[Part 3 of a series.]
Bob Mahoney is the marketing manager for Shimano – he lives, eats and breathes reels. Wanted to chase him down to ask a few questions, get a few deets, about the new Calcutta D. Here goes, short and sweet:
Jay: Call me crazy, but the new Calcutta looks and feels a lot smaller but seems to have the same line capacity as the old Calcuttas – even the bigger sizes of the old Calcuttas.
Bob: That’s right – it’s more compact but has the same line capacity. If you look at the [new and old Calcutta] frames, you’ll see that the frames are different as well, making [the new one] more compact. The new Calcutta feels like a 100-size, but has the line capacity of a 200-size.
Jay: It’s way lighter too, right? I couldn’t believe how light it was on a G. Loomis GLX rod.
Bob: Yes, the S-Compact body design shaves almost an ounce off the older version
Jay: Is it smoother? Feels like it.
Bob: The X-Ship we use results in two things: More power in the reel, so there’s no loss of power under load, and 100 percent meshing of the gears under load, which creates more smoothness in the reel. [Technically, X-Ship is a bearing-supported pinion gear that eliminates twist (loss of power) under load.]
Jay: The smaller star drag is awesome. What’s the story behind that?
Bob: That’s part of the new design. The X-Drag is put on outside of the handle, which allows the handle to be closer to the body of the reel, and that allows fishermen to put more leverage on the fish. It creates more rigidity and torque in the reel as well.
Jay: You’re a fisherman and you’ve been using this reel longer than anyone. What do you use it for?
Bob: Basically anything with winding. Winding a crankbait, fishing a topwater, throwing an Alabama rig, a spinnerbait – the Calcutta will shine based on the fact that it has three elements to it: power, rigidity and durability. The reel has so much power you can actually feel it. It’s amazing.
Jay: We’re in the low-pro era. Why bring back a round-body reel now?
Bob: Because when you load your rod locker up to go out on the water, you need both to fish the best you can. You need round and low-pro, not just low-pro.
Forgot to ask Bob one question, which is why Shimano did not make the reel brakes on this reel accessible what’s now the normal way. On the Calcutta D, you need a screwdriver to get ‘em.
Shimano reel development guru Kenichi Iida fielded that question, and here’s the answer:
“We decided to eliminate the flip-open [brakes] feature to focus on rigidity and durability. A problem we’ve seen over the years is anglers were inadvertently bending the frame sideplate while they had the reel open.”
He added, “We turn three brake weights on at the factory before final packaging because our research shows that this setting is ideal for 85% of the fishing being done with round reels.”
[My thumb ain't magic, but I can tell you that the way the Caclutta showed up from the factory was perfect for me. Casts a mile.]
“As anglers become more comfortable with the reel, they can still access the brake weights to turn one or more off for a freer spool, orturn more brake weights on to slow down the spool in windy conditions or if they’re still trying to get the feel of using a baitcasting reel.”
[End of part 3 of a series.]