Expert Review: Shimano Curado DC Casting Reel

This review is my honest opinion of the reel, which I purchased with my own money in April of 2021.

Close up of top down view Shimano Curado DC.

All photos courtesy of Billy J.

Published on

About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the reel, which I purchased with my own money in April of 2021.

My take

The Shimano Curado DC is a quality reel that has significant benefits for all skill levels.

A man fishing on the edge of a river.

About the reel

  • Model: Shimano Curado 150 DC Casting Reel
  • Reel Size: 150
  • Construction: Aluminum body (HAGANE)
  • Drag System: Carbon
  • Drag Pressure: 11 lb max

About me

  • Preferred fishing style(s): I use this reel for moving baits: lipless crankbaits, jerkbaits, topwater lures, swim jigs, etc.
  • Experience: 10 years of fishing

Test conditions

  • When I bought this: April 2021
  • Rod Paired with Reel: Daiwa Procyon 7’3” Medium Heavy Fast-action
  • Line Paired with Reel: Sufix 832 Braided Line, 30 lb test moss green
  • Days tested: 80 days
  • Waters I’ve used it on: Freshwater and saltwater
  • Species targeted with reel: Largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, striped bass

How it performs


What I was looking for

I had been progressively making upgrades for my baitcasting reels, and I was confident in the quality Shimano had shown me so far. I was looking for a baitcaster reel that featured quality components and a longer casting distance. After doing extensive research, the Curado DC stuck out to me as a top performer in its price range.

Why I chose this gear

I needed a reel with quality and versatility at a reasonable price. I knew that I wanted a reel with DC technology the minute I learned about them. The concept is really interesting to me, and Shimano is the only company that offers anything close to it. I was also in the market for a new saltwater reel, and seeing the Curado DC is rated for saltwater use was the final checkbox.

The Shimano Curado DC Casting Reel being held over water.

What I love about it

  • Performance: This reel performs phenomenally and adjusting the brake settings is very straightforward. It pairs well with a medium heavy or medium power rod, feels great in the hand and reeling is butter smooth even under load, due to the upgraded internal components. It casts a wide range of lures and weights even with the wind blowing directly at me.
  • Quality: It has a gorgeous finish on the aluminum body — the tasteful touch of gold trim captures the sunlight just the right amount. It feels solid, with no wide gaps and tight tolerances all around.
  • Versatility: The Curado DC is rated for saltwater use in addition to freshwater. This is my do-everything reel; if I can only take one reel with me, it’s this one.
  • Durability: It holds up to saltwater use, and the aluminum frame means I can expect a long life out of this reel.
  • Application: I typically use my Curado DC for moving baits and cast-and-retrieve style lures for largemouth/smallmouth bass or striped bass. My favorite lure to cast is a ¾ oz Heddon Spook. With the brakes dialed right, I can achieve super long casts and cover more water.
  • Size: I own the standard 150-size Curado DC in left-hand retrieve. I hold the reel in my right hand, and I also cast with my right hand. Since I like to use it for moving lures, this means I don’t have to switch hands before I start reeling. The 7.4:1 gear ratio is the medium-speed offering, which I chose because it is the most versatile.
  • Drag System: I never had an issue with the drag system, as it’s always performed smoothly and perfectly.
  • Feel: It has a classic Shimano-quality, smooth reeling. The body feels sturdy and solid in hand. Nothing ever feels loose on this reel.
  • Build: There are no hotspots or sharp corners or screws sticking out. It has very smooth surfaces that fit well in hand.
  • Aesthetics: It has a gorgeous metallic sheen to it but not overly so, with dark green trim. The surface holds up well against scratches.
  • Features: It uses the Curado base but with the unique advantage of DC technology.
  • Maintenance: I had mine sent into Shimano for repairs after I rinsed too aggressively following saltwater use. (It pushed salt into places it wasn’t before.) Just spritz down with water after saltwater use. I also oil it according to the owner's manual instructions once a year.
The Shimano Curado DC Casting Reel.

Issues I’ve encountered

  • Weight: It comes in at 7.9 oz, so it is certainly not the most lightweight option out there. If a ton of flipping and pitching is expected, this reel may become uncomfortable after some time.
The Shimano Curado DC Casting Reel.
A man holding a fishing rod in his mouth and holding a fish up in his hand.

Night time stripers! It's hard to take photos when you fish solo on slipper rocks in the East River

Favorite moment with this gear

My favorite moment with the Curado DC was when I woke up super early to chase stripers in the East River (NYC) with my friend, caught a couple of schoolies until the bite died down, and then went fishing in Central Park for largemouth bass later that same day with the same rod/reel set up. I just swapped out the leader lines, and it really made me appreciate the versatility of this reel.

Value for the money vs. other options

I’d rather buy one quality reel and trust it will be reliable for years and years than buy four cheaper reels and question their reliability. The lack of backlashing and picking out bird’s nests means this reel brings a lot of value to the table, especially considering a bad backlash can mean re-spooling an entire spool of fluorocarbon. We can’t buy more time fishing, but we can invest in tools that make us more efficient with our time fishing.

My options came down to the Curado K, the SLX DC, and the Curado DC.

While the Curado K is certainly no slouch, ultimately I decided I wanted to have a reel with DC technology. The SLX DC has the same braking system as the Curado DC, so it came down to the internals that made me choose the Curado DC. I wanted the "micromodule" gears for better reeling under load, especially because I knew the reel would be pulling double duty for striped bass fishing as well.

Final verdict

Anglers of any skill level should strongly consider the Curado DC as a baitcasting reel. The DC technology combined with the aluminum frame and upgraded components results in a versatile reel that’s comfortable in hand and a blast to use.

Selling Shimano on
Shimano Curado DC Casting Reel
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Written By
I've been fishing since I was a kid! Fishing was initially a portal into the underwater world as I was obsessed with aquatic life. That turned into a lifelong passion and here we are! I grew up fishing Lake Michigan and other waters in Chicago, and now I live in NYC. I fish a variety of waters here,...

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