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BFS Reel Review


 

Function Meets Fashion, Daiwa's Silver Creek AIR TW

 

Date: 10/16/22
Tackle Type: BFS Reel
Manufacturer: Daiwa Japan
Reviewer: Hobie-Wan Kenobi






Total Score: 8.17 - GREAT

Introduction: With the expanse of BFS fishing in the last few years, Daiwa dove into a niche within a niche with BFS trout fishing, releasing the Silver Creek Air TW. This proves that BFS fishing is on the rise, and for good reason. Being a majority of my BFS fishing is stream fishing for trout, it was only natural for me to run the Silver Creek AIR TW through the paces. I take the Silver Creek AIR TW out after trout of course but, will it hold its own on open water as well?

 

22 Daiwa Silver Creek AIR TW Air TW Specifications

Line Capacity - Rated 6lb (0.205mm) – 40m (45yds)
Retrieve Ratio 8.5:1
Inches Per Turn (IPT) 29
Weight 6 oz (170gr)
Spool Weight 9g
Handle Length 80mm
Bearings 6+1
Bearings per Knob 2 bushings per knob
Levelwind Bearings 2 bushing
Rated/Measured Max Drag 3.5Kg ~7.7lbs
Origin Made in Thailand
MSRP 47,200JPY (~$351.25USD)


The Silver Creek AIR TW is easy to pick out from a crowd

Impressions: Being a “Stream Custom” reel from Daiwa Japan, I knew going into researching the reel that the cosmetics would be distinguishable from other Daiwa offerings. I was surprised to see that Daiwa went with a brown paint for the frame instead of the traditional metallic green that was present of the 2017 Alphas AIR Stream Custom and the even rarer SS AIR Stream Custom. The Silver Creek AIR TW shares the same frame as the Alphas SV TW, Alphas AIR TW and the recently reviewed Gekkabijin AIR TW.


The brown/gold color scheme is a welcome break from the usual black/red color scheme of Daiwa reels.

 The Silver Creek AIR TW was designed for short to mid-range casting in trout streams. The fixed inductor is designed to apply a light but constant braking force to stabilize the lures trajectory during shorter casts. A spool with a more dynamic braking spool such as the AIR or SV spools can be inconsistent because the short stream casting often does not allow enough time for the spool’s brake to fully deploy. A downside to a fixed inductor is that it can restrict distance and sometimes cause casting to “float more”. Given my positive experience with Roro Lure fixed inductor spools, I am thinking the Silver Creek AIR TW will buck those stereotypes.


A look at the fixed-inductor, key factor to the Silver Creek AIR TW

Daiwa recommends 0.6goh braided line for the Silver Creek AIR TW, just like the Gekkabijin AIR TW. Unlike the Gekkabjin AIR TW though, Daiwa also gives monofilament as a suggestion as well.


Silver Creek AIR TW offers plenty of control, even for flip casting

Real World Tests: Even in the middle of winter, I was eager to get the Silver Creek out on whatever water was not frozen. That usually mean tailwaters connecting to Lake Superior. I looked at my current stream BFS setups and decided that the Silver Creek AIR TW would be best served on a custom fiberglass BFS stream rod I built. I also tested the Silver Creek AIR TW with the Tsurinoya Ares to test low weight casting ability and also the Jackson Kawasemi Rhapsody to see how the braking system responds to a faster action graphite stream rod.


Daiwa Silver Creek AIR TW rigged up and ready to go

Because line type preference can have a distinguishable effect on casting performance of a BFS stream reel, I tested the Silver Creek with VARIVAS Super Trout Advance Double Cross PE 8x (braid) and also VARIVAS Super Trout Advance Sight Edition (monofilament).


Yes, that is a Silver Creek AIR TW on a Gekkabijin 60XUL-B AGS rod

Fast forward to spring time and I was able to get back into headwater creeks I frequently search for brook trout. Test casting in a yard or standing on the waterside is much different than actual field testing. Wading through brushy creeks, casting at targets is how I truly rate most BFS reels. Open water is a less dynamic environment to find a BFS reel’s versatility. I will say though, the Daiwa Gekkabijin AIR TW was underwhelming in my stream testing. Only when I got it out to open water is when I truly unlocked the Gekkabijin’s true potential.


