Are Shimano Calcuttas really worth their weight in gold?

Discussion in 'Fishing Reel Review' started by dreamcatcher, Nov 16, 2005.

  1. dreamcatcher

    dreamcatcher New Member

    Hello all,

    I went through this last winter, and now it's time for me to go through this process again. LOL. Last year when I first joined I was asking about the Penn series reels, especially the 320LD. Based on a lot of your responses I ended up purchasing that particular reel and love it(though the casting leaves a little something to be desired LOL). Now I am really looking to step up (or would that be step down?) to a Shimano Calcutta. I am no different than any other fisherman who goes into a large tackle shop and goes brain dead after seeing all the beautiful gear they have to offer. LOL. The Calcutta's to me are like diamonds to a woman, seems like I should have one. Yet, I would like to be practical in my purchasing, if such a thing is possible when it comes to fishing gear. LOL.

    I know that Shimano is not spoken of much here in favor of Penn and Abu Garcia, and I know of only one member who owns a Calcutta (Bobpaul). I do know from my mountain biking experiences, and from using small spinning reeels that Shimano is one of the top gear manufacturers in the world, but you got to pay to play. So in that vein, do you get what you pay for with the Calcuttas? I've been looking all over the place for reviews and found one by accident pertaining to the reel I'm looking at which is a 700 (the only one I think that's designed for any serious catting by the way).

    As an afterthought, I had a guide tell me that he switched a couple of Calcuttas out and went back to Abu, but he was using the smaller versions that aren't designed for heavy catting. What do you folks think?

    Thanks again,
    Vic Brown

    P.S. It would help if you've had some experience fishing with them. LOL.
     
  2. Hannibal Mike

    Hannibal Mike New Member

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    I also admire the look of the calcuttas, plus I am a fan of shimano's spinners and have a couple calais baitcasters. Hope there are a lot of responses on this! I understand! Hannibal Mike
     

  3. dreamcatcher

    dreamcatcher New Member

    Yeah Hannibal, it's one of the most beautiful reels I have ever seen. :003: The thing I want to know is if the performance matches the looks. LOL. I want a reel for catting, but if I spend that kind of money I want it for other fish as well. Spec-wise it seems to fit the bill for other species too...
     
  4. flathunter

    flathunter New Member

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    I dont have one, but I know a guy who has two of them...And he swares by them, in fact he wont use anything else.
     
  5. dreamcatcher

    dreamcatcher New Member

    Thanks Jack, for the response. I'm sure this guy probably isn't pulling your chain about his own fishing equipment. As a matter of fact, I would say he better like them if he owns two of them. Which model does he fish with?
     
  6. BIG GEORGE

    BIG GEORGE New Member

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    Vic. I own 3 Catala 401 L/H retrieve baitcasters. They are perfect for the channel cat fishin that I am limited to. I have been abuseing them for over 2 years now and they have held up just fine. I did land a 50# blue with one of them that was teamed up with a 7 foot M/H Silstar rod and the reel was spooled with 20# Berkley Big Game line. I especially like the auto engage feature. No levers involved with takein off of free spool. Just turn the handle.
     
  7. dreamcatcher

    dreamcatcher New Member

    Thanks George, I know the Catalas are good channel cat reels, and when I think about it that may be the version this guy was using for charters. I know if it was me I wouldn't put Calcuttas on the boat for other people to tear up. LOL.

    Where is Bobpaul? I know he has one. I'd like to get his input...
     
  8. flathunter

    flathunter New Member

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    Vic, The ones he uses are the 700 model..I have seen them in person and they are a fine looking reel..This guy call abu's junk compared to his calcuttas.
     
  9. RamRod

    RamRod New Member

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    Here's a remedy for ya but you'll need a couple things first.

    1 - Bottle of sleeping pills
    2 - Dishwashing liquid

    First spike the wife's drink with a bottle of sleeping pills. Then after the effects set in, rub dishwashing liquid all over her ring finger(get the kind that makes her hands soft so she won't realize anything is missing) then slowly remove the diamond ring. Then go to the nearest pawn shop and hock the ring. Take money and run to the nearest Shimano dealer and purchase a pair of those Calcutta 700's. Rig em up on your Gator rods, and kick back in your recliner and wait for her to wake up! :p
     
  10. dreamcatcher

    dreamcatcher New Member

    Hmmm...scratch what I said on the diamonds. LOL. C'mon doesn't anybody have any love for the Calcuttas or does cost drive the train here?
     
  11. Bobpaul

    Bobpaul New Member

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    Hi Vic, I'm here. I'd sure like to give you a review on that reel, and I will if I ever get the time to use that beauty.

    I did settle on it as a match for the beautiful rod I got from Jim Hudson. One of the reasons being that I'm a big fan of Shimano's spinning reels for salt water use. Now if work and other bothersom things would quit getting in the way, I'll put it to use and give you a review.

    I do have it spooled with 30# P-line copolymer and a braid backing
     
  12. dreamcatcher

    dreamcatcher New Member

    Hey thanks for responding Bob. I knew you had one from the photos I saw on the old site. Too bad you haven't had a chance to use that puppy yet. Now,I'm told as levelwinds go it is one nasty reel for anything freshwater that wants to tangle with it. The one I'm looking at is the CTE 700 that is marketed as having a similar drag system like the Trinidad. It's so tough to get any reviews for that particular reel, either it's so new that it hasn't gotten much exposure, or people aren't forking over the cash. LOL.
     
  13. tackleman

    tackleman New Member

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    Vic
    I don't have any 700's but I do have a couple of the 400's also use the 250 and 50 series. I have used the heck out of them and never had any problems.
    I think if you got one it'll be your goto reel.
     
