Reels

Shimano Curado Series Review: K, DC, MGL 70 K, MGL 150, 300 K, and BFS 2022 Models

The Shimano Curado baitcasting reel is an excellent choice for anglers looking for a reel that offers smoothness, durability, and precision casting control. The Curado series is available in multiple different versions, each with its own unique set of features. The base model, the Curado K, provides everything you need in a quality baitcasting reel, while the top of the line Curado DC offers the most features and refined performance. Check out our thoughts on the Curado series.

Shimano Curado Overview:

The Curado series of reels is one of Shimano’s most popular and important reel series.

They currently offer the Curado in multiple different versions, including the Curado K, DC, MGL 70 K, MGL 150, 300 K, and BFS. Each of these iterations brings something unique to the table, while also maintaining the solid foundation that Shimano has created with the Curado.

This reel series provides everything you need in a baitcasting reel. The lowest price point in the series provides an excellent starting point, while the top of the line Curado DC offers anglers a premium reel with great fit and finish, and a robust set of features.

The Curado K is a nice blend of value and performance, perfect for anglers looking for a top of the line baitcasting reel that can handle just about anything thrown at it without spending as much as the more expensive models.

We will take a look at each of the Curado models and what makes them unique. Then we’ll dive into the shared features that sets this baitcasting reel apart.

Current Models:

We will take a look at each of the Curado models and what makes them unique. Then we’ll dive into the shared features that sets this baitcasting reel apart.

Curado K

The Curado K is the base model of the Curado series. Providing the solid foundation that has set the Curado series apart. Strong body design, double shielded 6 bearing system, reliable drag construction, SVS braking system, extra tough gear design, and more.

The Curado K is equipped with the primary features you need for top of line bass fishing performance. We will cover some of the core features in more detail below.

The Curado K is the perfect option if you’re looking for versatile performance, reliable reel design, and in a price range under the other models.

Curado DC

The Curado DC is the top of the line reel in the Curado series. Offering the most features, and the most refined performance. The Curado DC is equipped with a Digitally Controlled braking system. This system measures and controls the braking pressure every 1/1000th of a second. This allows for precise adjustment and eliminates backlashes, for smooth, long distance casting.

Other features include an externally adjustable cast control, Shimano’s X-Ship system for smoothness and durability, a robust 11 pound max drag, Cross Carbon Drag system, and more.

Curado MGL 70 K

The Curado MGL 70 K is a more compact and lightweight option, perfect for anglers looking for a reel with less bulk and a smaller profile.

The Curado MGL 70 K is designed for anglers fishing with light fishing line, finesse baits, and lighter lures. While it doesn’t have the same line capacity as the other Curado reels, it does have a Cross Carbon Drag system that can handle up to 12 lbs of drag.

This reel is perfect for anglers that are looking for a smaller, lightweight reel with great performance specs.

Curado MGL 150

Offering extended castability and power, the Shimano Curado MGL 150 is perfect for fishing larger baits. Featuring a MagnumLite spool, this reel is designed for anglers looking to cast further and with more accuracy.

With a robust 13lbs of max drag, the Curado MGL 150 can handle fish of all sizes. The Curado MGL 150 is also equipped with Shimano’s advanced technologies for smooth, efficient, and durable performance.

Curado 300 K

The Curado 300 K is a beefed up version of the Curado K. It’s designed for anglers that are looking to fish bigger baits, for bigger fish.

This reel offers a deep 300-size spool, long handle with wide-grip knobs, 22lbs max drag, and more.

Packed with features, the Curado 300 K is a great choice if you’re looking for a heavy-duty striper or inshore fishing reel.

Curado BFS

The Curado BFS is the ultralight finesse version of the Curado series. Designed with a shallow spool and ultralight weight for casting lightweight lures with ease.

The Curado BFS utilizes Shimano’s Finesse Tune Brake (FTB) system to reduce the spool’s weight. This system is designed to automatically adjust to slow down the spool only when braking is needed. This makes for a smooth and consistent experience when casting lightweight baits.

The Curado BFS is perfect for anglers who want to downsize their baits to increase their success on the water. The ultralight weight and shallow spool make for an easy, smooth casting experience with any lightweight lure.

We’re currently looking for a good source for the BFS model.

Michael's Shimano Curado K Review:

For me, Shimano has always been synonymous with quality, performance and value. I don’t think there is a single reel in the Shimano lineup that is considered anything less than a good value, and the Curado lineup has been the cornerstone of the brand’s baitcasting lineup for as long as I can remember.

