SHIMANO Curado I Reels Review

SHIMANO is a company headquartered in Osaka, Japan. The company has been in operation since 1921, initially producing bicycle equipment. Although they continue to make state-of-the-art bicycle equipment, they now also specialize in fishing tackle and rowing equipment. SHIMANO is known for creating high-quality products.

The SHIMANO Curado I baitcasting reel is a reasonably-priced reel that provides smooth performance. The product is intended for use in both fresh and saltwater and features a crank range from 26” to 36.”

Let’s start by taking a look at the specs of the SHIMANO Curado 200I Reel:

  • A Mono Line capacity of 8/180, 10/155, 14/110
  • PowerPro line capacity of 30/190, 50/120, 65/80
  • The product weighs approximately 7.4 ounces
  • Five ARB ball bearings
  • Max drag of 12 pounds
  • Measures 3” x 3” x 2”

What we like about the I Series

The Curado I reel from SHIMANO features a rigid metal Hagane body, which provides fishers with excellent impact resistance. Even with this design, the product is incredibly lightweight, checking in at a mere 7.4 ounces. This reel is also incredibly compact, measuring 3” x 3” x 2”. There are five bearings on this reel, providing ample control to a small product.

The Mono Line capacity and PowerPro line capacity on this line are also quite impressive, as is the 7:2:1 gear ratio. The 30” line retrieval per crank also stood out, considering the size of this product. SHIMANO invested time into retooling and upgrading this product, as it performs much better than prior Curado reels.

Some of the most impressive technology in the modern Curado is in the spool. This product features Super-Free Spool technology, which helps lessen friction on both the spool shaft and the pinion gear. Additionally, there is a Stable Spool Design that helps reduce vibration on the spool. This improves control considerably, allowing fishers to handle the most tumultuous of situations.

This product also comes with SVS Infinity technology, which fishers should find add even more control to the line. There are also brake weights throughout the reel that also add power and speed. Customers should find this reel smooth and efficient. 

We were also fans of the handle on this fishing reel. The handle was quite large with a rubber base. We found that it was easy to grip and maneuver the handle, again a testament to the control that SHIMANO provided with this product design.

Customers should also appreciate that they can use this reel in both fresh and salt water. With a durable product design, they won’t have to worry about salt causing corrosion. Anglers also shouldn’t have to worry about salt buildup on the line or in the housing of the reel.

What we wish was different about the Curado Series

While we appreciated the lightweight and compact design, it appears that it came at the expense of a few critical components. For instance, the max drag on this reel is a mere 12 pounds, which pales considerably to other reels. This reel may be best when used with smaller fish. However, SHIMANO indicates that anglers can use it in both fresh and salt water.

We’re a bit skeptical of how well this reel would hold against a significant saltwater catch. For the average angler looking to upgrade their existing equipment, it could be a worthwhile choice. But competitive and professional fishers may want to skip this product in search of something of higher quality and durability.

The one piece of information that is contradictory to all of this is the fact that this reel is a bait caster. Typically, anglers must have at least some experience casting a line before graduating to bait casters. So, we’re not entirely sure who SHIMANO seeks to target with this product. It’s too complicated for beginners, but not good enough for professionals. 

This reel costs approximately $130, depending on the retailer. Although this is probably a fair price point, customers may be able to find other options in this range that provide more value. This reel contains multiple plastic parts. Many other reels feature lightweight aluminum, which increases their durability.

We did not necessarily run into any durability concerns with this product, but plastic components had us weary. We feel that it would only be a matter of time before they faltered. Anglers also expressed significant concerns with prior Curado models. While SHIMANO put time into streamlining the most recent product, at $130, we’re not convinced that it should be on the top of our list.

What other customers say

Matt noted that he did not have any complaints about the product. He said that it cast well and that he didn’t suffer any backlash unless he made a mistake. This could perhaps demonstrate that this reel is best for those with experience throwing lines. Matt said that there are more plastic pieces in this Curado than in prior models, but performance has yet to suffer.

Brad W indicated that this reel was lightweight and “super smooth.” Brad said he used older Curado models in the past but that this model’s performance stood out considerably compared to the others. The review said that the modern Curado 200I is his new “workhorse” and that he intends to use the product for years. Brad summarized his review by saying, “you won’t go wrong with this one.” 

Greenemann mentioned that the Curado I series was lightweight and provided very long casts. This reviewer felt as though he received incredible value with the purchase of this product, saying that he does not think you can give much more bang for your buck in this price range. The reviewer said that he purchased multiple reels shortly after realizing how well the initial Curado performed.

Wrapping up

SHIMANO sought to pack a punch when designing this reel. The product measures 3” x 3” x 2”, which is considerably smaller than other wheels. The reel has impressive mono line capacities and PowerPro line capacities. However, anglers may sacrifice a bit on the max drag, as it is a mere 12 pounds. SHIMANO is a trusted brand, and this product operates smoothly, but there could be cheaper options available. 

Shimano Curado 200 IHG right hand baitcast fishing reel, CU200IHG
  • High gear baitcast spinning fishing reel, Gear ratio: 7.2:1, Retrieve: right
  • Mono line capacity (lbs/yds): 8/180,10/155,14/110
  • PowerPro line capacity (lbs/yds): 30/190,50/120,65/80
  • Line retrieve per crank: 30 inch
  • Weight: 7.40 ounce, max. dragforce: 12 lbs, bearings: 5 S ARB

About the Author

Trey is a lifelong hunter and avid camper. He lives outside Denver, CO with his wife Kaci and their lab mix Ziggy. They spend as much time as possible outdoors - hunting, fishing, and camping.

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