Expert Review: Shimano Metanium DC

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

A bass in front of the Shimano Metanium DC reel.

Shimano Metanium DC casting at a wind blown point for active bass! All photos courtesy of Josh Saenz

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 Metanium DC reel is personally my favorite reel. The reel is designed to enable “worry-free fishing” and that's exactly what it does. For the price I wouldn't recommend beginners to buy the reel. I feel it’s ideal for beginners to learn to use reels that don't have this amount of technology in a reel, but for anyone else who knows how to use a baitcaster and is willing to spend the money, it will be extremely hard to find a better baitcaster on the market.

The Shimano Metanium DC reel lies next to a bass.

Casting lipless crank baits through rocks for bass.

About the reel

  • Model: Shimano Metanium DC Casting reel
  • Reel Size: METDC 100HG
  • Construction: Baitcasting Reel
  • Drag System: Shimano’s Cross Carbon Drag
  • Drag Pressure: Max 11 lbs

About me

  • Preferred fishing style(s): Saltwater & Freshwater
  • Experience: Almost 2 decades

Test conditions

  • When I bought this: April 17, 2021
  • Rod Paired with Reel: Shimano Zodias 7’5” Medium Heavy Casting Rod
  • Line Paired with Reel: For fresh and saltwater, I have 10-15 yards of monofilament backing (6lbs) and about 90 yards of 10 lbs SpiderWire invisi braid. With this specific reel, most of the time I don't have a leader because the type of fishing doesn't really require one.
  • Days tested: 1 year
  • Waters I’ve used it on: Lakes, rivers, and ponds that I bank fish
  • Species targeted with reel: Striped bass & Largemouth bass

How it performs

Durability
4/5
Performance
5/5
Quality
5/5
Versatility
5/5

What I was looking for

I had just recently lost a $100 reel (Shimano SLX ) by dropping it in 40-50 feet of water after flipping my canoe over. I already had tons of experience with baitcasters so I decided to look for the best reel on the market. After a short time looking, I quickly found The Metanium DC and after hearing all of the hype about its anti backlash DC braking system (digital control) I had to have one for myself. The reel is able to be fished in salt and freshwater so it was a perfect match for me.

Why I chose this gear

One of the biggest reasons I purchased this reel was because of how unbelievably far you can cast all size lures with little to no effort. The reel is capable of casting even the lightest of lures (with the correct line) to distances I wasn't used to. Not to mention that the reel is made to be used in salt and freshwater. Another reel I was considering when first purchasing this reel was the Shimano Metanium MGL which is slightly cheaper than this reel at around 50 bucks, but that reel’s spool isn't big enough to catch some of the fish I like to target. Plus, the DC reel has that lovely singing sound when casting which is lovely to hear each and every cast.

A hand casts a fishing rod and the Shimano Metanium DC reel.

Having fun with the Shimano Metanium DC!

What I love about it

  • Performance: In terms of performance, this reel goes above and beyond expectations. The DC braking system in the reel measures and controls the spool’s revolution when casting which ultimately leads to ultra long casting. Regular brake systems require thumbing and almost perfect brake adjustments to make it cast a somewhat decent distance. Not to mention casting in the wind is not an issue for DC reels.
  • Quality: When I hold this reel I can feel and see the quality. The outside of the reel is made from magnesium and the gears are made of aluminum. Having this reel in my collection always gets other peoples’ attention either from the look/shine or off the sound the reel makes. Ever since I bought this reel, I’ve used it on almost every fishing outing I've been on and even today after all the abuse I put this reel through it looks almost brand new.
  • Versatility: This reel is one of the most versatile reels on the market. The first reason is because it can be used in fresh and saltwater. The reel’s drag capabilities are good and with the amount of line it holds I'm able to catch big fish in saltwater. However, one of the main things is being able to fine tune the braking adjustments and fish with light lures. Even for the smallest/finicky fish, all it takes is a simple line change and I'm ready to target almost any fish I desire (within a certain size range).
  • Durability: So far, for what I've used it for, it passes the durability test. I've only used it twice in saltwater, but even with little cleaning it hasn't changed its performance or look since I've taken it out of the box. Even after approximately a year of beating on this reel, mine performs like new. In terms of why I’ve given the reel a 4 out of 5 star rating: compared to other reels on that market, the reel is made out of some of the longest lasting materials, but it is made for freshwater with saltwater capabilities. Most people who own these reels fish them in freshwater. A 5 out of 5 would go to a reel made to withstand anything in the salt, in other words, one that is made from a stronger material to enable this.
  • Build: Going back to what I said earlier, the reel body is made of magnesium, making the reel look very clean and sleek. The reel’s handle knobs and side plates have zero play so worrying about long term wear isn't really an issue. Another important thing to add is that the reels micro module gearing system makes it as smooth as butter when retrieving.
  • Aesthetics: This reel, in my personal opinion, is very aesthetically pleasing. Like I said earlier, the reel is made out of magnesium so it reflects/shines a lot. I can very easily see reflections in every direction off of the reel.

Issues I’ve encountered

  • Drag System: The reel is made with the cross carbon drag system, which is very reliable, smooth, and gives me a good range of options in terms of different settings. That being said, since the reel is pretty strong, if you want to fully spool this reel with only braid there is a chance that when you set the hook on a fish the line might slip on the spool. This isn't really an issue for most experienced anglers because this is able to be fixed with a small monofilament backing on the reel, but isn't really ideal for fishing with only braid on the spool. A reel this good shouldn't really be fished like that anyways in my opinion.
  • Cost: The biggest downfall for most people when considering this reel is the cost. The reel is and has been 500 dollars. For me, after purchasing I'm glad I did, but the cost is what will make people consider other options, like the little brothers to this reel, the Curado DC or SLX DC. They aren't as high quality but still have some of the same capabilities.
  • Ease of use: With this reel being too enjoyable and easy to use, some anglers may get bored of the same old thing, which isn't really an issue to have, but when I fish from this reel and use another reel of mine I get somewhat dissatisfied having to thumb the spool on other reels or the other reels not performing as good.
A bass lies next to a fishing rod with the Shimano Metanium DC reel.

Pulling chatterbaits through patchy grass for bass.

Favorite moment with this gear

The best moment I had with this reel was on Lake Lanier in GA. I was fishing in October. which on Lake Lanier is active striped bass season, and during that time they are moving around very fast chasing balls of bait (shad), even jumping out of the water to eat. So I was fishing on a boat with a few friends chasing these fish. When doing this type of fishing, when you get to the school you have very little time to cast on the school before the fish swim away to another school of bait. With my reel I’m able to cast my topwater spook before everyone because of the casting distance, getting my lure in the frenzy for a longer period of time and with that I was able to catch the most amount of fish that trip all on topwater super spooks which is very fun.

Value for the money vs. other options

In the long run, I personally really do think this reel is worth the money at 500 dollars, but I'm aware that it isn't ideal for everyone. Other options would be to buy some of the other DC reels in Shimano's lineup or the slightly cheaper Metanium MGL (the MGL doesn't have the same braking system).

Final verdict

I think the reel is debatably one of the best reels on the market because of its ease of use, casting distance, and overall quality - if you get a chance to use it I wouldn't skip out on the opportunity.

Selling Shimano on Curated.com
Shimano Metanium DC
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Written By
14+ years of fishing experience from Yosimite National park in montana all the way down to the beautiful coast of North Western Florida and everything in between. Experienced in Salt water fishing, all types of freshwater fishing, and mildly experienced in Fly fishing

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