  14. Bobpaul

    Bobpaul New Member

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    The one your looking at, CTE 700, has a disengaging level wind that will follow the line when casting. A nice friction eliminating feature that mine doesn't have.

    They weren't on the market very long when I bought the 700. Another reason I settled on the 700. TE (Total Efficiency), Not sure I could stand all that high tech.
     
  15. derbycitycatman

    derbycitycatman Well-Known Member

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    Ive got one of the 400's and love it. Seems to cast better than my abu 6500's. I gotta agree theres no better spinning reel than a shimano. I think most dont buy a shimano casting reel because of the price.
     
  16. three_rivers

    three_rivers New Member

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    I'd agree derby. You would have to be pretty serious about your fishing. It would be what you think its worth. I'm sure they are excellent reels and i will not take anything away from them. With that much money i'd say i would have to be pretty serious about my fishing. That i would put it to plenty of use.

    Alot of the other reels manufacturers out there like Abu, Penn, Diawa , the list can go on and on, put out excellent reels too. They are reasonably priced and will exceed most catfishermans expectations. I've landed a 40 on an abu, a few in the thirtys and quite a few smaller in this year alone all on abus. They held up like a champ.

    We also have to speak of variables that can happen out in the real world. Things that can and does happen to everyone of us. For instance theft, there has been a few threads on here this year of people fishing gear getting stolen. Matter of fact, a nieghbor of mine had two rods and reels stolen out of his truck and we live in a good nieghborhood. These were just abus. You think that calcutta won't draw attention.

    Another example is kicking one off the boat or losing it to a fish by it taking off with it. I will be the first to admit that i had a diawa that was 110 dollars and it got kicked over the side of the boat by my dog. I watched it sank as i was hanging half in the water trying to retrieve it. We were anchored behind a dike right at the current seam which was smokin. These accidents happen all the time.

    Me being of eager means it would be hard to justify spending that much money on a reel when there are a few from other manufacturers that would hold up just as good. I mean in all actuality, that could be two penns or three 7000s. I'm sure the calcutta is a great reel. Is it so much better than two or three of these other reels put together. That would be a question you would have to ask yourself. Like i said before, if its worth that much to you go for it. I'm sure they are great reels.
     
  17. Tomahawk

    Tomahawk New Member

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    Well I have a calcutte 4oo model and use it mostly for striper fishing. If your looking for a nice reel that will hold up. Look at the St.Croix Avid reels. Their real nice I have two and love both of them. They have the same price as a Calcutta but are better in my opinion. The only thing I found was that the Avids have alight clicker on them. You can work around that though. Can't go wrong with a Avid.
     
  18. dreamcatcher

    dreamcatcher New Member

    Thanks Tomahawk I'll look into the St Croix models.

    Bobpaul, I don't want too much high tech either unless it comes with a good manual and warranty when something fails as all reels do in some area.

    Danny, I'm glad you brought up the price. I am of limited means as well, but I sort of process it in these terms: if I can burden myself with years of truck payments, insurance notes, and God knows all the other idiosyncratic stuff that life throws at you to drain you dry, I can purchase a great fishing reel (greatness, like beauty is in the eye and wallet of the beholder LOL) One of my favorite threads when it surfaces is the "How much gear do you own" thread, or the "Is there such a thing as too much fishing equipment" thread.LOL. In those threads people talk about owning so much fishing gear that they've lost count, and these are modest Americans who for the most part are in the working class. How much do you think they spent to accumulate all that fishing gear, to include the accessories? With me, I'll never own that much stuff, so what little I do have is going to be of a serious nature. Money is an issue, but it shouldn't be the ultimate discriminator if the product is that refined.

    You do have a point regarding theft, and that has to be given some consideration, but if you approached it from that standpoint you'd never get some of the things you want. I do own a Shimano, and that thing is smooth as butter, so I know the manufacturer is sound. What I'm trying to figure out: Is the Calcutta the next thing to the wheel when it comes to baitcasters? ROTFLOL. As far as the money goes, i'll negotiate that obstacle if I have to...hey it's only money, can't take it with me...
     
  19. three_rivers

    three_rivers New Member

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    Vic, you don't have to tell me anything. I'm the same way on certain items. I intend on purchasing quality equipment everytime i shop. That way it'll last for as long as i intend on using it.

    To me buying a reel of that nature is just like buying a Rolex. It holds time very well, my timex will do the same thing. If it quits i'm out another 30 dollars. If that rolex quits i'm out anywhere from 2500 to 10000. I would rather spend my money on my fishing trips and if i loose an abu, to theft or it falls out the boat. I've lost 50 bucks not 300. That would be alot of eggs to put all in one basket. I wouldn't want a reel to define me as a fisherman. My fishing should.

    I could never spend that much money on myself without sharing it with my family. I spend to much on my fishing as it is. Last year i figured it up and boat, fishing equipment, gas, and everything to go with it, i was spending somewhere in the nieghborhood of 900 a month during the summer. That is alot of money if you talk of two vehicle payments, a morgage and everything else that goes along with it. Was it really worth it? The time and enjoyment with my family and nephews is priceless.

    This year even though one of my favorite places is out on the water i keep everything in balance. That way i don't take away from family. Like i said before, it all depends on the person and what its worth to them. I'm sure its a quality piece of machinery. If you want to spend that much money on a quality reel, i'd have to say look at the penn internationals. That would be the class of wheel your looking at.

    Good luck in your search,
    Danny
     
  20. H2O Mellon

    H2O Mellon New Member

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    I will back up w/ Jack said, the guy that he is refeering too swears by them. Nothing but good things to say.

    In my opinon, anything over an Abu 7000 is overkill for what I fish for & catch, with that being said I did put a 10000 in layaway last week. :p