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Enthusiast Review


What the Finesse ?!? : Daiwa's PX68/68L

 

Date: 7/4/11
Tackle type: Reel
Manufacturer: Daiwa
Reviewer: Cal






Total Score: 8.08 - ULTIMATE ENTHUSIAST AWARD!

Introduction:
If there is one fishing reel that personifies the diehard, TT Enthusiast, it is the Japanese market only, Daiwa Pixy. Since 2004 when we first wrote about this fabulous little finesse baitcaster from Daiwa Japan, the Pixy has been the subject of, or shared bi-lines with other reels in at least five separate articles. We’ve reviewed it solo, compared the Airy to the '04 Limited Yellow, sized it up against the Presso, and showed you our interpretation of the superttuned Pixzilla. Last year, we took a look inside the 2010 version of this reel, the PX68, but before we could bring you a comprehensive performance review, Daiwa Japan released yet another version, the PX68 SPR, earlier this year! It’s enough to makes us exclaim, “What the Finesse?!?” What is it about the Pixy that has Tackle Enthusiasts all over TT under such a spell? Well, we finally take a closer look at the PX68 to see if this pre-tuned Pixy carries forward, the magic of the original.


Introducing Daiwa Japan's Pixy PX68/68L.

Daiwa Pixy PX68/68L Specifications

Line Capacity (lbs/yds) 8lb (0.24mm) 109 yds : 10lb (0.265mm) 82 yds : 12lb (0.285mm) 65.5 yds
Gear Ratio (IPT as tested) 6.8:1 (24" per turn of the handle @ full capacity)
Measured Weight 5.6oz
Measured Max. Drag 9.5 lbs (rated to 4kg = 8.8lbs)
Number of Bearings 8+1
Size of Bearings 3x10x4 (spool), 3x8x4 (sideplate)
Length of Handle 80mm
Spool Weight 15 grams
MSRP 39,200 JPY (~$440)

 

Impressions: If you caught our May, 2010, “Inside Look” at the PX68, you’ll know there are indeed differences between the 2010 version of this reel and the original. Namely, the PX68 has a beefier drag, slightly more line capacity, a swept handle, and of course, a faster gear ratio. It maintains the same form factor, but is 0.1 ounces lighter than the 2004 Liberto Pixy. As with any fine piece of machinery, it’s the micro-adjustments that make the difference, and the PX68 is certainly a micro-tuned version of the original.

 


Loaded up with 10lb Sufix 832.

Field Tests: But while all these adjustments, tweaks, tunes, and enhancements sound really good on paper and in the lab, how does it all translate to performance out on the water? Can you really feel the difference between the PX68 and the stock, or even modified Pixy of 2003 – 2008? Of course, there’s only one real way to find out.


This reel saw time on an Evergreen Black Racer.

It’s been quite some time since I’ve fished a stock, original Pixy. While that reel is nice out of the box, transforming it into a Pixzilla really extends the utility of the reel to the point where it’s a no brainer upgrade once you have one in hand. Most reasonably minded anglers will balk at the thought of upgrading a stock $350 - $400 reel, but to the TT audience, a task such as this is barely an afterthought – especially with the Pixy.


As well as a Dobyns Rods DX742CFH.

Well, the PX68, is just about a Pixzilla out of the box. The only real thing it is missing is the bearing under the worm drive of the levelwind, so I fished this reel stock to see how it stacked up against my fleet of Pixzillas.


The PX68 really feels no different than the original Pixy in hand.

Casting: I matched the PX68 up with two different sticks: first a Dobyns Rods DX742CFH; second an Evergreen Kaleido Black Racer. The DX742CFH handles a lot like the MBR842C GLX from G.Loomis while the Black Racer is a power lighter than the Black Raven reviewed last year. To maximize line capacity, I spooled the PX68 with 10lb Sufix 832 and used a fluorocarbon leader of 10lb Seaguar Tatsu.


The lightest we were able cast, was a 3/16th ounce Evergreen Finesse jig, but these limitations were more due to the rods than the reel.

The PX68 really feels no different than the original Pixy in hand. The one gram weight difference in spool weight from the original version, as well as the slightly different rotor on the spool uncovered during our “Look Inside” article on this reel, equated to no real difference in casting performance for us on the water. The lightest we were able to go in casting was about three sixteenths of an ounce (an Evergreen finesse jig). The limitations here were more due to the rods than the PX68. I think it’s safe to assume you’ll be able to casts lure weights down to an eighth of an ounce with this reel provided you have a casting rod that can load properly to cast such a light lure.


The PX68/68L sports a new, 6.8:1 retrieve ratio.

Retrieve: The PX68 comes with a faster retrieve ratio than the original (6.8:1 vs 5.8:1 hence the reel’s new name) opening it up to a wider range of applications. I fished jerkbaits as well as soft plastics with this reel and it handled them all just fine. Officially, we measured the PX68’s rate of retrieve at twenty four inches per turn with a full spool of line. This will of course vary depending upon how much line you have out at the time.


A look at the PX68/68L's swept carbon handle.

The PX68 features Daiwa’s now customary swept handle design. The concept behind this handle design is to bring your hand closer to the center of the reel for a more stable retrieve. The justification sounds good on paper, but I’ve hardly noticed this effect on any of my reels. Just the same, I like the design, so I have no complaints one way or the other regarding Daiwa’s handle design.


Right out of the box, this reel sports a very robust drag.

Next Section: A not so Pixy-esque drag?


 

 

 

 

 

 
 





 

 



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