Shimano Curado K reel review featured image

Shimano Curado K Review: Famous Baitcaster Reel Reimagined

The Shimano Curado K is a legendary baitcasting reel that has been reimagined and upgraded with the latest innovations in Shimano technology. As one of the most popular reels in bass fishing, the Curado name carries high expectations among anglers. This in-depth review will examine if this Shimano reel lives up to its reputation for reliability, durability, and performance.

Shimano Curado K Review: Overview and Specs

This is a low profile baitcasting reel suitable for both freshwater and inshore saltwater fishing. It comes in right and left-hand models with gear ratios of 6.2:1, 7.4:1, and 8.5:1. With a lightweight design of only 7.6-7.8 oz, it is a comfortable all-day fishing reel. Key specs include:

  • Line Capacity: 8/180, 10/155, 14/110 lb/yds
  •  Max Drag: 11-12 lbs
  •  Bearings: 6+1 ball bearings
  •  Gear Ratio: 6.2:1, 7.4:1, 8.5:1
  •  Retrieve Per Crank: 21-36 inches

Construction and Build Quality

One of the hallmarks of Shimano reels is their excellent construction using high-quality components. This model is no exception with its rigid aluminum frame and side plates. The rigid, cold-forged aluminum spool provides strength while remaining lightweight.

It features Shimano’s Hagane gearing which is made of a special high-strength alloy that is 20% stronger than standard aluminum gears. This provides incredible smoothness and durability even under heavy loads.

The reel utilizes Shimano’s MicroModule gear system which has smaller gear teeth that engage more efficiently. This refinement in the gear design leads to less friction and gives the reel its buttery smooth crank and amazing casting abilities.

From the aluminum body, beefy gears, carbon fiber drag washers, and stainless steel components, the Curado K is built to withstand years of demanding fishing in both fresh and saltwater.

Casting Performance

One of the most important aspects of a baitcasting reel is how well it casts. The reel shines in this department with its excellent casting manners and easy adjustability.

The SVS Infinity braking system gives anglers precise control over spool speed and braking force. An external adjustment knob makes it easy to fine-tune the brakes based on lure weight and wind conditions. This superior adjustable braking prevents frustrating backlashes and allows anglers to make long, accurate casts.

The oversized cast control knob provides a more ergonomic grip and allows for micro-adjustments to the spool tension. Finding the optimal tension for your lure weight takes the guesswork out of casting.

The reel casts like a dream right out of the box. With a bit of tuning and practice, anglers can achieve incredible distance and pinpoint accuracy when casting lightweight lures and baits. Even casting into heavy winds, this reel maintains excellent control to prevent disastrous backlashes.

See also  13 Fishing Inception Review: a Baitcasting Reel for Big Fish

Retrieve and Drag Performance

A baitcasting reel lives and dies by its retrieve smoothness and drag strength. Any roughness, binding, or jerkiness during cranking is magnified by the direct drive. Again, it performs admirably in this crucial department.

The micro-module gears provide remarkable cranking power and smoothness compared to standard gear designs. Whether burning a crankbait back or pitching jigs all day, the handle turns with silky smoothness.

The maximum drag of 11-12 lbs utilizes Shimano’s Cross Carbon Drag washers. Drag pressure is smooth and consistent, providing reliable hooksets and the power to land larger fish. The drag has minimal startup inertia and reliable protection against drag burn.

Between the refined Hagane gearing and Cross Carbon drag, the reel has all the fish-fighting power and finesse needed for tournament fishing or battling bull reds inshore.

Ergonomics and Comfort

In terms of comfort, the Curado K has a more compact and ergonomic design compared to previous Curado models. It sits well in the palm for reduced fatigue and improved control.

The reel sports a large, 95mm swept handle that provides increased cranking power. The handle shape allows for multiple comfortable grips during long days of pitching and casting.

At a weight of 7.6-7.8 ounces, the Curado K is reasonably lightweight while still feeling sturdy. The aluminum/carbon construction helps shed excess weight. Anglers can fish this reel all day without wearing out their wrist or hands.

Overall, Shimano focused on finesse and refinement when designing the reel. The improvements to the ergonomics and curve of the reel are noticeable. It’s one of the most comfortable low profile baitcasters around.


  • Bulletproof construction and high-quality components
  •  Superior casting with excellent adjustability
  •  Refined Hagane gear system provides silky smooth retrieves
  •  Ergonomic and comfortable compact design
  •  Strong, smooth carbon fiber drag system
  •  Suitable for freshwater bass fishing or inshore saltwater species
  •  Multiple gear ratio options for different applications


  • Higher price than some competitors
  •  Reel requires periodic maintenance and cleaning
  •  Some complaints about the anti-reverse bearing failing
  •  Not the best choice for lightweight finesse techniques

Ideal Uses

The Curado K excels as an all-around bass fishing reel, whether fishing lakes, rivers, or on the flats. It has sufficient power and line capacity for smallmouth and largemouth bass. The smooth drag is ideal for fighting hard strikes and long runs.

