Shimano Curado DC Reel Review 2022

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There’s little argument about the pedigree of the Shimano Curado and its popularity among the more discerning casting reel fans.

The Curado, while not the most expensive series on average, is still considered top shelf, with exceptional endurance and performance credentials.

The Curado “DC” (Digital Cast) variant injects digital technology into casting management. 

This feature certainly increases the price point to make it the most expensive Curado, but I’d hesitate to call it the flagship model.

The standard Curados are standout reels. And while they still make your wallet a lot lighter, pricing has become more accessible over the series.

The addition of digital casting control doesn’t necessarily make it the best Curado, but it does deliver a unique feature that will appeal to some.

Let’s have a closer look at the Curado DC. Is digital casting control something you believe will increase your catch?

After all, this is what we want – more fish and better fish more often.

What is The Shimano Curado DC? A Review.

As stated in the introduction, the Curado DC is a variant of the famous Curado baitcaster series from Shimano.

The Shimano Caurado DC is different from its popular stablemates, owing to the digital casting feature, which is a microcomputer designed to monitor spool speeds when casting.

Shimano Fishing Curado Dc 150 Low Profile Reels [CUDC150]

The desired outcome of this technology is to mitigate overrun and therefore reduce the instances of time-killing bird nests.

When reviewing the Shimano Curado DC it can be easy to focus on its digital feature, which in my opinion, is a mistake.

This is a Curado, with the heart and soul of a Curado. In that regard, it’s a fantastic reel. 

But as the digital tech adds considerably to the price, you can be forgiven for focusing on the extra value, if any, delivered by the casting technology.

So who will the DC suit? And given the extra price, would I recommend it over the other options such as the Curado K?

If you are looking for a compact, versatile, and exceptionally well-made baitcaster that’s reliable and powerful, then yes it’s worth it.

So long as your budget is open to covering the cost of the DC bling, there is a benefit in going the extra yard for the DC.

For those on a stricter budget yet still have their hearts set on an excellent baitcaster, you could save the extra, and go for a Shimano Curado K.

We’ll look at the casting technology in more detail shortly. 

But the bottom line is that the DC is a highly versatile 150 size that will suit anglers who frequent both the fresh and saltwater chasing anything from bass to redfish.

While not the lightest or longest casting relative to competitors, it’s only very marginal and stands above others owing to its endurance, build quality, and overall performance.

The DC is a very nice real that ensures the Curado pedigree stays well intact. 

While the DC technology has invited many good and not so favorable critiques, the technology delivers a useful level of casting support. 

And that’s the feature we’ll investigate first.

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Main Features of the Shimano Curado DC

Despite its price tag, the Shimano Curado DC has a solid list of features that offers great fishing and good value.

The big question is can we come at the extra hundred or so dollars we need to get the 150 DC over a 200 K?

This becomes a little tricky to answer effectively because it’s subjective. 

For many anglers, 100 dollars is a lot of money; for others, it doesn’t cover a third of their costs for 1 session.

Let’s look a little deeper.

DC (Digital Cast Technology). IDC-4

angler fishing near the lake

It’s important to state upfront that there is no technology that eliminates backlash. 

Yes, you can reduce the likelihood of this happening in most modern baitcasters, but the more you lean toward a cautious cast, the more you compromise casting performance.

The trick with backlash management is to find the balance of minimum opportunity for overrun while ensuring your casting needs are covered.

The benefit of IDC-4 is that it gives you more confidence when casting light rigs in windy or unfavorable conditions.

Depending on the rig and settings, you can outcast a few of its rivals (if only by a few feet).

When you test and compare, the interesting thing is that there’s not a huge amount of distance and accuracy difference when comparing reels of similar pedigree – say the Tatula and the DC.

IDC- 4 is not a cure for backlash, but it does allow you to refine casting settings, push the limits of what is practical, and cast long and powerfully with confidence.

The minicomputer takes 1000 spool speed readings every second and adjusts brake pressure accordingly.

Yes, it works. Yes, you’ll find that you can cast more confidently in difficult conditions.

The trick is not to assume that the technology will take care of everything for you.

In that regard, it’s like all casting tech, designed to help you cast, not cast for you. Thing is, it’s digital, which makes it interesting.

My questions revolve around durability and accuracy over years of use. 

Unfortunately, I couldn’t find anybody who’d owned one long enough to give me any advice on this.

Yes, the tech is sealed, but is it waterproof?. What happens if it’s submerged? Again, these are questions I can’t answer but should be addressed.

Fortunately, it needs no charging and it’s a low-maintenance reel all around. 

Another question that needs to be answered though, is replacement and repair. Is the chip plug and play?

My investigations at my local tackle shop were unhelpful. “…we’d send it to Shimano if there was a problem. 

And we’ve not had anybody return one”…which I guess is a positive sign.

The Shimano DC is effective technology. However, to get the most of the tech and avoid backlash, you will still need to have baitcasting skills in both casting and step-up/rigging.

Three Gear Ratios

The DC is available in 6.2, 7.4, and 8.5 ratios. The left hand model is 6.2 only.

For many anglers, the 6.2 will be excellent, as it allows for easier cranking when speeds should be a little slower.

Anglers will appreciate the speed options, as will anyone who drifts the banks, casting relentlessly at anything.

The 8.5 gathers an impressive 91 centimeters of line per crank. 

This is particularly quick for a reel of this size and will suit those anglers looking for speed as a key feature.

X-Ship

X-Ship is a Shimano design principle based on pinion position and gear size, and support. 

Ultimately the outcome is increased power, or more precisely, better power transfer from the handle to gear.

The 150-size reel punches well above its weight, offering plenty of effortless power under load. 

X-Ship is at the heart of a confident fight.

