Classic gear debut: Curado I Series

One of bass fishing’s most popular baitcast reels continues to evolve with new technologies and features.

The Shimano Curado – a staple among weekend and pro anglers alike for the past 20 years – is now available in the new Curado I Series that was unveiled for the first time at the Bassmaster Classic Expo on Friday,

“This is truly a bass reel and what better place to introduce it than amid the hype and excitement of the Bassmaster Classic,” said Team Shimano spokesman Bob Mahoney.

The I Series evolves as the eighth generation of Curado reels, with the first offered to consumers in 1991 as the “Bantam Curado.” Each update included the latest in baitcast technology and some forerunners won the “Best new baitcast product” Awards at the annual ICAST Trade Show.

“The first Curado set the benchmark on low profile reels and we still see several of the original “green” models in use today,” said Mahoney.

In 1993, the “red” Curado took on a more modern look and added variable braking system. It was offered in an aluminum frame and spool in 1994. A cranking model was created in 1999; high efficiency gearing and an easy access sideplate was added in 2006; a 200 size was built on a smaller frame in 2008 and multiple gear ratios up to 7.1:1 came on 2012 models.

A random survey of Bassmaster pros over the years has shown the Curado remains a popular choice among pros without reel sponsors.

“I’ve been a Curado fan ever since I started bass fishing,” said Classic Contender Jonathon VanDam. “One of my first baitcast reels was the Curado Bantam.”

The Curado I series is bundled with Shimano’s top features and offered in five models - Curado CU200PG, CU200, CU200HG, and left-hand retrieve CU201 and 201HG.

The 200PG has a slower 5.5:1 gear ratio, the 200 and 201 have 6.3:1 gearing and the 200HG/201HG have fast 7.2:1 gear ratios.

In addition, the series features the company’s SVS Infinity Braking System, S3D Stabile Spool Design and X-Ship.

The Infinity braking system allows anglers to set brakes inside the side palming plate and make micro adjustments on the outside.

“The castability of the reel is remarkable,” said VanDam who was among the first to use the I Series. “Once you have the brakes tuned, even the most inexperienced angler will have a hard time backlashing on a normal cast.”

VanDam says durability and feel are other added benefits. The X-Ship feature, previously found on premium Shimano reels designed for big fish, supports the pinion gear with bearings on both ends that keeps the pinion in alignment with the drive gear under heavy loads.

“I get longer, smoother casts and more power because of it,” noted VanDam.

The all-new S3D technology reduces spool vibration because of a thin-walled aluminum spool that improves balance.

The 200PG model retrieves line at 23 inches a crank, ideal for big crankbaits and spinnerbaits, while the CU200 and 201 takes up 26 inches of line per turn of the handle for faster moving applications. Each model weighs 7.4 ounces and will be priced at under $180. Visit fish.shimano.comfor more information.

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