The Shimano Curado DC: The Best Baitcasting Reel

When it comes to fishing reels, Shimano is a name that every angler knows and trusts. As a leading manufacturer of fishing gear on a global scale, Shimano boasts a diverse range of top-quality reels and rods, garnering widespread recognition and acclaim. The Shimano Curado DC is one of their latest and most advanced baitcasting reels. It boasts a range of features that make it a must-have for any serious angler. In this article, we’ll take an in-depth look at the Shimano Curado DC, exploring its features, benefits, and drawbacks to help you decide if it’s the right baitcasting reel for you.


The Shimano Curado DC is a baitcasting reel that uses the latest in digital control technology. It has a range of advanced features that make it stand out from other reels on the market. The DC in the name stands for Digital Control, which is a technology that controls the spool speed to prevent backlash, which is a common problem with baitcasting reels. The Shimano Curado DC is designed for freshwater and saltwater fishing and is suitable for a variety of fish species.

The Shimano Curado DC is a brand new reel which features a DC braking system in a lower price class. The I-DC4 braking system will help the angler to cast better and reduces the change of backlash. The total of 6 + 1 ball bearings in combination with MicroModule makes the reel run insanely smooth. And due to the combination of a Magnumlite spool + Superfree spool system and the I-DC4 braking system, the angler will even be able to cast and fish also small lures for e.g. bass, perch or zander. The Curado DC might be considered the best reel for crankbait fishing in this price class. However, since the implementation of X-Ship, the reel is also able to withstand higher forces and can also be used to fish bigger lures for e.g. pike.

Why I chose Shimano Curado DC

I opted for the Shimano Curado DC due to its impressive build quality, incorporating the exceptional features of top-tier bait cast reels in the market. Furthermore, this reel boasts of the latest DC technology at a reasonably affordable cost. Despite its superior performance and versatility, the price is not exorbitant compared to earlier DC reels. Additionally, I have faith in the Shimano brand’s ingenuity, dependability, and warranty. It’s not surprising that the Shimano Curado DC won the Best in Show at iCast 2018.

Shimano Curado DC

The Curado DC casting reel is Shimano’s most advanced Curado ever produced. Built on the platform that has made the Curado name synonymous with durability and versatility, the Curado DC adds Shimano’s NEW Digital Control Braking system. 

Features of the Shimano Curado DC

The Shimano Curado DC has several features that make it a highly effective and efficient baitcasting reel. Here are some of its most notable features:

Digital Control I-DC4

The Intelligent Digital Control braking system features four easy-to-use modes that can be set using the external dial for Max Distance, Braided/Monofilament line, Fluorocarbon line and Skipping. These four modes allow anglers to fish a wide variety of lures in any condition with minimal adjustments to the reel. I-DC4 reads various situation changes from casting to the arrival of the lure at the target spot by reading the spool’s rotation and makes fine adjustments to the brake accordingly. This technology makes it easy to cast accurately and smoothly, without having to worry about line tangles.

The Shimano Curado DC features an innovative electronic system called DC cast control, which combines three primary components: a PCB (printed circuit board) that serves as a platform for all the components, a magnetic braking system, and a microprocessor that regulates the braking force throughout each cast. Unlike other systems, the DC technology does not require battery replacements and is powered by the very casts it helps manage.

The I-DC4 system on the Curado DC is a new and improved version of the digital braking system. Shimano designed a new unit that is not only more affordable to manufacture but also more durable and intuitive for anglers learning to operate the system. The company achieved this by creating a new sealed DC system and simplifying the settings to four modes.

Mode 1 is for maximum distance and has the least amount of magnetic braking. Mode 2 is designed specifically for managing braided line, while mode 3 is intended for fluorocarbon or stiffer lines. Finally, Mode 4 offers maximum control, with the largest amount of magnetic braking, which is ideal for skipping applications. Interestingly, the I-DC4’s microprocessor has also been enhanced to make adjustments while anglers are fishing, further allowing for customization to adjust to the weight of the lure and current wind conditions.


