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Reel Review

The Team Daiwa Advantage HSTA, A "Supertuned" Remix

Date: 11/14/07
Tackle type: Reels
Manufacturer: Daiwa
Reviewer: Zander

Total Score: 9.0 + EDITORS CHOICE!

The Team Daiwa Advantage has been one of the most successful reels for Daiwa, and has spawned a number of variations that are designed for either fresh or saltwater. The new TD-Advantage HSTA is the latest iteration of the series, and designed to be the most advanced to date. The HSTA implements a variety of souped up features which include a higher bearing count, weight reduction, and a Zillion styled handle and drag star… all in the name of supertuning.

Daiwa TDA 153HSTA Specifications

Line Capacity (lb/yds) 12/140, 14/120
Gear Ratio 6.3:1
Weight 8.5 oz.
Bearings 10BB + 1RB
Additional Features Red free floating perforated aluminum spool, Magforce-Z, infinite anti reverse, 6 point drive train, low profile, super seven disc wet drag, micro-click drag adjustment, titanium nitride line guide aperture. machined cast control knob, swept handle
Origin Thailand
MSRP $159.99

Three years ago we reviewed the Team Daiwa Advantage HST, and found the reel to be just shy of an Editors Choice. The reel walked away with a Best Value Award for a good balance of performance versus price, and really would have taken top honors if it had just a little more refinement. At the time Daiwa was looking for an answer to the Curado, and the moderately priced TD-A actually found fans among anglers looking for a solid performing alternative. At the time burner reels had not yet become mainstream offerings for most manufacturers and the TD-A’s 6.3:1 retrieve offered anglers just a little more speed, making this a good choice for an all around reel.


The remixed TD-A undergoes further Supertuning


Compared side by side with the original Advantage HST model the HSTA is much slicker looking. Maybe it’s the new finish, the new Sol-like frame porting, perhaps it is the red spool, but most likely it comes down to the Zillion-like swept handle. The handle is the first thing most anglers will notice as it has plenty of enthusiast appeal. Not to mention that it is surprising in the first place to see the swept handle on a reel of this price point.


Landing stripers in the Delta with the new HSTA


So what does supertuning really mean for anglers? For some more maintenance savvy anglers it means tuning their existing baitcasters to outperform their original specification. This usually comes by refining the reel or upgrading various components to improve a variety of attributes, which may include casting distance, accuracy, improved cast control, smoother retrieve, or a more consistent and/or powerful drag. When a manufacturer says that the reel is “supertuned” this usually means that the reel has already undergone some upgrades and/or refinement during actual production so that anglers can expect a higher level of performance and refinement out of the box. This isn’t to say that anglers cannot further “tune” these already factory upgraded reels to their satisfaction.


The HSTA bears the same profile as the previous HST reel


All in all the Advantage HST definitely looks the “supertuned” part, and while you can never judge a book by it’s cover the reel certainly looks “supertuned.” It was time to see if slick appearances translate to even slicker performance.


Like the original the HSTA sits quite low on most reel seats


Real World Test: To test the Advantage HSTA we head for the brackish water at the mouth of the California Delta in hopes of intercepting some striped bass. We also fished for largemouth bass in local lakes. We tossed a variety of lures ranging from weightless rigged plastics to magnum sized jerkbaits to see how well the reel would handle the complete spectrum of baits.


The Advantage series is wider than most Daiwa baitcasters


Casting: Like the reel before it the Advantage HSTA makes use of Magforce-Z cast control. The Magforce-Z magnetic backlash control feels identical to the one on the previous version, and anglers used to Daiwa’s system will feel right at home with the HSTA’s implementation. In terms of casting the HSTA feels relatively smooth and friction free but really different than the HST when it came to long distance casts. In fact casting both reels side by side we were unable to cast one farther than the other beyond any margin of error. Where we did notice a distinct improvement is with the handling of smaller and even weightless rigged baits. This reel casts everything down to weightless plastics surprisingly well. While the HSTA is no Steez, it certainly is impressive when it comes to casting the lighter stuff, in fact more so than other Magforce Z based reels we have tested in the past, once again highlighting the benefits of tuning.


The first thing most anglers notice is the Zillion-like swept handle, which is surprising to see on a reel of this price point

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