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

Drag: This is where the real difference between the two reels reveals itself. The original Pixy features a true finesse drag with one, thick felt washer beneath a metal keyed washer that delivered three pounds of maximum pressure when we tested it back in 2004. This is the primary reason for the Pixzilla upgrade which transforms the Pixy from pure finesse to a more general purpose reel, albeit one with very little line capacity. The Pixzilla upgrade delivers a maximum drag pressure of anywhere from five to eleven pounds or more depending upon the materials you choose to use for the upgrade and whether or not you go through the effort of polishing the metal washers of the drag stack.

But it's not quite Pixzilla status as the support under the levelwind gear is still just a bushing.

The PX68 comes stock with a Pixzilla-esque drag stack that tested out in our lab at a maximum nine pounds of pressure right out of the box. Very impressive. Out on the water, we never had to button the drag down all the way and instead used it at about one third pressure for smooth, reliable performance.

The PX68's spool (left) versus the original Pixy spool (right) - just slightly deeper.

Availability: The PX68 has been in production for just over a year now and is relatively easy to source as long as you have some patience. Our friends at JapanTackle will gladly order the reel for you if they do not already have it in stock and can usually get a new one in their shop within a week or two.

The PX68/68L sports a Magforce Z rotor.

Based on the reel’s toned down color scheme, slightly larger line capacity, and beefed up drag, we were really anticipating a debut of this reel into the North American market by Daiwa USA at last year’s ICAST. We were sorely disappointed when this did not pan out. Will Daiwa USA make amends this year and finally bring the Pixy to the US so faithful fans can purchase one stateside and have the benefit of a manufacturer warranty? Well, if you believe the internet rumors, there's a strong chance the answer to this question is yes.


Daiwa Pixy PX68/68L Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Daiwa knows high end and the PX68 is a perfect example of this.. a very solid finesse reel 9
Performance Superttuned right out of the box with a beefed up drag... simply superb 9.5
Price Until the exchange rate improves, this will bring you right back down to earth everytime 6
Features Swept carbon handle, beefed up drag, slightly more line capacity 8
Design (Ergonomics) The smallish form factor of the PX68 is about as comfortable as it gets but of course, there are still no micro clicks in the drag or cast control cap 8
Application Intended for finesse applications, but thanks to its beefed up drag, more than suitable for close quarter pitching applications as well 8

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:


+ The Pixy platform is super comfortable to palm - Cost to import the reel is prohibitive
+ Can almost replace your spinning reel - You'll want to use it for more, but its shallow spool will limit your options
+ Superttuned with a beefed up drag and stylish swept carbon handle right out of the box - Still no micro clicks in the drag or cast control cap


Conclusion: What seemed like a sure move last year for Daiwa to really make some noise by bringing the PX68 to North American shores resulted in another conservative play overall, but in a slow economy who could really blame them. Leaks out of Daiwa's annual sales representative meetings are that there will be a Pixy-esque reel in Daiwa USA's lineup for 2012. If this is true, will Daiwa bring the reel over more or less as is, as they did with the Steez? Or will they make further adjustments as they did with the popular Alphas. Remember the Sol? It was a shadow of its JDM Counterpart.

The PX68/68L may be designed for finesse applications ...

Regardless of whether or not the Pixy PX68 finally does officially land on US shores or not, this reel is a more than worthy successor to the original. Though still not a full fledged Pixzilla out of the box, most of the hard work is already done. The levelwind upgrade is the only remaining step to full blown transformation, but admittedly, not really one that is necessary either. The drag and retrieve ratio upgrades really increase this reel's utility while the marginally deeper, yet mostly still very shallow spool continue to restrict this reel to mostly lighter line applications although close quarter, heavy duty pitching duties are not out of the question.

... but as long as you're conscious of line capacity, this reel can do so much more.

Of course, while everyone is debating the likelihood of the PX68 coming to US shores and what, if any, adjustments to this reel Daiwa will make to normalize it for the North American market, Daiwa Japan has already moved on with yet another version. The PX68 SPR is the current, new version of the Pixy and sports centrifugal instead of magnetic brakes. Any chance that this is the reel Daiwa has targeted for the US Market? How's that as food for thought? Well, in the meantime, back to the PX68. For a reel that is 85% superttuned out of the box, the PX68 wins our Ultimate Enthusiast Award! Congrats Daiwa!

Looking for the Pixy PX68? Try Hi's Tackle Box










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