It’s great when a fishing tackle manufacturer makes a product and completely gets it right. Unfortunately, a perfect relationship combining engineering, design, performance, and what emerges as the final product, doesn’t happen as often as consumers would like. Fortunately, Shimano did, “get it right,” so to speak, with the Curado baitcasting reel. The Curado has gained faithful fans and diehard enthusiasts. Given the legacy inherent within the Curado model line, there are fishermen who have literally been fishing with different versions of the Shimano Curado for decades. Some brief history on the different versions of the Shimano Curado is noted below:
1992 Curado 100,200 (5:1) 2 bearings
1993 Curado 100A, 200A (6:1) 5 bearings
1994 Curado 200B (6.2:1) 5 bearings
1999 Curado 200B5 (5:1) 5 bearings
2001 Curado 200BSF (6.2:1), Curado 100B (6.2:1), Curado 200B38 (3.8:1) 5 bearings
2006 Curado 200DHSV (7:1), 200DPV (5:1) 6 bearings, 100D/DSV (6.2:1) 5 bearings
2007 Curado 300D (6.2:1) 6 bearings
2008 Curado 200E7 (7:1) 200E5 (5:1), 300E (6.2:1) 7 bearings
Before we get into the 2017 Curado K, some history concerning the Shimano company may be of interest. If not, simply scroll down.
SHIMANO COMPANY HISTORY:
Most people are familiar with the Shimano name when it comes to fishing reels. However, the company’s history may not be as well known. In February 1921, Shozaburo Shimano opened Shimano Iron Works in Higashi Minato in Sakai City. He was 26 at the time. The location for his new company was a then demolished celluloid factory. The monthly rent was 5 yen. In 1921, that is the equivalent of $553.66. The space measured no more than 430 square feet. Shozaburo didn’t even own his own lathe. Through a friendship with the owner of Sano Iron works, he borrowed the only lathe Shimano had at the time. For the next 49 years, Shimano focused their manufacturing efforts on bicycle parts. Shimano didn’t launch it’s Fishing Tackle Division until 1970.
In 1978, the Bantam 100 and 100ex were the first reels produced under the Shimano name. These reels were produced for the Lew Childre, Co.; more commonly known today as Lew’s. In 1989, the Childre family licensed the Lew’s brand to Browning. Today, the Lew’s brand and its many well-known trademarks are under the ownership of Do Outdoors Inc., and longtime Childre family friend Lynn Reeves. Here at Live to Fish, we proudly carry a number of Lew’s fishing reels, including the Lew’s TLCP1XH Team Lew’s Custom Pro.
In 1979, Shimano expanded their lineup with reels such as the 200, 300, 400, 500, and 10ex. Most of these models continued until the early 1980’s. Shimano needed a new price point in their lineup of reels, so they re-branded the old Curado into the Chronarch and cut the cost of the Curado. The Shimano Curado became the middle man between the Chronarch and Citica.
THE NEW 2017 SHIMANO CURADO K
The newest generation of Shimano’s Curado has a completely different shape from previous models. I’ve personally owned and fished the previous Curado model in the way of a Shimano Curado 300E. I bought the 300E after I’d purchased a Daiwa Lexa 300. The Lexa 300 failed on me within the first month of ownership. Daiwa appears to have fixed earlier problems with their Lexa line of baitcasters, but their first versions were not nearly as well made as the Curado 300 series. In the race to create a large capacity, low profile, baitcasting reel, Shimano did a good job with the 300E. What it lacked in drag power with 15 lbs of maximum drag, the 300 size Curado made up for it in nearly every other specification. I used it for fishing in saltwater for Redfish, Snook, and Trout. The Curado 300E was well suited to the saltwater environment.
Despite having a more compact size than the 300 series, the Curado K is no exception in terms of durability and reliability. Shimano manufactured the new Curado K with both bass and inshore saltwater anglers in mind. The reel features improved spool access and six shielded anti – rust ball bearings to help thwart corrosion. The Curado series from Shimano has been one of the most popular reels for bass and inshore anglers looking for a reel they can depend on; day in and day out. A reel that delivers on performance and features without breaking the bank. The K series keeps that tradition alive, and goes with a much stealthier looking matte black finish than the previous green colored Curado. In comparing the new Curado K to the most recent model, the new 2017 Curado K makes long casts are more effortless. Short pinpoint casts seem more controlled with this new reel. The new 2017 Shimano Curado K is available for purchase through our website or by visiting our showroom located at: Live to Fish, 9942 State Road 52, Hudson, FL 34669 (844) 934-7446.
