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Old 05-04-10, 09:31 PM   #1
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Default Shimano Citica 201E Review

... from the point of view of a Daiwa fanboy.

Background - I've been using the citica for almost a year now, and finished up some testing on it today. It's been my dedicated jig and pitching reel mounted on a G Loomis MBR844C (7' H F) with 30lb Sufix Performance Braid. It's been through everything from pitching jigs to casting them. But only recently (today) has it gone through any light lure testing, which I wanted to do before I wrote my review.

Casting - Like I said, for most of its life with me, it's had 30lb braid on it and has casted/pitched 3/8-1/2oz jigs. It has no problems handling jigs during casting and is a decent reel for pitching as well. Although I'm probably not too qualified to judge a pitching reel cause I suck at it with any reel, lol.

But the real test of its casting abilities came today. It put the braid on a spare spinning reel spool so I can put it back on later, and spooled up with 12lb Ande Monofilament. The Citica was then mounted on a G Loomis MBR782C (6'6" M F).

First thing I tied on was a 1/4 oz Booyah spinnerbait, and then I went out to my pond in the 10-15mph wind. My first cast was crossways to the wind, and went a decent distance figuring in the 1/4oz weight, but the not-so-aerodynamic properties of the spinnerbait and the wind. Not as good as I've thrown 1/4oz lures before, but not bad considering the circumstances.

After that I tried various things including #5 Shad Raps, Storm Subwarts, and a weightless 3" Yum Dinger on a size 2 Gammy EWG. It handled the shap raps fine, a bit better then the spinnerbaits, probably due to aerodynamics of the lures. I was able to cast the subwart an ok distance once the wind died down a bit. And the 3" Dinger, that's another story. Casting with the wind got me about 25ft, anything else maybe 15' and a backlash.

The breaks worked good, and Shimano's 1/8th turn locking mechanism was nice. I am; however, a fan of the ease and performance of magnetic brakes.

Retrieve - One downfall of the Citica is the weak bearing count of 4. Over the winter during maintenance, I noticed the Citica only has 1 bearing supporting the spool shaft (on the palm plate side). I thought the reel was rough when using the braid, but braid is kinda noisy and could lead to a false sense of the reel not being very smooth. Not that I've got mono on it, I could tell it definitely wasn't silky smooth, and had a very slightly rough and noisy retrieve.

Drag - I never hooked into anything big enough to really test the drag, but it never stuck and always came off smooth when it was used.

Ergonomics, and Looks - I'll start with the good news. It is a cool looking reel, and the silver finish is nice; not too shiny. However, the finish isn't the toughest I've seen and is has a bit of boat rash already.

Now the bad news... And this was the biggest problem I had with the Citica. I found the reel very uncomfortable. Shimano went with a very low, let slightly longer frame for the Citica and Curado. I thought it was a bit too elongated. I found myself constantly moving my hand when palming looking for that comfort zone. Maybe it's because I have smaller hands, maybe it's because I'm spoiled with the wonderful ergonomics of my Daiwa reels, I don't know.

Other than that, I have to say, Shimano's knobs are very comfortable, probably more so than Daiwa's or the standard rubber grips employed my Abu Garcia on most of the Revos.

The dragstar is very cool looking and easy to tighten, but I found the angled design a bit difficult to loosen on the fly.

Conclusion - Not a bad reel considering the $120 price tag. I'd say it would make a good general purpose reel for lures 1/4oz and above. However, I don't see myself buying another (or a Curado) due to the issue I had with palming the reel. Fidgeting with my hand position on the reel caused me to not pay attention and miss some strikes. (and the last thing I need is another distraction )

I gotta give props to Shimano for the overall nice performer for a reasonable price. BUT, I will still be ragging on Shimano as the Official Unofficial Daiwa Fanboy Code of Conduct says I must.

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Last edited by BigBassin144; 05-04-10 at 09:36 PM.
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Old 05-05-10, 03:17 AM   #2
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Nice review, BB! Daiwa? Hmmph... Most of my reels are shimanos and I think if not the Zillion, then the Pixy would be my first Daiwa casting reel.

After I get it tricked out, I'm going to call her Pixelette, and she'll kick Pixilla's fanny back to Japan.
ARX "If people concentrated on the really important things in life, there'd be a shortage of fishing poles." Doug Larson (Shimano 2005 Reel Catalog)
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Old 05-05-10, 09:36 AM   #3
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Nice review Ant. My main issue with the Citica and Curado are the palming problems I have with them. I feel like I'm constantly searching for a comfortable grip. I too am probably spoiled by the perfect ergonomics of Daiwas.

Although I haven't had a lick of trouble with either reel the construction seems a little lacking to me. I really don't like the thumb bar, it seems too small and is unsupported on one side.

For a reel with only 3 ball bearings and 1 roller bearing the Citica is surprisingly smooth IMO. I also agree about the comfortable knobs, the Curado has even bigger knobs of the same construction, very comfortable on that side.

All in all the Citica is a good reel in its price range, I wouldn't have trouble recommending it to someone. I would probably suggest they get a Tierra instead though. DFB2
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