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Reel Review


Daiwa Re-Images Their Stalwart : Zillion TWS (CONTINUED)

Performance: I fished my Zillion TWS on a Megabass F6-72X4 Destruction not only because this is one of my favorite all time rods, but because I have two. Why would I need two identical sticks to test one reel? Well, I wouldn't unless during the course of our tests, the intent is to compare one to another.


Out on the water matched with an F6-72X4 Destruction by Megabass.

Retrieve: The new Zillion TWS is available in a super wide array of retrieve ratios from super low (5.5:1) to super high (9.1:1). It is the widest and most complete retrieve ratio offering we've seen from a single line within Daiwa for a long time. Our tests were with the standard 6.3:1 gear ratio Zillion TWS.


The Zillion TWS's 90 mm handle features two paddle style knobs that are supported by one bearing and one bushing each.

Turning the Zillion's 90mm handle one gets the sense of a solid piece of machinery though it lacks somehow in the refinement of its predecessor. Granted most of my recent experience with the former Zillion lineup has been with the Type R and J Dream variants. In other words, it's been a long time since I've fished a standard Zillion, so perhaps it's an unfair comparison, but while the Zillion TWS feels smooth, it just not quite as refined as I had hoped.

Performance Ratings for Daiwa Zillion TWS

Retrieve (1-5)
Drag (1-5)
Power (1-5)
Casting Range (1-5)
Brakes (1-5)
Total
Possible
Rating (= Tot/Pos * 10)
4
5
4
4
5
22
25
8.8

Drag: Our Zillion TWS tested out with a maximum drag pressure of over eighteen pounds (18lbs). Quite impressive for a low profile baitcaster but even more impressive is how the reel performed on The Machine. As the chart below illustrates, the Zillion TWS was very smooth in all tested ranges save for full lockdown, but even then, the reel didn't chart as erratically as we've seen other reels at this setting.


Fig 1: The Sweet Drag Performance chart above shows the consistency in drag performance of our
Daiwa Zillion TWS.

A couple of years ago, with the introduction of the Tatula, Daiwa moved away from their stacked washer drag design to a single washer reminiscent of Shimano. The new Zillion TWS continues this trend with a main gear and drag stack that looks very reminiscent of the Tatula.

Sweet Drag Performance for Daiwa Zillion TWS (2 Turns to Lockdown)

Lock - 8
Lock - 6
Lock - 4
Lock - 2
Lockdown
Avg % Change
Start Up
0.55
1.04
2.70
7.45
16.60
Sustained
0.53
1.14
2.81
7.64
16.64
Lowest Value
0.41
0.93
2.48
6.90
15.14
Change in Startup vs Sustained
2.9%
9.9%
3.9%
2.5%
0.25%
3.91%
Biggest Drop from Sustained
23.2%
18.6%
11.6%
9.7%
9%
14.4%
Drag on this reel was tested with the dragstar fully tightened. Then with each successive test, the drag was backed off with two short pushes of the dragstar with our thumb.

 

Power: In order to test the Zillion TWS's power, I tied on one of our recent LOUS baits, the Strike King 10XD, cast it as far as the TWS would allow (which was pretty far). With the 6.3:1 Zillion TWS powering a 10XD through the water all I could really muster was a slow to medium-slow retrieve, but I wasn't expecting to be able to burn that bait back with this retrieve ratio. It perform as expected.


A look at the reel's main gear and drag washer.

Casting Range: To test the lower end of the Zillion TWS's casting range, I mounted the reel onto a Phenix Maxim 73MH casting rod. This rod is rated by the manufacturer as a medium heavy, but as we find with most Phenix rods, on our RoD WRACK, it charts out more like a medium.


The Zillion TWS's free floating spool weighs 16 grams.

So with this lighter powered rod, I was able to comfortably cast baits down to about three eights of an ounce (jigs). Maybe with an even lighter powered rod, lower weights are possible, but given the way the line came off the reel's spool, I wouldn't expect the Zillion TWS to be a practical bait finesse option - and it's not designed to be that.


The TWS line guide is not as tall in the back as that of the Tatula.

Brakes: Similar to the Tatula we first reviewed two years ago, the Zillion TWS has a brake adjustment dial with increments ranging from zero to twenty (0 - 20) instead of zero to ten (0-10). The dial is very easy to adjust and I spent most of the time with the range adjusted somewhere between five and ten (5-10). This is where casting performance felt most natural for me.


One oddity we saw - why only one rash guard (the gold line on the left of the reel)?

Next Section: Zillion class features?

 

 

 

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