The Silver Creek AIR TW at work on some brookies

After being impressed from filming my casting tests and stream fishing, I decided that part of my written review should include the Silver Creek AIR TW getting out on a few local lakes to hunt for panfish.


Don’t judge a book by its cover, the Silver Creek AIR TW works quite well for lake fishing too.

Casting: The Silver Creek AIR TW was designed to primarily cast trout minnows (usually 3-6gr). My warm up casting was using a typical trout minnow, the Creep AIM 46s. To my surprise, the lure’s trajectory was very flat and effortless. The ability for a reel to have consistent braking and effortless casting greatly contributes to the accuracy of the angler. After using a few other trout minnows, I found the Silver Creek AIR TW to cast trout minnows exceptionally well. A very underrated facet of casting is the ability for the lure to land softly. The Silver Creek AIR TW’s unique braking profile allows a free casting feel without needing a lot of thumb to control the cast.

After my “realistic expectations” testing, I moved the Silver Creek AIR TW to the Tsurinoya Ares. The extra ultralight classification with 1-6gr, 2-6lb line rating is perfectly suited for casting tiny lures and will not be the limiting factor to the Silver Creek AIR TW’s casting performance. I decided to try a few light, bulky jigs such as the Igarbara Jig from Jackson. The profile of panfish/trout jigs test a reel’s braking control much more than a compact trout minnow. The fixed inductor offered control with surprising distance while casting a good mix of sub-3gr lures. I instantly became excited to test this reel in open water chasing panfish. Spring in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan is often windy and would be the perfect real world test for the lightweight casting ability of the Silver Creek AIR TW.


Saving weight on BFS spools increases casting performance

With the speed of the spool from my stream testing, I was worried I would be trapped in casting purgatory with the Silver Creek AIR TW. The brakes being too free to keep control in the wind of open water and, being too restrictive if I turn the brakes up. This was not the case with the Silver Creek AIR TW. Casting panfish jigs felt amazing and the control and distance was very surprising. Brake settings did have to bump up to 5-6 for my longer casting with the lighter, bulkier jigs. I did find pitching around docks required me to turn the brake dial down to 2-3, most likely due to the inductor being fixed in the out position.


A pumpkinseed caught using a Eurotackle Tungsten Jig w/ 1.8” Metacraw trailer.

Often times, people ask “how light can X BFS reel cast?” There are many factors that play into a BFS reel’s casting ability. I find that most BFS reels will cast 1/8oz easily in open water with longer casting. The true test comes from “how effortless can a lure be casted”. The Silver Creek AIR TW is unique in the fact that is able to cast light, bulky lures with distance and also have effortless short-range casting as well. A good example of this is when I was testing the Curado BFS for stream fishing, I found casting to hang a bit more in the air due to the braking system not being able to function fully during the short distance with slower spool speeds. The longer a lure is in the air, the more wind and other variables can affect accuracy.


I did not find the port very useful to access gears

Spool bearings are often the first and easiest source to gain more performance out of a BFS reel. The stock bearings on most Daiwa and Shimano BFS reels are adequate for most fishing applications. All the testing was done using the stock spool bearings. The Silver Creek AIR TW comes with Daiwa’s Micro Ball Bearing System (MBS). These smaller spool bearings have less inertia than traditional spool bearings and allow for easier casting.


Many BFS reels use a smaller bearing inside of a housing to reduce inertia

The Silver Creek AIR TW spool shares the same narrow design as the Gekkabijin AIR TW. The wider spool edge is designed to keep the line closer to the center of the spool to fully take advantage of the TWS line guide. Through my testing, I found line flow to be exceptionally well and free flowing.


Line lay is slightly more on the sides but, never caused any issues

Next : Why does the Silver Creek AIR feel so familiar?

 

   

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