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Reel Review


Daiwa’s Steez EX 100XS offers a Deadly Combination of Both Speed and Precision (continued)

Retrieve: It is hard not to smile when you fish the Steez EX, and just knowing that you have one of the world’s most refined lightweight baitcasters in hand is enough to make enthusiasts go out and hit the water. The XS comes loaded with an oversized 100mm handle and with each crank anglers are able to pull in 33.2” of line. This “hyper speed” makes this lightweight reel ideal for pounding spots and moving quickly down the bank, wasting no time between retrieves through dead water.


Even though the Steez is fast it has the muscle to handle big fish but if your looking for a power cranking reel your better suited with a lower speed Zillion

The fast retrieve also makes this reel a possible option for hardbaits like ripbaits and speed traps that can benefit from a higher speed ratio. With these baits that have a low water resistance the XS feels right at home but with baits like deep diving cranks that have large lips and greater pressure on the end of the line the reel does feel a little out of its element. Here a slower ratio, more powerful reel, will reduce pressure on the handle. During field tests when I had a fish on the line I felt like the Steez XS was more than powerful enough and that extra speed makes it easy to catch up to fish the second you set that line.


The Steez XS sits very nicely on most rods

The key thing to remember with the Steez XS is that it is really purpose built. Just like a Porsche 911 GT3 is going to excel on the track it isn’t a vehicle that you would want to use as a daily driver, or consider taking off-road. The same applies to the Steez XS which is going to be great for applications requiring both finesse and speed but neither the smoothest of reels or the most well rounded.


Cosmetically the reel marries very nicely with Megabass rods as well

If you are looking for a reel that is buttery smooth the Steez EX isn’t it. It possesses that same Daiwa feel that the other Steez reels exhibit, one that is all about connection to the gearing and direct transfer to the spool and line. Just like with that Porsche GT3 which allows you to feel every crack and pebble on the track, the blisteringly fast Steez EX is going to give you that incredible level of feel and line awareness with each and every crank.

Features Ratings for Daiwa Steez EX100XS

Ext Brake Adjust? (1-2)
Levelwind Bearing (1-2)
Knob Bearings (1-3)
Micro Clicks (1-3)
Reel Cover (1-2)
Oil (1-2)
Total
Possible
Rating (= Tot/Pos * 10)
2
1
3
3
2
2
13
14
9.28


We were surprised by how powerful the Daiwa Steez XS's drag was

Drag: Daiwa baitcaster drags have never been among the most powerful but they are among the most refined. The Steez EX100XS makes use of the company’s “Ultimate Tournament Drag” which leverages a combination of multiple carbon washers to deliver a wide range of drag pressures across the spectrum. In the lab the Steez’s drag delivered right under 17lbs. of pressure, which is more than we usually see out of Daiwa baitcasters.


Fig 1: The Sweet Drag Performance chart above shows the consistency in drag performance of our Steez EX100XS casting reel. It took a while for the drag pressure to really show up in this reel, but once locked down finger tight it delivered far more pressure than we had anticipated and though expectedly erratic at full strength, at lower settings, the drag performed very consistently


The Steez EX XS faces "The Machine," and comes away victorious

Sweet Drag Performance for Daiwa Steez EX100XS (2.25 Turns to Lockdown)

 
Full Turn
Full + 2
Full + 4
Full + 6
Lockdown
Avg % Change
 
 
 
Start Up
0.4
0.6
1.1
1.7
11.1
Sustained
.4
.7
1
1.6
11.3
Lowest Value
.3
.6
.4
1.4
9.1
Change in Startup vs Sustained
3.6%
3.6%
3.3%
2.8%
1.1%
2.9%
Biggest Drop from Sustained
21.6%
15.6%
65.5%
11.7%
19%
26.6%
To measure the drag on this reel, the dragstar was backed all the way off, then engaged with one full turn and strapped to the machine for the first test. With each successive test the drag was increased with two short pushes with the thumb as if fishing. After 6 pushes, the drag was locked down finger tight.

Next Section: A purpose built machine

 

 

   

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