Introduction: Shimano continues to make their digital cast control (DC) technology available in more affordable reels, and for the first time has equipped their SLX series with the same I-DC4 cast control system first introduced in the Curado DC two years ago. The SLX DC Series marks the first time that a DC equipped reel has been available to US anglers under the 200 mark.
Complete Article: http://www.tackletour.com/reviewshimanoslxdcreel.html
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Why do you think this reel only has 5 ball bearings? I know, many years ago, Shimano said their manuf. tolerances were so close that more ball bearings weren't needed, but they now have 11 bearings in their flagship reels, so what has changed?
I reviewed this particular reel and can help provide some additional color. It is a good question and there are a few reasons:
- Yes, reel tolerances have improved and value and mainstream reels have gotten better, as long as the frame material is rigid enough to keep everything in check, but this isn't the only reason
- Cost. In a mainstream reel cost is a high priority so less bearings, or more affordable bearings, plays into the build
- Positioning. The SLX Series, and SLX DC, is aimed at the mainstream and in the category manufacturers like Shimano are looking for an optimal balance of price/performance. Would use of more bearings improve the feel? Definitely. But this would also potentially cause more cannibalization of more expensive reels in the company's own portfolio, like the Curado DC
That makes perfect sense.