The leaks keep coming as ICAST 2012 looms on the horizon. This past weekend Tackle Warehouse debuted a pre order page for the Shimano Calcutta D. After last years (insert opinionated adjective here) ICAST showing many die hard bass anglers are hoping for a strong showing from the tackle giant in 2012. After debut of a new Antares and Calcutta in Osaka back in February the obvious question became “Will their be a domestic version of these two new reel designs?” For now at least half that question has been answered.
At first glance the Calcutta D certainly appears to be a sleek modern update for the now classic popular series of reels. The subdued coloring can be seen as a throwback to the original silver saltwater safe Calcuttas. Both gold and silver Calcuttas are viewed by many anglers as workhorses and have been extremely popular for years for pursuit of many different species including bass. I still remember a time when many boat decks around here were covered with only Curados and Calcuttas. I was rather impressed holding one of those gold reels out of the glass display case for the first time and admiring the solid look, feel, and construction of the cold forged frames. The evolutions of the name, TE and then TE DC, have sat at the forefront defining domestic round reel technology with their precisely machined frames, High Efficiency Gearing, and a first and only feature for its time Digital Control (DC) technology. To me the “Calcutta” name certainly epitomizes the quality and precision that I have come to expect from Shimano.
The new Calcutta D series looks to carry on this tradition of quality with style. The “S Compact Body” likely borrows from the design philosophy of Shimano’s Torsa conventional saltwater reel through use of a smaller palm side plate transitioning to a larger handle side plate. The D also features a more compact body, lower rod stance, and top of frame cutout to improve ergonomics over the previous generation reels. Other listed features include New “X-drag”, and “X-ship” technology as well as a new “EI” coating technology to increase corrosion resistance. Unlike the original and “B” generation Calcuttas this latest design has its price point sitting in “TE” territory. Though many “TE” fans will be quick to point out the plastic drag star, plastic line guide, and plastic thumb bar. Impressions aside, only time will tell if this new reel will earn its asking price, and more importantly, the respect of its name.