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Complete ICAST 2017 Coverage
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TackleTour Exclusive: On the Water with the New G.Loomis Conquest Rod Series

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Enthusiast Review


Daiwa's Beloved Alphas Gets Another Variant - SV (continued)

 

Power: Our standard test these days is to tie on a deep diving crank and see how a reel feels under the burden of dragging the plug through the depths. For the Alphas SV, this task was taken with a Strike King 10XD. We should note that the Alphas SV is available in both a 5.8:1 and 7.2:1 retrieve ratio. Our test model was the 105SHL, or left handed 7.2:1 retrieve ratio model, so not something designed for cranking yet the Alphas SV held up quite well. If the spool were a little deeper, that 5.8:1 ratio reel would make quite the little stealth deep cranking reel although I'd still prefer a longer handle.


The Alphas SV comes standard with an 80 mm handle.

Casting Range: To test the low end capabilities of the Alphas SV, I mounted it on a Phenix Recon C682L and experimented with a variety of unweighted plastics. The winning combination was an unweighted Jackall Crosstail shad nose hooked by a #2 Owner Mosquito hook tipping the scales at 3.1grams. That's pretty light! With that 3.1gram lure offering, I experienced performance similar to that of the SS SV and was able to cast to about 50 feet away. Not a great distance, but with a enough practice and fine tuning of the gear, Iíve little doubt more distance is attainable. Whatís more important is the ease by which that SV spool casts these finesse offerings.


Brake adjustments are easy with this external dial.

Brakes: The Alphas SV has Daiwa's typical externally adjustable magnetic braking system. The dial is not delineated with numbers, but there are 10 major tick marks with smaller tick marks in between. The dial is ratcheted with 20 total clicks.


A look at that SV rotor.

Features: Aside from the standard checklist of haves and have-nots as delineated in the following table, the Alphas SV does come with something somewhat unique in today's low profile baitcasting reels. It has a non-disengaging levelwind. Catch the double negative? That means the levelwind tracks back and forth along the spool as line is being pulled out of the reel when you're fighting a fish.


The Alphas SV's rotor tracks back and forth on the spool as line is peeled in drag off during a battle.

Not very many bass-sized baitcasting reels have this feature - in fact it's so rare, we don't even check for it anymore, but we happened to notice it on the Alphas SV. Why is it important? Well, if you're OCD about the way your line lays on the spool, and how steep of an angle it must endure while peeling off under drag, a moving levelwind is intended to mitigate this issue. However, it's something normally associated with larger, and wider reels where that angle really becomes an issue.

 

Features Ratings for Daiwa Alphas SV 105SH/L

Ext Brake Adjust? (1-2)
Levelwind Bearing (1-2)
Knob Bearings (1-3)
Micro Clicks (1-3)
Reel Cover (1-2)
Oil (1-2)
Total
Possible
Rating (= Tot/Pos * 10)
2
1
3
2
1
1
10
14
7.14

 


Ergonomically the Alphas platform has always been a favorite thanks to a super low profile.

 

Design & Ergonomics: The Alphas platform is among the most comfortable low profile baitcasting shapes you can fish. Hence the platform's popularity. It is so easy to palm and just the right weight to where having the reel on your rod is an afterthought. You just fish it.


The reel almost becomes an afterthought it's so small and compact.

I do wish the handle were a bit longer, but 80mm is better than 70mm. Otherwise, the reel is simple to break down for maintenance and just as easy to reassemble.

 


Breakdown and reassembly is simple.

 

Design & Ergonomics Ratings for Daiwa Alphas SV 105SH/L

Handle Length (1-5)
Knobs (1-5)
Palming (1-5)
Overall Weight (1-5)
Ease of Breakdown (1-5)
Total
Possible
Rating (= Tot/Pos * 10)
3
4
5
4
5
21
25
8.4


This Alphas variant is available in two retrieve ratios!

Application: The Alphas SV is designed as an all purpose type reel that is finesse enabled. Like it's lighter, pricier sibling the SS SV, this reel can really support almost every technique with the obvious exception being big baits - you just can't get enough line of large diameter on this reel. Otherwise, aided by the fact it's available in two separate retrieve ratios - both higher and lower than the original, and you can cover a good range of techniques with this reel.

 

Application Ratings for Daiwa Alphas SV 105SH/L

Horizontal (1-5)
Vertical (1-5)
Finesse (1-5)
Big Baits (1-5)
Topwater (1-5)
Total
Possible
Rating (= Tot/Pos * 10)
4
5
5
2
5
21
25
8.4

 

Ratings:

Daiwa Alphas SV 105SH/L Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Still as airtight as the original 9.0
Performance Very solid performer and excellent with finesse tactics 8.4
Price Affordable thanks to a strong dollar 7.5
Features The non-disengaging levelwind is a fun feature 7.14
Design (Ergonomics) One of our favorite platforms ergonomically 8.4
Application Thanks to two retrieve ratios, a very versatile little reel 8.4

Total Score

8.14
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
+ An variant worthy of the original - JDM Only
+ Strong Drag  
+ A true finesse reel yet so much more  

  

Conclusion: Daiwa is really onto something with their new SV spool. It opens up the utility of the reel just a small percentage more for finesse baits but also gives you a stable braking platform like their traditional MagForce Z. Package this in a platform that is arguably the second most beloved in Daiwa's history (next to the retired TDZ) and you have yourself the potential for a real winner.


Not quite as magical as the original but a very worthy variant nonetheless.

Daiwa Japan even took it a step further by offering this reel in two different retrieve ratios. How long have enthusiasts been trying to find different gear sets to either speed up or slow down their Alphas reels? How you have a choice of two (or buy both!) right out of the box. The only downside? This is a JDM only product. Daiwa's has been slowly integrating their USDM and JDM product. Perhaps at ICAST 2015, we'll see a US version of this new little powerhouse.


 

 

 

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