I have lots of reels from at least four different major manufacturers (plus one from the late US Reel company whose distinguishing feature was that it lacked a levelwind), and I’m just a weekend fisherman, not an engineer, so I’m not going to try to sell you on any particular brand.
They all have their pluses and minuses, I suppose, and truth be told there are lots of really good ones out there right now. At the $99 price point you can get an amazing tool, and for $150 or $200 you can get something so much better than the premium models of yesteryear that it’s not even a close comparison. In the upper echelons of the price game, the available reels often border on being functional works of art. While you might choose one brand over another for its aesthetics, or for some functional difference, the truth is that you really can’t go all that wrong. The differences are relatively minor.
That’s what I thought, at least, until I fished the Shimano Curado DC for seven days last week in Mexico. Full Disclosure: I have several friends who work at Shimano, and I may have gotten some discounted gear in the past, as I have from other companies. With seven days of use, I can’t yet say that it will revolutionize the sport or make all other reels obsolete, but if it holds up and continues to perform as it did I will end up with a bunch of them consistently on the deck of my boat.
What makes it different? It’s the computerized cast control.
What does that mean? I’ll be damned if I know. I can barely hit the power button on my Commodore 64.
I don’t really care why it works. I just care that it does work. Despite the fact that my thumb has 35 years of higher baitcasting education there are still times when you have to plan or time your throws with light lures, particularly those that catch air. I spent all week using the DC to throw Rico’s and hard jerkbaits and unweighted Senkos, and when I was fishing with it I could literally “set it and forget it.” No backlashes, just the rare loop when throwing a light lure directly into a really heavy wind.
At 250 bucks, they’re not cheap, but they’re not all that much more than any other premium reel, and less than many others. Without explicitly endorsing one brand over another across the board, I can tell you right now that you’re going to like this one. Order and find out. Just don’t make your purchase too soon – they’re on backorder and I need to get a few in my grubby paws in time for Shad Rap season.