Reviewed: Shimano Curado 200i

AFTER chatting to Shimano’s Joel Tegart about my fishing bucket list I asked him about an appropriate baitcaster reel to use in my quest for a barra. In a flash, Joel sang the praises of the Shimano Curado 200i. I’d already built myself a Sabre Nano barra rod, but it was short a reel, so the Curado 200i looked perfect.

Sadly, my bucket list finance was getting drained and my barra trip up north was getting further away so I needed a “Plan B”. Fortunately, I can target jewfish – the “poor man’s barra” – locally with a baitcaster and hard body lures.

As Joel recommended, I purchased the 200i and was blown away when I opened the box – I was like a kid at Christmas time. It was so light in the hand and owing to a damaged wrist I had the option of getting a left-handed reel. It felt like a glove in my hand and I was champing at the bit to get some 20lb Power Pro Braid on it and put it to the test.

For a reel straight out of the box and for a bloke who hadn’t used a baitcaster for many years I was blown away by the minimal amount of backlashes I got when casting. Mind you, I did set up the anti-backlash adjustment first and had a few dummy casts down at the local park.

One thing that really caught my eye was the ease of access to the variable brake system. A simple slide of what I might call a small thumb lug, and presto, the whole brake system is exposed and easy to access. No more fiddly knobs or screws, just one slide and your into the whole box and dice of the variable braking system.


Like I said before for a bloke who hadn’t cast a baitcaster for some time I was amazed how easy it was to get back into the swing of things again.

No jews unfortunately, but a few hook ups on salmon had the reel working within the first half hour of being on the rod.

Another pleasant surprise was how smooth the drag was for a reel straight out of the box. Shimano has done its homework with the cross carbon drag washer.

Eventually things came good and while not a stonker a nice 6kg jewie fell to one of my many casts in the Shoalhaven River. The Curado’s drag was smooth and at all times the reel let me feel like I was in control of the fish.

Be it chasing the elusive barra, mangrove jack or cod, the Curado 200i is a reel worth looking at. It’s affordable and backed by Shimano’s 10 year warranty.

RRP $239.

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