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Shimano Curado 300E 301E preliminary review

Shimano Curado 300e 301e-review

The Shimano Curado 300E and 301E Preliminary Review. A review for Salmon fishermen.

As a fishing guide, I’m constantly looking for a better mouse trap. Durability, performance and comfort are the gear characteristics that are critical when trying to provide clients with a great experience, but my latest little bit of gear excitement came entirely by accident.

My Dad follows me around to my various fishing destinations and I take it upon myself to make sure he’s fishing the way he should. During the month of September I was fishing clients in the Columbia River Gorge and we do a lot of hover fishing around the river mouths of the Deschutes, Umatilla, Klickitat and White Salmon Rivers. I’m into light rods and a nice drag for this type of fishing so I equipped Dad with a G. Loomis, STR 1025 with a Curado 201E. I didn’t think much of it at the time as I knew it would work and Dad didn’t seem to be complaining while catching  his limit every day.

Occasionally, Dad will join me when a seat opens up and in the spirit of self sufficiency, he’ll typically bring his rod. Recently on one of these occassions, in the heat of a great bite, I somehow ended up with his gear in hand and I immediately noticed the comfort that the Curado 201E provided in hand. It was light, low profile and therefor comfortable. The drag was maxed out and I’m not fond of operating at the maximum end of what a piece of equipment can handle, but the reel performed flawlessly, fish after fish.

I remember when the Curado 300E came out and Gary Waterhouse of Great American Tackle was totally excited about it. I can remember him touting the possibilities for us Salmon types, but dismissed it as a bull headed round reel guy. Fast forward nearly 10 years and call it age, or whatever you want, but all the sudden, the comfort of the Curado sounds great.

I received a handful of Curados yesterday with the idea that I would test drive these reels through the remainder of the Tillamook Bay Salmon fishing season. I envision these reels to be great bobber reels and back boucers and lucky for us Tillamook area rivers are the perfect place to experiment and put the Curado 300E to the test.

Shimano Curado 300e 301e-review

Here’s the tail of the tape:

  • 10.5 oz.
  • 6.2:1 Gear Ratio
  • 15 lb. Max Drag
  • PowerPro Capacity- 50/205,65/120,80/105
  • Aluminum Frame
  • Lightweight Graphite Sideplates
  • High Efficiency Gearing (HEG)
  • Super Free Bearing Supported Pinion Gear System (SF)
  • A7075 Aluminum Magnumlite Spool
  • Dartainium Drag
  • Variable Brake System (VBS) with Reduced Mass Hub
  • Super Stopper
  • Assist Stopper
  • Quickfire II Clutch Bar
  • Approved for use in Saltwater


Tight Lines,