Product Insight : Zillion TWS a.k.a. Tatula Z?
Though the Daiwa Zillion TWS scored well in our official review, something about the reel did not sit right with me - literally. After my very first cast with that reel, from the first moment I wrapped my hand around it, I experienced a sense of deja vu. Thing is, it wasn't TD Zillion deja vu, it was something else. Something I didn't want to believe or admit to. The thought that popped into my head the first time I palmed the TD Zillion in a fishing situation was "Tatula".
The Zillion TWS is supposed to be a new platform - different from the TD Zillion and different from the Tatula - but is it?
The Zillion TWS is supposed to be a new platform - different from the TD Zillion and different from the Tatula. Of course, the Zillion TWS and Tatula share the same line guide system, but that's supposed to be where the similarities end. But that sense of deja vu I felt handling the Zillion TWS while fishing wasn't from casting the reel, it was from palming it. So after I finished assessing the Zillion TWS for its review, it was time to dig a bit further.
From the first moment I wrapped my hand around the Zillion TWS while fishing, something didn't sit right with me.
Zillion TWS vs Tatula Type R:
While still on the water, later that same day, I pulled out my Tatula Type R, mounted it on my second F6-72X4 Destruction and fished the reels side by side. Casting one, retrieving, then picking up the other and doing the same. My Tatula Type R just happened to be the same gear ratio too - 6.3:1.
The Zillion TWS had a familiar feel to it - similar to that of a
Casting: One obvious difference between these two reels is the treatment of their respective spools. The Tatula Type R uses an old school shaft that runs through the spool and into the guts of the reel to keep everything aligned. The Zillion TWS has a free floating spool design borrowed from its predecessor, the TD Zillion.
So we put them to a head to head test.
This free floating spool design is supposed to result in better casting performance based on the theory that while the reel is in casting mode, the spool is completely disengaged from the reel and essential "floating" on its bearings with nothing else to slow it down. On a more traditional spool with the shaft running through the spool and into the reel, the shaft can be the source of friction to slow the spool down and shorten your cast.
Tatula Type R (top) vs Zillion TWS (bottom).
By coincidence, both reels were spooled with the same twelve pound (12lb) test Sunline Supernatural Monofilament so this was a true apples to apples comparison. Mounted on those Destruction rods, I tied a Lucky Craft LV-500 bait to the end of both lines. With both reels dialed into the same brake setting (6 on the external dial), I made a series of casts out into open water with one, then switched to the other, and repeated several times. Despite the different spool designs, I couldn't tell the difference in casting effort or distance. The reels felt identical to me even during retrieve.
Yes, if you ignore the porting on the top plate, the look the same from the top and from the sides.
Sideplates: The reels felt so similar during the cast and while palming, I put them side by side trying to see differences or similarities in their shapes. Again their shapes looked the similar. Discussing with this Zander, we pondered the question almost at the same time - are they using the same frame and sideplates for the Zillion TWS and Tatula?
Well guess what, the sideplates are interchangeable
(Zillion TWS with Tatula Type R sideplate).
So much for a new platform (Tatula Type R with Zillion TWS sideplate).
I mean, the reels look different because of their toplate treatments and we just took it for granted the reels were different platforms. But given they felt the same in hand, we figured, the easiest way to determine similarities was to remove the sideplates and swap them. Guess what? They fit! So the Zillion TWS and Tatula/Tatula Type R actually share the same frame and sideplates. That explains that sense of Deja Vu I felt when handling the Zillion TWS the very first time. A simple cosmetic treatment to the top plate is all it took to disguise the Zillion TWS and give the two reels their own distinct look.
Time to take both reels back to the lab for closer look.
The cast control knobs are different sizes. The Zillion TWS (right) has an oversized knob to accommodate a clicker.
Next Section: Down to the guts...