Cross Carbon Drag

Cross Carbon Drag increases the smoothness of drag through the settings.

There’s 5 kg of drag which is a significant amount of fighting power for such a compact reel. 

When combined with 150 yards of 20-pound braid, anglers can feel well supported when a surprise hook-up to a trophy requires nerve and a patient hand.

At least anecdotally, the cross carbon drag adds a level of durability due to better heat dissipation. 

I cannot confirm this, but several users have mentioned it to me.

Hagane Body

Shimano’s well-known proprietary alloy/magnesium delivers excellent rigidity. 

While Hagane is a fancy name, it’s not necessarily anything out of the ordinary in material terms.

While the name is a little bit of marketing speak, the performance quality is excellent and evident under heavy loads.

There’s no twist during hard fights, which means gears remain in place and deliver peak power.

It’s important to remember that gears that remain in perfect mesh while under heavy loads, will last longer.

Micro Module

I’m inclined to dismiss the fancy name as more marketing speak. Again, it’s a design principle to reduce vibration and noise, delivering a smoother crank.

While the micro Module term might be there to bolster a feature list, there’s no doubt the crank is very smooth. 

Smoothness is also due to the 6 (+1) anti-corrosion bearings.

Features at a Glance

  • 6+1 Ball bearings
  • Max Drag: 5kg
  • Cross Carbon Max Drag: 5kg
  • Ball bearings: 6+1 (shielded anti-rust)
  • DC (Digital Cast Technology). IDC-4
  • Anti-backlash reel (perfect for beginners and advanced anglers)
  • Does not require batteries or charging (technology is powered by the cast)
  • Ideal for freshwater or saltwater fishing
  • Gearing Technologies: Micromodule, X-Ship
  • Hagane Forged Body

Pros and Cons of the Shimano Curado DC

Pros

  • Outstanding build
  • Top shelf performance suitable for novice to the most advanced angler
  • Versatility
  • Power to weight ratio
  • Speed options
  • Overall strength and durability

Cons

  • It’s pricey. But the DC tech is available cheaper in the SLX
  • Some may feel DC is a complete eradication of overrun. It’s not
  • Settings will take some time to understand and master under different conditions

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The Shimano Curado DC vs. The SLX DC

Shimano Fishing Curado Dc 150 Low Profile Reels [CUDC150]
  • HAGANE Body
  • CI4+ (Side Plate)
  • Super Free Spool
  • MicroModule Ge
SHIMANO SLX DC
  • HaganeBody - The HAGANE Body is a metal reel body with high rigidity. The body stiffness and impact resistance virtually eliminates body flexing. The result transforms the angler's actions directly into cranking power. Iy'ss efficiency through strength.
  • SVS Infinity - Shimano's newest innovation in brake system technology, SVS Infinity provides easy-to-manage, consistent spool control and brake force. With weights that use inner friction against the raceway during the cast, SVS Infinity controls spool speed for precision casting especially when using lighter lures. The external adjustment knob provides for quick, precise adjustments for either the conditions or when you switch baits
  • S3D Spool - This technology leads to reduced spool vibration. By designing a balanced and uniform thin wall aluminum constructed spool, S3D creates an incredibly smooth feel casting and retrieveing lures
  • Super Free Spool - Was designed to eliminate friction on the spool shaft during the cast. In standard baitcasting reels, hen the clutch bar is pressed down, the pinion gear is freed and actually can drag on the spool shaft creating friction that can limit the length of the length of the cast. With Super Free, the pinion gear is supported by a ball bearing so that when the clutch is disengaged for a cast, the pinion gear and spool shaft are kept in perfect alignment.

Last update on 2022-11-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The SLX also has DC technology and a more accessible price point. 

However, it drops a couple of bearings as well as all the significant Shimano flagship features and technologies.

The SLX is a great-looking reel that performs well but it’s hardly cheap. 

While a hundred bucks cheaper than the Shimano Curado DC, I’d prefer the standard Curado which is cheaper than the DC SLX.

If you’d like the DC tech specifically, without having to pay the Curado premium, then the SLX is definitely worth a look.

Curado DC Alternatives

As mentioned above, the SLX provides a great alternative if you want to try the DC technology. 

The SLX doesn’t have the same quality of internals, and drops a little in speed and bearing support. 

But for a 150-size compact baitcaster, it certainly packs a serious punch and casts very well.

When considering an alternative brand of the same pedigree, the Daiwa Tatula sits well against the Curado. 

Daiwa, Tatula Baitcasting Reel, 100, 6.3:1 Gear Ratio, 8 Bearings, 11 lb Max Drag, Left Hand

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Daiwa fans need no convincing, and you won’t either.

The Tatula is comparable to the DC in terms of specs and performance, albeit without the internal computer measuring spool speed.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Does Dc Stand for In Shimano Reels?

DC stands for Digital Drive.

Is the Curado Dc Sealed?

The Shimano Curado DC system is completely sealed. However, I’m not sure if that means it’s completely waterproof. 

I’d suggest it’s a bad idea to submerge it or shoot it with high water pressure.

Is the Curado Dc a Saltwater Reel?

Shimano states the Shimano Curado DC is saltwater ready. It’s definitely fine for the saltwater. 

But in my opinion, all reels are.

Verdict – Is The Shimano Curado DC Worth It?

Value in most instances is subjective, and this is no different. If you have the budget and want to experience digital casting technology then yes, it’s definitely worth it.

The Curado is a very solid reel and is strongly recommended for all angling skills, DC or no DC.

If your fishing budget is limited, consider the SLX, or consider doing without the DC tech. 

It would be hard to argue it is in any way essential for catching great fish and casting well.

However, when the budget allows, it may well improve your casting versatility, which can translate to catching better fish, more often. 

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