Shoot for the moon, the well machined Daiwa Luna
size Luna and Calcutta TE reels match up similarly on size and capacity while
the Luna and Calcutta TE doesn’t match up to the 300 in size, for example the
Luna 300 is much wider and holds 320 yards of 14lb test line while the Calcutta
TE 300 holds 190 yards of 14lb line. When we compared both the 200 and 300 sizes
side by side we found that the Luna delivered superior drag pressure on both
reels. In our tests the 200 size Calcutta TE GT dished out 10.3lbs of counter
pressure while the 203 Luna delivered 11.2lbs of counter pressure. On the 300
sizes the Luna further widens the gap, though it isn’t necessarily fair
considering the size difference between the two reels.
side plate of the Luna 300
In the field both drags felt consistent under pressure, the
Luna’s drag was stronger than the Calcutta, but the TE seemed to offer a wider
range of drag settings. While powerful the drag stack on the Luna does have a
slightly stickier feel than the dry system employed by Shimano. The Luna makes
use of a multi disc fiber composite and stainless drag system while the Calcutta
makes use of a reliable and consistent Dartanium drag.
Breakdown: Luna wins. The Luna wins by a hair in this round with a surprisingly
smooth and powerful drag system. We look forward to seeing how the drag holds up
over time, but out of the box the Luna’s drag is exceptional
The spool on
the 300 features Centriflex cast control
Ergonomically speaking round reels are nowhere near as comfortable to fish with
as their sleek baitcast cousins, but round reels don’t have to be a pain to fish
with either. The latest round reels, the Luna included, make use of improved
drivetrains which require less space. The result is a reel with a better balance
of weight, size, and retrieve feel and strength. Reels like the Calcutta TE
actually soup up the gears and use an offset sideplate to fit the larger gears.
By offsetting the sideplate Shimano is able to add in even more robust gears
without affecting ergonomics or reel balance adversely.
of the reel shows the detailed machining
The smaller Luna exhibits everything you would expect from
a premium reel in terms of ergonomics, easy operation, relatively low weight,
large clutch, easy access to the spool, and comfortable knobs. As a bonus all
Lunas under the 300 size make use of the quick and easy sideplate adjustment for
the Magforce cast control. This is in stark contrast to the vast majority of
competitors that require anglers to open up a sideplate to adjust centrifugal
braking systems. This feature allows the Luna to be adjusted faster the on the
fly than other reels.
the Luna, starting with the handle and drag
When you compare the weight of the two 200 size reels (Luna
203 versus Calcutta 200) the Luna actually weighs .7oz more. The weight is
barely noticeable on reels this size, but nonetheless the weight delta is there.
Breakdown: Tie. Luna wins on smaller sizes, while larger Calcutta TE reels win.
While it is somewhat hard to compare apples to apples between the two reels the
smaller Luna reels have the excellent external cast control system, and all
reels have a two way clutch. The external adjustment is lost on the 300 Luna
unfortunately, and the larger Calcutta reels actually feel more compact thanks
to the offset gearbox.
Both these reels make use of machined parts, and while the Luna prides itself on
having a machined frame and both sideplates, the Calcutta TE makes use of a
combination of a machined frame and forged components. While the machining
improves the refinement of the reel it doesn’t necessarily offer improved
durability over forging, and design plays as a much a factor as build processes
in this category. Over the course of the tests we were not able to get any of
the reels to fail. We also submerged all of the reels in brackish and saltwater,
and none of them were any worse for wear.
A look under
Next Section: Durability, Applications, and