With the higher gear ratios and braided line capacity, but this model works for burn fishing baits like rattletraps, crankbaits, and swim jigs. The cranking power brings bass out of heavy cover.

See also  What is the Best Bass Fishing Reel? Spinning vs Baitcaster

For more finesse techniques, the Curado K still performs but may be overkill. Slow rolling jigs and finesse worms may be better suited to reels with lighter gears and narrower spools.

Inshore anglers targeting redfish, snook, and jacks will appreciate the this product’s strength, durability, and smoothness when fighting saltwater bulldogs. It’s a great all-around inshore reel.

The Curado K isn’t the best choice for ultralight fishing with 2-6 lb test lines. The larger spool and heavier gears limit its finesse abilities. Lighter reels specifically designed for ultralight jigs and baits are a better fit.

Customer Reviews

With thousands of customer reviews across retailers like Amazon, Bass Pro Shops, and directly from anglers, the Curado K earns very positive marks. It currently holds a 4.8 out of 5 star average rating on Amazon based on over 1200 reviews.

The vast majority of anglers praise the reel for its smoothness, durability, and casting performance. They report making accurate long distance casts even in heavy winds. Customers mention the excellent build quality and drag strength when fighting larger fish.

Most negative reviews focus on occasional anti-reverse bearing failures. Some anglers report issues with backlash when casting lightweight lures, indicating the need for proper brake adjustment. A few anglers had problems with inconsistent or sticky drag performance.

Overall, customer satisfaction with the Curado K is very high. The reel largely lives up to its legendary reputation and remains a go-to choice for seasoned anglers and those new to baitcasting.

Final Thoughts

The Shimano Curado K represents an impressive upgrade over previous generations of the Curado. Shimano refined and enhanced key components like the Hagane gearing, MicroModule gears, and drag system while improving ergonomics. The result is a reel that excels at both casting and retrieving in a durable, lightweight package.

Minor drawbacks exist like bearing problems and a learning curve to master casting. However, the Curado K’s strengths overshadow any flaws for most anglers. It provides versatile performance and reliability for everything from finesse worm fishing to burning plugs for trophy bass. Both freshwater and inshore anglers will appreciate this reel.

In the hotly competitive world of baitcasting reels, the Shimano Curado K remains a benchmark performer. While premium reels like the Curado 70 exists, the Curado K hits the sweet spot of price and performance. It’s still worthy of its legendary reputation among the best bass fishing reels available today.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Shimano Curado K baitcaster reel?

This Shimano baitcaster reel is a legendary reel reimagined by Shimano, renowned for its high-quality gear and superb performance.

Can you give a brief review of the Curado K reel?

Certainly! This reel is widely regarded as one of the best baitcasting reels available. It offers super smooth operation, a lightweight design, and a durable construction. The reel is suitable for both freshwater and saltwater fishing, making it a versatile choice for anglers.

How does the micro module gearing enhance the reel’s performance?

The micro module gearing of the reel ensures a super smooth retrieve by reducing gear noise and increasing gear engagement. This allows for a more efficient and seamless operation.

What is the purpose of the X-Ship technology?

The X-Ship technology provides improved gear durability and enhanced power transmission efficiency. It also helps to eliminate any friction between the gear and spool shaft, resulting in longer casts and smoother retrieves.

How does the Hagane body of the reel contribute to its performance?

The Hagane body is made from a high-rigidity metal, ensuring a strong and durable frame. This provides enhanced impact resistance, rigidity, and increased cranking power.

What is the purpose of the adjustable dial?

The adjustable dial on the allows anglers to easily fine-tune the reel’s brake system according to their specific fishing needs. This helps to prevent backlash and ensures precise casting control.

Is the reel suitable for saltwater fishing?

Yes, this reel is designed to withstand the harsh conditions of saltwater fishing. The reel is corrosion-resistant and can handle the saltwater environment without compromising its performance.

Can the reel be used for freshwater fishing as well?

Absolutely! The Curado K reel is versatile and can be used for both freshwater and saltwater fishing. It is a reliable choice for anglers targeting various species in different fishing environments.

Does the reel come with different gear ratios?

Yes, it offers multiple gear ratios to choose from, allowing anglers to select the optimal speed for their fishing technique. This flexibility makes it suitable for various fishing styles and conditions.

What is the advantage of the super stopper anti-reverse feature in the reel?

The super stopper anti-reverse feature eliminates any backward movement of the reel handle during hook sets. This ensures a solid and instant hook setting, preventing any potential missed opportunities.