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BFS Reel Review


Built to Brawl - Shimano's Curado BFS XG Baitcaster


Date: 6/6/22
Tackle Type: Reel
Manufacturer: Shimano
Reviewer: Zander

Total Score: 8.41 - BEST VALUE AWARD

Once just a niche technique in Japan, the Bait Finesse System (BFS) is now becoming mainstream, and manufacturers are designing new reels and rods with the goal of making the technique more accessible to all anglers. The Shimano Curado BFS takes the brands most popular baitcaster series in the Americas and offers a compact reel with casting and drag systems designed specifically for finesse presentations.


Shimano Curado BFS XG Specifications

Line Capacity - Rated 8lb (0.235mm) / 50 yds (45m)
Line Capacity - Spool Volume 3.8 cm3
Retrieve Ratio
Inches Per Turn (IPT) - calculated
27 - 31
Weight 6.2 oz
Spool Weight 9 g
Bearings 7+1
Bearings per Knob 1 bearing + 1 bushing
Rated/Measured Max Drag 8lbs. / 8.3lbs.
Origin Made in Malaysia
MSRP $199


Shimano's most finesse oriented Curado, the Curado BFS XG


Impressions: With BFS gaining momentum globally it was just a matter of time before manufacturers started offering more affordable reels designed specifically for the technique. In the overseas markets Shimano offers the very affordable SLX BFS which we reviewed previously. With that launch we knew it was just a matter of time before either that reel or a Curado BFS would be introduced in the U.S. market.


The latest Curado reels have less green and gold but the knobs still pay homage to the previous generation reels


The Curado BFS was launched last season and leveraged much of what was previously introduced in the overseas SLX BFS including the S3D spool, Finesse Tune Brake System (FTB), and an audible drag feature. As is typical in the reelís positioning the Curado offers slight improvements and additional refinement over the SLX which we will delve into in this review.


Upon initial inspection the Curado BFS instantly looks familiar. It has the same basic footprint as the SLX BFS and yet is instantly recognizable as a Curado Series reel with the green spool and green and gold spool tension knob. The rest of the reel is a very dark tone that matches up with the rest of this generation of Curado reels.


The Curado BFS features familiar components and knobs


The Curado BFS is a sleek looking reel that features a relatively tapered frame and small gearbox. When compared to the new Bantam 150 MGL it looks much more compact. One of the most distinguishing things about the reel is the thin-walled ported S3D spool which is not just shallow but made very light with the entire braking system moved off the spool onto the non-handle sideplate.


What is different about the Curado BFS is the finesse optimized FTB cast control system that is fully magnetic


The Curado BFS weighs in at 6.2 ounces, which is .1oz. more than the SLX BFS, primarily due to the inclusion of a bearing in each knob, versus bushings. The Curado BFS is also only available in one retrieve ratio, a brisk 8.2:1, which is common among BFS reels and it is great to see that the reel is available in both right and left handed retrieve configurations.


Spooled up with some Seaguar Tatsu 4lb.


Real World Tests: When it comes to the Bait Finesse System technique, I like to focus on baits that are ľ ounce or less for reels that are BFS capable, and ideally 1/8oz. or less on reels that are BFS specific. For the Curado BFS I tested the reel with both 4lb mono and fluorocarbon using a variety of rods including offerings from Dobyns, Phenix, and even a few custom-built rods on NFC blanks. I targeted largemouth and spotted bass as well as rainbow trout using a variety of finesse plastics including shakeyhead and NED rigs and an assortment of miniature crank and jerkbaits to test the reelís capabilities and overall versatility.


The Curado BFS has a small overall profile and those that have fished the JDM Scorpion BFS or SLX BFS reels will find it very familiar

Next : Casting, the key to a good BFS reel...









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