A copy of Daiwa’s UK 2010 fishing tackle catalogue arrived this morning, much to my delight. For the benefit of those who haven’t received one yet I thought I’d walk you through it – starting with 2010 reels.
In terms of reel technology there doesn’t appear to be an awful lot of new development for 2010. That’s not to say that Daiwa have rested on their laurels this year, but it just appears that they have concentrated on applying their superb, existing technologies further down the range. In summary, there aren’t any new developments at the top of the tree, but with the likes of Zaion, Real Four, DIGIGEAR and the QD drag already in the lineup, we’re already spoilt. A good example of existing technology filtering down through the range this year is the addition of the excellent High Impact Line Clip (HIP Clip) to smaller fixed spools and away from the exclusivity of the bigger carp reels. For those that don’t know, this ingenious line clip on the spool features a braid and mono friendly collar behind the clip so it can be used safely as a distance control without the fear of damaging line. It finds its way from the top-flight BASIAIR onto the replacement for the ever popular TD-R Match & Feeder reels – the new TD-X range. This new addition should go down a storm.
As ever, the first pages of the reel section concentrate on high-end spinning reels. This year that includes the top of the range Branzino 3000, the Certate family of reels, Infinity Q ZAION and Tournament Airity, with the only new addition a ‘Baby Branzino’ named Exist Branzino Hyper Custom 2508R. As usual it’s real drool material with a price tag to match (RRP £599). As you can see from the name it’s a step down in size from its bigger brother with a line capacity listed as 190m of 0.205mm. The light weight of 8.1 ounces is highlighted as a key strength despite the Airity being 0.2 ounce lighter – although the Exist will be much stronger I’d assume. It’s also specially treated to be saltwater friendly. Like its big brother the innards contain the bomb proof Hyper DIGIGEAR found in the Saltiga range. This sets it apart from the other reels in Daiwa’s spinning range. All this is finished off with 11 CRBB bearings, an ultra-smooth waterproof drag, while each reel is individually constructed and numbered. Worthy of the first reel in the catalogue.
Over the page to the Match & Feeder section and there’s one new reel that should most probably become a best seller for Daiwa – the Team Daiwa X Match (TD-X). Moving on from the blue TD-R Match range (which still features in the catalogue alongside the TD-X) this reel looks beautiful on the page, available in either single or twin handle configuration. Fishing-Tackle.co.uk have featured this reel before (see here)but a round-up of the best features are; push-button spool change (comes with spare spool), HIP line clip for distance control, machine cut spool featuring the drag design from the Certate, 7 ball bearings (inc 4 CDBB), DIGIGEAR II, AirBail, Twist Buster II and a new, more comfortable handle. Available in standard Daiwa sizing; TDX2505 & TDX3012. Another sure-fire hit?
If rear drag is more your fancy there’s the new Harrier X Match Rear Drag (RRP £49.99). It’s a good looking reel in black, enhanced by a machined, black/gold, aluminium match spool. It features 7 quality ball bearings and is available in two sizes; HM2553X & HM3053X. Good looking reel at this price point.
Turning to the Carp section it’s clear that the top-end of the range is unchanged from last year – unsurprising considering the run Daiwa have had on carp reel development. The first page confirms this; Tournament BASIAIR, BASIAIR QDX & the BASIAIR QD – all three are as technically, as they are visually, stunning. [Ed – I’m not sure if it is a misprint but the £699 Tournament BASIAIR is actually marked as a ‘Best Seller’. I thought we were in a recession!]
After the existing Tournament ISO QD, the Tournament ST and the Tournament ENTOH we reach the first new carp (and beach) fixed spool – the Windcast range. For those not familiar with Daiwa’s range branding, they normally brand something ‘Z’ as premium, with ‘X’ and then ‘S’ in terms of price point and materials/features. All three have a place in the Windcast range with S costing £99.99 RRP, X £149.99 and top of the range Z just shy of £200, although prices in the shops are likely to be lower. All the reels look good and as you would expect, feature more jewellery as you move up the range. Continuing our observation about hand-me-downs this year, the Windcast Z features the beautiful, wishbone handle of the top-of-the-range BASIAIR no less!
