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Enthusiast Reel Review


Beware the Bait Finesse Addiction : Shimano's Scorpion BFS


Date: 3/25/18
Tackle Type: Reel
Manufacturer: Shimano
Reviewer: Cal

Total Score: 8.50 - BEST VALUE AWARD

The Bait Finesse System (BFS) movement is real. More and more bass anglers frustrated with the line management issues spinning gear presents are seeking refuge in casting gear designed especially to handle light line and light baits. Once only available to the most dedicated enthusiast with a big budget, reels like Shimano's Brenious and Daiwa's Alphas SV are built to deliver BFS capabilities for right around $250. No where is it more evident that the BFS movement has gained real traction than in the availability today's subject of review - the Scorpion BFS.


Introducing Shimano's Scorpion BFS.


2017 Shimano Scorpion BFS Specifications

Line Capacity - Rated 6/50 (0.235mm/45m)
Line Capacity - Spool Volume 3.8 cm3
Retrieve Ratio
Inches Per Turn (IPT) - calculated
21 - 24
27 - 31
Weight 6 oz
Spool Weight 9 g
Handle Length 84 mm
Bearings 7+1
Bearings per Knob One Bearing, One Bushing
Levelwind Bearings One Bushing
Rated Max Drag 3.5kg (~7.7lbs)
Origin Made in Malaysia
MSRP $268

The Scorpion BFS appears to be built off the Scorpion 70 platform.

Impressions: Similar to the Curado in the US market, Scorpion is the heart of Shimano's JDM market. For anglers across the pond, it's more than a workhorse.


Despite the fact the Scorpion reels are mostly cosmetically enhanced Curados, they are the gateway drug that fuels our tackle addiction. In the case of the Scorpion BFS, there is no USDM counterpart. This merely adds to the lore that all things JDM are greener.

It has a super small and low profile.


The spool is super shallow rated at only 50 yards of 6lb test.


Onto the actual reel itself, the Scorpion BFS is based off the 70 platform in size with the same sized sideplates and spools with the same width and diameter. The BFS's spool, of course, is super shallow rated at only fifty yards of capacity for six pound test line. That's a capacity most US anglers cannot wrap their minds around and a big reason why we don't see reels like this in the USDM.

Rigged and ready to go on board our Phenix K2 casting rod.

Real World Tests: I spooled the Scorpion BFS with some five pound test Sunline Sniper fluorocarbon and mounted it on my new favorite BFS rod, Phenix's TX-713C K2. I packed it along with a host of other combos for some real world, on the water tests.

We fished the HG model or 8.2:1.

Spooled with 5lb Sunline Sniper.

Casting: On the subject of real world applications, I tested one rig and one rig only with this combo and that was a drop shot. After tying on my favorite Gamakatsu drop shot hook, I secured a one sixteenth ounce (1/16oz) cylinder style, tungsten drop shot weight to my tag line and tipped the hook with a six inch, straight tail Roboworm.

Brake settings can be adjusted through this dial.

In a move counter to most Shimano bass reels, the Scorpion BFS features magnetic brake control adjustable with an external, non-ratcheted dial (no clickies) that has an adjustment range from one to six. I set the dial on 3 and let out an easy lob cast for my first, just to see what the reel was about. My drop shot rig sailed effortlessly through the air to a very fishable distance - I was officially impressed.

But in a shift of paradigms, the brakes on the Scorpion BFS are magnetic.

Putting a bit more effort into my casting motion, I found this combo, and of course, more importantly, this reel was more than sufficient to get my bait rig not only on target, but beyond target repeatedly. The only difficulty came with the inevitable cross breeze which would inevitably cause some overrun with the spool. Dialing the brake adjustment up helps in these situations, but it also severely cuts off casting distance.

The reel features a stock 84mm handle.

A look at the peculiar main gear assembly.

Next: An interesting drag...









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