Shimano is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to fishing tackle. In fishing circles, they are known for their innovation and in fact, it made to the Forbes list for the world’s most innovative companies in 2017. They make reels, rods, lures and other fishing accessories.
When it comes to fishing reels, they produce quite a few varieties including spinning reels, low profiles, conventional reels, electric and round reels. The product we are here to review is part of one of their flagship and best-selling Curado series, the Curado K. It came out in 2017 and was an instant hit and hasn’t lost its charm yet.
There are six models in the Curado K series and these differ subtly from each on various aspects. However, the main differences lie in their left or right retrieval and the gear ratio.
Table of Contents
Comparing Different Curado K Models
|Model||Gear ratio||Retrieve||MONO LINE CAPACITY (#TEST/YD)||POWERPRO BRAID (LB/YDS)|
|CU200HGK||7.4:1||Right||8/180, 10/155, 14/110||30/190, 50/120, 65/80|
|CU200K||6.2:1||Right||8/180, 10/155, 14/110||30/190, 50/120, 65/80|
|CU200XGK||8.5:1||Right||8/180, 10/155, 14/110||30/190, 50/120, 65/80|
|CU201HGK||7.4:1||Left||8/180, 10/155, 14/110||30/190, 50/120, 65/80|
|CU201K||6.2:1||Left||8/180, 10/155, 14/110||30/190, 50/120, 65/80|
|CU201XGK||8.5:1||Left||8/180, 10/155, 14/110||30/190, 50/120, 65/80|
Features of Shimano Curado K – What Makes It Best-Selling
Design and Construction:
Curado has a Hagane body which in Japanese means “steel”, and this implies to the fact that these reels are impact-resistant and have solid construction. The basic material of construction is aluminum which makes it lightweight, but it is strong enough to prevent flexing. Overall, it does not feel or look cheap. Shimano says Curado Ks are tournament tough and we can’t really complain.
One thing I really like about this reel is its black matte finish. Basically, the best thing you get with a matte finish is the concealment of fingermarks or any scratches. Therefore, unlike those sparkling silver reels which carry their scratches like a medal, this little beauty hides them and looks new for relatively longer.
The Curado K basically is a series of low profile reels which makes them innately more ergonomic as they fit nicely into your palm. In addition, they have a low weight which makes the angler to able to use them with one hand and without getting tired too easily.
They are essentially easy to maneuver. Moreover, they are good for lures like crankbaits, heavier jigs, and spinners. Mostly, low profile reels are used for freshwater, but that is mostly because of the distance you can cover with them and not because of their inability to handle big fish. We have used these models for bass, small cats, walleyes, and other medium-sized games fish regularly and they deal with them quite well.
Easily, the best thing about this low profile series is the micro-module gearing. This is the newest gearing technique available at Shimano’s disposal. Earlier, this gearing model was limited to Shimano’s higher-end models like Shimano Antares. However, we now see this in more mainstream models such as the Curado series.
So, what does this mean for you?
As you will see from the image below, micro-module gearing, in essence, means smaller gear teeth and more gear teeth.
This, in turn, leads to precise engagement and contact between the teeth, so you get smoother transmission. It has a really high-end feel to it and you get fluid smooth transmissions.
In addition, smaller teeth also mean that they are probably not suitable for some of the big fish, for example like a muskie. Because more mass means more stress on the teeth and this can lead to failure of teeth.
Super Free Spool with SVS Infinity Braking System: The spool size that you get with the Curado models is 200. As we know, the bigger the spool size, the higher the line capacity a reel can handle. With the 200-size spool, you may think that the size of the reel is big. However, to our relief, the body is actually 10% smaller than the previous model, so you can palm it easily.
In addition, you are also going to like Curado K’s thumb area. Despite a smaller body, the thumb area is still pretty large. Therefore, if you are one of those anglers who struggle with small reels, this one’s for you.
This spool essentially incorporates an S3D Stable Design, this gives it a smooth feeling whenever you are casting or retrieving. This system essentially works to reduce any vibration in the spool.
The Super Free spool spins well effortlessly, so you will be able to get a good distance with it without having to whip it hard.
Curado K also features the SVS Infinity braking system which enhances your sense of control. In this system, with the external adjustment knob on the spool, your heavy lures will keep up and you can handle your light ones in the wind. Thus, irrespective of the type of bait and conditions, you will be able to cast precisely and with good distance.
X-Ship System: Every angler knows that casting and getting fish to bite the bait is only half of the story. The rest is to get your catch on to the boat and for that you need power and nothing beats the power of X-Ship.
6+1 A-RB Bearings: Curado K features six ball bearings but this is not what makes it special because we know there are mainstream reels that have more bearings in them. Curado K models feature stainless steel bearings that have been put through the A-RB treatment process.
This makes them highly corrosion-resistant and Shimano says as much as 10 times more corrosion resistant than standard stainless steel ball bearings. This makes them more suitable for saltwater fishing.
Curado K Performance Assessment
Taking into consideration the above features, Curado K, on paper, seems to have the arsenal to keep the flag of Curado flying higher. We put it to extensive testing and describe below how it fared against different aspects when in action.
Casting: When it comes to casting, Curado K with its Super Free spool gives you a good distance. This is because the spool spins freely and its S3D system reduces vibration. In addition, for accuracy, there is the SVS braking system which gives you pinpoint precise adjustment.
This adjustment is essentially done via the external knob located on the lower corner of the side plate. This tiny knob is a little difficult to read and hard to move when first starting out, however with time it does loosen up a bit.
Retrieve: X-Ship with its double bearing supported pinion gear gives you precise alignment on retrieval and this increases the rigidity and overall power.
In addition, with its different models, you get that medium to a high gear ratio including 6.2:1, 7.4:1 and 8.5:1. What that means for you is quick retrieval.
In general, the concept is that with a higher gear ratio, you lose power, which is true to a great extent. However, to my surprise, even the higher gear version of Curado K, the XGK version, it had good power. This may essentially be down to the class-leading X-Ship.
FAQs About Curado K
If there was one flagship reel from Shimano, it has to be Curado. Over the years, Curado has been the flag bearer for Shimano when it comes to mainstream reels. Its newest addition, Curado K with solid construction and feature-rich design certainly is a worthy “Curado”.
We were impressed by its refined construction which utilizes aluminum and CI4+ materials which we see in Shimano’s more high-end models like Stradic CI4+. This essentially makes it highly durable. It has an ergonomic design and with its low profile, it palms pretty easily. You are bound to like its understated black matte finish which conceals fingermarks and smudges.
Although the solid construction adds a bit more weight than we would like in a low profile reel, it maneuvers pretty easily. This is down to its micro-module gearing and Super Free spool which ensure smooth and fluid transmission.
However, we can be critical of its max drag at 11 lbs, which is a notch lower than its previous models, it provides precision and effortless casting and retrieval with its SVS Infinity braking system.
Shimano Curado K Specifications
|Number of Models||Six|
|Maximum Drag (lbs)||11|
|Retrieve Per Crank (inches)||26-36|
|Family Type||Low Profile|
- Braking System