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Reel Review

The Next TWS Variant : Daiwa's Tatula HD (continued)


Brakes: The Tatula HD's brake system is a departure from its standard and HD siblings. Instead of Magforce Z, which features an inductor that moves away from the spool and into the magnets located in the non-handle sideplate, the Tatula HD features standard Magforce - the spool has a fixed rotor. Daiwa usually uses this system when a reel is intended for larger baits. Hence the Tatula HD's extra line capacity, etc..

The deep spool has a fixed inductor and is 1mm in diameter larger than the standard Tatula's spool.

Features: Aside from the longer, 100 mm handle, the Tatula HD shares the same feature set as the standard Tatula (Including the TWS and Air Rotation). This means the afore mentioned externally adjustable brake dial, no bearing on the levelwind, one bearing and one bushing per handle knob, a micro-click enable dragstar (but not the cast control knob), no cover, and no oil in the box (I may have reported on the vial of oil incorrectly in the original Tatula's review).


Features Ratings for Daiwa Tatula HD

Ext Brake Adjust? (1-2)
Levelwind Bearing (1-2)
Knob Bearings (1-3)
Micro Clicks (1-3)
Reel Cover (1-2)
Oil (1-2)
Rating (= Tot/Pos * 10)

Knobs still have one bearing and one bushing each.

Design & Ergonomics: Overall ergonomics for the Tatula HD are the same as that of the standard Tatula and Tatula HD. They share the same overall design. However, the spools are not interchangeable as the Tatula HD's spool has an overall diameter of 35mm to the standard Tatula's 34mm. Otherwise the scores in this category for the Tatula HD are identical to its siblings.


There is no bearing supporting the levelwind, just a plastic bushing.


Design & Ergonomics Ratings for Daiwa Tatula HD

Handle Length (1-5)
Knobs (1-5)
Palming (1-5)
Overall Weight (1-5)
Ease of Breakdown (1-5)
Rating (= Tot/Pos * 10)


Application: This is where I get a little confused with the Tatula HD. First, let's start off with the extra 30% line capacity. By our calculations, the storage volume of the Tatula HD's spool is 21.6 cubic centimeters. The standard Tatula's spool has a capacity of 17 cubic centimeters. This is a difference of 21.3% not 30%, but close.


The Tatula HD is available in 6.3:1 and 7.3:1 gear ratios.

With more line capacity, via a deeper spool, the natural assumption is this reel is built for big baits and deep diving cranks - great! But the available gear ratios are 6.3:1 and 7.3:1 - hardly cranking and big bait specialty reel retrieve ratios. Maybe this reel is built for inshore enthusiasts who need more line capacity for faster running and harder pulling fish.

Cranking them up with the help of the Tatula HD and Phenix's X13 composite cranking stick.

That's great, but how about extending the reel's utility by throwing us a bone with a low gear ratio option so this real CAN be used more effectively for deep running cranks and big baits too? Without that low gear ratio option, what could have been a high scoring section for the Tatula HD turns into mostly average scores because line capacity can be mitigated through the use of braided line and connection knots, so a proper gear ratio trumps larger standard line capacity.


Application Ratings for Daiwa Tatula HD

Horizontal (1-5)
Vertical (1-5)
Finesse (1-5)
Big Baits (1-5)
Topwater (1-5)
Rating (= Tot/Pos * 10)



Daiwa Tatula HD Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Same QC as the original and Type R variant Tatulas 9.0
Performance Brakes are less dynamic due to standard MagForce, otherwise this reel has a very familiar feel performance wise 8.0
Price Same price as the Tatula Type R hence the same score 7.5
Features Losing points here with intangibles like the lack of lube oil in the box 6.43
Design (Ergonomics) Same overall reel as the original 7.6
Application A slow speed retrieve ratio would make a big difference here 5.6

Total Score

Ratings Key: 1 = terrible : 2 = poor : 3 = lacking : 4 = sub par : 5 = mediocre : 6 = fair : 7 = good : 8 = great : 9 = excellent : 10 = unbelievable!
For More Details of the updated rating system visit our explanation here


Pluses and Minuses:


+ More line capacity - The Original Tatula still wins out
+ Nice, big handle - great for cranking only if...  

Conclusion: It's quite obvious Daiwa has gone all in with their new TWS line guide system. I like the way it performs, and understand Daiwa's desire to leverage the technology in different models. They're just not doing quite enough. The Tatula Type R had a few enhancements here and there, but nothing tangible out on the water. The Zillion TWS was supposed to be a different platform, but a parts by parts comparison revealed Daiwa made the Zillion mechanics fit inside the Tatula frame.

The Tatula HD is ok, but until Daiwa makes a 5.4:1 HD, standard Tatula is still a better value.


The Tatula HD with its deeper spool had a lot of promise, and is a good reel overall, but it could be even better if they simply extended the available retrieve ratios to just one more - a true low speed option. It's a lot easier to eek out more line capacity in a standard spool through creative use of braid and connection knots than it is to slow down a reel that's too fast. 6.3:1 for deep cranks and big baits can work, but 5.4:1 is better. The Tatula HD is ok, but the standard Tatula is still a better value.


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