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Reel Review


Excellent value for a Performance Baitcasting reel, introducing the contemporary Daiwa Procaster
 

Date: 03/25/04
Tackle type: Reels
Manufacturer: Daiwa
Reviewer: Zander






Total Score: 8.50

Introduction: There are a lot of good reels out there, but the hitch is that they often cost a little or a lot more than the average angler is willing to shell out. Anglers looking for a quality baitcasting reel often have to make significant sacrifices when they purchase reels beneath the 70 dollar mark. Daiwa tries to change this with the introduction of the newly redesigned Procaster 100HN.
  

Daiwa Procaster 100HN Specifications

Weight 9.0oz
Gear Ratio 6.3:1
Bearings 6 Ball Bearings + 1 Roller Bearing
Line Capacity (lb/yds) 12/160 , 14/140
Additional Features 2 Colors available, Daiwa Free Floating Spool, infinite anti reverse, & Magforce magnetic anti-backlash control
MSRP $69.95

  
Impressions: The Procaster first caught our attention two months ago at the San Mateo ISE show. This reel sports a design quite unlike any other Daiwa that we have grown accustomed to. Instead of the usual symmetrical design, the Procaster is full of rounded edges and aggressive angles. This new design includes many more of the features found in Daiwa's higher end models. My initial impression of the Procaster was that it felt solid in my hand, and seemed to be built quite durable, with many more layers and coatings than other reels. We actually tried to scrape the surface with a hook and found it to be more scratch resistant than many other higher priced reels.

 

To keep things interesting Daiwa makes the reel available in two color schemes, blue and gold, and black and gold. Overall I was impressed with the generous use of metals over plastic components, and the fact that this reel is so affordably priced, while still offering 7 bearings in its composition is magnificent.

The Daiwa Procaster is a stark design change from the traditional Daiwa baitcaster, but makes use of proven features

 

The Field Tests: In the lab we examined the principal construction of the reel and found it quite venerable. The hinged cover design of the palming plate is clever and provides additional protection, while delivering increased ergonomics. The palming plate acts as an additional sideplate lock, preventing the plate from sliding upwards, even if the screw is unfastened.

 

The lab tests indicated the Procaster was simple yet effective in design, but the field tests show how well the reel truly performs. To further analyze the Procaster we set out bass fishing on two local lakes, and logged in two weeks of casting and fishing time with the Procaster.
 

The Procaster makes use of Daiwa's proven Magforce anti backlash control

    

Casting: The Procaster exploits a floating spool which disengages from the master gearing on the cast. The anodized aluminum spool is heavier than those on higher-end Daiwa's mostly due to the fact the spool is not ported. The clutch on the Procaster is quick and easy to activate. A quick depress and the spool is in freespool. We have tested other reels in the same price range that fail to go to freespool if the cast clutch is not pressed with significant force.
 

While the original Magforce is not as precise as the newer Magforce V found on higher end Daiwa models, it is effective and reliable


For maximum casting distance a zero setting on the magforce will allow you to chuck medium to large sized lures a good distance. The Procaster is a capable baitcaster but feels somewhat distinctive from most other Daiwa reels I have fished. Unlike the more expensive TD-S and TD-X reels the Procaster's Magforce puts the brakes on near the end of the cast, causing the lure to slowly decelerate and drop. While this reduces the ability for extreme casting it is favorable for anglers just learning how to thumb a baitcaster. This attribute makes the Procaster quite resistant to nasty backlashes as a result of mismanaging a over accelerating spool at the tail end of your cast. Anglers casting into the wind can easily adjust the magforce 1-1.5 numbers up to effectively thwart backlashes.

