WHAT IS IT?
Shimano Curado 300
WHAT SETS IT APART?
It’s always cool when you pick up a rod sporting a hefty bait and know that if you get bit, it’s gonna be a difference maker. Full-size swimbaits, big crankbaits, jumbo topwaters, umbrella rigs (when allowed): Shimano designers know that anglers need the right launch platform. So they created the 300 series with the requisite power and line capacity framed with a rigid Hagane body, which eliminates flex and distortion, while protecting the reel’s interior from impact.
HOW DO I USE IT?
Shimano’s new series offers four models: the Curado 300 and 301, featuring 4.7:1 gear ratios for slower presentations; and the 6.6:1 Curado 300HG and 301HG, which facilitate aggressive, fast-paced retrieves and allow the angler to quickly gather slack when working big topwaters. Each model includes a long handle with wide-grip knobs for the power needed to stop a big fish, along with Shimano’s X-Ship technology, which keeps the pinion gear in precise alignment with the drive gear. Curado 300 reels also include a Variable Brake System for cast control and Cross Carbon Drag, which yields lower frictional heat and provides added durability.
Shimano didn’t skimp on line capacity, as each Curado 300 sports a large-capacity deep spool. Each model can hold 195 yards of 40-pound test braid and up to 125 yards of 65-pound test. For those who prefer monofilament, the reels hold 230 yards of 12-pound test and up to 150 yards of 17-pound. Line pickup also factored into the designs, with the Curado 300 and 301 reels gathering 25 inches of line per turn. The higher speed Curado 300HG and 301HG gather 35 inches of line per turn.