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Shimano Curado DC Reel Review

My thoughts and experiences with the new Shimano Curado DC reel.

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Smooth operator

The Shimano Curado DC reels was one of the reels I was most looking forward to fishing after the ICAST 2018 show. This reel had a lot of hype surrounding it and won Best of Show out in Orlando. The guys I talked to that had been fishing them in 2018 were really impressed with them, especially at this price point.

I got the Curado DC a month ago and already it’s one of my favorites. I love the sound of the computer chip engaging and slowing the reel spool down. That’s one of the first things you notice about this reel when you fish it the first time.

But I was equally as impressed with how smooth it is from casting to pitching to retrieves.

Great casting

The Shimano Curado DC reel employs a combination of their higher end technologies to make this one the optimally performing reels in their middle-tier line-up. From the MicroModule Gearing that provides seamless efficient rotation as well as their Digitally Controlled braking that allows anglers to externally adjust the brakes which measure and control the spool rotation with a microcomputer every 1/1000 of a second.

It also has their Super Free bearing supported pinon gear technology that eliminates friction on the spool shaft.

All of this allows for very long casting on all settings with the combination of the tension and brakes and weight of your lure and line. I’ve been fishing it on a G.Loomis E6X 853C Jig Worm rod. That combination can skip a Senko shallow as well as it can bomb a football jig out in open water.

Very solid design

The Curado DC feels solid in your hand. It’s built on their very sturdy Hagane body as well as X-ship and Cross carbon drag system. The reel feels like a tournament rugged reel. I like a reel that feels a bit more dense and solid in your hand. This reel is light but still feels dense when you cast and retrieve.

I’ve hooked some decent fish on it and the drag is smooth and there is no flex in the body under strain. I’ve landed a 30-pound Asian carp on it by accident and I just horsed on the fish just to see how the rod and reel felt under more strain than a big bass could ever put it under. It was like having a bigger heavy duty reel in a smaller more dense package.

Awesome braking system

The Digitally Controlled braking system on the Curado DC makes for simple adjustments to your reel for any skill level of angler based on the type of casting you want to do. It has a free setting and it also offers three different settings on the dial with 1 for braid or mono, 2 for fluoro and then 3 for specific more difficult casting situations like skipping or casting into heavy wind.

Very comfortable to fish

The Curado DC has a small form factor that palms easily and comfortable which I believe reduces fatigue in your fishing all day. I have really bad arthritis already in my hands and deal with trigger finger a lot on my right hand so I’ve had to re-learn how to relax my hand with the reel in it. It’s much easier with reels like this one.

I’ve spent several weeks now fishing with it and find myself wishing I had 3 or 4 more on some other combinations. You’ll see what I mean when you go fish it the first time.

I spent a week with several Shimano pros fishing recently and got to try the reel with a lot of different line types, lures and casting scenarios. It’s going to be a staple reel for a lot of anglers.

DC technology manages overruns

Shimano’s DC system for digitally controlling the speed of the spool every nano-second of the cast gives even the most novice anglers a much more enjoyable experience with a baitcaster. If you’re willing to spend a little more on a reel when starting with a baitcaster, you will find that a reel like this Curado DC take so much pain out of the learning process. 

It’s an investment for sure, but you’re talking about buying a reel that I feel is going to last you 10 years or more.

This is the iDC4 system meaning it has 4 settings on the DC braking system to choose from ranging from wide open thumb control to extreme sensitivity for fishing conditions like skipping or casting directly into the wind. 

Solid throughout

At $249, the Shimano Curado 150 DC reel is one of the best baitcasting reels at that price point this moment. It has a lot of features, solid construction, big comfortable grips, an easily palmable footprint, and incredible cast control as well as holding 110 yards of 12 pound line. It comes in 6.2:1, 7.4:1 and 8.5:1 options in both left and right hand retrieves.

They have been sold out for a good part of the year already, but most retailers were restocked recently.

You can find them at these online retail partners: