2006 ICAST Special Coverage
ICAST Special - Daiwa Wajima Specials, functional works of Art
At car shows many auto
manufacturers showcase concepts that may or may not actually make it to final
production, others create these often radical prototypes to highlight their
design capabilities, and unique technologies. Whatever the case, these
prototypes always garner plenty of attention, and if enough consumers pine over
these creations then the manufacturer may indeed follow up with the introduction
of an actual mass production product. Daiwa did something very similar when they
brought a complete “Wajima” showcase from Japan to ICAST 2006 Las Vegas.
JIP shoots the Wajima-Nuri Steez
as Toru explains to customers that these products are not "yet" available for
These are products that we
will never actually field test or review, let alone hold in our hands, but they
were among the most eye-catching products at the show.
Even the new Steez rods are given
the "Wajima" treatment
Check out the details...
The technique used to ornate
these reels dates back 600 years. Of all the Japanese lacquer ware the
“Wajima-nuri” are known for their grace and long lasting quality, and are
considered by many as the most authentic. Only a few artists in the city of
Wajima, in Japan, are true masters of this technique, and are laurelled by the
Japanese government as “living treasures” themselves.
A look at the split grip of the
Steez spinning rod
The Steez baitcaster glimmers as
light touches it from every angle
These reels make use of
handmade metal parts that differ from the mass produced components. But what
makes them so special is the unique lacquer coating process, normally reserved
for works of art. Under the surface of each piece lays roughly a hundred
processes that mandated over a year to finish!
The Steez spinning reel's spool is
completely lacquered, and showcases a deep rich tone
The reels themselves have an
estimated "street" value of between 10 to 12 thousand US Dollars! And you
thought you thought a TD Steez was an expensive investment! Daiwa doesn’t expect
to sell a lot of these, nor have they even fully decided to sell any of the
pieces displayed at ICAST, but that didn’t stop a lot of buyers from inquiring
just how much it would really take to bring one home.
The Wajima Millionaire Steez
highlighted the fact that many of the components on these products were not mass
production parts, but actually individually hand machined just for this project
through a glass case we couldn’t do these reels justice, but seeing one of these
in person is breathtaking. Every angle features inimitable details, and each
time we gazed upon these reels we found more to like about them. Cal, our
Enthusiast Editor, is seldom impressed, but it took two other editors to pry him
away from this display.
Ornate etching on every angle of
this one of a kind Millionaire
The Wajima TD Crank (left) and TD
Minnow SG (right) are worth over 3 thousand dollars each!
The special Wajima technique
is not limited to reels, and Daiwa showcased TD Lures and special custom Daiwa
rods that also were garlanded with the same technique. Each of the lures are
worth 3 thousand dollars a piece, and the rods are worth about the same as the
The TD Vibration lure's showcased
designs matching the Steez rods
Conclusion: When asked if these were actually fishable, Daiwa explained they
“absolutely” are, but would you want to? Sure these are functional, but they are
designed to be exquisite centerpieces in the most hardcore enthusiast’s
collection. By the end of the show Daiwa had received so much positive feedback
that they were indeed contemplating introducing a limited run of these Wajima
specials. Lunacy you say? Well, someone prior to the show had already purchased
the 1 million dollar diamond laden MacDaddy’s big game lure, and in comparison
to that 10-12 thousand for a limited edition reel seems like chump
change….relatively speaking of course. While we are positive even our most
tackle afflicted staffer, Cal, won’t be buying a Wajima (even if it was possible
to buy one) anytime soon….like the sexy automobile prototypes at the Detroit
Auto show, Daiwa has succeeded in giving hardcore enthusiasts and tackle
collectors something to dream about.