Every now and again, a reel comes along that stands the test of time. No matter what new technology comes out and what fancier reels hit the market, certain reels never lose popularity.
The Shimano Curado DC is a perfect example of this. It’s an upgrade to the original Curado, which dates back at least a decade. What’s made this reel so popular is its braking technology, which offers a unique opportunity for beginners to dip their toes in the waters of baitcasting and see if they can manage the line while hitting their target.
Testing and reviewing this daily driver has been an absolute pleasure for me, and I’m more than happy to bring you this Shimano Curado DC review.
The Bottom Line: Shimano Curado DC
The bottom line is that you should stop reading right now and get this reel if you’ve never fished a baitcaster but have always wanted to. It’s the most beginner-friendly casting reel on the market simply because of its braking system, smooth casting, and durable design.
This reel itself carries a bit of weight but still fits the description of a low-profile design, and it’s versatile enough to fit freshwater and saltwater situations and a variety of casting techniques.
As far as price goes, this is an incredibly affordable reel for what you get. A top-of-the-line baitcaster for less than $300 is tough to come by, and it’s one of the most highly recommended reels in the Shimano line.
Shimano Curado DC Specs
Gear Ratio: 6.2:1, 7.4:1, 8.5:1
Mono Capacity: 10/120
Braid Capacity: 30/135
Weight: 7.8 oz
Max Drag: 11lbs
Features: Shimano Curado
The Curado DC isn’t going to blow anyone away with its outstanding features compared to more premium options like the Shimano Bantam. That said, it comes with all the proprietary technology we look for in a great baitcaster, and that’s more than enough.
Digital Control Braking Technology
The feature that will blow you away is the Digital Control braking technology (DC). This uses a microcomputer-driven cast control system that controls the reel’s spool speed and automatically applies brake pressure to prevent backlash without restricting your casting distance.
Remember what I said about this reel being beginner-friendly? This is why.
Inside the reel are a bunch of gears that all flow smoothly together, which results in the casting and retrieval processes. The smoother the gears, the smoother the reel feels. The MicroModule design uses smaller teeth to create more touching points, resulting in less friction, which provides a smooth cast and retrieval and a longer distance.
The X-Ship is a pinion gear that runs down the middle of the reel and supports the bearings. The difference between Shimano and other reels is that the Shimano pinion gear runs the full width of the reel, so it offers more support, which prevents bending and flexing when the reel is under pressure. This extends the lifespan of the reel and provides for smoother retrieval.
As always, you get the beautiful HAGANE rigid body, which adds more durability and strength to the reel and prevents it from flexing when you’re hauling in a lunker. This results in a lifetime of premium performance and hard fighting without gear failure.
Shimano Curado DC: Field Test
This test took me and my Shimano Curado DC combo to Stillwater Dam, one of my favorite spots outside Scranton, Pennsylvania. One of the reasons I love hitting this reservoir is because of the versatility of the fishing, depending on the weather.
There’s one area of the lake right outside the boat launch where the water level rises after heavy rainfall. You can only access this area in a kayak after heavy rainfall, and it still requires you to cast beyond a row of milkweed.
I took my rod and reel combo, paired with one of my favorites, the Booyah Pad Crasher, and hit the lake.
The unbelievable smoothness and control that the Curado provides allowed me to extend my cast just beyond the milkweed and touch down near a dense lillie cover. This is the absolute perfect location to hop some frogs on an overcast day in late summer.
A few twitches and a handful of casts later, I got exactly what I wanted. While it was only a three-pounder—nothing to call home over—I had a heck of a day out there pulling in largemouth and perch.
|Model||Gear Ratio||Line Capacity (lb/yd)||Bearings||Weight (oz)||Retrieve Rate (in)|
The Anti-Backlasher: The DC braking system on the Curado DC makes it virtually impossible to tangle your line.
Optimized Casting Distance: Pair the braking system with the Super Free Spool and gearing system, and you’ll be able to cast where you want and how far you want.
Value: This reel is a steal, and there’s a reason why it’s one of the most popular daily drivers in the Shimano line of baitcasters.
Weight: I wish it was a little lighter for the amount of backbone you get. It’s not the strongest reel on the market, and at 7.8 ounces, it’s a little heavier than you would think.
You take the good with the bad in every fishing reel, but the Shimano Curado DC is hands-down one of my favorite baitcasters. It’s a great choice for various skill levels, and I highly recommend it for beginners who want to try stepping away from their spinning reel.
The Curado combines one premium Shimano feature, proprietary technology, and an affordable price tag that puts this reel a league above the rest.
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