I‘m a liberal leaning outdoorsman attempting to open the minds of right wingers to the idea that libs fish too. Anglers come from all walks of life, left, right, and center. Not everyone who fishes for bass is a redneck fond of Nascar, country music, and religiosity. Expect posts about largemouth bass fishing, techniques, reviews of lures and other products, but not any condemnable conservative rants. I hope to inspire the online angler community to dial down rhetoric which will do more harm than good to our sport.

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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

• Curado E5 Casting Distance

If you've read my casting comparisons in the past, you'll know that I don't get too scientific about it. I spool up, tie on a lure, find the sweet spot that produces long casts without backlashing, and then make five sidearm casts. I measure the distance to the nearest foot and record it. After reading this post, what you should take away are the general trends and not so much the individual numbers. I also tend to make observations while casting, so I'll add relevant notes for each test to add to the usefulness of my measurements.

So this time around, I'm testing the Curado E5 with lures of varying weights between 1/4oz and 3/4oz.

I did some extended testing with this reel, focusing mainly on performance in relationship to two kinds of fluorocarbon line. I spooled on 15lb Vicious Fluorocarbon for the first run and 15lb P-Line Halo fluorocarbon for the second. My E5 was mounted on a 6'6MH graphite rod rated to handle the weight of every lure tested. When spooled with Vicious, I had 130 feet of line tied on. When testing Halo, 131 feet of line was already spooled up and ready to go.

I tested casting distance for lures I plan on using with my E5 with the exception of a spinnerbait. Spinnerbait blades seem to affect casting distance and with so many different blade combinations out there, I didn't think throwing a spinnerbait would be all that informative. Lures I tested included a Rapala DT-6 crank, Bandit 100 series crank, a 3/8oz swimblade, and a Norman DD22 crank. I also tied on a 1/2oz jig to get a feel for something in that weight class.

But some additional explanation is required before I continue. I originally put the E5 up against these lures using Vicious Fluorocarbon. I planned on publishing those results without even a second thought. At some point in my regular fishing, I respooled the E5 and put some Halo on instead. It seemed to cast a lot smoother than Vicious. I figured it would be worth testing to see if distance was any different. I believe I mentioned this difference in my overall review of the E5. I also mentioned how I wouldn't dare cast the E5 without at least one brake turned on. Without the added braking power, any turn of the cast control knob beyond 1/4 turn ran a risk of backlashing during a cast. No thanks.

I also did my first test with the pink brakes and had a few issues with one lure in particular, so to be a little more thorough, I installed the green brakes and tossed the same lures again. I didn't feel like wasting line, so I didn't bother respooling Vicious on to test with the green brakes. Again, I don't claim to be all that scientific in my approach.

So here's the first setup: Pink brake collars, 15lb Vicious Fluoro

1/2oz Jig
1 brake enabled, cast control knob set to about three 1/4 turns
Measurements: 110, 116, 118, 119, 117 (feet)
Notes: Additional tweaking with the cast control knob made very little difference. Good precision and accuracy.

DT-6 - 3/8oz
1 brake enabled, cast control knob set the same as previous test
Measurements: 106, 100, 100, 104, 101
Notes: The lure was not as aerodynamic.

DD22 - 3/4oz
1 brake enabled, one whole turn of the cast control knob
Measurements: 113, 109, 104, 106, 100
Notes: Cast control knob made the biggest difference. Initial casts were only hitting 97-100 feet. I really expected this bait to sail, but it did not. Line stiffness was also a limiting factor. Check out the results below with Halo. This lure might also benefit from using the green brakes instead.

1/4oz 100 series Bandit
1 brake enabled, only a 1/4 - 1/2 turn of the cast control knob
Measurements: 78, 80, 79, 80, 81
Notes: As you can see, I had trouble clearing 80 feet. Adjusting the cast control knob beyond a 1/2 turn resulted in a backlash. Additional braking did not seem to help. I was told the E5 handled lighter baits well. It's worth trying light baits like this with a medium or medium light rod.
2 brakes enabled, 1 1/2 turns of the cast control knob
Notes: I was able to hit 90 feet.

3/8oz swimblade
1 brake on, 1/2-3/4 turn of the cast control knob
Measurements: 107, 110, 109, 112, 108
Notes: Felt similar to the jig casts, but the blade must have been a source of resistance. Not quite as accurate at those distances.

So then I switched to using 15lb Halo along with the heavier green brake collars.

