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Selecting the right Rod, Reel, and Line for Your Walking Bait Arsenal

Complete ICAST 2017 Coverage


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Reel Review

Daiwa's New Workhorse, the TD Zillion: US and Japanese models compared (continued)

Drag: The Zillion features a similar drag setup to that of the new Steez with a mixed stack of metal and fiber washers producing very smooth and consistent performance. We experienced no problems during hookset, or start up, and no inconsistencies during the long runs of hard pulling striper. For both models the maximum measured pressure of 8.8 pounds proved sufficient over four (4) months of fishing where the reel's biggest challenge came as a loaner rig for a day of striper fishing on the California Delta. Time and time again, the drag was able to quickly subdue whatever was at the end of the line during a good day of consistent, hard hitting and hard fighting action.


The Zillion has a shape and profile reminiscent of the former TD-Z


Ergonomics: Solid, sure, and reliable are the thoughts that come to mind when holding the Zillion in hand. The reel's profile is very comfortable to palm and, as alluded to earlier, its aluminum frame construction give it a heft and feel that are very solid. Though not nearly as inspiring in hand as the Steez, the long, cranking handle and micro-click adjustable cast control knob and drag star were unexpected surprises. If only it came stock with bearing supported knobs.


The aggressively styled 89mm handle of our Zillion


Berkley's Vanish Transition Red Fluorocarbon compliments our Zillion 100SHL very nicely


Design: With its drilled handle, red highlights, and familiar form, the Zillion is an attractively composed product. For those wanting to add even more bling to their reel, Daiwa USA is now making available factory tuned, I'ZE parts for the Zillion that feature a new handle with bearing supported knobs and a replacement, red dragstar. Only catch? The handle in this kit is only eighty (80) millimeters while the stock handle on the Zillion is eighty-nine (89). Perhaps these upgrades are intended, more for the Steez, but really, the high speed version of the Zillion, with its red highlights feels almost incomplete without the addition of the red dragstar. It's just too bad this single component is not available separate from its pre-packaged state with the handle. Better yet, the Zillion should just come stock with the red dragstar.


More of the aggressive styling on our Zillion 100SHL


Even the front plate of the reel features appropriate highlights



Next Section: Component breakdown...  










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