Welcome to Shimano TCurve Premium Review. The T-Curve range of rods is a mature product range that has been around for many years. However, in 2020 we saw a major refresh of the product line-up quickly followed by a further refresh in 2021 with the new TCurve Premium. The T-Curve Premium would be a leap forward for the rod series moving towards higher product specs and a more expensive price point.
The new features that we really liked during testing included…
- Hollow butt section which we have seen already with the Zodias & Poison Adrena series.
- Reduced weight.
- Increased action and sensitivity.
- The X5 Blank graphite construction.
- Split carbon butt design for increased sensitivity and feel.
- Higher-grade Fuji SiC K guides
- Awesome reel seat which hides all the parts you don’t want to see.
- Solid Construction.
- Available in 12 different models 7 spin and 5 baitcaster.
I was an early adopter of both the 2020 TCurve and the TCurve Premium rods. For the Premium rods, I was immediately drawn in by the stylish appearance with the metallic black and blue hollow butt section and cork grips. The subtle shaping of the cork feels really nice in your hand. The reduced weight really appeals to my preferred forms of ultralight fishing. The X5 blank is really nice with an action that wasn’t too whippy or too stiff. The rod is well made and feels quality with solid construction.
I bought the 7 foot 2-5 kilo model and the 7 foot 2 inch 2-4 kilo version which would be perfect for fishing my local inshore waters for species like pinky snapper, flathead, whiting and squid and fishing in my local lakes for trout, redfin and yellowbelly. I would be testing the rods whilst fishing landbased, from my Hobie kayak and from a range of smaller runabout boats.
Watch our full video review of the TCurve Premium in action
I was impressed with the rods on first use and the rod continues to grow on me. Currently, it’s my go-to inshore and land-based rod. I have this paired with either a Shimano Sustain 2500, Twin Power FD 2500 or Shimano Stella FK 2500 depending on what species I’m targeting on the day. It’s a nice rod to use, the shaped cork feels nice in your hand and the action really appeals to my fishing style with soft plastics. X5 was a crisp fast action ( not extra fast ), and it’s lightweight and very responsive.
I had no issues using the rod and immediately found myself tangling with snapper, flathead, whiting and much more with this rod. Although the new premium rods are lighter in weight, they still feel really sturdy. The light rods in the range feel very capable of tangling with a decent size fish. I wouldn’t classify these rods as finesse. If I were targeting light estuary species then id prob is tempted to look at something with a thinner rod blank. However, in inshore waters that ill be fishing including Port Phillip Bay and Westernport, they are terrific.
T-Curve Premium things that could be improved
As much as I genuinely like the rod series there are certainly some head-scratching issues that could be improved. Especially for a rod with a price point of $500
- No hook keeper which is frustrating, by not having one you are tempted to use the guides to attach your jig head or lure which isn’t great for the longevity of the rod. Most rods around this price point have one.
- The split 1.5 rod in length is super annoying. Basically, the bottom butt section is about 30% of the length of piece one and the top end is about 70% of the length of the other piece. This is done to increase strength in the rod blank and increase sensitivity towards the rod tip. However, it’s just unpractical when travelling. If you’re going to buy a 2 piece rod then it should be as close to a 50/50 split for pure convenience or just be a single piece with no spigot joint.
- The bottom section of the blank has a beautiful smooth shiny wrapping finish whilst the top section has a matt black finish.
- The spigot joint ( the section that joins the 2 parts of the rod ) looks completely out of place. All manufacturers who have claimed this is by design and makes the rod stronger have then moved away from this design in following series because of backlash from consumers.
- The paintwork on the hollow butt section scratches away easily, especially when your place the rod in a rod holder.
These are quite minor things but should weigh into your buying choices when putting up a Shimano T-Curve Premium vs other high-end rods at a similar price point.
TCurve Premium Specs
As mentioned the rod series is available in 12 different models 7 spin and 5 baitcaster as outlined in the table below.
Shimano TCurve Premium Cost
For this flagship rod, you will be paying $499 at most major retailers. ( I waited for a 20% sale and picked up the rod for $399 ). At $499, it has some stiff competition including rod series such as the Daiwa Commanders and Millerods production rods. That being said it holds its own. It has enough unique elements and its sturdy yet lightweight design makes it a really enjoyable product to use. If you’re looking for a cheaper alternative then you could consider the 2020 T Curve which is almost half the price and a very capable rod. Or we would strongly suggest having a look at the Shimano Zodias which has a similar look and feel without some of the upgraded components.
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