Shimano Curado I review
By Bobby Saffel
This is a review that I’ve been holding back because I wanted to really learn the ins and outs of before I stood behind it. Fishing reels are something that feel great right out of the box. They’ll cast a mile and the handle will turn like silk. To me, what is a test of a good real isn’t how many seconds the handle spins when you give it a quick whip while standing in the isle of your local tackle shop, it’s how it feels after a year of hard use and abuse. The Shimano Curado I is a reel that I’m proud to have. Here’s why.
Before I go into the details of this reel I wanted to give you some insight into the abuse my gear takes. 90% of my reels have some type of braid. Usually it’s 50 to 65 pound power pro. All of them have the drag locked down because I’m flipping a jig or some type of plastic into brush, punching grass mats with a big rod and heavy weight, or working a frog over the top over grass or a lily pad field. As you can tell, this is a place where give is out of the question. If you give them an inch, they WILL take a mile and usually this ends in you losing a fish. So with that said, let’s talk about what I like about this reel.
First off the smoothness of the reel is unbelievable even after a year. My first two reels went on my jig and frog rods. These rods see the most use so of course they’re the best one to write examples on. They have handled dirty situations very well and that smooth feeling hasn’t wore off. The dirt and grim that gets in them from riding on the deck while you run across the lake or on the ride home hasn’t shown any effect on them. I am very pleased.
The biggest thing that was changed on this reel besides the color was the brakes. No longer is does the Curado have just a centrifugal braking system. It now is equipped with magnetic brakes. This turned a lot of people off because they’re set in their ways and I can’t blame them. I’m set in my ways, if you don’t believe me just ask my tournament partner. As much I disliked them reinventing the wheel when they had something that worked, I gave it a shot. I knew that Shimano was a million dollar company and spent a fortune on making making their customers happy. If you do believe this, look at uproar the Curado G caused and how they corrected it with the Curado I. Shimano kept the same adjust centrifugal braking style but added a magnetic brake adjustment to the outside for quick adjustments on the fly. This serves as a fine adjustment and the centrifugal brakes are a course adjust. I find myself using the magnetic brakes and never opening it up to adjust the others.
The oversized reel handles is another change. If you had any of the green ones you’ll notice the change. I personally like it because I feel like I get a better grip of the handle and can apply just a little bit more torque than before. This is just a personal preference and some will have other opinions.