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Reel Review

Daiwa’s Pluton can be described with one word…. Solid (continued)

Ergonomics cont'd: In comparison the Luna 203 weighs 11.9oz and the Shimano 200 GT TE weighs in at 11.4oz. Can you feel the difference of 1.1oz? Not so much when saltwater fishing and you’re hanging 3oz. of iron vertically or trolling a plug but absolutely when tossing lures like swimbaits which require constant casts and continual retrieves.

Though a round reel the Pluton has plenty of geometric angles that help balance out the reel's design


Price & Applications: Both Pluton versions are currently retailing for 369.99 which is 120 dollars more than the Daiwa Luna. The Pluton also costs 20 dollars more than the similarly sized Calcutta GT TE 200 size. While similar in performance and positioning the Pluton does feature a number of more refined elements including all machined components versus forged or cast frame and sideplates. The Pluton does have two less bearings than the Calcutta GT TE but you would never know it from the reel’s smooth connected retrieve.


Cal finds the Pluton to be an exceptional caster while fishing on the Delta

When it comes to capacity the Pluton holds enough line for most species (14/155) and much more than the Calcutta GT TE (14/110). For freshwater fishing this capacity is more than enough but the Pluton is also designed for larger saltwater species. When tackling big game superlines may be necessary to achieve enough capacity and it is good to know that the Pluton can bear the strain of these low stretch lines.

The Pluton manhandles schoolie stripers in our test

The Pluton is a bit heavy for casting smaller lures all day but the weight matches up well with oversized swimbait rods making it an excellent choice for tossing big baits. The Pluton can also pull double duty as an inshore reel and even can tackle bigger pelagic species with the right superlines.

Cranking on the Pluton never gets tiring, the reel is smooth, powerful, and refined

The Pluton it is also among the easiest round reels we have ever taken apart and during our preview we explored the innards of the reel. Once you remove the handle and drag star there are only three screws holding the handle side plate in place.

The sun has set on our tests and the Pluton proved to be an excellent multi-purpose reel and is rapidly becoming a popular swimbait reel among the staff 

The gearing and clutch mechanism is straightforward and all lubrication points are easy to access. Service is especially important on this round reel as there is a high probability that anglers will use this reel for a combination of fresh and saltwater applications depending on their region.

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 Pluton 200H/200SH Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Built like a tank the Pluton is as solid as they come and feels like a Saltiga with a levelwind 9
Performance The Pluton surprised us in multiple categories and is an excellent reel for both mono and braided lines. The reel proved very good when casting and the external cast control is very easy to use on the fly. On the retrieve the reel feels powerful and refined 9
Price The Pluton rates in as "good" in the price category and while it is slightly more expensive than competing offerings it also has some features and components that are more refined 7.5
Features When it comes to round reels the Pluton is a feature rich reel with quality gearing, a new clutch design, wet drag, and external cast control 8.5
Design (Ergonomics) The Pluton's biggest strength is its solid build quality but this also causes the reel to be on the heavy side. While fine for saltwater or tossing swimbaits the reel feels heavy when constantly casting lighter lures 6
Application The Pluton is a great multi-purpose reel good for larger freshwater baits, inshore fishing and even some bigger saltwater game 9

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

J Machined frame, built like a tank L Heavy for a 200 size reel
J Smooth drag performance L Would like more drag pressure
J High torque when cranking  
J External cast control is quick and easy to use  
J Wide range of applications  

Conclusion: The Team Daiwa Pluton is the best round reel we have seen from the company since the esteemed Saltiga hit our shores. Built to handle serious punishment from big fish the polished Pluton is the latest jewel to come out of the Daiwa camp, and a serious contender to the popular Calcutta TE series. This reel combines the refinement and elegance of the Saltiga with the functionality and ease of use of the Luna. Daiwa took the high road with the Pluton and over-engineered the reel with extra robust gearing, a souped all machined frame, and a quality externally adjustable cast control system. The Pluton has quickly become a favorite round reel of Cal, our Enthusiast Editor. Cal normally only fishes with left handed reels but was willing to give the right handed Pluton a shot, and since that initial cast has not put it down. What does it take for a domestic reel to win an “Ultimate Enthusiast” Award? We knew that when our Enthusiast Editor was willing to put down his ITO reels to fish a domestic that we had something truly special.

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