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Author Topic: Shimano Bantam MGL and Chronarch MGL  (Read 82 times)

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Offline VillainousHero

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Shimano Bantam MGL and Chronarch MGL
« on: June 07, 2019, 04:52:14 AM »
Shimano Bantam MGL 150XG
price $350

Shimano Chronarch MGL 150XG
price $280

I wasn't really sure what to expect from either of these reel.  Mostly wanted to try the reel due to a few changes that this reel features.  Most of all it was the newer brake system (SVS Infinity) and the micro module gear system.  The brake weights are now only 4 of them which can also be manually turned off, as opposed to the older ones that had six of them on pegs.  I typically only run two brakes on, so I had open my reels and turned two off.  It was very easily done.  Both of these reels also has an external brake adjustment to fine tune.  However I'm not sure if I will have any need for it.  I've got mine set to the minimum.  Typically I am not a fan of external adjustments of brake systems.  Usually when I palm the reel, it's in the way and give's an off feeling.  To my surprise the location of these external adjustments were positioned that my hand doesn't even touch or notice that they're there.  I tried several hand positions and still the same results. 

The Chronarch sports 8+1 ball bearings while the Bantam only has 7+1 bearings.  The current Chronarch dissappointed me with a straight hole line guide.  The prior generations featured a conical shaped line guides.  The Bantam one has the conical shaped line guide that opens up to an oval shape instead of the standard circle.  The gear ratio on both of these models are 8.1 to 1.  There is also a 7.1 to 1 gear ratio for the HG model and standard is 6.2 to 1 gear ratio.  Overall in physical exterior size, the Bantam is smaller yet weighs at 7.8 oz.  The Chronarch weighs in at 6.7 oz.

As of now, both of my reels are spooled up with some Diawa J8 braids.  The Bantam will have 15# braid while the Chronarch will  have #20 braid.  I did some preliminary backyard casting with a 1/4 oz. weight.  I was very surprised at how well both of these reels were able to get in terms of distance easily over 30+ yards on the cast.  The Bantam reel casted very smooth and effortlessly.  The Chronarch was a bit more noisy and overall got less distance.  It was expected since the Chronarch had a heavier braid line.  Still I am impressed at both reels with the ease of casting, as well as the distance achieved.  The Bantam really exemplify during the test run.  Something that most standard low profile reels have a lot of difficulty with lures in the 1/4 oz. weight.  In part the light weight contribution from that MGL (Magnumlite) spool.

The Chronarch also has a slightly longer handle and at first it was a slightly different feel.  I measured it to be roughly 96 mm as opposed to most of the older reels coming in at 84 mm handles.  The Bantam I measured it to be about 90 mm.  Which is still longer than the standard 84 mm handles but I didn't feel it.  The Bantam has the larger handle knobs that is typically found on the Curado line.

Another thing I noticed about the levelwind worm gear is that the Chronarch MGL has a much more aggressive thread pattern.  When compared to one clearance of level wind guide from left to right cycle only two handle turns was needed, so about 4:1 ratio for the full cycle.  The Bantam MGL is just slightly less aggressive thread pattern.  It needed about two and a quarter handle turns to make one clearance of the level wind guide from left to right, about 4.5:1 ratio full cycle.  While I compared these to my old Chronarch 100D7 and Metanium MG7 both were about 7:1 ratio for the levelwind guide full cycle.  Consequently all this means that the Chronarch MGL spool will have the most aggressive cross pattern to line lay on the spool, meaning it should be most braid friendly.

...will update as I get some uses out of these... The Bantam MGL was just spectacular from the get go.  Although the reel is heavier in weight, the cranking/winching from the reel feels solid smooth.  I guess if I were to get a cranking type reel, the Bamtam MGL would be an excellent candidate.

