Shimano Cardiff vs Calcutta : Which One is Better

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The two reels from Shimano are the Cardiff and Calcutta B. They both have their unique features, but one is a little more versatile than the other. The question is which reel will you choose?

The Cardiff has a 4+1 ball bearing system with anti-rusting technology so it’ll be easier to maintain in saltwater environments. It also has a side plate that reduces friction for better casting performance.

The Calcutta B’s 3+1 braking system provides more stopping power for catfish or pike fishing and its open face design makes bait changes faster during a tournament situation or when targeting species like large trout and bass that require different rigs on occasion. If you’re looking for versatility then go with Cardiff.

Not to pressure you at this point, read more below to see how they differ from each other.

Shimano Cardiff Vs Shimano Calcutta B : Side by Side Comparison

Shimano Cardiff
Shimano Cardiff Baitcasting Reel
Shimano Calcutta B
Shimano Calcutta B Freshwater Fishing Reel
Shimano Cardiff Baitcasting Reel
Shimano Calcutta B Freshwater Fishing Reel
8.6-11.9oz which is lighter than the CT B
9-18.2 for both small and big game fish
Material and Construction
Material and Construction
Die-cast aluminum
Machine anodized aluminum
Mostly preferred as a freshwater reel but can work in saltwater too. Though with more after-care
A versatile choice
A high-end reel
Drag Performance
Drag Performance
Not so smooth in salty areas
Smoother throughout
Swim Bait Type
Swim Bait Type
Not for the heavy baits
Can work with any
No variants
Ha 2 variants-level wind and non-level wind
Max Drag
Max Drag
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More about Shimano Cardiff Baitcasting Reel

The Shimano Cardiff baitcasting reel is designed to handle the tough conditions of saltwater and freshwater fishing. It features a corrosion-resistant aluminum frame. Its side plates are durable yet lightweight.

The brake system has been designed for quick disengagement with just one finger to make it easy on your thumb during long days on the water.

The gear ratio is 5.8:1 so you can use a variety of line weights and still be able to cast long distances without breaking or snagging. The drag system will allow you to easily adjust the pressure on your fish until they’re ready for release. With all these great features, there’s no doubt that this reel should be an option when looking for a high-quality baitcasting reel!

Pros – What I like

  • Silky smooth
  • Great centrifugal brake
  • Reliable performance
  • Die-cast frame
  • Anti-reverse stopper
  • For fresh and saltwater areas
  • Soft crank handle

Cons – Some Drawbacks

  • It needs some more care and maintenance after use in saltwater.

More About Shimano Calcutta B Baitcasting Reel

If you’re looking for an affordable and dependable reel to get started, this is it! Shimano has been a leader in the fishing industry for years, and their Calcutta B reel is no exception.  In terms of features, this baitcasting reel comes with 3+1 ball bearings which provide smooth operation at all times. It also has a durable aluminum body that won’t break down quickly like many other reels on the market today.

The reel also has an aluminum frame for increased durability and corrosion resistance, as well as a comfortable handle for better grip and control when reeling in your catch. There is even an easy-to-reach drag system that allows you to adjust how much pressure is being applied on the line during casting or fighting fish to help keep them at bay until you’re ready!

Pros – What I like

  • Available in 2 variants to choose from
  • Great drag system
  • Sturdy aluminum construction
  • Anti-rust parts
  • An easily accessible thumb bar
  • Great durability
  • Ergonomic design

Cons – The Concerns

  • The level-wind reel has a few plastic parts like the handle. This doesn’t feel as nice in the hand.

Differences between Shimano Cardiff and Shimano Calcutta B Casting Reel- 5 Points to Note

Price: The Calcutta B is a high-end reel, unlike the Cardiff. If you are on a tight budget, Cardiff could be a good option.

Drag Performance: Cardiff reels aren’t on the top list for extremely smooth drags like the Calcutta B. Especially in saline areas. But for freshwater, you will love it.

Type of Swim Baits: Don’t use the Cardiff for your heavy swim lures and baits. The Shimano CT B is more superior and you can use it for this.

Application: Both reels are said to be versatile by Shimano. However, in terms of areas of use and tolerance to abuse, the Calcutta B is a great and unbowed one for all areas. The Cardiff will need a little more after-care and maintenance.

Construction: The Cardiff is a die-cast reel while the other is a machine anodized reel. Also, the Calcutta B boasts a super-free spool and a cross carbon drag which isn’t in the Cardiff reels.

Final Verdict

We’ve all heard the saying “You only get one chance to make a first impression.” When it comes to fishing, that statement can be even truer than we think! You need the right equipment for your line and reel type so you don’t have any problems casting or reeling in fish.

The Shimano Cardiff Reel is an excellent choice if you are looking for a Baitcasting reel with great durability and performance at an affordable price point. It also has some cool features like its spool design which helps create less drag on your bait when pulling them out of the water.

If you want something just as high-performing but with a little extra flash, then try the Shimano Calcutta B. This reel though a little flamboyant, can be a beast outside. Being available in variations and models that can cut across all environments is a plus to it.

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