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Complete list of all current ICAST 2014 coverage
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Glide Week : Riding the S-Wave!
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Daiwa’s Steez EX 100XS offers a Deadly Combination of Both Speed and Precision
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First look inside the new Curado I baitcaster
 


 

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Reel Review


Revolutionary one handed slack pickup and twitchin' with the Daiwa Viento (continued)


Now it was time to think outside the box. We tied on a Rapala Husky Jerk and proceeded to use just one hand and see if we could effectively run the hardbait. While the twitchin’ bar was enough to bring life to the lure it took some serious thumb exercises to get the lure to jerk to our satisfaction. In the case of this bait the use of the standard handle still is preferable. Knowing this it would have been futile to try and keep a buzzbait on the surface with the twitchin’ bar alone, but what if we used a topwater lure like a small spook or popper? We found that the twitchin’ bar was good enough to bring life to topwater lures in stillwater. While you would still want to use an aggressive retrieve and plenty of rod movement in windy conditions we were able to entice a number of fish to strike our surface baits when they were twitched forward slowly on top of placid water.
 

The Viento is actually smaller than it looks and weighs in at 8.3 oz, that's .2 oz less than the Team Daiwa Advantage

In standard operation the Viento is a fast reel with a 6.3:1 gear ratio, capable of drawing 26.4” of line per turn. We played with the twitchin’ feature so much during our Viento field tests that at times we even forgot that we had the option to retrieve in traditional fashion simply by turning the handle. The twitchin’ bar is downright addicting, and with practice you can twitch, crawl, or hop lures forward with precise control.

Adjust the Magforce cast control on the fly

  

Drag: The Viento’s drag consists of fiber composite discs sandwiched between stainless steel washers. There are 7 discs in all within the Viento's drag system. In our lab the drag delivered 6.1lbs of maximum drag counter pressure. In the field the drag felt near identical to the Fuego’s, and line was stripped off the spool smoothly when we got into decent fish. Drag adjustment is easy and precise with the micro-click metal drag star.

 

The Viento sits higher than the SOL but is still rather low in profile

 

Ergonomics: The SOL reminds me of a lustrous sports car the Viento is more akin to a capable SUV. The profile of the Viento is wider in the front to accommodate the twitchin’ bar. For this reason the reel takes on a squarer look and feel than the SOL or TD Advantage reels. Comfort-wise the reel still isn’t much bigger than a Fuego and is easy to palm when fitted on most rods. In fact, we found that palming the reel while activating the twitchin’ bar with your thumb was the most comfortable way to operate the trigger. The only thing we would have loved to see is an aluminum twitchin’ bar instead of the coated plastic one. While aluminum would be stronger and more refined the plastic bar didn’t display any signs of damage when we deliberately over stressed it in both directions. The Viento makes use of the same quality drag star, handle, and enlarged grips as the Fuego. In terms of aesthetics the Viento isn’t as attractive as it’s gold and red siblings, but makes up for it with plenty of personality.

 

Talk about an easy way to fish, anglers can retrieve lures with a baitcaster using just one hand

 

Durability: The Viento does include more non-drive gearing in its construction than other reels in order to support the twitchin’ feature. We haven’t had time yet to conduct any long term tests but up to this point the Viento has performed flawlessly. The reel makes use of all metal components, and we have not identified any potential problem areas.

 

The familiar oversized Daiwa knob found on the Advantage and Fuego is used on the Viento as well

Applications: Most rigs require the combination of reel and rod movement to bring life to lures, the Viento can do it all on its own. While the reel is optimized for fishing jigs and plastics it can offer anglers fishing topwater lures a way to be deadly effective in still water. We also found that using this feature was a quick and easy way to set the hook in certain occasions, making it really possible to fish a baitcasting rig with just one hand. This was certainly the first time I was able to field to test a baitcaster’s retrieve while drinking a beverage with the other hand.

The Viento allows anglers a new way to fish a variety of lures but absolutely excels in twitching jigs and plastics

Price: I originally estimated that the Viento would at least cost as much as the Daiwa SOL and Fuego baitcasters but the reel is actually priced lower with a MSRP of 199.99. Daiwa was able to bring down the cost by manufacturing the Viento in Korea rather than Japan, but to our delight the build quality does seem on par. Is the Viento worth 200 greenbacks? If you routinely fish jigs and worms the answer is a resounding yes. This is one reel that allows you to improve the range of action you can deliver to your lures.

Ratings:

Daiwa TD Viento Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality The Viento is not as refined as the Fuego or SOL but it is built quite well. The rigid aluminum frame is a quality housing for the machined oversized gears. Only thing we would have loved to see is a aluminum twitchin' bar in place of the plastic one 8
Performance The Viento isn't just any normal new reel. This reel delivers features that are unmatched and are really revolutionary when you consider the ability to fish a baitcaster with just one hand. The Twitchin' Bar makes it easy to replicate the perfect jig retrieve time and time again 9.5
Price The Viento is a great price when you consider the features. Where else are you going to find a reel with a twitchin bar like this? 9
Features Feature-wise the Viento can't be beat. Its fast, powerful and can twitch. The only Daiwa feature that is really missing from this reel is the exceptional new Magforce-Z cast control system 9.5
Design (Ergonomics) Profile-wise the Viento may not be as attractive as the Fuego or SOL but it is almost as comfortable to palm. Fishing with one hand never felt so good... literally. 8.5
Application The Viento is a excellent reel for fishing jigs and plastics but we found other uses for this innovative reel as well 9

Total Score

9.00

  
Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

J Twitchin' Bar ...nuff said L Doesn't have Magforce-Z
J New way to fish jigs/plastics L Not as refined as Sol or Fuego
J Fast & powerful normal retrieve  
J Quality ergonomics  
J Quality drag performance  
J Reasonable price  

    
Conclusion:
 The Viento is new in every sense of the word. Like the “wind” the Viento brings change to the way that anglers fish jigs and plastics, and really allows anglers to get creative. It’s really good to see Daiwa innovate this season. The Viento isn’t about being prettier, smoother, or lighter…it’s about offering something new and allowing anglers to fish more ways, more successfully. Twitch jigs or dart worms forward with a simple press of your thumb, no other baitcaster on the market offers this inimitable attribute. We are all over this feature, and the blisters on our thumbs prove it. Not only is the feature novel but it’s also deadly effective to employ when subtle lure movements entice even the most diffident of fish to commit. The Viento is one of the most interesting baitcasters we have tested to date, and unquestionably among the most innovative.

 

                            


 

 

 

 

 

 
 





 

 



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