By BassFan Staff
For the past few weeks, the five winners in our first BassFan Reader Review contest have been testing out the Shimano Citica baitcasting reel. As part of the contest, we asked them to send us their honest assessment of the reel so they could be eligible to win the grand prize – a new GLX rod from G. Loomis.
The reviews are in – see below – and now we need your help to pick the best one. Feel free to read the five reviews and place your vote at the bottom of the page. Voting will remain open until midnight EST on Wednesday, April 5, 2017.
The author of the review receiving the most votes will win the new G. Loomis rod!
REVIEW 1By Chris Turpin
My initial reaction after opening the box and taking out the Shimano Citica was that the reel appeared small and I was unsure how happy I would be with this reel.
However, after attaching the reel to a rod and putting line on the reel, my feelings began to change. The reel fits comfortably on the rod and is very smooth when reeling. I have used this reel using several different types of baits and it performs well in all instances. The handle allows for more power when needed and overall, the reel is very comfortable to use for long periods of time.
The only part of the reel I was not completely satisfied with is the placement of the magnetic brake adjustment. Almost every reel I have used with a magnetic brake adjustment has had the adjustment on the side plate opposite the reel handle. On the Citica, the adjustment is also on the opposite side of the handle, but on the top. The adjustment is out of the way, but is somewhat out of the way if an adjustment is to be made. This, however, is a minor criticism.
Overall, I would highly recommend this reel. This reel upholds the high quality standards that the Shimano brand is known for. Again, I highly recommend the Citica for anyone looking for a high-performance fishing reel.
REVIEW 2By Nathan Allen
First off, this is the nicest reel I have ever fished, so I don't have much to compare it to. I've only been able to use it a couple of times being how fast, muddy and debris-filled our river is right now. I used it on a 7-foot, 2-inch medium-action rod with 10-pound fluorocarbon line and a 3/4-oz. lipless crank.
Overall, it felt solid, but still pretty light. I like how easy it is to open for access to the spool. Everything is very smooth turning and I haven’t found anything that I don’t like about it.
Now to the fishing part – wow, the braking system was great. It definitely added distance to my cast and I was being conservative with the brake. It just felt very smooth and crisp all around. Overall, no fish were caught, but I am in love with this reel.
My wife went from, ‘Hey cool, you won a reel’ to kinda (ticked) because now I want a nicer rod to pair it with and she knows my fishing expenses just jumped up another level. I really want to say thank you to Shimano and BassFan for this contest and I really wish I could have spent more time on the water with it to give a better review.
REVIEW 3By Barry Rettke
Well, here it is. A new Shimano 7.2:1 gear Citica 201HG. I’ve put it with my other Shimano baitcast reels for comparison. As you can see, I don’t buy too many new reels. I still use all these 35-plus year-old Bantams.
I do oil and grease them at the end of each season. It shows the quality of Shimano reels of that era. Let’s hope this new Citica is up to the task. It looks very much like their Curado. In fact, it has most of the same specs. The Curado has been the workhorse for so many fishermen since it came out. I would think this Citica would be the same. The Citica is even $30 cheaper.
The problem of this review is I can’t put it through its paces. I received the reel on the day after our season closed and my boat is still winterized. I would also have to fish through 12 inches of ice – that wouldn’t show much castability. I did take it out in the yard to check out the drag with my dog. The drag seemed consistent on all runs with the tennis ball. She put up a good fight, too.
Check out some photos Barry took during his unique review process:
I did cast a 1/8- and 3/8-oz. weight out on the ice and everything about the reel worked perfectly when I finally dialed everything in. The adjustable variable brake system was especially handy at dialing it in.
Even adjusting the brake weights was simple when I inspected them carefully. I liked the way the side palming plate would swing away to get at the spool and weights.
I think I’ll order a spare spool so I can have two different types of line. I think it would take just seconds to change them out. The reel comes with four extra weights and a tube of oil.
Overall, it seems like a very nice reel, especially for the money. I figure if I take care of it like my other Shimano reels it should last 35 years like they have. Thank you, BassFan and Shimano.
