The Shimano Metanium has clearly raised the bar in respect of premium baitcasting reels on the market today. Paired with the Shimano Poison Adrena rod, it casts astonishing distances.
Recently introduced to the Australian market, the new Metanium MGL is Shimano’s latest flagship baitcasting reel. It’s a compact, low-profile reel that incorporates a host of Shimano technologies which all combine to deliver unsurpassed performance in the low-profile baitcasting reel stakes.
Built around a saltwater-proof, single-piece, magnesium-core solid body, it is designed to provide excellent rigidity and sensitivity while weighing only 180g. Solid brass micro-module gearing, backed up by X-Ship pinion gear support and 10 silent tune anti-rust ball bearings, literally guarantees that this gem of a reel is silky smooth to wind.
Shimano has further enhanced this reel’s casting capabilities by upgrading the Magnumlite spool (now third generation) by making it thinner, lighter and better balanced, thus reducing vibration and inertia by a claimed 17%. Combined with the rigid reel frame, super-tuned spool and externally adjustable SVS Infinity centrifugal cast control, the Metanium is able to cast lighter weights with ease, even into the wind.
Also claimed is a maximum drag pressure of 5kg, which we were able to verify with spring scales. It was no surprise that the drag is nice and smooth, devoid of any jerkiness or shuddering.
Our test reel is the Metanium 150B which features a gear ratio of 6.2:1; other models include the 150HGB and 151HGB lefthandwind, which both feature a retrieve ratio of 7.1:1. Line capacity is a stated 150 yards (135m) of 20 pound Power Pro braid.
Our reel was supplied with Shimano’s Kairiki 4 braid line in 30 pound breaking strain of which we loaded an estimated 110m. With a 12cm hardbody lure, the NAFA team was able to cast 50m effortlessly. The potential casting distance with lighter, thinner braid, should be awesome.
While unlikely to be required, the Metanium has a 10 year warranty.
The Metanium was paired with the recently- released Shimano Poison Adrena 6’10” 2 piece, Medium-Heavy baitcast rod which is rated for 5-10kg lines. The Poison Adrena is Shimano’s top-of- the-line baitcast rod, featuring a high-modulus carbon blank with spiral X core construction that is mated with a full hollow carbon monocoque rod butt for the ultimate in lightness and sensitivity. A Ci4 carbon reel seat, Fuji K stainless SIC guides and a Fuji Titanium Sic tip guide round out the hardware fittings of this smart looking rod. Recommended casting lure weight range for this rod is 10-30g.
Although my initial impression was that it was more suited to the upper end of this weight range, given its rigidity, it tossed small, light lures easily, including lure weights below the rod’s preferred minimum casting weight. No doubt the Metanium’s silky smoothness and precise cast controls added to this feature.
The Poison Adrena’s light weight belies the fact that there is plenty of reserve power in the butt section of this rod. In addition, the single-piece core,solid frame on the Metanium ensures internal components remain in perfect alignment without flexing under load which in turn generates plenty of confidence to crank things up on stubborn fish.
After using this outfit in that mind-blowing session at Smart Croc Creek, AJ came away shaking his head with disbelief. “It’s the best baitcasting outfit I’ve ever fished with,” he appraised.
Access to the SVS infinity cast control brakes and spool is via the palming side-plate: a quick 90 degree turn of the locking ring will allow the side plate to be removed so that, depending on the situation, more or less brake blocks can be engaged. I found that activating two of the four centrifugal brake blocks provided ample cast control for lures at the lower end of the spectrum for the Poison Adrena.
The Poison Adrena rod is a premium product and its unique construction provides superb sensitivity. The blank is un-sanded and dark charcoal in appearance. Minimal bindings are used to secure the lightweight Fuji guides to ensure the rod’s crispness is not degraded by cumbersome guides and excessive bindings. The rod’s most interesting aspect is the unique construction of the butt section, including reel seat and grip. There is no fore-grip ahead of the reel seat and the rear grip is not an add-on but a textured surface that is actually part of the monocoque handle to guarantee 100% transmission of the slightest bump on the line to the angler.
This is a superlative outfit which is simply mind- blowing where long casts are the order of the day. For more info visit Shimano's website