gear.

I know if this were my first bait finesse experience, I'd likely grow very discouraged over the effort it takes to cast something light with this reel, put it down, and go right back to my spinning gear. Don't get me wrong. It's a fun reel to fish. I just want more from it.

 

Looking for Shimano Brenious? Try Japan Tackle!!

 

 

 

 

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