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Enthusiast Reel Review

TackleTour's 2005 SuperCast Shootout Round 2 : Daiwa Millionaire I'ZE Light vs Daiwa Millionaire RinGa (continued)

Casting: The differences we noted between these two reels during our pitching trials manifested in quite a different manner during casting tests. While casting distances were virtually identical (approximately 80 feet with our three eighths ounce test plug) we found the I'ZE Light's brake control a bit more temperamental than the RinGa. This can be attributed, again, to the Type R+ rotor which is tapered resulting in less braking power per turn of the external adjustment dial as compared to that of the RinGa. Interestingly enough, less braking power did not result in greater casting distances for us, but rather, more birdsnests! However, once we realized this attribute in our I'ZE Light and tuned our thumbs accordingly, we were able to discern, that the I'ZE Light required less actual effort to impart a cast than the RinGa. This was a rather marginal difference but enough to give the edge in this category to the I'ZE Light for the ease by which the reel casts. Winner: Edge - I'ZE Light


The I'ZE Light(left) and RinGa(right) spools up close. Note the deeper capacity profile of the RinGa spool (lower right), and the tapered profile in the I'ZE Light's rotor (top left)


Retrieve: This was another area of modest surprise proving a feature as simple as a handle can make all the difference in the world for any particular reel. The extra 5mm in cranking power provided by the RinGa's 90mm length handle gives the RinGa a real sense of power and sureness when compared to the standard 80mm handle of the I'ZE Light. Were it not for this handle these two reels would no doubt have ended in a draw in this category since on the insides, they are identical. The smoothness in both reels is reinforced by the absolute zero degree of handle backplay - a very reassuring feature especially on hookset. For now, the RinGa outreaches the I'ZE light in retrieve. Winner: Edge - RinGa

Detail shots of our I'ZE light. Note the I'ZE logo on the line guide (top left) and sideplate (lower left) and the drilled holes in the dragstar (lower right)


Drag: Both reels feature identical drag mechanisms resulting in 5+ pounds of maximum drag pressure as measured in our lab. In actual, real life conditions on the water battling schoolie striper and largemouth bass, we came away with no complaints in the drag performance of these two reels. Winner: Draw

Detail shots of our RinGa. Note the same dragstar as the I'ZE light (lower right) and the overall, monotone, brushed aluminum finish on this reel.


Ergonomics: Identical in almost every ergonomic aspect save for the handle and knobs and overall weight of the reel our preference here edges towards the RinGa not only for the added leverage of the handles, but the surer grip of the flat, cork knobs on the handle itself. While we prefer the aesthetics of the I'ZE Light's knobs, the RinGa's knobs were more comfortable and sure when grasped between our fingers. On the other hand, the I'ZE Light is amazingly svelte for a round baitcaster and the nearly three quarters of an ounce difference between the reels was notable especially when switching between rigs. For this reason, the competition was painstakingly close but we award this section to the RinGa for its quality stock power handle. Winner: Edge - RinGa


Palming profile of the I'ZE Light


Design: It's quite astonishing what a different color scheme - or even lack thereof - can do to for a reel. As documented at the beginning of this article, the Daiwa Millionaire CV-Z has undergone a good number of cosmetic incarnations over the last several years, and yet, the I'ZE Light and RinGa both offer something fresh and new. With the I'ZE Light, what really stands out, aside from the striking color scheme, is the subtle "I'ZE" logo inscriptions along with all the weight savings holes throughout the reel - most notable of which are in the drag star. The RinGa is the anti-I'ZE sporting the same drag star, but overall, the reel possesses a very understated yet sophisticated brushed aluminum finish. The RinGa's spool is the only exception to this monotone scheme and is intended to stand out from the rest of the reel, drawing one's attention immediately to the inscribed characters in an attempted spirituality reminiscent of the 2003 Daiwa Ito reels. But is this attempt effective?


Palming profile of the RinGa


The 2003 Daiwa Ito reels are a suite of limited edition offerings that set a recent benchmark in the arena of tackle collectibles. Earlier in this article, we shared a translation of the RinGa characters with the goal of connecting that translation to an interpretation similar to that of the acclaimed Ito reels. Unfortunately, through the course of using our RinGa and studying its attributes, no such inspiration comes to mind. Our only thought was that of an angler fish but the imagery of this somewhat obscure little creature is hardly that of which legends are born. For now, we'll simply resign ourselves to the fact something is obviously lost in our attempted translation. So which of our shootout reels is more unique and/or distinct? With each offering its own appeal, it's simply too close to call. Winner: Draw



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



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  


Our Winner of Round #2, the Daiwa I'ZE Light 103L



Daiwa Millionaire RinGa HL Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality The Millionaire RinGa does not disappoint 10
Performance Neck and neck with the I'ZE light only the deep capacity spool is not quite as free as the Type-R+ Gigas spool 9.5
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, crbb's, and still, no micro-click adjustable drag or cast control cap L 9
Design (Ergonomics) One of the differences in features over the I'ZE light is the stock 90mm handle providing excellent leverage 9.5
Application A very capable all purpose reel 9

Total Score


Daiwa Millionaire RinGa Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

J Quality build and refinement L No micro click drag adjustment or cast control knob
J Stock handle provides wonderful leverage L Limited production, limited availability
J Smooth and refined L Maybe we lost something in the translation, but we don't quite get the Rin-Ga proverb behind the inscribed spool
J Super clean detailing and color scheme  

Conclusion: Neck and neck to the end and we wouldn't expect anything less from a sibling rivalry of this magnitude. To be honest, we weren't quite sure that we would find any real differences between these reels given they share the same base in the Millionaire CV-Z. It was refreshing to discover there were indeed some real differences, but ironically enough, these differences evened out in the end. So again, we are left with a tossup. Our entire staff really liked the longer handle of the RinGa, but casting and pitching performance was disappointing by comparison. Given a longer handle, the I'ZE Light might well have run away with this shootout. So which reel is worthy of the finals against the Shimano Conquest 101DC? Looks like it's time to order yet another ZPI Carbon handle and some flat, cork knobs to install on our I'ZE Light so that we can pit the supertuning features of Daiwa's Type-R+ vs what many see as the ultimate in casting excellence, the Shimano DC system. The winner of round 2 in our SuperCast Shootout is the Limited Edition Daiwa Millionaire I'ZE Light.











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