As the Windcast name suggests, casting performance is very much the focus here. Each feature the same spool taper and what looks to be a new line guard to stop crack-offs. Each also has AirBail & CastLock to aid your casting. Moving away from casting, smoothness is increased with 4, 5 & 8 ball bearings as you move up the range – the X & Z have CRBB. The X and Z versions come with a QD quick drag function allowing big fish anglers the ability to move from drag setting to free spool in less than one turn of the drag knob. All come with the BASIAIR HIP line clip giving you the ability to hit the same spot again and again. Each level is available in 5500, 5000 & a 5000 LD (long distance) size. Spare spools are reasonably priced between £20 & £30 RRP. I can see these becoming popular with both carp and beach anglers.
Interesting to see that the black and gold ‘old timer’ – Tournament SS2600 Whisker – remains in the range for another season. Fantastic reel despite not having all of today’s goodies. You can pick these up for £65!
Baitrunner duties remain covered by Tournament Linear X & S, Infinity X BR and the Regal ranges. Probably won’t be a good year for Daiwa in the baitrunner category – you-know-who looking really strong.
Next up is the ‘Power Spinning’ range. Saltiga and Saltist have been given their own section (more of that in a bit) so first up is the Catalina – or the Saltiga Blast as it used be know. Fantastic reel with most of the features of the Saltiga at a reduced price (£375 RRP). Somehow has always felt a bit left out between Saltiga and the more realistically priced reels below. Personally I’ve always felt that I should save and hold out for the Saltiga if I was going to spend that much. There’s even more distraction this year with the introduction of the Seagate – interesting for a number of reasons.
Daiwa look to have created a new chassis for the Seagate and another new reel in the same category – the Exceler E. Looks to take its shape from the Saltiga range, rather than the carp reels and definitely looks the part for tropical spinning & jigging. The spool takes its lead from the Saltiga range with more than a hint of ‘Expedition’ about it. The front drag housing is anodised red with a typical gold rim while lower down there is a black and red band above the drilled out machining – very nice. Perhaps the most striking feature of this reel is the handle – siting on the anodised aluminium handle is a newly designed, round EVA foam grip including more red accents. It looks just the ticket for this kind of reel and takes its lead from the Japanese market. [Ed – I’ve never bought a reel just for the handle… for this I just might!] The feature list is long. The Titanium Nitrided line roller is braid friendly and oversize, although it doesn’t look to be the same design as featured on the Saltiga. There’s a CastLock bail which is handy on this type of large reel as there’ll be a lot of inertia in the cast. Essential Twist Buster and a standard DIGIGEAR (not Hyper). The reels feature a lot of bearings (7 or 8 ) but regrettably only one or two are shielded CRBBs, which seems odd for a reel aimed predominantly at the saltwater market.
One of the reasons I say the Seagate is interesting is that it is offered in a 3500 size. That’s interesting because Daiwa UK have never offered the smaller 3000 sizes of the Saltiga range to the UK market, despite these being popular in neighboring France (for the same Sea Bass). Hopefully these will prove popular and lead to Daiwa offering the Saltiga Game spinning reels in the UK for the first time. The SGT3500 QD is clearly a different reel to the 4500, 5000 & 6000 sizes. That QD standards for ‘Quick Drag’ as featured in some of the carp reels. What it means is that the angler can move from normal drag setting to almost baitrunner free spool in less than a turn of the drag knob. I find that an interesting feature on a saltwater reel – I can definitely think of purpose – I just hope the feature doesn’t compromise the functionality and performance of the drag. Certainly the drag on the 3500 reads like it isn’t waterproof like the bigger reels – further inspection required. I’d absolutely love to get my hands on one of these to test.
Knock £75 off the RRP of the Seagate and you have the new Exceler E. Can see this being suitable for all manner of sea fishing duties in the UK including shore and boat (including Uptiding). Big, tough and ready for saltwater is what the catalogue says. It looks a nice reel, certainly more sedate in colour scheme than the Seagate and I think that will be well received by the UK market – a good choice. The spool definitely has a hit of Shimano about it with its gunmetal and gold colour scheme – something that I like. The spool has a matching anodised handle. The 3500 size is absent here with just 4500, 5000 & 6000 sizes making up the range. Looking down the spec it appears that internally, the reel hasn’t lost a great deal from the Seagate – it’s one bearing short but still features the token, single CRBB. With just the catalogue to go on, I can see this becoming a popular sea angling reel for Daiwa. Will be interesting to see what the real price point will be in the shops.
Beyond this, a load of the 2009 range remains across the spinning reel section, ending with four new rear drag reels ranging from £19.99 to £49.99 across Sweepfire X, Crossfire X, Megaforce X and Procaster X brands.