The Chronarch MGL sort of grows on me.  The more I use it, the more I like using it.  Due to it's lighter weight, at first I was wary of the noise and feel of the gears.  While I compared it to my old Chronarch 100D, the old reel is more noisy and more vibration feel of gears.  It would make the current Chronarch MGL feel like a huge improvement.  Due to me using the Bantam MGL, it just proves how well refined the Bantam MGL really is.

Due to the longer handles on both of these reels, compared to my other older reels, I felt like I was making huge hand crank motion, especially while using the Chronarch.  However the more use, the more used to it I became.

Just pulled the reels out of storage and...Accordin g to Shimano's specs on these reels I should be getting about 34" per handle crank on both the Bantam MGL XG and Chronarch MGL XG version.

I was doing some back yard casting with a 1/4 oz brass bullet weight and was counting my handle cranks back.  On Average the Chronarch MGL was average about 24 handle cranks while the Bantam MGL was averaging 29 handle cranks.  Aside from the difference in line weight 20# braid on the Chronarch MGL and 15# braid on the Bantam MGL, all else were very like same set up.  So in math, I calculate about...

Chronarch MGL @ 24 cranks = 22 yards
Bantam MGL @ 29 cranks = 27 yards

The casting methods was sort of a side arm power pitch.  Well actually all I did was an under roll flick of the wrist.  I have tree foliage above head so a standard overhead cast would not be possible.  Last year there wasn't those branches there.



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Re: Shimano Bantam MGL and Chronarch MGL
« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2019, 11:41:10 PM »
I don't spend that much on reels and poles. Most expensive pole I've ever bought has been $150.00 and $130.00 in separate years.

I know guys who have spent $400.00 to $500.00 on poles and reels though. Impressive!

I know the more expensive they are, the more feel there is to the casts, bites, and reelings. But I don't care too much about how things feel. I care more about must getting fish.




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Offline VillainousHero

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Re: Shimano Bantam MGL and Chronarch MGL
« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2019, 02:31:50 AM »
Everything are just tools and one must learn how to use their tools.  In the end if it doesn't work for you, it's not much value to you.  The final price tag on a certain tool doesn't always means it's the most useful tool or the best tool.  It may actually mean that it is the most costly to create.

Cheap tools often means that the material for it is abundant and can be easily acquired or manufactured.  It may also mean that there isn't much quality put into creating those tools.

So it's settling for what's in between that usually the most productive of tools.  And everyone has preferences because my hands are different from your hands.  That's what it really comes down to it.

In example I used a cheap Shakespeare Alpha reel for $15 that is over 25 yrs old that's still working just as it has been compared to some more expensive reels that basically don't work so well.  Like Shakespeare Dimensions $30 and Pfleuger $50, Diawa $100, and even Shimano $100.  The cheap reel was cheaply made, but just plain works.  It's clunky so I don't use it that much, but still it works.  Of the more expensive reels turns out that the Shimano Stradic I used lasted for 15 yrs without a problem and I've used that one more than anything else.  Most of the other reels I've used lasted like one or two some years only.  I will admit that most reels today aren't made like some of them old ones designed to last.  If I went and buy a new Shakespeare Alpha reel today, I doubt it will last more than a month or two of reel use.

The reason I use more expensive reel now, is due to several things. 

Better line management.  The don't foul up nor rarely foul up, due to repeated casting.
Stronger winching power.  Some reels simply do not have much power when hooked with larger fish.  You simply can't reel them in.
Smoother drag range.  Some reels have drag from light to tight pretty much only.  With hard fighting fish, you need to have a varied drag control range.  At first you need loose drag to prevent line breakage.  Then when fish tires out, you need to increase drag in order to reel them in.  Finally you need heavy holding drag once the fish is close so you can land the fish quickly.

These are just some reasons, as there's a lot more that can be said rather than just the price of the reel.



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Re: Shimano Bantam MGL and Chronarch MGL
« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2019, 06:56:51 AM »
Yeah. Anything that feels comfortable for me works for me.



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