Cody Meyer let the lure fly. He took his thumb off the spool and waited. Meyer, of course, is a fool. Every bass angler knows that a baitcaster without a thumb might as well be a rat’s nest of tangled line and frustration.
Seconds later, his lure splashed down. But the backlash never followed.
Meyer was not a fool. The FLW veteran knows his reels, and at the 2016 Bassmaster Classic Expo in Tulsa, he showed up with one that’s nearly impossible to backlash. (Seriously…check the video at the bottom of this story.) It’s called the Zillion SV, and it’s the flagship of three new models of bass-oriented baitcasters from Daiwa for 2016.
“We wanted to introduce the bass reels to the right audience,” says Daiwa’s Curt Arakawa. “When we launch a new product at ICAST, the consumers might not be able to really use them until spring. That’s why we decided to launch these at the Classic. We wanted to put them in the hands of the dealers right there, so consumers at the show had a chance to see them and purchase these products right off the bat.”
So what’s all the fuss about? Three reels:
It’s low-profile, sleek, and at $129.95, it weighs in 20 dollars leaner than the original Tatula at launch. The “CT” stands for “Compact Tatula”—a smaller design that fans of the original model have been clamoring for. But don’t mistake the Tatula CT as a simple remake of its bigger brother. “It’s not the same reel at all,” Arakawa says. “We didn’t just try to make a new reel using the same parts. We made an all new aluminum frame, which is very strong and durable. You still have the features of the Tatula, like the T-Wing system, Air Rotation system and 7 bearings, but it’s a much lower profile reel.”
The trade-off? Arakawa says there’s not much of one. Tatula CT offers a 100 yard spool with 16-lb line; big brother Tatula offers about 15 percent more line capacity, and while Arikawa says the CT is perfect for almost any application, anglers fishing swim baits in deep water, for instance, may want to keep its larger cousin around for that technique.
But Daiwa says the lower MSRP of the Tatula CT is helping it gain traction among anglers who have been using other brands. “When people turned the handle at the Expo,” says Arakawa, “they felt how smooth it was. They saw the value and immediately wanted to know where to get one. That’s how easy this is to sell.”
The Tatula CT comes in 5.5:1 (right hand only), 6.3:1, 7.3:1, and 8.1:1 (right hand only) gear ratios. Each ratio is color coded for easy identification on-deck.
Tatula CT Type-R
This is the reel of choice for tournament anglers. “They’ve really adopted this one,” Arakawa says. While weekend warriors will fall in love with the Tatula CT, tournament anglers that are on the water multiple times per week should take a serious look at the CT Type-R. It’s the reel anglers like Meyer, Ish Monroe and Randy Howell are carrying for the long haul this season.
The CT-Type R adds Daiwa’s Magforce Z system, along with a Zion star drag, an A7075 aircraft grade aluminum spool, and two sealed, corrosion resistant bearings on both sides of the spool; and it’s that extra corrosion resistance—thanks chiefly to bearing covers that keep grease in the bearings longer—that justifies the Type-R’s $179.95 price tag. The Type-R comes in 6.3:1, 7.3:1 and 8.1:1 gear ratios.
The End of Backlash
The bad mama-jamma. This is Zillion SV TW—the reel Cody Meyer is about to blow your mind with. “SV” stands for “Stressfree and Versatile,” and its hard to imagine how a baitcasting reel can get any more stress-free than one that’s virtually impossible to backlash. Check it out:
The backlash prevention comes from Daiwa’s Air Brake system, and it’s truly unreal. Arakawa says he didn’t believe it when Daiwa’s engineers told him they’d invented a reel that doesn’t backlash.
“I said they were crazy,” he remembers. “I said, ‘Let’s go, right now!’ We took them out in the parking lot and started bouncing casts off the pavement, and we couldn’t get them to backlash.”
The Zillion SV sells for $299.95, a sum for serious anglers who want to invest in the low-profile reel’s incredibly light, aluminum frame with a Zaion side plate on the gear side. It also features a G1 Duralumin spool, which is lighter in weight and stronger than Tatula CT Type R’s A7075 Aircraft Grade spool. In addition, Zillion SV TW adds an extra level of smoothness by doubling up two more corrosion-resistant ball bearings for a total of four, and four regular ball bearings for a total of eight.
“If you’re a guy that casts Senkos a lot or a lure that doesn’t have much weight, this is the reel,” Arakawa explains. “It’s perfect for lightweight, finesse fishing. You can throw a Senko out there with no weight on it at all. You can even skip docks with a baitcaster using Zillion SV TW.”
Zillion SV TW is available in 6.3:1 and 7.3:1 gear ratios.
There you have it. A freakish cure for backlash that’s capable of feats no other baitcasting reel that we could find is capable of in the Zillion SV TW, a road-ready low-profile Tatula CT Type-R that’s built for the wear and tear of the tournament circuit, and a stalwart weekend warrior that’s packed with features and a price tag that savvy, every-man anglers are sure to love.
The trio made waves in the bass fishing world at the Classic Expo in March, and they’re set to make more throughout the prime months of the 2016 fishing season.