Page 20 reaches the multiplier and baitcaster range. In 2010, the UK line up of low profile baitcasters appears to be limited to the £399 Steez – a thing of great beauty – and the £89.99 Megaforce. I’m sad to see the demise of the Viento and its Twitchin’ Bar as I own one and think it’s a great little reel.
The exotically priced Luna’s remain (£219 to £249), as does the Millionaire Proteus but it’s not until a few pages on that you reach the beach and boat multipliers. Sandwiched between them are the Tanacom electric reels. With the lack of a continental shelf (and subsequent depths) anywhere near UK shores I guess the thinking here is boat reels for those with a disability that stops them from fully enjoying the sport – which I would imagine must be a great step forward in terms of availability of these specialist reels.
Saltiga & Saltist have a double page spread this year. The Saltiga Z fixed spools and Saltiga Multiplier ranges remain unchanged however they finally have some competition in the ‘pin-up’ status with the hotly awaited Saltist Lever Drag range. Clearly Daiwa and Shimano have felt some pressure to combat the rise of new reel manufacturers like Avet but it’s astonishing just how close the visual similarities are between Daiwa’s Saltist Lever Drag & Shimano’s new Talica when compared to the reasonably well established Avet SX’s and MX’s. I’m not saying this is a bad thing, quite the contrary – and in my mind Daiwa’s contribution has been well worth the wait.
The new Saltist Lever Drag range is split in two – traditional single speed and the twin speed models. Each has a 20, 30, 40 and large 50 size to it. The smallest 20 takes 370 metres of 12lb, although it’s not clear in the brochure whether that’s mono or braid. In all honesty that’s a pretty useless specification. If the 20 is anything like my Avet SX, which I’m pretty sure it is, it will be perfect for 20lb braid. It’s the small end of the range that I believe will receive the most interest and it’s the exact reason I fell in love with the Avet SX a few years back – a small and lightweight lever drag built to standards that make it tough enough to punch well above its weight and put the fun back into UK sportfishing. Without getting too over-dramatic, this style of reel revolutionised my boat fishing enjoyment – and I’m sure many others too. Will be interesting to see if Daiwa’s offering manages to tempt me back. On looks alone, it just might…
The single speed reels are a classy black with silver lever and fittings – this colour scheme will be well received among UK anglers. The 2-speed reels are the lairy ones. Some of the black and silver is replaced with bright blue anodising including the lever, the spool and the handle. In line with the Seagate fixed spool described earlier, all reels feature a round EVA foam handle that just looks really comfortable. All this makes for a good looking range. The 2-speed controls are as found on other reels with the switching situated where the handle attaches to the reel – it is one-touch shifting. The ratios featured are a low of 3.1:1 to a high of 6.3:1. All gearing is Stainless Steel which suggests you’ll get more use out of that 6.3 ratio than you’d expect. Unlike its competitors the price difference between single and 2-speed is only £25 so more anglers might choose to enjoy the extra benefits of a 2-speed gearbox than ever before.
It’s good to see that bearing quality hasn’t been scrimped with all 6 bearings being shielded CRBB. The only mention of cast control is with clever use of the drag mechanism itself. This will help limit any overruns while downtiding but usability for uptiding and indeed heavy beach work will have to come from trial. [Ed – I’m sure it won’t take long before someone’s cutting holes in the side and adding magnets] A must for some, I’m pleasantly surprised to find it has a line-out alarm and there’s also a rod clamp included in the price. These reels could be a future classic.
The 7HT beach multiplier range greets you with a turn of the page. The 7HT Mag was a tremendous leap forward in the evolution of the 7HT brand, answering almost all of anglers’ requests. Unsurprisingly there are no further changes for 2010. The Mag, the Turbo and the standard 7HT all remain available. The last page of reels feature the ever popular ‘SLOSH’ – both original and XA variants – and the Accudepth Plus featuring a mechanical line counter for £79.99.
In summary, some great additions this year. Gut feel is that saltwater anglers have done well in 2010 with great equipment suiting fixed spool and multiplier uses. In addition, the Team Daiwa X Match is sure to be a number one hit with coarse anglers. A number of reels I can’t wait to get my hands on. Hopefully we’ll have some tested on Fishing-Tackle.co.uk in the coming months.
[Ed – all prices listed here are the Recommended Retail Prices listed by Daiwa in their catalogue. Experience in previous years suggests that the actual cost of this equipment will be substantially lower – so shop around!]
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