The new Shimano Curado 300 is ideally suited to heavy-duty baitcasting applications, and is both light enough and smooth enough to cast with all day long.
Recently added to the Curado K series of Shimano’s baitcasting reels is the new upsized 300 model. The 200 size Curado K series has been around for a couple of seasons now and, following on from the 200, the bigger model shares common attributes such as durable Hagane alloy body, X-Ship bearing support, and complimented by shielded anti-rust bearings for smooth operation.
It is immediately apparent that the physical attributes of the Curado 300 are unmistakably the same as the TranX 300 and, apart from superficial differences and colour, you could be looking at the same reel. With that in mind, it’s impossible not to compare the two. So similar are they that I was compelled to do a quick check which revealed that the palming side plates on the TranX 300 and Curado 300 are completely interchangeable; the difference being that the Curado’s is graphite (Ci4+) while the TranX side plate is made from aluminium.
Without disassembling each reel to further discern exact similarities and differences between the two, online sources suggest that the TranX drive shaft is stainless steel while Curado uses an aluminium version. TranX 300 comes with a single power knob handle as standard while the Curado has the familiar twin paddles.
If the Curado 300 is a virtual clone of the TranX 300, what is to be gained? Well price for a start as Curado RRP is a $100.00 less than the TranX. Curado comes in lighter too: by 30g most likely due to lighter internal components and side plate. Curado has the choice of a 4.7:1 (300K) and 6.6:1 (300HG) retrieve ratios while TranX offers slightly faster versions of 5.8:1 and 7.6:1 retrieve rates.
Our test reel was the 300K model that has a gear ratio of 4.7:1. When tested with a completely full spool, we were able to retrieve 63cm per crank which is consistent with the line retrieval figure listed on the shipping carton.
The new Curado 300 managed to ratchet up just over 8kg of drag pressure; as good as the TranX 300. It also has ample line capacity: 190m of 40 pound braid line.
It would appear that this Curado is primarily aimed at the heavy end of the freshwater lure trolling, and cast-and-retrieve devotees while TranX with its power knob is aimed more towards saltwater-oriented, light jigging/trolling operations. However, both reels are saltwater rated, share similar line capacities, as well as 5+1 ball bearings, although the
Curado might enjoy a little more TLC after saltwater use as it does not share comparable resistance to water intrusion specifications (core protect) as the TranX.
When partnered with the recently-introduced Curado heavy-action baitcast rod, the Curado 300 demonstrates its ideal suitability for heavy-duty baitcasting applications such as casting large soft plastic baits, oversize swimbaits and magnum-size hard-body barra lures.
Shimano’s time proven VBS Braking System is at the heart of the big Curado’s enhanced casting performance. The 300 Curado, although having a slightly bulkier build than its smaller Curado 200 cousin, is still compact enough while retaining ergonomic handling characteristics to palm comfortably for extended casting sessions. It will also be equally at home trolling big minnow lures for mega-size Runoff barra.
Anglers who chase barra in the big tidal rivers and saltwater estuaries in the north will love this new heavy-duty Curado baitcaster reel from Shimano and, at $100 less than a TranX, it’s a viable alternative.
Right: The Curado 300 matches beautifully to the Curado CDCC Heavy BC rod.