The Shimano Curado ranges of reels have been around for many years and have been proven to be one of the toughest and most value for money baitcasters on the market. This year there is a new model, the Curado I series range. Tougher and smoother then the past models this reel has many high-end features.
- 5 S/S ball bearings + 1 roller bearing
-SVS Infinity Brake System (Infinite Cast Control)
-Shimano Stable Spool Design (S3D)
-Super Free Spool
-Cross Carbon Drag
-Offset Handle Design
-Center Clutch Design
-3 models, 5.5:1, 6.3:1, 7.2:1
With these features the real question is how does it perform and does it live up to Curado expectations. The answer is yes, exceeding the capabilities of the older models.
I put this reel to the test here in Far North Queensland using it in both fresh and salt water, chasing both Barramundi and Mangrove Jacks. When I first got the reel I thought it would be very similar to the older green models. After matching it to a rod and catching a few fish on it I realised it was a huge step up above what the old Curado’s are. The Stable Spool Design (or S3D) delivers an incredibly smooth feeling when casting and retrieving for Jacks. With the feature of X-Ship it has heaps of power when trying to muscle those bigger fish from the tight structure. The Carbon Cross Drag system is silky smooth and remains that way even at 5.5kg of drag pressure. With this reel I can cast unweighted 3inch plastics right through to 150gram vibes with ease. It can fit over 200yrds of 20lb Power Pro so if you do hook a monster there little chance of getting spooled.
The best thing I like about this reel is it can handle 120cm plus Barramundi any day of the week. In fact while testing the reel it landed three Barra over 120cm’s, many under the mark and also countless jacks. One of the fish was a 129cm Barramundi that headed for structure and I had to put some hurt on her, I was testing that 5.5kg of drag and after 15min battle it was still smooth.
This reel is lightweight, Strong and after many fish both in fresh and salt it still looks and feels like it was just pulled out of its box. For any angler that targets Barramundi and Mangrove Jacks I highly recommend this reel that retails in Tackle stores for under $300. Go get your hands on one today and get a new PB like it did for me.