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Shimano Curado 70 Review

The Shimano Curado 70 is the latest of the Curado family and was introduced in the first quarter of 2016 at the Bassmaster Classic Expo. So why am I doing a review of the Shimano Curado 70 that most people would consider being a freshwater Bass reel?  Well, the answer is that this little gem is approved by Shimano for saltwater fishing and if you are like me and really enjoy lightweight tackle then you are going to want to learn more about it.

The Shimano Curado I review shows the weight of the Curado I at 7.4 oz while the new Shimano Curado 70 is 6.5 oz.  Granted that an ounce might not sound like a lot to you, but after a full day on the water, you are going to notice the difference.  The Curado 70 series comes in 2 HG or High Gear models with gear ratios of 7.2:1 with a retrieve rate of 28″ per crank and the 8.2:1 with a retrieve rate of 32″ per crank, both models are available in right and left hand retrieve.  Bottom line is that this reel is super fast on the retrieve and perfect for fishing smaller crank baits.

The new design with the Hagane body is not only the perfect size for pitching lighter weight jigs and lures but it has a very solid feel and can stand up to some pretty decent sized Red Fish, Trout and Snook.

 

Features

X-Ship for great gear durability – X-Ship is a combination of features that work together to create much greater efficiency, it actually stands for Extra, Smooth & High Power. By positioning the pinion gear close to the center line of the large diameter drive gear, more power is transferred from the handle to the spool. The pinion gear is also supported by two shielded A-RB roller bearings. This increases the efficiency of the reel and adds to the durability over the lifetime of the reel.

Hagane body – The Hagane body is a metal body with high rigidity that prevents flex during the fight while maintaining superb balance, this in turn keeps hand fatigue to a minimum after a long day on the water cranking baits and large fish.

SVS Infinity Brake System – Infinite adjustability for any type of casting application. Previous versions of SVS only provided 6 different brake settings. The new SVS Infinity provides 4-6 settings and an adjustable brake dial to provide a much wider and more precise range for maximum control and consistent brake performance in all conditions.

Shimano Stable Spool Design (S3D) – The S3D spool is focused on delivering a smoother casting experience by reducing the vibration that often accompanies baitcasters.  The spool is a very balanced and more importantly uniform which leads to its stability.

5 shielded A-RB anti-rust stainless steel ball bearings – These bearings are the same as the standard A-RB bearings with the exception that they are shielded on both sides by a stainless steel shield for the ultimate in corrosion resistance and contaminant protection, to reduce the likelihood of any salt, dirt or water penetrating and affecting the bearings.

Escape Hatch for easy access to spool – The new escape hatch design allows you to gain easy access to the spool and braking mechanism with the simple flick of a switch on the bottom of the frame.

Super Stopper Anti-Reverse – Shimano uses a one-way roller bearing that will allow you to instantly set the hook when you want without any back play in the reel.

Super Free Spool – The super free system is designed so that the pinion gear is suspended by a ball bearing and thus has less friction. It is Super Free and smooth allowing for you to make much longer casts.  Once the clutch bar is pressed down in a traditional baitcasting reel, the pinion gear is freed but it has a tendency to want to create friction on the spool shaft and this, in turn, is going to limit the distance of your cast.

Cross Carbon Drag – The Cross Carbon drag system positions the carbon fiber washers on either side of the master gear for even pressure to both sides.  This provides you with a very smooth drag that does not get jumpy or sloppy under heavy loads and it can be finely adjusted using the oversized star drag that is constructed of solid aluminum.  This is the same system that has been in use in the Shimano Curado series of reels.

 

 Features at a Glance

  • Curado performance
  • Great for finesse-type fishing
  • Compact palmable design
  • Rigid Hagane body
  • Shimano Stable Spool Design (S3D)
  • SVS Infinity braking system
  • X-Ship Technology
  • 5+1 ball-bearing system

When you take the Shimano Curado 70 and place it in the palm of your hand you can just cup it ever so perfectly.  The reel does have a small form factor but do not let this confuse you. This little reel is still a beast and is capable of cranking in large fish day after day.  I kind of get the same feeling with this reel that I do with a quality watch, it is delicate but built for performance and that is what I would expect when I am laying out a few hundred dollars for a reel.

If you have been fishing with a cheaper baitcaster like an Abu Garcia and you are ready to invest a few more dollars to get a higher quality reel then this might be the ticket.

For those of you who want all the details I have provided the chart below.

ModelLine Retrieve (in)Mono Cap(lbs/yd)Braid Cap(lbs/yd)Max Drag (lb)Ball BearingGear RatioWeight (oz)Retrieve
CU70HG2810/105
12/85
14/70
20/115
30/105
40/80
105+17.2:16.5Right
CU70XG3210/105
12/85
14/70
20/115
30/105
40/80
105+18.2:16.5Right
CU71HG2810/105
12/85
14/70
20/115
30/105
40/80
105+17.2:16.5Left
CU71XG3210/105
12/85
14/70
20/115
30/105
40/80
105+18.2:16.5Left

So the question comes down to which model of the Curado is right for you and your style of fishing.  To make this a bit easier I have included this simple side by side comparison, I hope it helps.  Remember that the new Curado 70 only comes in an HG really fast and an XG really really fast gear ratio unlike the Curado I which comes in 3 different gear ratios.

Shimano Curado 70 vs Shimano Curado I

ModelCurado 70
High Gear
Curado 70
Extra High Gear
Curado I
Standard
Curado I
High Gear
Curado I
Power Gear
Line Retrieve (in)2832263023
Mono Cap (lbs/yd)10/105
12/85
14/70
10/105
12/85
14/70
8/180
10/155
14/110
8/180
10/155
14/110
8/180
10/155
14/110
Braid Cap (lbs/yd)20/115
30/105
40/80
20/115
30/105
40/80
30/190
50/120
65/80
30/190
50/120
65/80
30/190
50/120
65/80
Max Drag (lb)1010121212
Ball Bearing5+15+15+15+15+1
Gear Ratio7.2:18.2:16.3:17.2:15.5:1
Weight (oz)6.56.57.47.47.4

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Fast retrieve
  • Smooth
  • Small form factor

Cons

  • Slightly underpowered for some deep divers.
  • Not as all around as the Curado I due to fast retrieve rate

Alternatives

Sticking with the Shimano brand you should take a look at the Shimano Curado I.  While it is similar in price point, if you are targeting larger species such as Snook and Redfish the extra drag and size might be a better choice for you.  Read the full Shimano Curado I review HERE.

The other reel that I would have you take a look at is the Daiwa Tatula that is going to come it at around the same price as the Curado 70 and is neck and neck when it comes to performance.  Read the full Daiwa Tatula review HERE.

In Conclusion

Overall this is an excellent smooth reel for the money especially for the smaller species and for when you want or need to really crank that lure in quickly.  The Curado 70 is a more palmable reel than the Curado I and is lighter weight it is also comfortable to fish with all day without causing any fatigue.  The carbon fiber drag is excellent and both the cast and retrieve are smooth.  If you are looking for a solid baitcaster that won’t break the bank and will deliver years of quality time on the water then the Shimano Corado 70 is an excellent choice for your smaller species of fish. Just remember that if this is going to be your first baitcaster, then I would probably steer you towards the Curado I as it is a better all around reel.

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