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Reel Review


TackleTour's 2005 SuperCast Championship : The Daiwa Millionaire I'ZE Light vs The Shimano Conquest 101DC (continued)
 

Casting: The results achieved while pitching our Zoom Fluke and Critterbait Grub Heads pretty much duplicated themselves in overhead and sidearm casting. Our casts, with the 5" Zoom Fluke in both setups were to distances of close to one hundred feet. Quite amazing considering we were using baitcasting gear! With the faster spool speeds in casting, the touchy Type-R+ MagForce V Brakes were even more difficult to tame during headwind conditions. The Conquest DC, conversely, still had room on its dial to compensate for stronger winds and more forceful casting. 

 

Our Conquest 101DC mounted on a Megabass F7-69DGS Orochi Super Destroyer Mephisto

 

Turning things up a notch, we decided to move our reels over to a different rod, the Megabass Orochi F7-69DG Super Destroyer Mephisto, and tie on a couple of swimbaits to see how these reels would handle heavier lures. While neither reel would be our first choice as a dedicated swimbait reel, we wanted to see how they would handle casting such fare in a pinch. We're happy to report that both reels handled our 1.4oz MattLures BabyBass test baits quite easily. In both sidearm and overhead casting we were able to launch these baits well over one hundred feet and, in a couple of instances, an estimated one hundred forty to one hundred fifty feet. The lure weight range on these little round baitcasters is quite impressive. They were both, even quite respectable with our 4.5 ounce Huddleston Deluxe Rate of Fall (ROF) 12 swimbaits. Again, though they wouldn't be our first choice, with both reels, we were afforded the ability to make the familiar, heavy swimbait lob cast on our Mephisto while still experiencing a backlash maybe a third of the time! Winner: Edge - Conquest 101DC

Our testbaits from clockwise from top left: 5" Zoom Fluke (1/4 oz); 1/4 oz Critterbait Skirted Grub Head; 1.4 oz MattLures BabyBass; 4.5 oz Huddleston ROF 12 Swimbait

 

Retrieve: With both reels featuring the same retrieve ratios and very similar, smooth gearing the only notable difference we felt between the two while cranking the handle was the amount of play when backing up. As with all our Daiwa reels, the I'ZE Light possesses a zero degree backplay. It is as solid as can be. As with all our Shimano baitcasters, the Conquest 101DC has a small bit of play when holding the spool steady and backing the handle up. It's important to mention that during hookset, this degree of play does not seem to affect a single thing but it's just a bit disturbing to know it's there - especially on such a high dollar reel. But because there's little to no effect in actual performance of the reel, we're only giving an edge to the I'ZE Light in this category. Winner: Edge - I'ZE Light

 

Side view of our I'ZE Light 103L mounted on a Megabass F7-69DGS Orochi Super Destroyer Mephisto

 

Drag: We re-tested both reels for overall drag strength in our lab with full spools of line and reaffirmed previous numbers for overall strength. The I'ZE Light tested out with slightly more top-end stopping power but we found it unnecessary to push either of our reels to their full limits while out on the water battling largemouth bass and schoolie stripers. Both reels were flawless in performance with easy startup and smooth, steady resistance to fish when they pulled line off our reels. We give here, a slight edge to the I'ZE Light simply for testing out higher in top-end stopping power. Winner: Edge - I'ZE Light 

Side view of our Conquest 101DC mounted on a Megabass F7-69DGS Orochi Super Destroyer Mephisto

 
Ergonomics: Here's were we gained some separation between our two reels. Though both reels sport an external brake adjustment dial, the adjustment on our Conquest 101DC was much easier to actuate. Though a huge improvement over the stock CVZ Millionaires with its external adjustment sideplate (EAS), our I'ZE Light was difficult to adjust when our hands were wet or slick from sunscreen. What's more, the I'ZE light does not come with a clicking drag or cast control cap, unlike the Conquest 101DC which has both these features. We found the round knobs on the handle of our I'ZE Light very attractive, but harder and less comfortable to grip than the contoured Septon grips on our Conquest 101DC. The palming profiles for both reels is just about identical and very good for both. Despite the fact we swapped out the undersized handle on our Conquest 101DC with an aftermarket upgrade, the clear and easy winner in this category is our Conquest 101DC. Winner: Conquest 101DC

