Best Shimano Baitcaster 2019

Best Shimano Baitcaster: We have reviewed some of the top-rated Shimano baitcasting reels on the market to help you buy the Best Shimano Baitcaster.

If you curious:

Calcutta CT400B is the Best Shimano Baitcaster

Shimano Calcutta CT400B
  • Drag & Power
  • Brake System
  • Speed & Gearing
  • Ease of Use
  • Build Quality & Durability

Now, let us move on to our in-depth review of Shimano Calcutta CT400B.

Best Shimano Baitcaster: Calcutta CT400B Review

The Shimano Calcutta CT400B is an extremely popular baitcaster, especially for saltwater fishing. This baitcasting reel is a little bit pricier than a lot of the other baitcasters, but it is well worth its price and then some more.

This baitcaster is strong, durable, and sturdy. The aluminum material keeps the reel light in your hand but also gives it the drag power to pull heavy fish from your fishing trips. Shimano Calcutta CT400B is durable, even with extensive use in saltwater.


The specs of the Shimano Calcutta CT400B are impressive. It has 18 pounds of drag power. On top of that, it has a highly adjustable braking system that the Shimano company refers to as a Variabing system. This way, you can fine-tune your brake settings.

This baitcasting reel has a 5.0:1 gear ratio and 3 A-RB stainless ball bearings + 1 A-RB roller bearing. Previous versions of the Shimano Calcutta were good baitcaster reels but lacked support for heavier lines. Shimano Calcutta CT400B can easily support 260 yards of 15-pound line.

What’s Inside the Box

When you open the Shimano Calcutta CT400B box, you will find a fully assembled baitcaster wheel. There are no additional parts that come in the box beside the completed baitcaster reel.

There aren’t many choices for the color of the reel. For now, it is only available in gold.


The performance of the Shimano Calcutta CT400B is quite astounding. It is the most popular choice for baitcasting reels when it comes to fishing salmon. This baitcaster reel is strong and sturdy, even when you have a really heavy catch. It can easily support your line in both fresh and saltwater.

Even when the water current is rapid, Shimano Calcutta can hold your line and make sure you make your catch. The brake system on this will surprise you because it is easy to use and adjustable.

Drag & Power

While the Shimano Calcutta CT400B has an 18-pound drag power, you can spool much heavier fish with this baitcaster reel. There is no jerkiness and no backlash when you use this reel. Additionally, the retrieval of your bait is smooth, stable, and fast.

Calcutta CT400B is the best Shimano baitcasting reel for catching heavier fish. It automatically increases the drag as your line becomes looser.

Brake System

One of the most impressive features of the Shimano Calcutta CT400B is its brake system. Shimano has designed a brake system referred to as Variable Braking System. The baitcaster reel has six sliding brake weights inside the end of the spool that you can adjust based on your fishing needs.

For each of the six brake weights, you can select either the “on” or the “off” version and create the perfect braking balance for your fishing experience. When all the brake sliding weights are set on “on”, the backlash is significantly reduced. Choose this option if you are new to fishing and are getting a feel for how to handle the line.

In addition to the six sliding break weights, the reel also includes green colored weights that are much easier to operate. Because of such features, Calcutta CT400B is the best Shimano baitcasting reel even for beginners.

Speed & Gear Ratio

Shimano Calcutta CT400B has a 5.0:1 gear ratio. While there are other baitcaster reels out on the market that have a better gear ratio, the Shimano Calcutta CT400B is great because it has booth smoothness and stability.

The 5.0:1 gear ratio make the spool reel smooth and easy. At the same time, this baitcaster reel also has more strength that allows it to support heavy catches.


Three A-RB stainless ball bearings plus one A-RB roller bearing make the Shimano Calcutta CT400B both light and sturdy.

This baitcaster does not have too many ball bearings, but the ones it incorporates as part of its design structure are built strategically to make the baitcaster reel strong and durable.

Ease of Use

The Shimano Calcutta CT400B is really easy to use. As demonstrated with the Variable Braking System, this baitcaster has a lot of settings that you can fine tune, even if you are a novice, to get it working right for you.

You can use the Shimano Calcutta CT400B for all kinds of fresh and saltwater fishing adventures such as salmon, sheephead or the calico bass.

Build Quality & Durability

This baitcaster reel has an overall fantastic build quality. It feels great in your hand due to its lightweight but it also feels really solid and strong.

Shimano Calcutta is specifically designed so that you can easily maintain it and quickly access the reel. If you need to disassemble the reel for spool changes or for cleaning, then all you need to do is unwind two thumb screws.

The Shimano Calcutta CT400B is built with ultralight forged aluminum frames and side plates. The ultralight forged aluminum is a super sturdy material that serves two main purposes. First, it ensures that your baitcaster reel can withstand high pressures from heavy catches.

Second, it keeps Shimano Calcutta CT400B in great shape for years to come.

The only downside to the Shimano Calcutta CT400B is that its clicker might sometimes be noisy. Although the clicker is loud, it is very sensitive to pressure. This is one of the strengths of this baitcaster reel.

The high sensitivity of the clicker allows you to reel in even the small fish easily. And it does so extremely smoothly.

Design & Appearance

The beautiful gold finish on the Shimano Calcutta CT400B is not only a brilliant design, it also makes you feel strong just holding the reel. It is a great design that will last you years to come without any issues.

This baitcasting reel comes with handles that have a paddle fit. The handles have two knobs that counterbalance each other and keep the handle from slipping in your palm. The grey rubbery plastic that surrounds the handle ensures that your grip is strong, even when your hands are wet and slippery.

The Shimano Calcutta CT400B is extremely elegant. In addition to its beautiful appearance, it also has impressive performance. This is the best of both worlds.


Calcutta CT400B is the Best Shimano Baitcaster

Overall, Shimano Calcutta CT400B is a great choice if you are looking for a lightweight baitcaster that can handle heavy fish. Although this baitcaster is a bit pricey, it is worth its price in gold.

We hope you liked our pick of the Best Shimano Baitcaster. If you would like to suggest some other Shimano reel then you can tell us via the comments section. We will try to include it in our next update.