Christmas came a little early for me – E.g. I received my new Chronarch CI4+ 151HG reel while my wife and I were in New Orleans, LA celebrating our 15 year marriage anniversary. I guess this was my anniversary gift from her! Whatever you want to call it, I got a nice new reel!
The reel is very smooth, light and fits nicely in my hand – palming it is very easy. It also casts significantly farther than my other Curados (Some 201DHSVs and some 201E7s). It seems to add an extra 9-15 feet of casting distance for me, which is great! I didn’t even really play around with the settings very much, so consider these numbers based upon the ‘out of the box’ settings. It is also important to note that it was breezy from time to time while I was fishing. It seemed to cast into the wind great, without me having to dial it back at all based upon the ‘stock’ settings and the swimbaits I was throwing.
I took some ‘unboxing’ shots of the reel for you guys to look at.
I’m not going to do an indepth review of the reel, but I will tell you that it is a good one and I would definitely purchase more of them. I got to test it out on a few 2-3 pounders Wednesday evening. It handled them very well. Drag is plenty smooth. I caught a few of them with a very relaxed drag setting, before tightening it up to near max setting. It performed great. Wound up catching 5-6 six ‘keepers’ with it that evening – Mojo Bass Swimbait Casting Rod, approx 50# Power-Pro Slick 8 (Green), #6 Owner Swimbait Hook, and Bitter’s Baits ‘Bluegill’/’Smoke Hologram’/’Watermelon Purple Gl.’ colored Naked Swimmers. Color didn’t seem to matter as they hit whatever I threw for a good 15 minute bite period.
The centripetal braking mechanism is definitely a ‘new’ design. It seems better thus far, allowing more fine tuned adjustments externally, but I’ve not played around with it a whole lot up to this point. The most notable change is the access cover to the spool cast braking mechanism. It requires manipulation of a small lever and is no longer attached to the reel – I.e. don’t drop it overboard! I’m not sure how big of a deal this will prove to be as it seems that I won’t have to access the internal brake weights as often due to the external SVS fine adjuster, but it could prove to be a minor inconvenience when accessing it on a boat that’s being tossed about by wind/waves… Time will tell, but so far, it doesn’t seem like it is really going to be much of an issue.
If you like the old Curado E series reels, you’ll probably love this hopped up chronarch! It was a bit spendy for me at roughly $270 (I got mine from Tackle Warehouse). I’ve yet to get my hands on the other reel I was considering at the time of this purchase, the new Diawa Tatula Type R. That reel looks like it might be a better value for your money ($200), IMO, and this is coming from a ‘Shimano’ guy.
I’ve been averaging 100s of casts a week through this beast for well over a year now. This is my favorite reel by far…
Tackle Tour recently completed a review of this reel and gave it their “Editor’s Choice Award”. You can read it by clicking the following link: http://www.tackletour.com/reviewchronarchci4plus.html
They even compared it favourably to the more expensive Daiwa Zillion TWS reel: http://www.tackletour.com/reviewshootoutci4vstws.html