CI4 is a Shimano original material reinforced with carbon fiber that is lighter and has a higher strength than conventional resin material. CI4+ is an advanced version of the original CI4 material and is 2.5x more rigid than its predecessor. While improving lightness and rigidity, reel bodies and rotors built with CI4+ are further reduced in size and weight.

Hagane Body

The HAGANE Body is a metal reel body with high rigidity. The body rigidity and impact resistance virtually eliminates body flexing on the reel while fighting fish. The result transforms the angler’s actions directly into cranking power, increasing efficiency through strength.

S3D Spool

S3D technology leads to significantly reduced spool vibration. By designing and constructing a balanced and uniform thin-wall aluminum spool, S3D creates an incredibly smooth feeling when casting and retrieving lures.

MicroModule Gear

The MicroModule Gear system creates a smooth retrieve by utilizing smaller teeth to increase the number of contact points between the drive gear and pinion gear. Ultimately, this produces a more efficient gear train with less of a gear feel.


X-Ship provides improved gear durability. By supporting the pinion gear on both ends with bearings, the pinion gear maintains precise alignment with the drive gear. This allows the gears to stay in the same position under the heaviest loads. The added benefit of X-Ship technology is that friction between the spool shaft and gear are eliminated. This further benefits anglers with enhanced casting performance and casting distance of lighter lures.

The Cross Carbon Drag

The Cross Carbon Drag material provides a wider range of drag settings compared to traditional drag materials. The Cross Carbon Drag provides the smoothest Shimano drag performance ever while providing anglers with increased durability. There’s 5 kg of drag which is a significant amount of fighting power for such a compact reel. 

Super Free Spool

Super Free Spool eliminates friction on the spool shaft during the cast. Standard baitcasting reels are constructed in a way that when the clutch bar is pressed down, the pinion gear is freed and can actually drag on the spool shaft. This creates friction that can limit the length of a cast. But baitcasting reels with Super Free Spool are constructed so that the pinion gear is supported by a ball bearing. When the clutch is disengaged in preparation for a cast, the pinion gear and spool shaft are kept in perfect alignment. The result: zero friction is placed upon the spool shaft and enhances casting performance.

S-ARB Bearings

S-ARB bearings feature shields on both sides of the bearings that reduce the possibility of salt or sand inhibiting the bearing’s rotation.


CUDC15010/120, 12/110, 14/907.86+16.2:12620/150, 30/135, 40/10511
CUDC150HG10/120, 12/110, 14/907.86+17.4:13120/150, 30/135, 40/10511
CUDC150XG10/120, 12/110, 14/907.96+18.5:13620/150, 30/135, 40/10511
CUDC15110/120, 12/110, 14/907.86+16.2:12620/150, 30/135, 40/10511
CUDC151HG10/120, 12/110, 14/907.86+17.4:13120/150, 30/135, 40/10511
CUDC151XG10/120, 12/110, 14/907.96+18.5:13620/150, 30/135, 40/10511

Benefits of the Shimano Curado DC

The Shimano Curado DC has several benefits that make it a great choice for anglers. Here are some of its most notable benefits:

  1. Accurate and smooth casting: The digital control system makes it easy to cast accurately and smoothly, without having to worry about line tangles.
  2. Reduced risk of backlash: The digital control system also helps to reduce the risk of backlash, which is a common problem with baitcasting reels.
  3. Versatility: The Shimano Curado DC is an incredibly versatile fishing reel that can be utilized for an array of freshwater and saltwater fishing techniques, accommodating various casting styles that cater to different preferences. This reel boasts of a DC motor that facilitates casting into the wind or executing tricky maneuvers like skipping around docks with relative ease. Additionally, the reel’s retrieval mechanism is remarkably smooth, enhancing the overall fishing experience.
  4. Durable and long-lasting: The Hagane body and MicroModule gearing systems make the Shimano Curado DC a highly durable and long-lasting baitcasting reel.
  5. Improved gear efficiency: The X-Ship and MicroModule gearing systems improve gear efficiency and reduce gear noise, making it easier to reel in large fish.
  6. Easy to user: Shimano baitcasting reels are designed to be user-friendly, thanks to the state-of-the-art technology and microcomputer devices employed in their production. This makes them an ideal option for all anglers, regardless of their level of experience. Novices, in particular, will find these reels remarkably easy to operate.
  7. Maintenance: The Shimano Curado requires very little maintenance, and I typically oil it once a year in addition to giving it a light wash after each saltwater trip to prevent any potential damage caused by salt accumulation. Despite being exposed to saltwater conditions, I have been thoroughly impressed by its impressive durability and consistently high performance.