 

The Procaster's anodized aluminum spool floats freely with each cast by separating from the main gearing

 

Retrieving: The Procaster is very smooth on the retrieve and generates good cranking power when it comes time to drive the hookset home. During our tests we retrieved everything from slow crawling lizards to burning spinners. With the Procaster it is easy to vary retrieves thanks to a quality infinite anti-reverse which has zero play. When retrieving you may notice a slight back and forth play from the spool shaft, this is easily remedied by adjusting the spool tension knob behind the star drag. The cast aluminum frame provides a solid backbone, and no flex was exhibited during our tests. Overall the Procaster is considered fluid and delivers plenty of feel during retrieves.

 

The Palming Plate is a brilliant feature that makes the Procaster easy and comfortable to palm and thumb

 

Drag Performance: Rotate the Procaster's star drag forward and you are instantly rewarded with solid fish fighting pressure. There is no clicker on the star drag, but we were still able to make fine adjustments with no difficulty. Kudos to Daiwa for putting in a quality multi-disc drag system consisting of both metal and leather drag washers. The result is copious power capable of handling even lunker sized bass.
 

The Procaster's unique design allows anglers to adjust the anti-backlash control with one hand on the fly


Ergonomics:
The biggest improvement over the previous generation Procaster is the vastly improved ergonomics. For anglers that enjoy palming this reel is a dream come true. The Palming plate makes it possible to cup your hand over the top of the reel, while still having the option to thumb the spool with ease. The palming plate is triangular to accommodate your thumb, which can rest comfortably in easy reach of both the spool and magforce controls. There are few reels that allow anglers the ability to adjust the anti-backlash settings with one hand, all the while without moving your palm between casts. but the Procaster makes it effortless. I found the Procaster exceptionally good for jerkbaits as the reel continued to feel snug in my hand during erratic retrieves. The only complaint we have of the Procaster's ergonomics is that it is slightly heavier than other Daiwa reels, and a tad bit more than the prior Procaster.

 

The Procaster is a nice overall package and a exceptional value at under 70 dollars

 

Price: The Procaster is a skilled performer, and while it is not be as refined as the TD-S and TD-X reels, it is nonetheless an exceptional bargain when you factor in the low price. This reel is half the price of a TD-S, and one third the price of a TD-X! The Procaster is built solid, and showed no signs of wear or tear as a result of our tests. The reel certainly feels and fishes like a much more expensive reel.

  

Ratings:

Daiwa Procaster 100HN Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Good construction, nice finish, and utilizes quality metals rather than plastics 8.5
Performance Performance is good in all categories other than extreme casting distance. The overall retrieve and drag performance matches reels costing twice as much 8
Price At a MSRP of only 69.95 this reel is a fantastic deal. You get plenty of Daiwa features in a new ergonomic package 9.5
Features While we wish Daiwa implemented their Magforce V and a ported spool option, overall this reel is adequately loaded with features that make sense. A great starter reel for anglers new to the world of baitcasting 8
Design (Ergonomics) The Procaster weighs a little more than other Daiwa reels, but is exceptional when it comes to a comfortable and functional design. The palming plate is a nice touch 9
Application A good reel for just about all Largemouth and Bronzeback fishing. The ergonomics and quick adjustment features of this reel make it a excellent candidate for pitching and flipping duty 8

Total Score

8.50

  
Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

J High quality look and feel L Slightly heavier than other Daiwa Reels
J Durable finish L No ported spool option
J Metal construction  
J Smooth retrieve  
J Excellent price & Value!  

    
Conclusion:  The Procaster is a quality reel that delivers a silky retrieve, great ergonomics, plenty of features, and best of all...has a price tag that is well within reach of all anglers. This reel is perfect for those that are looking for a comfortable flipping and pitching reel, and the easy to use features and reliability also make it a superior choice for anglers that are just learning how to thumb a baitcaster. The new Procaster is a welcome transformation, and comes loaded with many of the features that make Daiwa reels popular; this capable performer makes for a well rounded package that is definitely worth the small sum of money it costs to own one.
 

Until next time....Tight Lines!

 


 

 

 

 

 

 
 





 

 



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