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Reel Review


Built for Finesse. Shimano's Curado MGL 70 K Baitcasters


Date: 11/9/20
Tackle Type: Reels
Manufacturer: Shimano
Reviewer: Zander


Total Score: 8.18 - EDITOR'S CHOICE AWARD


Introduction: The newest addition to the Shimano Curado line is the smaller 70 MGL K, and the biggest upgrade is not only the more compact form factor but the addition of a lightweight MGL spool. Designed to help anglers make pinpoint casts with lighter baits, this new reel looks to carry on the Curado Series tradition of being a benchmark baitcaster. Let's see how it stacks up to today's tough competition, and history. 


Shimano Curado MGL 70 K Reel Specifications

Line Capacity (lb/yds) 10/105, 12/85, 14/70
Gear Ratio 7.4:1 and 8.1:1
Line retrieve per crank 29 (7.4:1) and 32 (8.1:1) inches
Weight 6.9 oz.
Bearings 8BB, 1RB
Additional Features Micro module gearing, X-Ship, Hagane Body, SVS Infinity, CI4+ sideplate, MGL Spool, S3D Spool, S-ARB, Cross Carbon Drag
Origin Malaysia
MSRP $229.99


Shimano's smallest Curado, the new MGL70 K Series


Impressions: This year's virtual ICAST was a unique experience and it was great to be able to check out all the new product virtually. Shimano always typically prepares a number of major launches each year and this year the focus was on the new Vanford spinning reel, a product that we are also in the process of currently evaluating. With the Vanford in the spotlight it was a surprise that the Shimano also unveiled more compact versions of both the Curado and SLX Series reels, and that both reels would be equipped with MGL spools.


Shimano has become increasingly aggressive when it comes to moving their popular technologies down through their mainstream lineup. Features like DC and MGL, once reserved only for much higher-end or flagship reels in the company's portfolio, have become available on much more aggressively priced mainstream reels like the affordably priced SLX.


The MGL70K is the first Curado to get the MGL spool treatment


Many anglers view the current Curado generation, the K Series, to be a return to form for the venerable line. The latest reels deliver the features and performance that anglers expect from the series, and all at the reasonable price of only $179 dollars. This is still more than Curado reels have cost in the past, and in many ways the aluminum framed SLX now occupies the mainstream segment that the Curado Series once owned.


It wouldn't be a Curado without some signature green elements. No gold on this reel though


We talked to Trey Epich, Shimano America Product Planning Manager, about what makes the Curado such a popular reel among US anglers, and why it was important for the company to introduce the new smaller sized baitcasters. "The Curado is synonymous with dependability. I think hardcore anglers realize that it is a solid investment in a reel that they can fish hard and know it will perform. It will also hold its value over time," stated Epich. "Regarding a smaller size, we are trying to continually evolve our product line to meet the demands of modern techniques. The market has become increasingly educated about the technique-specific benefits of various reels. A smaller spool diameter is simply a better mousetrap when it comes to casting smaller baits. Not everyone wants or can afford something like an Aldebaran, but they want the ability to throw more finesse presentations on a durable and dependable platform." 


The Curado MGL70K features a very low and sleek profile


The Curado Series is also one of the few reels in the Shimano portfolio that is not a product of the unified product roadmap. In Japan the equivalent to the Curado is still the popular Scorpion series. While reels like the Antares have replaced U.S. versions, like the Calais, the Curado continues to exist, and we asked Trey about the development of Curado reels like the MGL70K, and why it is still one of the few reels that varies by region.


The Curado MGL70K is designed for finesse applications and great for fishing fluorocarbon lines


"We work in conjunction with Shimano Japan on all baitcasting reel development that we see hit the market in North America and try to find common ground in tooling investments and then develop different concepts on that core tooling set. We have kept Curado and Scorpion brands and concept different for the two markets because of their rabid followings in the respective markets. The reels vary greatly in appearance, but the spec isnít too drastically different," Epich stated.   


I was able to compare the new 70 series Curado and SLX reels side by side


The new reel immediately looks like it is part of the same family as the existing K Series reels with a matte black finish and anodized green highlights on the spool tension knob and drag star. If anything the MGL70K looks more stealthy in appearance with the black spool and lack of any gold highlights. Even the handle is anodized black to match the rest of the reel. Personally I think the gold highlights on the 200K are a little polarizing, and like the more tactical look of the new smaller reel. I think this new reel more easily appeals to all anglers.

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