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Reel Components (Maintenance)

Inside the Steez, Daiwa Japan's New Flagship Low Profile Baitcaster (continued)

Inside the Steez cont'd: The Dura-Loc Pinion Gear now has four (4) slots machined into its end, and the edges for re-engaging the spool pin on its face have an inward taper. This was obviously done to eliminate the potential for the spool to not fully re-engage when the handle is barely turned (which was more of a distraction rather than a real concern on earlier low profile reels). In addition, the increased pressure provided by the Cam Clutch Spring makes the Yoke Plate rotate more quickly, which causes the Pinion Gear to turn up to ¼ turn when the reel is reengaged. I was unable to get the reels to partially re-engage, regardless of how many times I tried without line or tension on the spool. The pinion is made from the same phosphor bronze material as the TD-Z pinion, and it still seems quite durable even though the extra slots are machined on its end.


Major Changes in Mounting the Steez Drive Shaft

The Roller Bearing (Roller Clutch Bearing) for the Drive Shaft is still the same size as in previous reels, but it now uses 12 rollers instead of 6.  The use of additional rollers not only provides for smoother operation, it also reduces anti-reverse back play while helping to maintain tighter mesh alignment between the Drive Gear and Pinion Gear. The shaft Outer Bearing (Ball Bearing F) is still the same as those found on other Daiwa low profiles (8x12x2.5 mm).

Steez Pinion Gear

The Steez does not use the Line Guide from the TD-Z, but instead uses a smaller guide with a hard ceramic insert.  (It is similar to the guide used in the Pixy, Sol, etc., but has an elongated line opening, making it about 2 mm taller.)  The insert is made from Titanium Nitride, like the ones found on the TD-Z and other reels.

New Steez Roller Bearing

The Drag Stack:  The Steez uses a Drive Gear that is identical in size but weighs about one-third as much as the TD-Z gear. It is made from A7075 Aluminum, which is a very tough and durable alloy, made primarily from Zinc, Magnesium and Aluminum. A7075 is commonly used in aircraft and aerospace applications.

The metal and carbon-fiber drag washers in the Steez are the same size as those used in the TD-Z, Alphas, Sol, etc., and the metal washers are titanium coated stainless just like in the TD-Z.  Unlike the teflon-carbon drag washers used in earlier low profile reels, the stock Steez carbon-fiber washers are supposed to be periodically lubricated with a very light coat of Daiwa grease (DSG505).  They have a texture on both sides of the washer which reminded me of 300 grit sandpaper. 

Drag Stack and Shaft Components
(Steez Carbon Fiber Washers Compared to Carbontex Washers)

I upgraded the drag sets in all my Steez to Carbontex drag washers, only because I had the reels open and had spare sets of Daiwa Reel #1 washers on hand.  I cannot say the reels even needed the drag upgrade and I really could not tell much difference in drag performance after switching to the Carbontex washers.  Although the Carbontex washers added approximately a .1mm increase in total stack thickness (due to the slightly thicker fiber washers), the reels still worked fine with them installed.

The Drag Click Leaf Spring Holder, Click Leaf Spring, and Drag Spring Washers are identical to those used on the TD-Z.  However, the detents under the Drag Star are smaller than on the TD-Z, providing for finer adjustment of the “Micro-Click” drag. 

The Drag Star and Click Cup used on the Steez are still too big to fit on an Alphas or Pixy.  The Alphas and Pixy will not have sufficient drive shaft length, and the spool tension cap will contact the drag star.

The Drive Shaft and Handle:  The end of the Drive Shaft is configured a little differently than other Daiwa low profile reels.  The Steez does not use a Handle Nut; instead it uses a right-hand tapered screw with a 10 mm head to attach the end of the shaft to the handle.  A screwed retainer fits over the head to keep it in place.

End of Steez Drive Shaft

The rest of the handle has threads that are the same size and taper as the other Daiwa low profile reels (reverse for LH reels and normal for RH reels).  It is possible to put a different handle on the shaft if you want to upgrade to a more conventional Daiwa or aftermarket handle.  However, I did not even attempt to make a handle change, because the new swept handle felt very comfortable and was easy to use.  I also found that having the knobs a little closer to the reel takes some of the strain off my wrist that holds the reel, which was apparent while landing larger fish.


Steez Handle and Knobs (with Reel Grips)

The handle on the Steez uses four (4) ball bearings (two under each knob).  The bearing sizes and knob configuration are identical to the TD-Z, except two (2) thin 2.5 mm washers are used at the bottom of each knob, instead of one used on some stock Daiwa handles.

Conclusion:  Now that I have had a detailed look inside the Steez it is easy to see why the Steez provides much smoother operation when compared to many of my other Daiwa reels, and it was obvious that Daiwa wanted to mitigate play, gear noise and vibration in the design of the reel. A nice and smooth metallic feel is really the only way I can describe how the Steez cranks. Daiwa did take successes of their limited production reels and combined the best features of those into the Steez. They also focused on improving drag, operation and performance in the process.... all of which result in a reel that exudes just as much "performance" as it does "style."











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