The Shimano Cumara is hardly inexpensive, but expert reviews say this relatively new graphite spinning rod compares favorably with much pricier fishing gear. Professionals say the lightweight shaft offers incredible comfort, sensitivity, flexibility, speed and accuracy. Reviews say the carbon reel seat is a plus, but some are disappointed that the grip is made of foam rather than cork. The gist is that you'd probably be able to feel a nibble from a goldfish, but the shaft is durable enough that the manufacturer offers a limited lifetime warranty. If you're not ready for the high end, reviews call the Okuma Guide Select (*est. $75) a great option between budget and state of the art.
Because the Shimano Cumara is a new and relatively expensive product, few owners have posted reviews online. But professionals have eagerly tried it. TackleTour.com offers unusually detailed coverage based on laboratory and field testing, and it rates enough fishing rods that its "Best Value" designation carries some weight. TackleReviewer.com and Field & Stream magazine offer credible ratings, and we also saw a review on a New Mexico fishing website by an angler who's competed with some success in pro tournaments.
This review includes lab testing and hands-on use in Mexico by editor-in-chief Alex "Zander" Mei. He says that kinds of fish he caught were not a fair test of the rod's sensitivity, but he gives the Shimano Cumara a "Best Value" award and compares it to rods costing $100 more.
Review: Rod Review: Beyond just Bottom Bouncing with the Shimano premium Cumara rod, Alex "Zander" Mei, Feb. 27, 2008
This is really more of a blurb than a review, but TackleReviewer.com has a broad frame of reference. So it's credible when reviewer Branson Werner calls the Shimano Cumara "top dog on my Christmas list" because of its light weight.
Review: 2007 Christmas Fishing Guide, Branson Werner, Nov. 26, 2007
Reviewer Bryan Talmadge, who has competed in professional bass tournaments, calls the Shimano Cumara "probably the lightest and fastest rods I've ever used." He says they are "as good or better" than some rods costing twice as much.
Review: Product Review for Shimano Cumara Rod, Bryan Talmadge
4. Field & Stream
Field & Stream's annual roundup of best products includes winners in 14 fishing-equipment categories, with the Shimano Cumara designated as the best spinning rod.
Review: Best of the Best, Editors of Field & Stream, March 2008