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Reel Components (Maintenance)

Inside the Steez, Daiwa Japan's New Flagship Low Profile Baitcaster

Date: 10/03/06
Tackle type: Reel Components
Manufacturer: Daiwa
Author: ChuckE


Introduction: You can be certain that I will disassemble, clean and re-lube a new enthusiast reel shortly after using it a couple of times on the water, and my new Daiwa Japan Steez baitcasters were no exception.  I not only wanted to convert the reels over to my favorite reel oil/grease, but was also curious about major changes and improvements that had been made in the design and construction of the reel. The fact that Daiwa has introduced the reel in the US (and other markets) also has some very interesting possibilities. Daiwa USA will eventually carry replacement parts, and I wanted to get an early start at identifying component compatibility with other low profile models. So, here is an inside look of the new Daiwa Steez.


Time to take a detailed look inside the Daiwa Steez


The Spool:  The Steez and TD-Z spools both have an outside edge diameter of approximately 34.0 mm and are approximately 25.3 mm tall (and by comparison the Alpha ito spool is only 32.8 mm in diameter.) The spool is made from A7075 Aluminum Alloy, which allows it to spin-up very quickly.

After an email with Cal, I could no longer resist the temptation to put the Steez spool into a TD-Z103ML and make a few test casts.  In general, the Steez spool casts much better than the stock TD-Z spool fitted with ZPI SIC ceramic hybrid bearings, which was quite impressive.  In addition, I also quickly noticed some of the braking effects of the ito tuning on the spool, when casting into a cross-wind. (Brake and spool tension controls worked very well, and adjustments were not critical at all while casting my ¼ oz test weight. I intend to continue testing this potential TD-Z upgrade in the future.) 

The tapered +R inductor sticks out approximately 2 mm further on the Steez spool, than it does on the TD-Z spool when retracted.  In addition, the brake magnets in the palm plate of the Steez are much thinner and are a little further apart than those on the TD-Z palm plate.  My mind began to race, as I was already thinking of the possibilities of Daiwa stocking spare Steez spools with the introduction of the Steez to the US market.

TD-Z Spool and inductor (left) and Steez Spool and inductor (right)

There has been some discussion on the forum about the amount of line that can be spooled on the Steez. So, I spooled the reel with 8# Trilene XL (.010” average diameter), and then measured how much line it held (when filled per the Daiwa diagram). I measured that the spool held 128 yards of the XL, which is almost identical to what my stock TD-Z 103ML spool held.  Next, I spooled another Steez with 8# PLine CX Premium (.009” average diameter) and measured the line it held at 143 yards, which is also identical to what another stock TD-Z spool held.  (I spooled my last Steez with 125 yards of 14# Shooter.)

The inductor and magnets in the brake are not the only changes related to the spool.  The Steez palm plate spool bearing is 3x10x4 mm, which is different than the vast majority of the other Daiwa low profile reels (which are 3x8x4 mm). The larger bearing size should improve overall spool performance while casting and cranking under load. The bearing retainer size was increased to accommodate the larger bearing. The bearing mounted on the handle side of the Steez spool is still 5x11x4 mm, which is the same size as the majority of the other Daiwa low profile reels.

Comparison of TD-Z Spool (left), Steez (middle) and Alpha ito (right

The Frame:  The Steez “super metal” magnesium frame and handle side plate are noticeably lighter and smaller than the TD-Z, and I did not measure their actual weight for comparison. However, there were several significant differences that I observed on the frame components (and their configuration), when compared to the TD-Z and other Daiwa reels:

Steez Palm Plate with Spool Bearing (left) Compared to TD-Z Bearing (right

  • The Drive Shaft Retainer mounted to the frame now has two (2) tabs that keep the Yoke Plate in position when disengaging/reengaging the reel. This is a notable addition, since the extra tab helps maintain Yoke Plate alignment during rotation (especially with the increased force on the Yoke Plate from the Yoke Plate Spring) and ensures the bearing beneath the plate remains rigidly fit in its socket. In addition, the extra tab will also help during reel reassembly, while mounting the Clutch Cam Spring.

  • The “blind hole” in the frame for mounting one side of the Clutch Cam Spring has been made deeper and more robust, which is similar to the configuration of the Big Bait Special.  However, it is also a lot harder to remount the spring during reassembly, due to a heavier spring force.

  • The Yoke is slightly bigger and heavier and it appears to be similar to that used in the Big Bait Special.

  • The Drive Shaft appears to be made from the same material as the Alphas F, which has proven to be extremely light and robust.  (Additional shaft and configuration changes are described later.

  • The configuration of the Yoke Plate, Clutch Trip Plate, and Drive Shaft Retainer is slightly different from the TD-Z.  In general, they are not quite as large, but still seem to be well mounted and as thick as those used in the TD-Z.  I was left with the impression that the moving parts on the Steez frame positioned and mated even better than the TD-Z, especially after removing the factory lube and replacing it with Hot Sauce grease.  In addition, the fairly open design seems like it will be very easy to add lube to the reel during a mid-season mini-lube. 

Steez Handle Side of Frame

There have been two other configuration changes on the Drive Shaft that are of major benefit:

  • The new shaft fits through the Drive Shaft Retainer that is mounted to the frame, instead of being slid into a slot in the retainer.  This change obviously supports the shaft and retains the lower bearing better, and provides for smoother cranking performance by maintaining better alignment on the lower end of the shaft (drive and pinion gear alignment).

  • The end of the shaft is also e-clipped to the Shaft Bearing (Ball Bearing D) while mounted into the frame, which eliminates any lateral (in/out) play on the shaft.  The lower bearing is still the same size as the other Daiwa low profile reels. However, the new clipped bearing configuration does have a downside, and that is the e-clip that is installed on the end of the shaft is somewhat difficult to remove.  You must be careful not to damage the outer race of the bearing even though it is protected by a washer under the e-clip.

Inside the Steez continued









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