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Enthusiast Reel Review


Redefining the UL Market : The Uber-Ultra Light Daiwa Presso Baitcaster
 

Date: 2/16/06
Tackle type: Reels
Manufacturer: Daiwa Japan
Reviewer: Cal






Total Score: 8.50

Introduction:
Daiwa Japan seems to have a knack for creating a buzz around the introduction of new reels. In the fall of 2005, one such buzz surrounded the introduction of a new, species specific, baitcaster, the Presso. Based on the venerable Pixy, but marketed as a true ultralight baitcasting reel for trout, the Presso comes to us in an even lighter overall presentation and shrouded in a black and orange color scheme.

 

Daiwa Presso Baitcaster Specifications

Line Capacity (lbs / yds) 4/100
Gear Ratio (actual retrieve) 5.8:1 (22 inches per turn)
Measured Weight 5.4 ounces
Measured Max. Drag 2lbs
Bearings 6 + 1 roller
Features Daiwa Air metal (magnesium alloy) frame, MagForce Cast Control System, 8+1 bearings
MSRP $300 (Approx. Import Price)


Does this reel have enough characteristics to stand on its own, out from under the shadow of the Pixy? Or is it simply the result of some clever repackaging of components and convenient market repositioning to hedge against the threatened eradication of black bass in Japanese waters? Moreover, does it have enough upside to make a dent in a market segment, currently dominated by spinning tackle? Join us as we investigate everything that is and is not, the Daiwa Presso Baitcaster.


Impressions... Pixy or not?: There’s no doubt the Daiwa Presso is based on the Pixy, a finesse baitcaster built for targeting finicky bass in high pressured waters. At first glance, aside from the unique finish of the Presso, the only real differences between the two reels are the spool and handle designs, but of course, there is more.

 

Introducing the Daiwa Presso baitcasting reel

 

Brake Control System: A bit closer inspection reveals the Daiwa Presso employs Daiwa’s original, MagForce braking system rather than the more contemporary and sophisticated MagForce V or Z. The possible reasons behind this change? MagForce V, as explained by our good friend, Jun Sonoda, is one of the most advanced braking systems available today. It is engineered to make up for what typical, magnet controlled braking systems lack – brake control at slow spool speeds (i.e. pitching). To achieve this control, there is a small compromise in management of the spool at other speeds, but the overall performance is still outstanding for a general application bass reel.

 

A closeup of the Daiwa Presso's fixed rotor

 

On the other hand, a standard magnet controlled braking system’s strength lies in control of the spool at mid spool speeds as when casting for accuracy. Since the Presso is a species specific reel targeted at trout, the assumption is, the majority of presentations are going to be made through either overhand or sidearm casts not through pitching. The standard, MagForce braking system is slightly better than the MagForce V or Z brake systems in these applications, so there is no need for the more complicated braking system in this reel. At least, that's the theory. In fact, the same reasoning surrounds Daiwa Japan’s Big Bait Special – a technique specific reel designed to cast large swimbaits.


The Presso baitcaster features Daiwa's MagForce brake control system with an exterior adjustment dial


Weight: Another difference between the Pixy and Presso is in the overall weight of the two reels. The Presso comes in at a svelte 5.3 ounces whereas the Pixy weighs in at 5.8 ounces. Hardly earth shattering, but the differences are there. We took the two reels apart and compared several of the components to discern where the weight differences were realized. As it turns out, there was no one area of significant weight savings, but rather, small differences throughout the reel.
 
Presso vs Pixy Weight Comparison Chart
Component Presso Pixy
Handle Assembly .7 oz / 20 g 1.0 oz / 28 g
Spool .4 oz / 11 g .5 oz / 14 g
Frame & Drivetrain 3.3 oz / 94 g 3.5 oz / 99 g
Sideplate .8 oz / 25 g .8 oz / 25 g

Spools & Line Capacity: While the spools on these two reels are interchangeable, the Presso’s spool appears a bit more shallow than that of the Pixy. The bearing that is supplied on the Presso spool appears to be different as well looking to be a bit wider and deeper than the bearing equipped with the Pixy’s spool. This is, in fact, an illusion as the bearing on the Presso’s spool is protected by a secondary shield held in place by a c-clip on the opposite side of the bearing. 

The Presso comes with an s-curve stamped metal handle and dragstar

Handles: Finally, the handles on both reels are obviously different lengths. The Presso sports an s-curve, stamped metal handle measuring at 70mm from center of post to center of post while the Pixy has the familiar 80mm handle. Both handles benefit from one bearing support per knob.

The rubberized cork knob of the Daiwa Presso features one bearing support

Next Section: Gimme the field tests already


 

 

 

 

 

 
 





 

 



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