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Enthusiast Reel Review

Before the TD Luna existed there was the Daiwa Japan Millionaire Bay Casting Special (continued)

Drag: This reel sports a surprising seven and a half pounds of max drag pressure which is two and a half pounds more drag pressure than our stock CV-Z 103L. During our first trip on the water with this reel, I was throwing a lipless crank out up on the banks of a local reservoir when I hooked something good. The fish hit within five feet of the shore, but after I set hook, she charged straight out into open water. My drag setting was at about half or two thirds of full but the fish just continued her tear out into open water. I had to turn the boat and chase her with the trolling motor. Then she turned around and went for the other side of the boat basically taking me in a circle all the way around. Finally, I got her close and as her bronze reflection came up from the depths, I could see I had snagged what I estimate to be a twenty (20) pound carp in the back. I was able to release the lure before she dove again but I did not want to take her out of the water because she was wide and obviously full of eggs. What a test for this reel!


A closeup of the Bay Casting Special's Gigas spool and MagForceV cast control system.


Throughout that battle, the drag performed flawlessly. I purposefully, did not tighten the drag for fear of losing what I hoped was a trophy bass, but when that carp ran, the drag pulled out with silky precision and has continued to perform with this character through several hard fighting striped and black bass though none of these fish have come close in size to that particular carp.


Despite it's round profile, the Bay Casting Special fits comfortably in one's hand due to its relatively low position in the reel seat.

Ergonomics: Round baitcasters are often overlooked when put up against their low profile counterparts because they are simply not as comfortable to grasp in one's palm. That consideration aside, the Millionaire Bay Casting Special is quite comfortable to palm for those with medium sized hands or larger. Its 100 series size means it's smaller than the traditional 200 series size of baitcasters and its position in the reel seat is very low for a round baitcaster. The advent of its externally adjustable brake control as compared to the standard CVZ reels is an outstanding upgrade that is both easy to locate and easy to actuate using the base of one's thumb to press in and then turn to achieve the desired setting. This reel is as easy and comfortable to use as any round baitcaster we've tested.

The Millionaire Bay Casting Special is solidly built with almost all metal construction including a sturdy titanium nitrade line guide.

Design: Round baitcasters all seem to be pretty basic and free of frills in their design. As noted earlier, the most striking component of this reel, we found, was it's somewhat unique blue and gold finish. This reel is solidly crafted of almost all aluminum parts with the only plastic being the protective cap shielding the bolt that holds the handle to the reel. It's a reel that inspires confidence in construction when you grasp it in your palm. One criticism of design we did discover was the use of the standard, unfinished foot at the base of the reel. While it certainly serves the intended purpose, such careful consideration was given to all other components in the reel, we felt a bit more attention could have been paid to this very important component. Otherwise, while nothing really sticks out about the reel, we found nothing else to really criticize either.

The Bay Casting Special makes a great striper reel.


Daiwa Millionaire Bay Casting Special Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Solidly constructed with top notch materials 10
Performance Flawless performance during our tests 9
Price As with all supertuned reels, this one comes with a high cost of ownership 7
Features External cast control, bearing supported knobs and Gigas spool but no micro-click adjustments for the drag or cast control on a reel at this price point? 8
Design (Ergonomics) A very comfortable reel to fish with no idiosyncratic quirks 8
Application Suitable for fresh or saltwater applications thanks to the CRBB's. 9

Total Score


Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

J Solidly Constructed Reel L No micro-click adjustments in the drag or cast control knob
J Powerful, smooth drag performance L Just a tad heavy
J Good, high speed retrieve for a round baitcaster L Needs just a little more styling "umph" for a reel at this price point
J Attractively styled and we love the TT colors! JJJ  

Conclusion: Daiwa Japan's Millionaire Bay Casting Special is a solid performing reel that leaves a little to be desired in the design department. While we found nothing significant lacking in this reel, we wanted just a bit more "umph" having spent top dollar to acquire this gem. That having been said with features like a 7.5 pound max pressure drag, bearing supported knobs, a lightweight, Gigas spool, and an externally adjustable brake control system, one could certainly do a lot worse than this reel. Top it all off with an attractively styled blue and gold themed finish, and while this may not be our most favorite reel in our vaults, it's certainly earned a spot among the tried and true TackleTour arsenal. A lot of the features and performance we see in the Bay Casting Special should translate over nicely in the new TD Luna, and with a US born price point the new reel is definitely something to look forward to.











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