Daiwa Stays in High Style at ICAST 2008
Bryan Yamame gave me a brief overview of Daiwa's new items for
2009, and there are many of them. Daiwa, with it's
top-of-the-line Steez system (Daiwa refers to a rod and reel as a
'system') leapt into the forefront of style a few years ago, and
has never looked back. Today, Daiwa has the fanciest styling - as
well as some of the most functional and durable rods and reels,
especially with its premium level systems like Steez, Fuego and
"One of the main Daiwa themes for 2009 is speed,"
prefaces Bryan. "Daiwa pros expressed a need to us for more
speed across the product line, and Daiwa's delivered that with
new high speed reel models across all system levels for
2009," says Yamane.
103SHA and 100SHA baitcasters. Not only the
lightest reels of their kind, they’re also the fastest,
featuring a blazing 7.1:1 gear ratio which recovers a whopping
29.8 inches of line with each turn of the handle. Yes folks, that
is about as light and fast as a bass reel gets. The 5.6 oz Steez
103SHA holds just a bit less line and weighs 1/10th oz less than
the 5.7 oz 100SHA model. Otherwise, advanced features and
functionality in all regards are impressively identical on the
Steez 103SHA and 100SHA. MSRP $479.95.
Daiwa's top-of-the-line Steez
Swimbait Rod. In the Steez system, there's a
nice new Steez swimbait rod Bryan showed me. "This new rod's
for smaller swimbaits like the Money Minnow and many others like
that," says Bryan.
Whereas most swimbait rods today have been built for bigger
swimbaits, this is one of the few rods designed for the popular
and smaller Basstrix-spawned swimbait market. There are many
smaller swimbaits such as this flooding the market - but few rods
designed for them.
rods. Also part of the Steez system, the new
Fle-X-Lite series includes three baitcasting and two spinning
rods. They all combine the flexibility of fiberglass with the
lightweight properties of graphite for crankbait and jerkbait
Yamane feels the Fle-X-Lite baitcasting models will be hot
crankbait outfits. "They have slower action and a
fiberglass-like feel. That means they are softer and more
forgiving on the hookset and during the fight, but still maintain
lightness," says Bryan.
"These make great spinning rods for tossing
difficult-to-cast hard baits like balsa cranks and lightweight
jerkbaits too. also What we've found with the Fle-X-Lite spinning
rods is that there are some guys who really like the softer,
slower fiberglass-like action in a spinning rod for dropshot and
shakey jigs." Bryan suggests you try these rods for those
applications. These are tactics where you're not hitting the fish
hard or fast. In fact, if you do, you're not going to hook them.
So these fiberglass composite rods help the fish get a good grip
and bear down on the bait in their mouth, before you can pull it
away from them.
Steez Fle-X-Lite rods MSRP from
$419.95 to $449.95, depending upon model.
Spinning System. New TD Fuego spinning rods and
reels feature reel body, rotor and sideplate parts plus rod
handle components made of lightweight, corrosion-resistant 'Zaion'
graphite. These are rugged, beefy, well-built systems, including
waterproof drag systems equally suitable for inshore coastal
fishing which is a much more punishing and harsh fishing
environment on equipment. So you know the Fuego spinning system
is going to be more than heavy duty for freshwater bass fishing
too. As expected from Daiwa, the Fuego rods and reels are the
height of style, light weight and functional.
Fuego spinning reels are heavy
duty. MSRP $279.99
Fuego spinning rods. MSRP ranges
from $199.95 to $219.95.
Commemorative Edition TD Zillion 7.3:1 Baitcaster.
To commemorate the Daiwa company’s 50th anniversary, Daiwa is
offering a Special Edition Hyper-Speed TD Zillion reel with 7.3:1
retrieve – the world’s fastest low-profile baitcaster.
Capable of cranking in an amazing 32 inches of line with a single
turn of the handle. These unique gleaming red reels – each
engraved and serial numbered – have an MSRP of $299.95.
"The commemorative model will only be made in limited
production based on order estimates," says Bryan.
Daiwa's commemorative 50th
anniversary model is the fastest bass reel ever made.
Zillion 4.9:1 'Crazy Cranker'. Daiwa has also
introduced a new TD Zillion baitcaster model TDZLN100PA with a
low 4.9:1 ratio for crankbaits. Nicknamed the 'crazy cranker.' it
takes in 22 inches per turn. "If you're planning to fish a
lot of crankbaits, particularly the deep-diving kind, then a
low-ratio reel like this is important.," advises Yamane.
MSRP of $269.95.
