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Bread And Butter -A Year In- My Thoughts On The Curado I And Chronarch Ci4+

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I'll start by saying that Although I own more Shimano baitcasters than any other brand, I'm not only a Shimano guy. I own the Tatula type R that I just purchased this year and several other Daiwa, Abu, and BPS reels. This focuses on what I consider to be the new flagships for Shimano for some time to come.

 

Undoubtedly, more people will own the Curado I. I've owned and still own Curado B's, D's, and E's (and a G that I sold), and I can honestly say the I series, at least from a first year performance standpoint does pretty much everything better than previous generations. The I's cast farther and more smoothly, they handle both light and heavy tackle exceptionally well, they're more adaptable to different weather situations, and the retrieve is smoother than it's ever been with other Curado's. It's my contention that at it's price point (anywhere from $120-$200), there's not a better all purpose reel on the market. That's not to say it's the best at everything. My Daiwa Tatula R is smoother, my Abu Winch is better for heavy cranks, but really, there's hardly a reason to go with a different reel in this range unless you're a tournament fisherman or you just like having the absolute perfect reel for every application.

 

Time will tell if it holds up like the older Curado's, but I'm very optimistic. I've used mine heavily and they're better than new out of the box (mine all took a little break in). A tiny bit of maintenance every couple of months and you're good to go. Excellent reel in all gear ratios.

 

As for the Chronarch Ci4+... first off, it's usually around $90 more, and can usually be had for $200-$270.  I think it's justified that it costs more. I'm trying to be as objective as possible here, but the Chronarch is a better reel, hands down. I often see people say the Curado is smoother or casts better or is built better. I can't say from my personal experience that's the case at all. They're both good reels, but the Chronarch is just... slick. It's as smooth as any reel I've used (I own a Daiwa T3 and a Shimano Metanium), it casts as well or better than anything I've casted, and it gives you plenty of power for all but the heaviest applications. Some people don't care for the light construction, but I love it. It's light, but not slight, and is as solid as any reel I've used. I can't say I've banged it against a concrete wall, but it's never given me a single issue. People sometimes call the Chronarch a finesse reel for flipping and pitching, and although it can be used and excels as such, it's much much more. 

 

Both excellent reels. I own two of both in different gear ratios, and I use them for everything but the heaviest applications such as deep cranking and in heavy cover, where a lower geared reel like the Abu Winch or my older 5.1 or 4.1 Curados provide more torque. I usually keep 3-5 reels on the boat, and these compromise all but one or two every time.

 

Do I think the Chronarch is worth the extra dough? Yeah, actually I do. Consider that these reels will probably be in your inventory for the next 15-20 years or more. That's an extra $4-6/year. Absolutely worth it for a reel that's competitive with anything I've owned right out of the box. I know people mod the Curado to get it there, and that's awesome. I'm talking stock.

 

Try both. You can't lose with either. If you're in the market, I believe they're the best all around reels at their respective price points, with the Chronarch competitive with anything out there.

 

 

 

 

 

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I've only ever owned the Curado G, and the I is significantly smoother in my opinion and casts much further. I paired it with the new Zodias rod and it's my all-purpose rod and my favorite.

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Nice setup! I have been wanting to pick up a new rod, and have never tried any of the Zodias line before. How would you compare them to what you've had?

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Great review!

 

 

 

:fishing-026:

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Do you feel any frame-flex on the Chronarch Ci4+ during the heavier applications (frogging, flipping, etc)? I want those brass gears and that updated SVS.

 

Also, to piggyback on Preytorien's comment, the Zodias rods are the real deal. I put them close to the level of the Orochi XX rods performance-wise. The balance is not fantastic on the 7'2" H but you have to sacrifice something at $200.

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Do you feel any frame-flex on the Chronarch Ci4+ during the heavier applications (frogging, flipping, etc)? I want those brass gears and that updated SVS.

 

Also, to piggyback on Preytorien's comment, the Zodias rods are the real deal. I put them close to the level of the Orochi XX rods performance-wise. The balance is not fantastic on the 7'2" H but you have to sacrifice something at $200.

I live on a neighborhood pond where I do a lot... and I mean a LOT of frogging. That's how I've caught a good 25% of my fish this year. Never a bit of flex. Thanks for the info on the rods.

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I live on a neighborhood pond where I do a lot... and I mean a LOT of frogging. That's how I've caught a good 25% of my fish this year. Never a bit of flex. Thanks for the info on the rods.