Drawbacks of the Shimano Curado DC

The Shimano Curado DC does have a few drawbacks that you should be aware of before purchasing. Here are some of its most notable drawbacks:

  1. High price point: The Shimano Curado DC is a high-end baitcasting reel that comes with a relatively high price tag. It may not be the best choice for anglers on a tight budget.
  2. Casting distance: The casting distance is not the longest on the market, but it still does a great job.
  3. Weight: The Shimano Curado DC weighs in at 7.8oz, so if the absolute lightest baitcast reel is preferred, this reel may feel a little heavy.

Price and Value

Currently priced at $269, the Shimano Curado DC reel is one of the most outstanding baitcasting reels available at this price range. This reel is packed with numerous features, including a sturdy build quality, large and comfortable grips, and a conveniently palmable footprint. It also boasts an incredible cast control and can hold up to 110 yards of 12-pound line. Furthermore, the Shimano Curado DC is available in both left and right-hand retrieves and comes in three speed ratios, 6.2:1, 7.4:1, and 8.5:1, catering to a broad range of angling preferences.

Despite its high demand, which has caused a sell-out for a good portion, most retailers have recently restocked the Shimano Curado 1DC reel.

Shimano Curado DC

Built on the legacy of durability, dependability and versatility that Curado is known for, the Curado DC now features Shimano’s unique DC braking technology. The Digital Control braking system utilizes a microcomputer to monitor spool speed 1,000 times every second and applies the perfect amount of brake to prevent backlash while maximizing casting distance.
  • Outstanding build
  • Top shelf performance suitable for novice to the most advanced angler
  • Power to weight ratio
  • Speed options
  • Overall strength and durability
  • Price point
  • Casting distance

In comparison to other reels in its class, the Shimano Curado DC offers exceptional value and delivers high-end performance that can be enjoyed for years. Its cutting-edge technology alone is worth the investment, and Shimano’s sturdy build quality and impressive warranty make it an even more enticing option. While there are other alternatives, the Daiwa Tatula Elite being the closest rival, the Shimano Curado DC stands out as the best overall choice.

Granted, some anglers may feel apprehensive about shelling out $269 for a baitcast reel. However, when considering the Shimano Curado DC’s array of features and the Curado heritage, it is undoubtedly a worthwhile investment that guarantees great value.


Q: Can the Shimano Curado DC be used for saltwater fishing? A: Yes, the Shimano Curado DC is suitable for both freshwater and saltwater fishing.

Q: Is the Shimano Curado DC easy to cast? A: Yes, the digital control system makes it easy to cast accurately and smoothly, without having to worry about line tangles.

Q: Is the Shimano Curado DC durable? A: Yes, the Hagane body and MicroModule gearing systems make the Shimano Curado DC a highly durable and long-lasting baitcasting reel.

Q: Does the Shimano Curado DC come with a warranty? A: Yes, the Shimano Curado DC comes with a limited warranty that covers defects in materials and workmanship.


The Shimano Curado DC is an advanced baitcasting reel that uses digital control technology to improve casting accuracy and reduce the risk of backlash. It is suitable for both freshwater and saltwater fishing and is designed for a variety of fish species. The Shimano Curado DC has several advanced features, such as the S3D spool, Hagane body, MicroModule gearing, and X-Ship technology, which make it a highly efficient and durable baitcasting reel. However, it does come with a high price point, a heavy weight, and limited line capacity, which may not be suitable for all anglers. Overall, the Shimano Curado DC is a great choice for anglers who are looking for a high-end baitcasting reel that provides advanced features and performance.

Duane Brennan
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