Daiwa's Last Holdout, the Alphas, Has Been Assimilated
So how did Daiwa do it? A closer look at the line guide itself reveals a more narrow, sort of lower case "t" as compared to that found in the Steez A TW and older generation Tatula SV TW. By creating a more narrow, compact T-Wing for the Alphas, Daiwa
is attempting to deliver the benefits of the T-Wing design while maintaining the small form factor and continue the original spirit of the platform.
We will have to wait until we complete our field tests to see just how well this
The Alphas SV TW 800's T-Wing (left) is narrower than the
other platforms (right)
The new Alpha's spool (right) is radically different from the
original (right - spool from the Alphas Ito Ai)
Comparing diameters between the two spools
Size differences between the original and the new Alphas SV TW, as mentioned, include the narrower width on the new platform, and also a smaller spool. The former 33 mm diameter / 25 mm width spool now gives way to a spool with the rough dimensions of 32 mm in diameter by 22 mm in width. This will pave the way for a host of new tuning spool options but sadly, make the current options obsolete.
HyperDrive Design Enabled: For 2021, Daiwa has called attention to a few pre-existing technologies with their all encompassing HyperDrive Design initiative. As explained in our preview of the Steez Limited SV TW 1000, there are four major components of this initiative. We're not going to repeat each one here, but while I had the Alphas SV TW 800 taken apart, I decided to take a closer look at one of those components more closely, namely the Hyper Double Support.
the finesse focused 2020 Alphas Air TW, the 2021 Alphas is a general purpose
reel with standard line capacity
A look inside the new reel and the main gearing
Hyper Double Support is simply Daiwa's new way of calling attention to the fact the reel in question has a double bearing supported pinion gear. Traditionally, there is a bearing in support of the pinion gear located within the spool tension adjustment knob at the reel's side plate. The second bearing, located within the reel's frame, is usually reserved for intermediate to higher end reels but Daiwa has included this feature even in their budget, Fuego CT casting platform in the past. A quick look at the Alphas SV TW 800's frame confirms this reel is indeed equipped with that extra bearing.
Locating the bearing nestled within the frame which supports the pinion
Alphas SV TW 800 XH/XHL features an 8.1:1 retrieve ratio
The one feature I wish Daiwa would go into more detail with is their HyperDrive Digigear. Just how do the achieve the proclaimed improvements to smoothness and durability in the gears? Smaller teeth? Change in materials? Are the teeth cut at an optimal angle? One thing we can say about the Alphas SV TW 800 XHL specifically is that finally Daiwa is offering this compact platform in a higher aspect retrieve ratio. 8.1:1 in the Alphas platform is big news.
relatively large gear in such a small reel
consists of a single carbon washer
the Alphas SV TW 800 capture some of the same magic as the original? Once the
weather warms, I intend to find out
From the controversial T3, to the widely popular Tatula, continuing in the Zillion and Steez TW platforms, it was really just a matter of time before the T-Wing revolution found its way to Daiwa's Alphas platform. Last year's Alphas Air TW was a hint towards this inevitability and now, aside from a few budget and one specialty platform, the manufacturer is all in with their take on the often overlooked line guide. The only thing that remains for me is to spool this reel up with some line, find a worthy rod with which to pair it, and get it on the water for some real world tests. Does the Alphas SV TW 800 capture some of the same magic as the original? I intend to find out. In the meantime, if you're interested in performing your own assessment, the Alphas SV TW 800 is available right now at JapanTackle.com.