What is it?
Shimano’s new (to the U.S.) Antares and Metanium reels. Anglers overseas have been enjoying these for some time now.
What does it do?
These are the pinnacle of Shimano’s engineering efforts. Sure, your Curados are golden and have lots of great features, but for many to be able to afford them, certain features had to be left off. A parallel would be vehicles: not everyone can afford leather and navigation. Those who can, get these and other features. The Metanium and Antares have heated and cooled leather seats, the tow package, navigation that talks to you and a foot massager.
How do I use it?
Like any other baitcaster. Though they resemble other baitcasters, these are worlds apart from a $49 plug chucker.
What sets it apart?
The biggest selling point of these reels is their smoothness. This isn’t marketing hype, it’s fact built into the reels by way of the Micro Module Gear system .The pinion and drive gears have smaller teeth for better feel and smoother operation. It feels less like you’re winding on some gears and feels, well, like like you're cranking less. The brake system is known as SVS Infinity. It allows for some of the most precise adjustments on any reel. You can be flipping a 1-ounce jig then tie on a Shad Rap and not have any casting issues. The attribute that will allow you to include the Antares and Metanium in your will besides the bomb-proof construction is called X-Ship. Boiled down, X-Ship is a bearing on either end of the pinion gear, which is what takes the abuse dished out by cranking heavy stuff. You know, like those logs you’re always hooking (“I swear it was a bite!” Right.) These bearings hold the gear in perfect alignment which also facilitates super easy and long casts. In short, if you’ve got the coin, do yourself a favor and get one of each of these. You won’t regret it. The Metanium is more of a flipping and hand-to-hand combat fishing reel, while the Antares is what you want for cranking. Gear ratios for all of these techniques are available, ranging from 5.6:1 on the Antares to 8.5:1 on the Metanium. Other ratios are available on each as well.
Remember what your daddy always said? "You get what you pay for." Turns out he was right. Antares: $599.99. Metanium: $419.99