1/2oz jig
1 brake on, 1/2 turn of the cast control knob
Measurements: 113, 116, 114, 113, 111
Notes: Not quite the same distance as before, but easier to control.

DT-6 - 3/8oz
1 brake on, 1 whole turn to 1 and 1/4 turns
Measurements: 101, 101, 107, 104, 106
Notes:About the same experience as pink brakes and Vicious FC.

DD22 - 3/4oz
1 brake on, 1 whole turn of the cast control knob
Measurements: 125, 117, 112, 116, 114
Notes: The trick was to aim high at about a 40 degree angle. Then the lure sailed as I expected it to. Didn't get good accuracy though. I was also able to squeeze out more distance with the cast control knob. I started out throwing to about 100 feet and then eased off with the cast control a bit which resulted in some very significant gains.

1/4oz 100 series Bandit
2 brakes on, almost 2 whole turns of the cast control knob
Measurements: 80, 82, 78, 80, 81
Notes: I couldn't squeeze out a lot of distance with the cast control knob. See below where I discuss using a medium rod.

3/8oz swimblade
1 brake, 1 and 1/2 turns of the cast control knob
Measurements: 102, 104, 104, 101, 102
Notes: No added benefit from loosening the cast control knob even more.

Additional Testing:
I was curious to see how the reel performed on a medium rod with the same weight ratings just to compare the overall experience. I had a spare medium 6'6" Shimano Sojourn rod that I recently repaired the tip on, so I gave it a try. I suspected lighter baits would be much easier to manage, but I didn't know what to expect with heavy baits. The rod was rated for 3/4oz lures, but the tip has been known to sag too much for me to have any kind of control. Throwing a 3/4oz lure on this particular medium rod can be like trying to toss a wet towel. Not so with the DD22. This combo played nice with that 3/4oz crankbait.

With the medium rod, I found that the 1/4oz Bandit crankbait sailed a lot easier and I could consistently cast it about 100 feet with good precision. The medium rod gave me a lot more control. I only had to enable one green brake. Compare that to above where I had to enable two. I think this teaches us all the importance of using a weight appropriate rod.

Throwing a 1/2oz T1 spinnerbait with either rod was a little difficult. I could only clear about 80-95 feet. Again, I'm not sure if the blades had anything to do with it. I tried casting with both the MH and M power rods and came up with similar results. I really feel that your mileage will vary depending on the spinnerbait.

My thoughts & recommendations:
The easiest thing to start out discussing is the tremendous difference in ease of casting depending on the line used. Vicious has a stiff quality to it and although the numbers suggest distance does not suffer, it might take some tweaking on your part to prevent a backlash. Use a more supple line and you'll find that tinkering with the cast control knob is not all that necessary to make reliably long casts.

If you use lures weighing 3/8 ounces or less, you might be better off using pink brake collars and a medium rod. If on the other hand, you're throwing baits of various weights and sizes, put the green brake collars on. You won't need to tweak the cast control knob quite as often when changing lures. Using the green collars with lighter lures must slow the spool down too much for the cast control knob to overcome, but the overall control makes life a little easier.

Practically speaking, should you decide to fish with shallow cranks and lighter baits, there is a good chance you won't need to cast long distances. Many of your targets will be closer than 80 feet away. The E5 performs well at close range regardless of the rod or line I paired it with.

In my review, I mentioned how people said the E5 handled lighter baits better than the Revo Winch. As you can see from my results, the E5 doesn't handle light baits as well as one might expect without a lot of tweaking. I'm not sure why I had so much trouble with the 1/4oz crankbait, but after thinking about it, other reels I own cast about the same. Had I bought the Winch, would I be sitting here cussing at a reel that does not throw light baits like the E5?

I also mentioned in my review that I paired my E5 with a MH rod for a reason. I felt that in order to make up for the slow retrieve, a little backbone was required so that I could manhandle a bass, not the other way around. I'm beginning to rethink that decision now that I have seen the benefits a medium power rod offers. When buying any reel, always consider the weight of the lures you plan on using when pairing that reel with a rod. After putting the E5 to the test in terms of casting distance, I'm left with a question. Do I really need the extra backbone? Is a medium rod enough for what I need this reel to do?

Hope this helps you in the search for a rod to pair with your own Curado E5.

Related Posts:
Curado 200E5 or Revo Winch?
Shimano Curado 200E5 Review
Pflueger Summit: Some Casting Comparisons


Kevin Faircloth said...

I have been using 6 to 7 pound line on my Curado E5 with good results. I can average about 120 ft
per cast. I think it a great reel.

great site !! by the way.