Shimano Calcutta Conquest Review
The Shimano Calcutta Conquest round reel is at the top of the food chain when it comes to round reel designs and performance. Like anything that is of very high quality, there is a price to pay if you want to play with this bad boy which has a street price of around $549. In this review of the Shimano Calcutta Conquest, I hope to provide you with the information you need to determine if this is a good fit for your angling needs.
So what goes into a reel that sells for this much and why would you want round reel vs. a low profile reel which is the general direction that most salespersons will direct you if you tell them that you want to look at a baitcasting reel? While low profile reels are perfect for jig fishing and bottom bouncing techniques, a round reel works better for high resistant baits such as spin baits, chatter baits, and crank baits.
Typically round reels are known for their size and weight but Shimano has really changed things up with the Calcutta Conquest and has dropped the weight down to 7.5 oz. for the 1000 and 11.7 oz for the 4000 models. What really sets the Calcutta Conquest apart from the other round reels is the use of Shimano’s Micro Module Gearing. Shimano uses both more and smaller teeth with the micro module gear and this leads to a buttery smooth retrieve. Earlier I mentioned quality. This is one of those places where the quality is going to make the difference in the way the reel fishes out of the box and the way it will continue to fish for decades to come.
If you like the finer things in life and you have the budget to support your taste then the Shimano Calcutta Conquest is sure to not disappoint, let’s take a look at the rest of the reel.
Hagane Body – The all aluminum Hagane body means that you get a very stiff reel that is not going to flex under pressure from a big fish. Rigidity in the body transfers to smoothness in the reel and durability over the long run.
X-Ship – 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 and it maintains precise alignment with the gear drive 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.
Micro Module Gear – What this feature comes down to is that the smaller the teeth and the more of them then smoother the reel will feel and the longer it will last. The reason for this is that there are always more teeth in contact with each other and therefore there is less stress on each tooth. What this means to you is that you get a very smooth reel that will last for decades.
S3D: Stable Spool Design – The S3D spool is another component that makes for one of if not the smoothest reels you will ever cast. Shimano has used the latest in manufacturing techniques to make a spool that is thin but sturdy and more importantly uniform. This design creates a well-balanced reel that eliminates vibration from the spool and leads to an incredibly high quality smooth feels when you both cast and retrieve the reel. By being well balanced, you will notice that you are able to cast the reel for long distances accurately.
SVS Infinity Braking- The new SVS Infinity braking system provides 4-6 internal settings and an adjustable brake dial on the exterior to provide a much wider and more precise range for maximum control and consistent brake performance in all conditions. The SVS system uses brake weights that use friction against the raceway during the cast to control the speed of the spool. As you can imagine this is where precision comes into play as you want enough friction to keep the spool from backlashing but not too much to shorten your cast.
Super Stopper II – When it is time to set the hook, the last thing that you want to feel in your reel is any slop or back play. Shimano uses a one way roller bearing to make sure that when you set the hook it is solid.
Torque Limiting Levelwind – For those of us that can remember the last time we were cranking on our baitcasting reel and managed to get our finger between the level-wind and the frame we know how painful it can be. Shimano had the forethought to build in a safety feature that will start to move the level-wind in the other direction if it senses pressure from something blocking the way, like your finger.
Features at a Glance
- Hagane Body
- S3D: Stable Spool Design
- Micro Module Gear
- SVS Infinity
- Super Stopper II
- Micro Module Gear
- Platinum Premier Service Plan
A few of the things other than the outstanding quality of the Calcutta Conquest that I really like are the SVS braking system and the torque limiting level wind. When you are fishing and need to switch between baits, having the ability to dial in the brakes to match the lures weight easily saves you a lot of time and increases the accuracy of your casts especially with lighter weight lures. I can still remember like it was yesterday the last time I was palming my favorite round reel and let my finger get in between the level wind and the frame. The reason I can remember it so well is that I had a good sized red on the other end of the line. As soon as I cranked the handle and basically put my finger in a vise I quickly let out a few choice words, dropped my rod and reel and proceeded to lose the fish, fortunately, he did not swim away with my gear.
For those of you who want all the details I have provided the chart below.
|Model||Line Retrieve (in)||Mono Cap(lbs/yd)||Braid Cap(lbs/yd)||Max Drag (lb)||S-ARB Ball Bearing||Roller Bearing||Gear Ratio||Weight (oz)||Retrieve|
The Shimano Calcutta Conquest is available in 4 sizes 1000, 2000, 3000 and 4000 in both a right and left hand retrieve model. Drag ratings start out at 9 lbs on the 1000 series which is a great reel for finesse fishing those smaller species. The model 200 jumps you up to 13 lbs. of drag and the 3000 and 400 models have a max drag pressure of 15 lbs. The retrieval rates on the 1000 and 2000 are very close to each other in the mid 23″ per crank and the 3000 and 4000 will increase your retrieve rate up to 30″ per crank.
- Look and feel
- 12 bearings
- Smooth micro gears
- Braking system
- No fully sealed
If you want to stay with the Shimano brand but want to keep a few more of your dollars in your pocket then you can take a look at the Calcutta D. While these are both round baitcasters they really are in a different class. The primary differences are the drop down reel seat and micro module gearing of the Conquest along with 12 bearings vs 5 bearings on the Calcutta D read more HERE.
A BMW of a reel that will last for decades and provide you with a precision feeling everytime you use it. For the angler that wants and can afford the best then you will not be disappointed with the Shimano Calcutta Conquest.