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Shimano Curado 200 M review

SHIMANO’S Curado baitcast reels have been around for 30 odd years. Over that time, they have cemented their place as a quality reel with many high end features at a reasonable price and within reach of the average fisho. The latest evolution – the Curado 200 M – is no exception. And it doesn’t disappoint!

I first saw this 2023 release at the ICAST trade show in Florida where I caught up with Aussie Carl Jocumsen. Carl gave the Fishing World audience a run-down of the 200 M’s latest features and really sang its praises.

Image: Brenden Mautoa

A couple of months later and I borrowed a sample reel and took it to the Solomon Islands where I hoped to catch spot tail bass. Unfortunately, while the spot tail played hard to get, we got a chance to test the Curado on the resident jacks and throw hundreds, maybe thousands of casts at snags and rock bars along these secluded rivers. Back home it’s an ideal reel for chasing natives such as Murray cod, golden perch and bass, while it’s not out of place in the tropics throwing lures at barra. 

It’s a pleasure to cast and feels like a quality reel. My biggest problem, at first, was controlling the length of the cast and I was continually overcasting into snags and trees. Some adjustment of the brakes and it cast beautifully without too many backlashes or mishaps. These brakes are part of Shimano’s SVS Infinity, an easy to manage, consistent spool control and brake force that is adjusted as conditions change. The brake weights, according to Shimano, use inner friction against the raceway during the cast for precision casting even when using lighter lures. As I discovered, the adjustment knob is a quick way of making incremental changes if you’re using lighter lures, etc.

Image: Brenden Mautoa

The effortless casting is partly thanks to Shimano’s MagnumLite (MGL) III Spool, a new addition on this series of Curados that allows smooth, long casting without sacrificing spool strength. Another new feature is SilentTune Technology. This reduces spool vibration and friction for a quieter and longer cast.

Other features on the Curado 200 M include its Hagane Body and lightweight, yet tough CI4+ technology. There’s also the X-Ship gearing, A A-RB Bearings and the Cross Carbon Drag for smooth performance and longevity.

Image: Brenden Mautoa

Finally, the Shimano Stable Spool Design (S3D) reduces weight and vibration, which again, adds to the smoothness and long casting ability of the 200M. It has a spool ratio of 7.4:1 and weighs 215 grams.

All up, I’ve found Shimano’s Curado 200 M to a be a lightweight, easy-to-use, and ultra smooth reel. With a suggested retail price of $359 it provides great value for anyone in the market for a quality baitcast reel. 

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