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Enthusiast Review

Be Very Careful of What You Ask: Shimano Japan's Metanium Mg DC (continued)

Pitching and Casting: The first bait to have the honors of testing the Metanium Mg DC's potential was a seven inch 22nd Century Triple Trout. With the external DC dial set to "I-M", I cast away to the familiar "zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz" sound of the DC engine. The result? While this reel certainly had the audible familiarity of a DC reel, actual casting distance was nothing extraordinary. 


Set to "I-M", the Metanium Mg DC is setup and ready to go on our Megabass White Python

So, I wound up and tried again. Blocking out the sound in my mind, I paid close attention to the effort I imparted into the cast together with the end result and figured actual distance was maybe marginally better than my standard Metanium Mg given the effort I was putting into each cast. Then, no sooner than I was getting comfortable with the reel than *poof* - professional overrun. My Daiwa Samurai Braid dug into the spool and was more or less lost. That's what I get for putting Daiwa line on a Shimano reel I suppose!

Sitting sleek and low...

Fortunately, I had some spare spools of line on the boat, so I went ahead and just stripped the line and respooled with some 16lb Toray Superhard Nylon and resumed testing. This time, I switched it down to "A" mode and again, noticed no appreciable differences. This was all before I realized the "M" and "A" meant different things with this reel as compared to the Antares DC. Later tests, repeating the jumps between these two settings with some fluorocarbon line on the reel again resulted in marginal differences at best, but it did seem the reel behaves best with nylon monofilament. I experienced several overrun situations the 20lb Toray Superhard Upgrade.

Thanks to the customary oversized gear box off to the side.


On the next setting of "I-L" and making a conscious effort to exert a little more thumb action just in case, I took some more swings, "zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz". Now we're talking. In "I-L" mode, this reel really cuts loose and casting the seven inch Triple Trout was both easy and effectively, very far. I've been paranoid to use this setting with my Antares DC7 for fear of getting a backlash, but with the Metanium Mg DC, I grew so frustrated at not being able to achieve greater distance casts, so I threw caution out the window and decided to give it a whirl. I'm glad I did. This mode was easily manageable with nylon line, but with the fluorocarbon, let's just say I almost spoiled the entire spool!

Shown here after a quick respool with Toray Superhard Nylon

Under "I-W" mode and making some easy casts into the wind, the brake system performs very well managing the spool speed and minimizing any overruns. I stopped short of really slinging hard into some moderate head winds as I had little interest in respooling another time.

Available in 6.2:1 and 7.0:1, we tested the standard retrieve

Next up? Pitching duties. With both the cast control knob backed off the point where the spool just stops side to side play, and the digital brakes set to "I-L" for minimal influence, the Metanium Mg DC is quite an effective pitching reel. Even on the White Python I was able to pitch and present baits down to a 3/8th ounce jig without trailer, to spots a good forty to fifty feet away with little effort.

The Metanium Mg DC shares all the same styling cues as its non-DC counterpart including this finely detailed thumb bar

Switching up to a different rod, a Phenix MBX707H (7'7" Heavy), I was able to get lighter baits moving including a 3/16ths ounce Megabass Super Griffon, but there was no audible engagement of the DC controls. I suspect with even lighter line, and a rod better suited for light baits, pitching with baits down to one quarter, and maybe even an eighth of an ounce will be easily managed with this reel.

Shimano's ergo Septon grips are among the most comfortable on the market

Retrieve: The Metanium Mg DC comes equipped with an eighty millimeter handle and the customary Shimano ergo grips contoured for right or left hand retrieve. There are two bearings under each knob, and really, the reel feels no different than the standard Metanium Mg. I suspect that's because it pretty much is the same reel, just with a different brake system for casting.

A closer look at the ported handle, fighting star, and the interesting detailing of the reel's cast control knob

This is a good thing as I enjoy how the new generation Shimano Metanium Mg reels feel in hand while cranking the handle. However, this particular Metanium Mg DC did not particularly care for the responsibility of pulling the relative resistance free 22nd Century Triple Trout through the water column. Surprisingly, the reel felt a little overmatched from time to time as I was cranking the bait through the water almost to the point of binding, but not quite.

The external dial is quick and easy to adjust

With standard baits like a spinnerbait or medium running crankbait, I felt none of this struggle, so under normal conditions, the reel is fine. However, performance with the big bait, albeit, a low resistance big bait, was disappointing and not something I expected at all from a Shimano Japan product.

While access to the spool is convenient though not entirely necessary

Next Section: On to the Drag









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