The Shimano Curado 200E7 has become my favorite reel, by far.
When Shimano redesigned it a couple of years ago, I was a little unsure of how the reel would perform with such a small body. I was afraid that maybe they had gone too small with it and made it more fragile… more breakable.
I was way wrong! After owning two of them for the past two seasons, they have withstood many, many hours of fishing without a single hint of a failure.
One of my Curados gets used for spinnerbaits, so when I’m using it, it’s not just getting cast out and letting the bait sink. When I fish spinnerbaits, I fish them hard and fast, covering a lot of water in the course of a day. So this reel is getting a tough workout, with no down time. The reel has shown no signs of abnormal wear. In fact, it has shown barely any signs of wear at all.
In a minute, I’ll take you back to the beginning of my history with the Curado 200E7 and tell you how I ended up buying my first one. As an angler, you’ll see the value of how this happened.
Before I do that, though, let me just say that since the redesign, the Curado is now the smallest, lightest baitcasting reel I own… period. None of my other reels even comes close when comparing size and weight to the Curado.
So now onto my first Curado…
I was in Dick’s Sporting Goods and happened to see the Curado in a showcase. I asked the guy behind the counter if I could take a look at it. I took it and spun the handle and noticed that it spun for quite a while. Then I pressed the clutch bar and spun the spool, and watched as it free-spooled for a very long time. I was impressed!
Right next to the Curado, I saw a comparable Abu Garcia reel that had the same features, but cost about $20 less. I took a look at this reel and ended up buying it because it was cheaper.
That weekend I spooled the new reel up and headed out to a local river, with a spinnerbait tied onto the Abu reel.
My first cast resulted in a major backlash 🙁
No big deal… new reel, not used to it yet. I adjusted the brakes and tried it again. Another backlash! Rinse and repeat. Same results.
I finally ended up tightening the brakes all the way down and barely managed not creating a backlash, even on a gentle sidearm lob. A few minutes later, the Abu was back in my rod locker and another reel had taken its place on my spinnerbait rod.
Two days later, the reel was in the box and being taken back to Dick’s and returned. In exchange, I laid down the extra $20 for the Curado. I took it home, spooled it with fresh 15 lb. line and I have never looked back.
The Curado performed flawlessly from the very first cast. It has never given me backlash trouble and adjusting the brakes was about as easy as it could get.
Now I own 3 Curado 200E7 baitcasting reels and I will buy more of them as my older reels need to be replaced. It has become my baitcasting reel of choice.