Product Review: Shimano Curado 300E Low-Profile Baitcast Reel
I’ve been fishing for close to 25 years now, off and on mostly until the last 5 years. In all the years I’d been fishing, I’d never invested in any “serious” tackle. But due to my increased interest in bass fishing, a few years ago I decided it was time to make a “serious” investment on some “serious” tackle. I researched fishing forums and online tackle stores for a few days prior, taking in others reviews (similar to this one) of all brands and styles of baitcasting reels. From my research I discovered that one brand was favored head and shoulders above the rest, that brand is Shimano.
I visited a local retailer, browsed all the brands and models, then located the Shimano Curado 300E. I spend alot of time fishing cold water reservoir tail waters here in Arkansas, which means hanging into a Striped Bass isn't uncommon, so I was looking for a little bit larger reel than the typical bass fisherman. The 300E was a perfect match for my demands. The 300e is the larger model of the popular E-Series reels from Shimano. The reel is also available in a 200e (which I also have) and a 50e. My opinions expressed in this review can be applied to the Shimano Curado 200e Baitcasting reels as well. This reel is also a fantastic product that I highly recommend.
I paired the 300e with a Shimano rod, the Award Winning 7’7″ Shimano Cumura Graphite Rod. This combination has proven to be the best investment I have made to date for my favorite sport. The cast is incredibly smooth, so smooth in fact I actually had to get used to the effortless casting. The retreat is also incredibly smooth, quiet and powerful. The reel is formed perfectly for your hand and easy to cast and reel, extremely comfortable and lightweight.
Shimano Curado 300e Low Profile Baitcasting Reel
- Bearings: 1S A-RB 5+1
- Line Cap: 12/240, 14/190, 20/120
- High Capacity Magnumlite Spool
- Super Free
- High Efficiency Gearing
- Variable Brake System
- Reduced Mass VBS Hub
- Super Stopper
- Assist Stopper
- 1/8 Turn Easy Access Sideplate
- Septon SV Power Grips
- Drilled Handle Shank
- Cold Forged AL Drag Star with Clicking Adjustment
- Titanium IP Line Guide
- Aluminum Frame
- Aluminum Handle Side Sideplate
Shimano has enhanced the popular Curado reel by downsizing the body, upsizing the gearbox, and increasing the bearing count. Improvements which add up to a much smaller, lighter reel thats also smooth, strong, and ergonomically precise. High Efficiency Gearing HEG assures clean, flex-free retrieves even under heavy loads; a shielded S A-RB ball bearing at the reels heart helps maintain performance over the long haul. Rugged aluminum frame with A7075 aluminum Magnumlite spool; titanium line guide; Super Free pinion gear support system; Variable Brake System (VBS); Super Stopper II with Assist Stopper; Dartainium drag. 6+1 bearings. HEG (High Efficiency Gearing) : uses advanced componentry and solid 1-piece frame and sideplate construction to eliminate flex in the drivetrain, for unmatched strength. Super Stopper is Shimanos exclusive instant anti-reverse system. Built with a one-way roller bearing that eliminates all back-play in the handle for instant hooksetting power. Super Free : is a bearing-supported pinion gear system that holds clutch elements in precise alignment, virtually eliminating friction on the spool shaft during the cast. Quick Fire II enables quick, easy casting. The clutch bar disengages the spool, allowing the line to free-spool, slowed only by the brake setting. The spool re-engages quickly as the handle is turned. Fluidrive gearing means that your reel was manufactured with the highest tolerances and utmost control in the gear-cutting process, to ensure a smooth, powerful retrieve every time. Line recovery in inches per handle turn.
I have fished the Shimano Curado 300e and 200e for nearly two years now. I have yet to experience a single flaw in either reel. The spool remains tight on both, the retrieve is solid and the drag is perfect. I keep the reels clean, oiled and stored in a climate controlled area, this will hopefully lead to a long life for the reels.
The Curado E-Series is not the top of the line of Shimano by any means, actually falls in the middle of the pack, but in my opinion is the best baitcasting reel on the market. The combo I purchased retails for around $525.00, a relatively small investment for such a superior product.