The much anticipation new Ultegra XTE and XSE reels ‘bring casting brilliance that has never been seen at such an affordable price.’ How has Shimano achieved such excellence?
The brief was simple. Design a reel that will cast further and perform better than its best-selling casting model. However, when that model is the Shimano Ultegra – arguably the best long-range reel on the market – the challenge becomes much bigger. After all, the existing Ultegra – the XTD – already boasts a myriad of features, including the brand’s X-Ship gear housing, instant drag, slow oscillation and faultless line lay. Little wonder that it is considered the best carp reel ever made.
So could Shimano’s innovative Japanese design team go a step further? The answer is a resounding yes! Shimano is confident that the new Ultegra XTE and XSE are about to
redefine the mid-price, long-range reel market. And when you look at the design features and technology incorporated in this lightweight model it is easy to see why. A company enriched by a deep design heritage has again pulled out all the stops.
Super Slow Oscillation is unique to Shimano and is probably reason enough alone to buy the XTE or XSE. But there’s much more. Secreted inside that sleek, monochrome, C14+ body is an assembly of Shimano’s most advanced engineering features. The all-new features include Hagane Gearing, InfinityDrive and Silent Drive, which deliver an amazingly smooth and lightweight rotation. Also new is RigidCast, which reduces spool deflection at the moment of release during the cast. And then there’s that streamlined Parallel Body, designed to send the line spiraling at the perfect angle towards the first guide, flowing over the lip of the aluminium AR-C spool and coiling down to reduce friction.
To aid efficient line loading, the XTE/XSE is supplied with three spool reducers in 3500, 6000 and 10000 sizes. These fit securely onto the spool, reducing the line capacity and enabling exactly the right amount of line to be loaded. The spool reducers work perfectly with braid, mono and fluorocarbon lines and, interestingly, weigh less than the line they compensate for. And all this for a little over €200!
But, insists Shimano Europe’s Marketing Team Lead, Tim Bouwens, this engineering masterpiece is about more than just technology. “It’s the casting performance that anglers will buy this reel for,” he says. “What it brings to market is casting brilliance that has never been seen at such an affordable price.
“In addition, the XTE and XSE have been designed to play fish better, last longer and look great on whatever rod they are paired with.”
For carp anglers, Shimano recommends the stealth-like black of the XTE, while surfcasters or those with a preference for lighter colours may opt for the liquid metal XSE. These models are another example of Shimano’s insatiable appetite for quality and innovation – and with their understated graphics, both models look every bit the part.
The new Shimano Ultegra will be available from selected retailers from June 25th.
HAGANE Drive Gear Produced by Shimano’s cold forging technology, without the need of additional machining. Benefits: Gear parts that maintain maximum strength and
deliver smoothness, lightness and power at the heart of the reel.
Infinity Drive Delivers light, powerful winding. In spinning reels it nullifies the friction of spool oscillation. Benefits: Handle rotation resistance is considerably reduced, resulting in easier winding, even under extreme pressure. Helps fight fish in extreme saltwater environments.
Super Slow Oscillation A minimum 45-55 wraps per cycle. Benefits: Almost perfect parallel spooling and a huge improvement in casting distance and precision.
Silent Drive A total redesign of the internal components to reduce handle play and eliminate noise and any unnatural feeling from the worm shaft drive. Benefits: Smoother, silent rotation and improved performance.
RigidCast Balances strength and lightness of the main shaft to withstand the impact of extreme casting force. Benefits: Reduces deflection during extreme casting, which helps improve casting performance and especially accuracy by optimising the timing of the line release.
C14+ The strongest composite material used by Shimano in any of its products. The absence of metal means it does not corrode. Benefits: Lightness and strength make it ideal for lure fishing when continuous casting is required. Being corrosion resistant, it is ideal for saltwater fishing.