REVIEW 4By Trent Bercegeay
Denham Springs, La.
The Shimano Citica I 200HG – plain and simple, it just works. Here is a rundown of the reel's features:
> X-Ship – The placement of ball bearings around the pinion gear maintains perfect alignment with the drive spool. This also allows for Shimano’s Super Free Spool. This reduces stress and increases casting efficiency.
> Hagane Body – A one-piece metal constructed body. This allows for zero body flex which gives the body a rigidity and better durability.
> Shimano Stable Spool Design (S3D) – A completely balanced and drilled spool, which reduces real vibration and thus increasing casting distance.
> SVS-Infinity – A unique Shimano braking system which uses four centrifugal brake pads inside the side plate and outside minor friction brake adjustment on the outside of the reel. This allows for infinite adjustability.
> HEG – An increased pinion and drive gear as well a one piece constructed body with incorporated setplate and single piece stamped sideplate. This special construction reduces friction on the gears increasing durability.
The Shimano Citica I used in this review was the 200HG. The Citica features a 5+1 S-RB bearing system with a 12-pound max drag. The 5+1 S-RB bearings are truly the only drawback between this reel and the slightly higher Shimano Curado I. The Curado uses 5+1 S-ARB bearings making it a better fit for inshore fishing applications. The Citica comes in two gear ratios: a 6.3:1 (all-around gearing) and a 7.2:1 (high-speed gearing).
The 6.3:1 is capable of retrieving 26 inches of line per crank, while the 7.2:1 is capable of retrieving 30 inches of line per crank. The Citica weighs a comfortable 7.4 ounces and is easily palmable for all-day casting.
For the purposes of testing the Citica was placed on a 6-foot, 6-inch medium-heavy rod with a fast-action tip and loaded with 65-pound braided line (equivalent in diameter to 10-pound monofilament). The line loaded onto the Citica with a slightly heavy line load to the left. The Citica was used for casting hollow-body frogs, a flipping jig, a swim jig, a squarebill crankbait, a lipless crankbait and various soft-plastic lures Texas-rigged with a bobber stopper, 1/4-oz. tungsten weight, and 5/0 flipping hook.
The clutch has a snappy response. Line released smoothly off the Citica. All baits came off the spool with good casting distance. The bearings surrounding the spool had a smooth roll with little to no resistance. The Citica gave off very little noise and no vibration.
The SVS Infinity braking system allows for one of the simplest baitcasting reels to use. The four centrifugal brakes can be used to reduce reel spin on the initial cast. On the contrary, all brakes can be opened for pitching and flipping. The reels base use is usually two brakes on and two brakes off. With the two-brake method employed the external friction brake adjustment it can perform similar to the less-reliable magnetic brake system, dropping the vast array of baits utilized with no backlash.
The X-ship technology combined with the Hagane body allows for a durable reel with a lot of power. The Citica 200HG picked up a lot of line in a hurry. This allowed for proper fishing of topwater baits as well as soft plastics and jigs. These methods are ideal for the heavy cover fishing that is common in south Louisiana. The Citica with its two gear ratios is truly a work horse for any bait one could use.
The Citica is one of the smoothest baitcasting reels I have ever used. The smooth casting from the X-Ship, S3D and Hagane body combined with the SVS-Infinity braking system allow for a worry-free baitcaster. I have been able to place baits where I want without any backlash. The power shown by the Citica gives me no doubt it can pull in any fish that is on the other end of the line. The only drawback I can see in the Citica is the lack of the S-ARB bearings, which would allow its use for inshore applications. The Shimano Citica I is a reel that can be used in any situation with the confidence that it will have your back in all fishing situations.
REVIEW 5By William Pugh
Saint Cloud, Fla.
We have used the Citica about 5 times since I won it. The reel has preformed very good. It is real smooth and casts very good. Every once in awhile, when we cast it, it makes a noise, like a loud whining noise, like the bearings need more lube. This has happened about a dozen times. Other than that, the reel has been very nice to use.