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Reel Review

The Fast Crowd, High Speed with the Daiwa Aggrest Hyper Speed Baitcaster (continued)


Drag: The Daiwa Aggrest delivered 8.5lbs of drag pressure in our lab which is just shy of Daiwa’s published specifications. This also is on par with what you would expect to see out of a standard Zillion or Steez reel but the Aggrest's system doesn't offer the same range of settings. Inside this reel is not Daiwa's usual drag stack but rather a single recessed washer and steel disc. While the system gets the job done it is not as easy to upgrade as other Diawa reels. When it comes to max drag pressure on low profile baitcasters Daiwa is starting to fall behind the competition in the majority of their offerings, the one exception is the new Type-R which features souped up drags capable of delivering over 15lbs. of pressure.


In the span of 10 minutes we landed over 25 fish with ripbaits in this stretch of water


The drag star is formed from plastic with a brass fitting to lock it in place, and while ergonomically acceptable it does not look or feel as high quality as aluminum drag stars like the one found on the more affordable TD-Advantage HSTA. The more we delved into this reel the more the TD-A Advantage HSTA seems like the better built reel.


Interestingly the Aggrest makes use of the same style knobs found on the higher end Steez reels, the composite drag star is a bit of a turnoff however


Ergonomics: One of the nicest things about the Aggrest is how light it feels in hand and when paired with lighter rods. The Aggrest makes use of an aluminum frame and graphite sideplates similarly to the Shimano Curado and is able to shave off some of the extra weight on the sides while still remaining rather solid feeling due to the quality design. The Aggrest weighs in at only 7.6oz. which is .9oz. less than the TD-Advantage HSTA and Zillion Type-R and a full ounce lighter than both the Zillion Coastal.


Just in case you forgot what your fishing with there is a shiny branding plate on the front of the reel


Not only does the Aggrest feel light but it palms well and sits low on reel seats making this a good choice for applications that require you to hold the rod in palm at an upright including fishing finesse plastics. Paired with Carrot Stix fishing rods this combo felt very light and easy to fish with for extended periods.


The cast tension knob is made out of metal but does not click


The external cast control dial makes it easy to make adjustments on the fly and interestingly Daiwa makes use of the more traditional low profile knobs that are found on higher end reels like the Steez and classic TD-Z reels versus the enlarged rubber handles (soft touch grips) on the Zillion and Advantage reels. It will come down to preference which you prefer, most enthusiasts prefer the lower profile knobs while some anglers feel the rubber grips provide more positive feedback when cranking hard or when fishing in wet weather.


To remove the on handle sideplate anglers need to rotate a knob on the handle side


Durability: While the Aggrest may not feel as solid as a Zillion it held up well throughout testing. The aluminum frame provides a solid foundation for the reel and the metal components used throughout did not show any signs of wear after a season of fishing. The reel’s finish also held off boat rash well and aside from a few scratches on the surface the reel’s paint didn’t chip or flake off.


Drop the sideplate downwards...


Price & Applications: One of the things that make the Aggrest so interesting is the 179 dollar price point. This reel is priced extremely close to the TD-Advantage HSTA which retails for 10 dollars less. Occupying the same basic price point what separates the two reels is the weight difference and the overall profile of the two reels. The HSTA fishes like a much bigger reel but the Aggrest actually holds more line. Most anglers will probably opt for the newer Aggrest and when it comes to ergonomics the Aggrest wins hands down. But when it comes to refinement the lines blur, the HSTA not only has a higher bearing count but also boasts a much higher bearing count (10BB + 1RB) but also makes use of an aluminum frame and right sideplate so it does feel more solid.


...to reveal the standard inductor


Both reels really can’t compete with the much more refined Zillion series but in our opinion the HSTA fishes more like a Zillion when it comes to overall feel while the Aggrest fishes more like the very affordable Exceler. We’re just talking just feel here, in terms of performance the Aggrest smacks the Exceler but the similarities are there in form factor and overall “feel.” If you’re looking for a premium Daiwa baitcasting reel the Aggrest really only gets you halfway there. Is it worth it to shell out another 90 bucks for a Zillion? Yes, if you intend to use the reel as one of your regular workhorse reels. But if you happen to need another reel that delivers a fast 7.3:1 retrieve the Aggrest will indeed fit the bill.  


The non handle sideplate holds the cast control system. This system is proven and compensates for different levels of casters very well


Ratings: (We've re-calibrated our ratings standard for 2008 and have included a key at the bottom of the following matrix as a guide):

Daiwa Aggrest Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality The Aggrest is built with decent materials but the plastic drag star is a turn off at this price point. The reel does have a decent drag system and the use of CRBB bearings and a aluminum frame is a plus. This reel costs more than the Daiwa TD-A HSTA but in terms of build quality is arguably not as robust. The drag simple system is not as refined or easy to upgrade as many other Daiwa reels and there was also plastic gears used to drive the worm gear 6
Performance The Aggrest was not the most refined reel from Daiwa, nor should it be for the price point. the reel did exhibit excellent casting but was not as smooth as other Daiwa reels in terms of retrieve. Perhaps I'm just spoiled on the Zillion series but the Aggrest fished more like a souped up Exceler reel than a proper bridge between the value and premium Daiwa offerings. In fact, in many ways the cheaper TD-A HSTA is just as good performance-wise 7
Price A "fair" price for what your getting but there is a TON of competition at this price point 6
Features One nice thing about the Aggrest is it makes use of a number of quality features normally found in higher end Daiwa reels, this includes the Magforce-Z anti-backlash system, a swept handle and CRBB bearings. yet with all that there is not anything that really makes the Aggrest stand out versus the competition. 7
Design (Ergonomics) The best feature about this reel is the ergonomics, it is reasonably lightweight and has a small footprint making it easy to palm all day long 8.5
Application High speed is not good for every application but the Aggrest proved to be good for both plastics and reaction baits. The ability to cast even lightweight lures makes this a good choice for fishing weightless plastics on a budget. All in all the Aggrest gets the job done but some of the refinement that we like so much from Daiwa is absent in this mainstream reel 7

Total Score

Ratings Key: 1 = terrible : 2 = poor : 3 = lacking : 4 = sub par : 5 = mediocre : 6 = fair : 7 = good : 8 = great : 9 = excellent : 10 = unbelievable!
For More Details of the updated rating system visit our explanation here


Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

+ Lightweight and low profile makes for easy palming - Feels like a slightly higher end version of Daiwa's lower end offerings versus a step down from a Zillion
+ Capable caster - Lots of strong competition at this price range
+ Fast retrieve is good for more than just reaction bait applications  


Though the Aggrest does everything it claims to do it faces an onslaught of competition at this highly contested price point


Conclusion: There are a lot of Daiwa reels that I count among my favorites but the Aggrest does not make that list. The Aggrest is a decent reel but if you really want to experience what makes a Daiwa product so good then it is absolutely worth stepping up to a Zillion. If you’re dead set on the sub 200 dollar price point for a high speed reel there are many good options to select from. The Aggrest faces an onslaught from other brands which include the Shimano Curado E7 which retails for the same price and also weighs the same as well, the Abu Garcia Revo SX which costs 10 dollars less and the exciting new Quantum Smoke which retails for only 20 dollars more and weighs 1.4oz. less. While the Aggrest does get the job done it has trouble standing out of the pack at this price point, if it retailed for 30-50 dollars less it would be a whole lot more attractive.


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