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Enthusiast Review


The Ultimate Conquest - by Shimano Japan (continued)

 

Features: As one might expect from a flagship status reel from Shimano Japan, the 2014 Conquest scores very well against our features check list. Aside from the afore mentioned micro-modulus gearing, and externally adjustable casting brakes, the Conquest 101 comes with two bearings under the levelwind, two bearings under each knob, micro click adjustments on both the dragstar and spool tension knob, a vial oil in the box, and yes, even a reel cover to store the reel when not in use.

 


... and pop the entire sideplate off.

 

Features Ratings for Shimano Conquest 100/101

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
2
3
3
2
2
14
14
10

 

Design & Ergonomics: We stated earlier that round reels go through a slower re-fresh cycle because there's really not much you can do to change the shape of round. While this is true, with the 2014 Conquest, Shimano Japan shows that you can indeed change the ergonomics of a round reel. These changes began with the 2012 Calcutta (non-Conquest version) when the manufacturer found a way to make the non-handle side of the reel smaller than the handle side. This change in effect made the 100 size Calcutta palm like a 50 size, the 200 palm like a 100, and so on.


The top bar of the reel is low and flat providing a comfortable resting spot for your thumb while palming the reel.

Shimano extends this design to the Conquest and then they make the reel even more comfortable to palm by lowering and flattening out the top plate at the front of the reel. The weight of the 100 size reel is very good for a round reel at only 7.6 ounces, the reel's knobs are comfortable to grasp (but not as comfortable as the molded, left right knobs on most Shimano reels), and the 75mm handle length is just average by today's standards.

 


Each knob is supported by two bearings.

 

Design & Ergonomics Ratings for Shimano Conquest 100/101

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
4
4
17
25
6.8


Even the dragstar features a ported design.

Application: The Conquest 100 is as versatile a reel as you could hope for capable of being used for most anything aside from finesse applications. The previous version of the Conquest lineup included a 50 sized finesse reel so that plan may still be in the works. There are also larger, 300 and 400 sized Conquest reels coming this year that will certainly be able to help with those wanting a big bait sized Conquest. For now, we've scored Finesse and Big Bait Applications for the Conquest 100 as average acknowledging that the 100 is not suitable for these applications, but there are other sized Conquests that may or may not suit those needs.

 

Application Ratings for Shimano Conquest 100/101

Horizontal (1-5)
Vertical (1-5)
Finesse (1-5)
Big Baits (1-5)
Topwater (1-5)
Total
Possible
Rating (= Tot/Pos * 10)
5
5
3
3
4
20
25
8.0

 


As with all of Shimano's higher end gear, the Conquest is manufactured in Japan.

 

Ratings:

Shimano Conquest 100/101 Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Pick one up and you might not put it down 9
Performance Unbelievably smooth 9.2
Price Considering the machining on this reel? A "fair" price. 6
Features Every bearing and clicking adjustment on our checklist! 10
Design (Ergonomics) Really smart design to make this round reel very palmable 6.8
Application 4 different sizes to suit your application needs, but the 100 by itself is still very versatile 8.0

Total Score

8.17
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
+ Beautifully crafted reel - If you pick one up, you might not be able to put it down
+ Buttery smooth  
+ Very comfortable to palm  


The feeling of elation while holding a reel like this in your hand is what defines us as tackle enthusiasts.

Conclusion: Shimano really went all out in refreshing their flagship round baitcaster, the Calcutta Conquest. Their strategies to make the reel feel smaller in your hand and creating a more comfortable angle for your thumb to rest while on top of the reel worked out incredibly well. Like the previous generation Conquest, the reel itself is a machined masterpiece, and when you turn the handle? The buttery smooth operation of the Micro-Modulus gearing is nothing short of inspiring. The feeling of elation when holding a reel like this in your hand is what defines a tackle enthusiast. If you cannot appreciate the eloquence of Shimano's 2014 Conquest reels, you need to step back, take a time out, and re-evaluate your inner passion for all things tackle.

 

Looking for Shimano Conquest 100/101? Try one of these reputable sources!

 

TackleWarehouse : Hi's Tackle Box Shop

 

 

 

   

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