 

Detail shots of our Daiwa Millionaire I'ZE Light

 

Design: Both reels possess an incredible amount of detailing and attractive color schemes. The single, distinguishing characteristic between the two reels is the slight, added touch of a drilled drag star on the I'ZE Light together with the decorative, anodized aluminum knob caps on the handle of the reel. Otherwise, the detailing around the frame and sideplates of both reels is exquisite and most difficult from which to choose a winner. For its decorative drag star and knob caps, we give the edge to the I'ZE Light. Winner: Edge - I'ZE Light

 

Detail shots of our Shimano Conquest 101DC shown here with an aftermarket, carbon handle by ZPI

 

Ratings:

Daiwa Millionaire I'ZE Light Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Daiwa's CV-Z reels have always been top notch and the I'ZE Light is no exception 10
Performance Supertuned Type-R+ casting performance in a round baitcaster with zero backplay in the handle and smooth gearing 10
Price Daiwa Japan Limited Edition reels come at a big price 7.5
Features Machined frame to reduce weight, external adjustable sideplate, titanium drag washers, all metal parts, and still, no micro-click adjustable drag or cast control cap L 9
Design (Ergonomics) Lovely detailing and ergonomics, but when it comes down to it, other than colors, not too much different than the stock CVZ 103/103L 9
Application A very capable all purpose reel 9

Total Score

9.08

  
Daiwa Millionaire I'ZE Light Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

J The I'ZE Light is definitely LIGHT L Round knobs, though attractive, aren't as comfortable to grasp
J Type-R+ Tuning! L No micro click drag adjustment or cast control knob
J Smooth and refined  L Limited production, limited availability
J Unique color and styling  


The champion of our 2005 TackleTour Supercast Shootout : The Shimano Conquest 101 DC

 

Ratings:

Shimano Conquest 101 DC Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Shimano at its best - except for the backplay 9
Performance near perfect... nuff said 9.5
Price Shimano's priciest bass sized casting reel 7.5
Features DC Cast Control, Dartanium Drag, ultra smooth gearing 9.5
Design (Ergonomics) Excellent palming size and comfort. Exquisite detailing 10
Application Casting + Pitching + fresh or saltwater applications 9

Total Score

9.08


Shimano Conquest 101 DC Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

J Comfortable to palm even for a round baitcaster L Stock handle is undersized
J Smooth performance  
J Digital Cast control is outstanding complete with sound effects  
J Fantastic drag  


Conclusion: Does it get any closer than this? With a clear winner in only one category and the five other categories decided with a slight "edge", the actual category split between these reels was right down the middle! It almost comes down to a true "pick'em" decision and if it weren't for a couple of intangible characteristics on one of these reels, we may have concluded our shootout in that manner. What are those intangibles? Only one of these two reels is a standard, non-limited edition reel - easily acquired (relatively speaking) and available, presumably, for years to come. What's more, this one reel just happens to come with a nice, neoprene reel cover to help protect it from abuse during transport and storage. The other reel, despite its price tag, does not. Oh yes, and did we actually go the entire article without mentioning this reel's hypnotic whistle during a cast? The winner of our 2005 TackleTour SuperCast Shootout is the Conquest 101DC for its superior ergonomics, "everyday" availability, bonus reel cover, and spellbinding whistle. While the Shimano wins this shootout overall, both reels are awarded our 2005 Ultimate Enthusiast Award for demonstrating supreme performance, detailing, and true "collectibility."

 

                             


 

 

 

 

 

 
 





 

 



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