Just the image of a Curado has always evoked a certain level of quality and reliability in my mind, and the same is true for the Curado K. I’ve been fishing this reel for a while now and have never been disappointed with it.

The Curado K is one of those rare gems that matches the performance of reels double the price. It’s a bit of a beast, with a solid and durable build, yet it handles effortlessly with a smooth and buttery retrieve. It looks high end, with its angular design and black finish.

For me, the Curado K is the perfect reel for just about any application, from light finesse fishing to heavy duty bass fishing. It’s the reel that I rely on, and one that consistently delivers.

Michael A.

Features:

As one of the preeminent reel manufacturers in the industry, Shimano offers a full line of excellent baitcasting reels with the Curado series. The Curado line of reels falls into Shimano’s upper tier of baitcasters.

No matter which model Curado you choose, this series features all of the most advanced Shimano technology.

Super Smooth Spool Design

Shimano has long been known for making exceptionally smooth baitcasting reels and the Curado is no exception. The Curado line is equipped with Shimano’s proprietary Super Free Spool design.

The Super Free Spool design reduces the amount of friction the spool shaft experiences during the cast by incorporating a ball bearing support for the pinion gear when the clutch is disengaged. This results in zero friction on the spool shaft, making for longer and more accurate casts.

The reduced friction allows you better casting control over a wide variety of lure weights and types.

The Curado also has incorporated the Shimano Stable Spool Design which reduces vibration in the spool providing increased balance and uniformity.

All of this together provides the Curado with a smooth cast, retrieve, and provides the functionality needed to allow you to use a diverse set of presentations with the same reel.

Strong and Lightweight Frame

The Curado baitcasting reel’s hagane body is constructed with a strong and lightweight Power AL frame. This frame is made from a lightweight aluminum alloy that is stronger than traditional aluminum. This allows the reel to be smaller in size, while still being robust enough to handle the normal wear and tear of bass fishing.

The frame is designed to provide an increased level of rigidity. This helps to prevent “hook-bounce” that sometimes occurs when reeling in larger fish that put a lot of pressure on the reel’s handle.

Ergonomic Compact Design

The Curado is designed with an ergonomic compact profile. This makes the reel easier to palm and balance within your hand, which can be especially important when casting lightweight lures.

The Curado series is available in both right and left-hand retrieve models and comes in multiple gear ratios, ranging from 4.7:1 all the way up to 8.5:1.

The reel’s lightweight, compact design is also a big benefit for anglers that have to carry their gear a long distance to the fishing spot.

Xtra Gear Durability

Shimano has also beefed up the gear durability on the Curado series of reels.

The Main drive gear is CNC-machined from high-grade aluminum and now comes equipped with Shimano’s advanced MicroModule gear. This system increases the number of hard gear teeth for seamless power transfer with every movement of the handle.

The micro module gear design provides enhanced performance and greater gear longevity.

High Bearing System For Smooth Handling

Another standout feature of the Curado series is its high bearing system.

Each model of the Curado series comes equipped with a high number of stainless steel ball bearings and an additional Super Stopper Anti Reverse roller bearing.

This combination of high performance bearings with the Super Stopper ensures smooth and consistent performance on every cast.

The bearings are shielded from both sides, which provides a better seal for the reel’s internal bearing. This affords greater levels of corrosion resistance as well as sustained bearing performance.

Without the salt, sand, and other outside particles getting into the bearing system, it’s able to run more fluidly without the need to continuous cleaning or multiple applications of lubrication.

Comfortable Handle And Knobs For Better Control

The new Curado models feature a redesigned and more ergonomic handle. The handle is now longer and stronger and provides better control than previous iterations.

The soft grip knobs are larger and more comfortable to hold on to. Even for extended periods of time.

This provides anglers with better handling and control during line retrieve and is especially helpful when a large bass is hooked on the line, and you need the extra leverage reeling it in.

Solid Cross Carbon Drag System

The Cross Carbon Drag system used in the Curado series is made of two layers of carbon fiber that are fused into a solid disk. This disk is then sandwiched between an aluminum/carbon combination. The result is a drag system that is incredibly strong and durable.

The Cross Carbon Drag is adjustable with a maximum drag of 11 lbs.

The drag can also be adjusted while you are fishing, allowing you to make micro adjustments on the fly, even while fighting to bring one in.

