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Reel Review

Daiwa expands their brightly colored lineup with the new Tierra spinning reel (continued)

Price & Applications: The 1500 size makes a great light bass reel, but it can also easily pull double duty as a primary trout reel. The reel draws in line fast enough for fishing Kastmasters and Panther Martin Spinners, and is light enough to match up with a portable multi-piece trout rod.

The Tierra drag "sandwich." The tabbed washed locks into the spool to provide a fixed counter pressure point

During our tests I found the Tierra 1500 to be a fantastic reel for fishing light plastics, darter heads, shaking worms, and drop shotting. Any lure well suited for light lines cast and retrieved perfectly with the Tierra.


A close up of the dry felt drag washer


The excellent drag on this reel makes it possible to use a smaller reel, like our 1500, for these applications since casting distance nor line capacity are major concerns... but fish fighting power is. 


The inside of the spool clicks against second part of this drag system

While you wont be casting these lightweight baits like a trap or jerkbait, you never know when a lunker will take that tiny plastic. When that time comes its good to know the Tierra has both the gearing and drag to match up with these bigger fish.

On top of the rotor the spool locks into place against yet another drag inducing surface and spring

During the test when drop shotting I hooked into a few Spotted bass, while I thought these fish were big largemouth due to their increased fight strength I played them the same way. As I lifted the rod to keep tension on the line the Tierra let loose line in well controlled and consistent amounts.

The ergonomic arm of the Tierra puts the spool within easy index finger reach

Fighting these fish with 6lb line was easy because I had less fear of the line snapping due to a sloppy drag. The gearing kicked in nicely and as I pulled the fish in the drag continued to do all the work up until we boated the spots. Because the drag and gearing is so refined this reel is well suited for finesse plastics, and will do well fishing minute spinners and tubes for panfish and trout.

The Tierra is made in China


When it comes to price the Tierra is priced just like the Capricorn, and ranges in price between 114-129 dollars depending on size. This mainstream price will make the Tierra very attractive for anglers looking for a quality reel just above the 100 dollar mark. This effectively positions the Tierra against the well established Shimano Stradic.


The Tierra is a fantastic trout and panfish ultralight reel but it is also a perfect reel for light line drop shotting for largemouth and spotted bass



Daiwa TD Tierra Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality The Tierra could easily cost 40 dollars more and we wouldn't flinch. This is reel is built with all metal components and the matte blue finish is both attractive and durable 9
Performance The performance of the Tierra is good overall but excellent when you consider the reel's mainstream price point. The one area where the reel really shined was the drag performance. The performance of the Tierra really did remind us of a "mini-SOL" spinning reel 9
Price The good news is that qt $114-129.00 (depending on size) the Tierra is really priced reasonably. The bad news is this is probably the most highly contested segment in spinning reels today. Anglers looking for an all-round high performance reel in the sub 150 dollar range demand an equal balance of features, performance, and reliability. At this price point the Tierra will have to go head to head with the well respected Shimano Stradic 8
Features The premium features once found only on the company's 200 dollar plus reels have made their way down to the mainstream price segment. The top features of this reel include the sealed drag system, digigear design, CRBB bearings, GyroSpin balancing and spare duplicate spool 9
Design (Ergonomics) The Tierra 1500 is categorized as an ultralight reel but it could be a tad lighter. Besides that the reel is a perfect multi-species reel. 8
Application It is good to see a full range of sizes for just about every small to mid sized application...both fresh and salt 9

Total Score


Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

J Great features and design L Not as light as some ultralights
J Available in full range of sizes  
J Attractive high-quality finish  
J Excellent drag  
J Reasonable price  


Conclusion: So what’s next for Daiwa? Perhaps the Agua (Water), Onda (Wave), or Marea (Tide). All kidding aside, the latest batch of brightly colored, Spanish named reels have been an impressive lot. My favorites of the bunch have been the TD Luna, which replaced the Millionaire nicely, and the ultra palmable SOL baitcaster which really helped define a recognizable design for Daiwa low profile baitcasters. Daiwa has a much more robust lineup than it showcased just two seasons ago. They have reels in the value, mainstream, and enthusiast categories. The Tierra looks and performs much like a enthusiast reel, heck it possess premium features like the sealed drag and DigiGear design, but it is priced in the mainstream category. The Capricorn was a great reel, one that introduced us to Hardbodyz design, and the Tierra really ups both the performance and style level once occupied in this particular price range. Competition is fierce at this price, but if you’re looking for a reel that can pull triple duty as a trout, bass, and light saltwater reel the Tierra is up to the challenge.


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