December 6, 2011

T Brinks Fishing Christmas List Day 4 - Shimano Chronarch E

The Shimano Chronarch is a classic reel.  It has underwent several changes throughout the years, but has always been known as a top of the line reel.  I still have my first Chronarch that I bought almost 12 years ago and it is still smooth as ever. It's also still one of the best casting reels I own.

With a tradition like this, the new Chronarch E was on the top of my list for new reels to try this year.  I have been fishing it for nearly a month and have been beyond pleased with the performance.

For the review, I tested the Chronarch 201E7.  The lefty in the 7.0:1 gear ratio. It weighs in at 7.6 ounces, which is not the lightest reel out there, but still very light.

    Chronarch E Reel Specs:
    • Aluminum Frame
    • Lightweight Graphite Sideplates
    • Recessed Reel Foot
    • High Efficiency Gearing (HEG)
    • Super Free Bearing Supported Pinion
    • Gear System (SF)
    • A7075 Aluminum Magnumlite Spool
    • Dartainium2  Drag Washer
    • 7 Bearings - Total (1 S A-RB BB, 5 Shielded Stainless Steel BB., A-RB Roller Clutch Bearing)
    • Variable Brake System (VBS) with
    • Reduced Mass Hub
    • Super Stopper II
    • Assist Stopper
    • Drilled Handle Shank
    • Septon PV Power Grips
    • Titanium IP Line Guide
    • 1/8 Turn Easy Access Attached Sideplate
    • Metal Cast Control Knob
    • Double Anodized Spool and Handle
    • Disengaging Levelwind System
    • QuickFire II Clutch Bar
    • Made in Japan
    That's an impressive list of features, but the one that really stand out for me are the seven bearings.  People always get into the debate of how many bearings each reel has. Which one has the most bearings, etc, but, more important than the amount of bearings is the quality.  Several reels priced much lower have more bearings, but it's all about the bearing itself. Shimano uses high quality bearings for all of their reels.

    Like all Shimano baitcast reels; the sideplate is easily removed for access to the centrifugal breaking system.  It's very easy to adjust when changing settings for lighter or heavier lures or for windy conditions.

    Looking at this picture, you will notice the over-sized grips. They are comfortable, yet practical and allow you to crank all day with ease.

    One thing I really liked about this reel was how accessible the spool is.  This may seem like a small thing, but I value this in a reel.  I have good eyes and can see what I'm doing, but still, several reels I own are a real pain when it comes time to re-spooling. With the open areas below and wide gaps, it's a breeze to thread the line when putting new line on your reel.  From the picture above, you can also see the recessed reel foot.  This makes the reel sit much lower on the rod and it basically molds into one unified piece with your rod.  Again, comfort for all day fishing.

    Paired with the new G. Loomis GL2, this is a sweet set-up. 
    These two were made for each other.

    Scoring for the Shimano Chronarch E
    Price/Value: 4
    Call me crazy, but I find plenty of value in this $200 reel.  The price of the Chronarch has actually went down, from my test the value is still there.
    Durability: 4
    If this new Chronarch is half as durable as my older ones, it will still be a 4.
    Performance: 4
    Casts like a dream and very smooth.  The drag is also very smooth. No complaints.
    Innovation: 3
    They didn't reinvent the reel here but still, quality components and great features.
    Availability: 4
    It is available almost everyone online and should be in all Shimano dealers by now.

    Total Score: 19  - Good Buy!

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