Upgraded Braking System

The brake system incorporates Shimano’s new SVS Infinity braking system. This system provides a much wider range of control due to having both internal brake weights and an external dial on the casting control side plate.

A stop on the spool allows for precise adjustments, especially when switching between light and heavy baits.

This greater precision of control allows for quicker adjustments and less frustration.

Curado DC Review by Roger

I guess the best way to start is to ask a question, “What other baitcasters have digital cast control?” None…that I know of at least.

The Shimano Curado DC is the first of its kind to offer regular people a digital cast control system.

While other manufacturers are still playing with magnets, Shimano is over here creating a computer for a fishing reel.

I have been fishing the Curado DC for a number of month now, and I’ve found it to be one of my favorite reels. The reel is smooth and casts great no matter what I’m using it for whether it’s throwing a topwater, pitching a swim jig or even froggin’.

I’ve had the opportunity to fish the Curado DC with a few different rig setups, and I’ve really been impressed with how the reel performs. The drag is smooth and holds up well to bigger bass and the DC feels good when I hold it. I feel like I’m able to maintain great control over the reel, and it just works, and I really like that.

It wasn’t a cheap reel for me to get by any means, but personally, the cost was well worth it.

Roger J.

Pros and Cons:

Pros:

  • Superior cranking power and smoothness with more refined gear design
  • Smooth and consistent drag pressure
  • Excellent reel build quality and solid in hand
  • Very comfortable to palm and use

Cons:

  • External cast control adjustment knob is a bit small
  • Slight backplay in handle
  • Less max drag than comparable competitor’s baitcasters

Ronald's Thoughts On The Curado BFS

My grandfather gave me my first reel. It was a Shimano Calcutta. Today it’s over 35 years old, and it still works. It’s this type of quality that’s kept me coming back to Shimano.

The Curado BFS has that same type of quality feel to it that I’ve grown to know. It is a quality reel and so much fun to fish. The finesse brake system on the BFS is one of my favorite features. It makes it easy to fine-tune the brake to match exactly what I’m throwing.

The BFS is light, but still has a good stable feel when I’m holding it. It doesn’t feel cheap or flimsy.

Overall, I’m a fan and happy to be able to continue the Shimano legacy my grandfather passed down to me. Thankfully, Shimano makes it easy by releasing awesome reels like this one!

Ronald D.

FAQs

The Shimano Curado K is a low profile Shimano reel with a centrifugal braking system, while the Shimano Curado DC uses a digital control braking system that monitors spool speed 1,000 times per second to apply the perfect amount of brake.

There is no simple answer to this question. The Shimano Curado is a high quality reel, and it offers a lot of features for the price. However, there are multiple other great baitcasting reels on the market. Depending on your price range, some of them will offer more bang for your buck. Check out our list of the top baitcasters.

There is no one “best” Shimano Curado. They are all great reels. It mostly depends on what you’re wanting to do with the reel.

If you want an all around great casting reel, go with the Curado K.

If you’re looking for topnotch performance, you should check out the Curado DC.

Wanting a lighter reel that can still handle larger fish? Then the MGL 70 K or MGL 150 might be best.

Fishing finesse? The Curado BFS would be a great option.

Wanting to catch an inshore monster? The Curado 300 K would be the baitcaster to pick up.

All in all, the Curado series is a well established and high performing series of casting reels with options that would work great no matter the fishing style you’re using.

Yes, the Curado series supports saltwater fishing. However, if you’re going to be fishing inshore, you will probably want to get the Curado 300 K, as it’s better designed for the challenges you’ll face fishing inshore.

Shimano makes its reels in Japan.

They are available in either right hand or left hand retrieve. Make sure you select the right version when purchasing, as you can not change the side the handle is attached to.

Yes, the Curado MGL 70 K is a great frogging reel, though the Curado K reel and DC will also perform well when froggin’.

Score:

We’ve given the Shimano Curado ratings in four categories. They are as follows:

  • Price: B
  • Build: A+
  • Feature Set: A
  • Design: A

The Shimano Curado Series earns an overall score of: A-

Conclusion:

The Curado reel series from Shimano is an excellent option for anglers looking for a high-quality, feature-rich reel. With models ranging from the affordable Curado K to the more premium Curado DC, there is a reel in this lineup for everyone.

The Curado reels are built with high-quality components and are designed for smooth and consistent performance. They also offer a great level of comfort and control, making them ideal for casting a variety of baits.

If you are looking for a top-of-the-line baitcasting reel, the Shimano Curado series should definitely be on your short list.

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