 

Great. I think you're about to cost me $212 on Japan Lure Shop. :eyebrows:

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Love my Chronarch CI+4, no flex at all. Pairs very well with the Dobyns DX742.

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nice write up....

absolutely love my chronarch ci4+....  i do not have a curado I to compare it to, but it is much different than my curado 51es.

i have my chronarch ci4+ on a shimano cumara 6'8"MH rod and that is one sweet, light yet powerful combo.

when i can find one cheap enough, i'll probably be an owner of the curado i as well.....

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I've never paid as much for a rod as I did the Zodias. Before that I had a BPS Carbonlite, then a Crucial, then before that a Clarus - can you see I'm a Shimano fan? Ha

 

That said, in all the rods I've had - the Zodias is hands down the best rod I've ever used. Objectively I can't compare it to a NRX or Legend Elite or anything like that, but it's a great stick, sensitive, light, looks good, build well, the Ci4+ seat is super comfortable, all things you need in a rod, and it does all those things.

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Do you feel any frame-flex on the Chronarch Ci4+ during the heavier applications (frogging, flipping, etc)? I want those brass gears and that updated SVS.

 

I own 4 of those ci4's and I have never felt any flex on any of them. Every single one of them has been a blessing to use on the water. 

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Nice review!

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I love both reels. Hands down my favorite reels on the market. At first I thought the Chonarch wasn't worth the extra money but after using it more I totally think it is. 

 

I do have a few complaints about the CI4 though. I own two of them (so far) and they seem to get boat rash very easily. The CI4 in my profile pic has some chipping near the line guide area that always has me paranoid I'm going to fray the line one of these days and lose a fish. I also really wish Shimano would release the Chronarch with a 5:1.1 gear ratio.

 

I have a question to those who own both a CI4 and a Metanium. How do they perform side by side? I think I've said that I'm going to pull the trigger on one for over a year now but I just never do it. I know JLS has Metaniums that is the same retail price as a new CI4 but when I see the CI4 for $212 it's to hard to pass up. Maybe one of you can finally persuade me lol.

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Mets are sick. They are a little low capacity wise for 50-65 lb braid, but they do make a deep spool. They also have the six block SVS which is old tech compared to the four block.

Hopefully I'll have a side by side soon.

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Mets are sick. They are a little low capacity wise for 50-65 lb braid, but they do make a deep spool. They also have the six block SVS which is old tech compared to the four block.

Hopefully I'll have a side by side soon.

I know the Met is great for lighter baits but the lightest bait I throw would be a weightless Trick Worm and the CI4 throws it perfectly and as far as I need. I don't really care for the difference in the weight between the two either and for the price difference between the two on JLS I would rather get the CI4 and put a Hawgtech handle on it and maybe a carbontex drag.

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I do have a few complaints about the CI4 though. I own two of them (so far) and they seem to get boat rash very easily. The CI4 in my profile pic has some chipping near the line guide area that always has me paranoid I'm going to fray the line one of these days and lose a fish. 

 

i might agree with you on that as well.  I baby my stuff for the most part and i would say that most or all of my stuff is worn at a pretty equal rate EXCEPT the ci4+....  it has more scratches and wear on the top of the line guide area than any of my other reels by far.

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I have a question to those who own both a CI4 and a Metanium. How do they perform side by side? I think I've said that I'm going to pull the trigger on one for over a year now but I just never do it. I know JLS has Metaniums that is the same retail price as a new CI4 but when I see the CI4 for $212 it's to hard to pass up. Maybe one of you can finally persuade me lol.

For me, they're really really similar reels. You'd expect the Metanium to be smoother with more teeth on the main gear, but I haven't noticed that. In fact, I think the Chronarch is a bit smoother on the retrieve. The Met slings it, the Chronarch slings it. Maybe with the lightest of baits the Met will cast farther, but I'm not usually fly fishing with my baitcaster. One of my favorite things about the Chronarch is the ergonomics, and I have to say the Metanium is even better in that regard. I love the all lightweight metal frame -- heck I think it's just the THOUGHT of knowing it's metal, but I really like it. They palm almost identically.

 

You're splitting hairs IMO between the two. Go with your gut. It's one of those things where if you don't, you'll always wish you had.

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I know the Met is great for lighter baits but the lightest bait I throw would be a weightless Trick Worm and the CI4 throws it perfectly and as far as I need. I don't really care for the difference in the weight between the two either and for the price difference between the two on JLS I would rather get the CI4 and put a Hawgtech handle on it and maybe a carbontex drag.

