As traditionally a componentry manufacturer, the “Shimano” name brings a certain kind of expectation to virtually every product it graces.
Specifically, you expect an, at least, decent base product with exceptional componentry and materials, merging into something that is ultimately greater than the sum of its parts.
With the Shimano Clarus casting rod, it’s safe to say the company’s reputation remains intact, though as a mid-tier rod, you’ve got to give a little to get a little.
As such, this pole might offer some solid benefits, but it’s going to come at the cost of something else– and figuring out if the trade-off is worth it can be tricky.
This rod comes in far more different spec configurations than most models, regardless of the make, but who are they meant for?
That’s why this review breaks down the Shimano Clarus baitcasting fishing rod, examining each of its features and how they translate on the water.
Construction (craftsmanship, make quality)
It needs to be said first and foremost so that there isn’t even a whiff of misdirection: the Shimano Clarus is only a modestly durable rod.
Keep in mind, this fishing pole is not “fragile” by any measure of that word, but it’s certainly not going to be able to handle the kind of abuse you might put a rod with any degree of fiberglass in the blank or scrim through.
Beyond that, there are no major flaws or concerns regarding the overall durability, and a fisherman who takes care of this rod can expect it to last them multiple seasons.
Generally, the lengths of a rod are nothing special, and for the most part, that still holds true with the Shimano Clarus as well.
However, this pole has to make almost everything a little bit different or interesting one way or another and does so by piecing the blanks more than you generally expect for a mid-tier option.
For starters, the rod comes in 6’6”, 6’10”, 7’0”, and 7’2” which is pretty standard and even provides enough variation for a selection of waters of virtually any size.
However, the fact that medium and lighter powered models also often come in two-piece models if you prefer something a little bit easier to transport.
By and large, the materials used for the Shimano Clarus baitcasting rod are what you would expect from a mid-tier option: all-around pretty good with some limitations.
As is fairly standard for the mid-tier and lower rods, this fishing pole uses high-modulus graphite for the rod blank.
The handle is made of EVA foam which is likely one of the areas where Shimano chose to shave a bit of the price off of the tag, though Shimano does make up for it a bit with their use of G Alpha anti-slip grip.
However, it’s the titanium-oxide guides that offer the best combo of strength and slip that really sets this rod apart from the pack.
Given the talk of the various specs and features, you can be forgiven for thinking that extends to the action as well– especially when some of the spec configurations would work better with a different action.
However, the Shimano Clarus pole limits you only to a fast action– though this is not without benefit.
Specifically, the use of fast action helps ensure significantly more accuracy when casting— something that can be especially helpful when casting with one of the longer models.
It also doesn’t hurt that this choice also increases general sensitivity while decreasing the amount of time and distance you need to pull to really sink the hook in.
This is one of those aspects where Shimano really puts in the work offering one of the widest ranges of options regardless of the make, model, or manufacturer.
The only power options that the Shimano Clarus casting pole doesn’t come in are light and extra light, ostensibly allowing you to fish for everything but smaller species.
Granted, not every grade of power comes with all of the other suites of options to choose from, but if you need a specific power for different species, the Shimano Clarus likely has you covered.
In fact, the make still manages to offer extremes at either end of the poles to further accommodate specialized needs.
Thanks to the use of extremely lightweight materials, the Shimano Clarus baitcasting pole is one of the lighter options you can find.
While this also speaks to its average durability, it doesn’t change the fact that you should have no issues using this pole all day every day over a weekend fishing trip.
You shouldn’t have to worry about sensitivity when it comes to the Shimano Clarus thanks to the use of 30-ton high-modulus graphite for the entire length of the blank.
While the absence of fiberglass might mean you should be a bit more ginger when you hit a snag, it also translates vibration through the blank better than most.
The handle neither adds nor detracts from the rod’s sensitivity, though, as mentioned previously, the fast action increases it a bit.
The custom reel seat is also designed to increase sensitivity, though the results of that are subject to the actual reel used.
More often than not, most discussions of rod guides ultimately revolve around which kind of trade-off you’re more willing to make: durability or versatility.
This is because the overwhelming majority of rod guides are made out of either stainless steel or aluminum-oxide– the two of which provide polar opposite benefits and weaknesses.
Generally, you either choose the durability and strength of stainless steel, so you can use braided wire, or you choose the smoothness of aluminum-oxide to avoid tangling the line when you cast.
Thankfully, the Shimano Clarus baitcasting fishing rod takes out both of these birds with one stone.
By using titanium-oxide, you get the strength and durability of stainless steel– more so actually– as well as the frictionless cast of an oxide coating.
If you have to nitpick, the only real downside to using these rod guides is the fact that they will inevitably need to be replaced, and it won’t be quite as easy– or cheap– to do so.
Handle (material, shape, etc)
If you had to pick one choice where the Shimano Clarus fishing rod that doesn’t just choose between two spectrums but actively chooses a lesser option, it’s the EVA foam handle. Granted, this isn’t actually a terrible choice– and some people prefer it to cork– but there are still better options available.
That said, the foam is at least water-resistant, reasonably durable, and provides a solid grip.
However, Shimano went a step above and beyond by also including G Alpha Grip, a treatment that provides some of the best anti-slip technology around.
It’s not exactly the worst thing in the world, but the Shimano Clarus baitcasting pole only comes with a 1-year limited manufacturer’s warranty– a sharp departure for those expecting the company’s previously excellent lifetime warranty.
On top of that, Shimano can be pretty strict about the level of documentation required to successfully redeem the warranty.
Uses (Who is this good for)
This is a bit trickier of a question to answer than you might expect as the Shimano Clarus casting pole seems like it’s a great fit for pretty much everyone.
When you consider its broad spectrum of options and spec configurations, you’d expect pretty much everyone to be able to find their perfect match– and technically, you’re right.
However, you still need the fisherman in question to be skilled enough to take full advantage of every feature and option otherwise they’re wasted.
In this instance, the Shimano Clarus may or may not be suitable for a beginner due to the not-small price tag and its less than generous durability.
That said, the Shimano Clarus may be one of the few mid-tier rods that actually is suitable for a beginner– if you use a braided fishing line to make clearing underwater vegetation easier.
Still, it’s probably best reserved for fishermen who can competently maneuver and navigate a rod with some durability limitations ahead of time.
All-in-all, the Shimano Clarus Casting Rod is a great value that makes it a point to offer a wide range of different spec configurations for all kinds of different cast fishing.
On top of that, this fishing pole also uses high-end materials– some of which are fairly uncommon– that provide a great combination, further increasing versatility.
The fact that this rod can use any kind of line while also offering the best blend of strength and convenience makes it not only rare in general but unheard of at this price point.
That said, this is still a mid-tier model that comes with the kind of caveats that you would expect for the price– especially when it comes to durability.
Of course, none of those concerns are truly disqualifying as much as they narrow the target demographic a bit to fishermen that know what they’re doing.
Still, if you are even a relatively experienced fisherman, the Shimano Clarus casting fishing rod offers plenty of versatility and value regardless of the spec configuration you choose.