Zillion Rods. Twelve new TD Zillion rod models
are also new for 2009. Features include the new, stylish Zaion
handle components and reduced-weight Air Foam handle grips like
higher-priced Steez rods.
TD Zillion rods range from $199 to
Iaconelli Signature Rods. These are timely in
that they are intended for the latest new fishing tactics such
as: Long Cast Cranking, Shakey/Wacky Jig Head Spinning rods,
Super Long Cast Spinning. Plus baitcasters for Jerkbait, Pitch
and Skip, and the Power Flipping Special rod, covering all the
very latest tactics.
Mike Iaconelli Signature Rods
cover the latest new tactics.
Plus Baitcasting Reels. As with all new Daiwa
reels mentioned above, the Megaforce Plus 100TSH has a swept-in
handle bar, which moves the grip paddles closer to the centerline
of the rod for less wobble, a better feel and maximum winding
leverage. This is a great Daiwa reel feature, and many other of
the high-end features found on higher-priced Daiwa reels are also
features on the new Megaforce Plus 100TSH which has 11 ball
bearings and a 7.1:1 ultra high speed retrieve.
What the Megaforce Plus also has is Daiwa's Twitchin’ Bar.
"This neat feature has proven very popular for Daiwa,"
says Bryan. What it is, it's a little level that takes in up to
seven inches of slack line or imparts a subtle twitching action
to a jig or worm or whatever bait you're using - with a simple
push of the thumb. Best of all, the Twitchin' bar is a lot of fun
to use, convenient, and it works! All this at an affordable MSRP
Megaforce Plus features Daiwa's
popular Twitchin' Bar.
up Daiwa's New Systems for 2009. I told you
Daiwa had many new and beautifully-stylish additions for 2009.
Probably too many for the ordinary angler to make sense of, so I
asked Yamane to kind of simplify and sum it all up for us, which
Bryan did quite nicely.
"On the high end, there's no question that if you can afford
it, then Steez is the ultimate top-of-the-line system in features
and Fuego. "Most serious tournament
anglers will be found using the Zillion and the Fuego systems,
which offer a level of high performance not attained in many
other brands," claims Yamame.
"By far Daiwa's most popular system are the Megaforce level
of quality rods and reels. You can get set up with a Megaforce
system (rod and reel) for somewhere in the range of $150,"
says Yamane. "The Megaforce system level offers much more
than everything needed in a rod and reel for the avid to casual
Catcher. This one sounds just too good to leave
out although at first, Daiwa's Lure Catcher may seem a little
pricey at $19.99, but the features make it worth it, especially
if you save a few high-priced crankbaits with it. This item can
become a money-saver after just a couple of recovered lures.. but
don't stop there! The heavy weight and the octopus-like mass of
chains on the Daiwa Lure Catcher look to be ideal to retrieve
stuck jigs, jigging spoons and all manner of tackle that other
lure retrievers may not be able to salvage. It's the many chains
that up the odds your favorite baits will be recovered. Then
there's the convenience of the reel spool to hold the 45 feet of
line it comes with. At least in terms of looks, without trying
it, the Daiwa Lure Catcher appears to be the Cadillac of lure
Special Features of ICAST 2008:
- Ardent: Ardent
Shows Pretty Nifty Products
- Daiwa: Daiwa
Stays in High Style
- Endless Innovation: Hundreds
of Hot New Products at ICAST
- Frogs: Gambler,
Gene Larew, Kanji, Mann's, Rein, Secret Lures, Snag Proof, Spro
- G.Loomis: G.Loomis
Goes for the GLX Excellence
- Hooks: Good-Looking
Hooks from Eagle Claw, Gamakatsu, Mustad, Owner, TTI, VMC
- ima: ima
Japan Debuts North American Exclusive Baits
- Jackall: Day
of the Jackall Lures
- Lines: New
Fishing Line from Bioline, Blackwater, Cajun, SeaGuar, Sufix,
- Lucky Craft: Feeling
Lucky and Crafty
- MegaStrike: Mega
- Optimum Baits: Optimum
Debuts Double Diamond Swimmer
- Plano: Plano
Wins Best of Show Award in Tackle Management Category
- Quantum: Quantum's
New KVD Tour Rods and Reel Cover all Cranking Situations
- Rods: Rod
Highlights from American Rodsmiths, Big Bear, Kistler, Lamiglas,
World-Class Hard Baits by his own Principles
- Shimano: Shimano
Curado Voted 'Best of All' New Products
- Strike King: Kevin
VanDam Comments on Strike King's New Bass Baits