MAJOR DIFFERENCES IN THE NEW SHIMANO CURADO K
The Curado K series feature Shimano’s latest baitcast reel technological advancements. Such advancements include uniquely smooth, highly efficient, and decidedly durable MicroModule gearing. A technology explained in further detail below. The Curado K comes in gear rations up to 8.5:1. There are a total of six new Curado 200K reels. A 6.2:1, 7.4:1, and 8.5:1 gear retrieve ratios. All models are available in both right and left hand retrieve. When compared with the previous generation, the Curado K styling is quite noticeably more compact. The first major upgrade over the previous version is the smaller overall size. Shimano managed to achieve manufacturing a more compact version without sacrificing any capacity. Manufacture of the Curado K starts with a solid aluminum frame to keep things pinned together; eliminating reel twist. The handle side sideplate gets an upgraded Ci4 sideplate. The Ci4 material is lighter, yet more rigid. It’s a proprietary carbon composite material Shimano uses in a number of their reels. The non-handle sideplate is made from more traditional graphite material. Under the non – handle sideplate, you’ll find access to Shimano’s new SVS Infinity centrifugal brake system. This is the same system first introduced on the much more expensive Shimano Aldebaran reels. The SVS Infinity centrifugal brake system offers both internally adjustable brakes, and a broader range of micro-adjustment capability with the external dial. The inclusion of this braking system on the new Curado K is one of the biggest upgrades over the previous model. A wider range of adjustments allows anglers to more accurately dial in the amount of cast control specific to the weight and type of lures being used.
The next major change and advantage found in the Curado K is it’s MicroModule gearing. MicroModule gearing is basically a system involving a larger main gear with a greater number of teeth, but that are each smaller in size than the teeth in the previous version. The result is a system that feels smoother and provides greater efficiency in terms of transferring power to the retrieve. By allowing more teeth to contact each other, the gear train becomes more efficient. Precise engagement between the teeth means a smoother power transmission without reducing the strength of the reel. The engagement occurs between the drive and pinion gears; giving you a more connected feel. MicroModule gearing is one of Shimano’s newest gear technologies.
SVS Infinity is a centrifugal braking system, with brake weights that use inner friction against the raceway during the cast to control spool speed. Put simply, the SVS Infinity system provides easy-to-manage, consistent spool control and brake force. The latest generation of SVS Infinity allows for a wider adjustment with the brakes. The new design reduces vibration and maintenance. The result is a smoother and longer cast.
Shimano uses their simple yet effective drag system in the Curado K. The drag system consists of Carbon Drag washers on both sides of the internal brass gearing. Shimano rates the Curado K with 11 lbs of drag. However, some users have conducted controlled drag tests wherein 12 lbs were achieved.
Reduced frame size to allow for a more comfortable feel in the hand. The 10% reduction in both length and width make the reel easier to palm and reduces fatigue. Demand for lighter, smaller, yet more capable tackle would be the underlying impetus for Shimano’s decision to reduce the size of the Curado. You’ll find that the the B side (palm side) plate is now attached to the reel. No more swinging open like previous versions. That is more of an advantage than some may realize. I’ve personally accidentally opened the previous Curado model to watch my spool fall out and sink. Fortunately, I was in no more than 4 feet of water at the time.
6.2:1/26 Inches Per Crank
7.4:1/ 30 Inches Per Crank
8.5:1/ 36 Inches Per Crank
11 pounds max drag
90mm Handle Length
6+1 bearings (4 S-ARB, 2 SUS and Roller bearing)
Aluminum frame, CI4+ A-side, Graphite B-side
7.6 ounces (standard and HG)
7.8 ounces (XG)
Visit us in person at our address above, or online at www.livetofish.com to order a new Curado K today. We have knowledgeable staff on hand to answer on your fishing gear and technique related questions, regardless of whether you’re fishing in freshwater or saltwater.