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Reel Review

Daiwa’s Zillion Type-R, Rev up to High Speed (continued)

Drag: One of my only real complaints about the Zillion Coastal was the lack of a souped up drag to handle bigger inshore species like Redfish and Stripers. The Coastal was able to deliver only 8.8lbs. of pressure in the lab which is on the low side when compared to other baitcasters of the same size, especially those specifically designed for inshore applications. Standard Zillion reels all feature the same wet drag system which delivers around the same maximum drag pressure. Decent but not great when compared to competing offerings from Shimano and Pure Fishing.

The carbon fiber swept handle is a work of art

Premium sport cars often differentiate their higher models by souping up their brakes either with more robust calipers or the choice of different materials, like ceramics, which assist in reducing performance robbing heat caused by vigorous braking. Daiwa makes use of a beefed up carbon drag system in the Type-R that increases the surface area and maximum stopping power of the reel’s drag system. The published spec of this reel is 15.5lbs. but in the lab we were able to achieve just over 16lbs. of max drag pressure at full lockdown, this is nearly double the stopping power of all other Zillion reels.

The reel pairs well with the Daiwa Steez SBD rod for frog fishing

Finally, a Zillion gets a drag capable of stopping big fish! In the Amazon the R-Type’s drag delivered both brilliant stopping power and very smooth and consistent drag performance. Large Peacocks would go on runs against the R-Type’s drag but would quickly tire out against the reel’s sheer stopping power. Never once did the drag lock up and this system performed as good as or better than many of the larger traditional round reels we brought on the trip.

The Type-R features a larger drag star than other Zillion reels

Ergonomics: The Type-R features the same basic footprint as all other Zillion reels but manages to weigh in .3oz less than the standard 7.1:1 reel and .1oz. less than the Zillion Coastal. It achieves this slight weight improvement with the aid of the lighter carbon handle and some extra porting in the center of the reel’s frame.

Extra large handles provide a better grip

This small weight difference is pretty much undetectable in hand but what is noticeable is the larger handle knobs used on this reel versus the rubber “soft touch” barrel grips found on so many Daiwa baitcasters. These larger knobs feature a flatter center profile and provide a little extra leverage, which I found very helpful in the Amazon where I really had to get lures moving quickly, and the extra grip the knobs afforded me was a major plus with big fish on the line. Interestingly these knobs have been used in previous Daiwa reels and can be found on some of Daiwa’s most cost effective baitcasters, including the mainstream positioned Exceler reels. 

The reel sits very low on Daiwa Steez rods

The Type-R is comfortable to palm and the reel features all the “clickies” on the adjustment knobs. As with other Daiwa baitcasters the external casting control is another outstanding feature and allows anglers to make changes on the fly without having to go through the effort of removing the sideplate. 

The Type-R palms well just like other Zillion reels


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