 

I think you have the right idea. I have a red 94mm Hawg Handle waiting for a potential Ci4+.

 

Just to throw it out there off topic, while we're looking at Shimanos from across the pond, the Exsence DC should be in the conversation.

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Good to hear. I have only had mine for about a week and have been a little weary. I own every curado from D and newer and still fish them all regularly. I honestly even like the G's after some initial fuss as they quite frankly handle heavier apps really well they just don't do the finesse the way the E's and D's do.

 

The I has caused some initial frustration but I have noticed its potential. I tore up about 10 dollars worth of line before figured out how to tune the thing. I also had issues with the escape hatch not closing and trouble with the switch getting jammed. They just are not quite as fool proof as the older Curados. Once I got it set up right I had an Ah-HA moment and realized just what people are talking about when they mention its performance potential. The brakes are obviously superior. My first and second outing with it the brakes did not seem picky at all the way they are on a lot of magnetic braking reels. I have not handled any finesse stuff yet and am glad to hear you think it can match up or beat the old Curados.

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Good to hear. I have only had mine for about a week and have been a little weary. I own every curado from D and newer and still fish them all regularly. I honestly even like the G's after some initial fuss as they quite frankly handle heavier apps really well they just don't do the finesse the way the E's and D's do.

 

The I has caused some initial frustration but I have noticed its potential. I tore up about 10 dollars worth of line before figured out how to tune the thing. I also had issues with the escape hatch not closing and trouble with the switch getting jammed. They just are not quite as fool proof as the older Curados. Once I got it set up right I had an Ah-HA moment and realized just what people are talking about when they mention its performance potential. The brakes are obviously superior. My first and second outing with it the brakes did not seem picky at all the way they are on a lot of magnetic braking reels. I have not handled any finesse stuff yet and am glad to hear you think it can match up or beat the old Curados.

Glad you're getting the feel for it. 

 

I'm a little surprised you had issues with it initially. I bought my Curados after I was already used to the braking system, so I never had an issue, but I remember adjusting to the Chronarch when it first came out. I guess I started out with pretty heavy line and worked my way thinner. Two brakes, external dial set to three, you can almost not thumb it and you're good to go unless you're using really thin line.

 

I agree with you about the hatch. You probably won't mess with it once you get the hang of it though. I seldom have mine on anything but one brake, and use the external depending on the weight of the lure and wind. I usually go with 12lb mono or 40lb PP Slick.

 

Hopefully you grow to like it. If not, I know someone who will take a RH off your hands:)

 

And now to discredit everything I've said.... GO NINERS!

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I've got 2 metaniums and 2 chronarchs. IMO, the metaniums sling baits a little further, but that is with the brakes changed to the white ones. The met is a little less finicky when it comes to setting the brakes, but now I am regretting that I have 2 XG's which I'm starting to notice the downside of reels that are too fast. The 0.7oz difference is barely noticeable, and both are solid.

 

If money wasn't a thing, I'd have 4 metaniums, but I wouldn't be disappointed with 4 chronarchs either.

As for the Curado, I've only casted my buddy's reel a few times and it's no slouch either. Each step up is maybe 5-10% better, but at the cost of a Benjamin...

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Found a good deal on a Ci4+ HG.

 

Showdown? Showdown.

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I own both and completely agree with your review!

I went a hair overboard though and got a new aldebaran 51 this year and if you like the ci4+ you will love the aldebaran. I will say for the money the ci4+ is the better buy but man do i love the feel of the aldebaron

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I love both reels. Hands down my favorite reels on the market. At first I thought the Chonarch wasn't worth the extra money but after using it more I totally think it is. 

 

I do have a few complaints about the CI4 though. I own two of them (so far) and they seem to get boat rash very easily. The CI4 in my profile pic has some chipping near the line guide area that always has me paranoid I'm going to fray the line one of these days and lose a fish. I also really wish Shimano would release the Chronarch with a 5:1.1 gear ratio.

 

The boat rash is surprising to me. I haven't been super gentle with mine and it has held up so far like all my other Shimanos. In fact, I think the finish has seemed pretty scratch resistant to me. So the material chips? What has happened for it to do that? I would think that if you're in the warranty Shimano would take care of you unless you're clubbing the dock with your reel when you lose a fish.

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