Steez, Daiwa Japan's New Flagship Low Profile Baitcaster
the Steez cont'd:
The Dura-Loc Pinion Gear
now has four (4) slots machined into its end, and the edges for re-engaging the
spool pin on its face have an inward taper. This was obviously done to eliminate
the potential for the spool to not fully re-engage when the handle is barely
turned (which was more of a distraction rather than a real concern on earlier
low profile reels). In addition, the increased pressure provided by the Cam
Clutch Spring makes the Yoke Plate rotate more quickly, which causes the Pinion
Gear to turn up to ¼ turn when the reel is reengaged. I was unable to get the
reels to partially re-engage, regardless of how many times I tried without line
or tension on the spool. The pinion is made from the same phosphor bronze
material as the TD-Z pinion, and it still seems quite durable even though the
extra slots are machined on its end.
Changes in Mounting the Steez Drive Shaft
Roller Bearing (Roller Clutch Bearing) for the Drive Shaft is still the same
size as in previous reels, but it now uses 12 rollers instead of 6. The use of
additional rollers not only provides for smoother operation, it also reduces
anti-reverse back play while helping to maintain tighter mesh alignment between
the Drive Gear and Pinion Gear. The shaft Outer Bearing (Ball Bearing F) is
still the same as those found on other Daiwa low profiles (8x12x2.5 mm).
The Steez does not use the
Line Guide from the TD-Z, but instead uses a smaller guide with a hard ceramic
insert. (It is similar to the guide used in the Pixy, Sol, etc., but has an
elongated line opening, making it about 2 mm taller.) The insert is made from
Titanium Nitride, like the ones found on the TD-Z and other reels.
The Drag Stack:
The Steez uses a Drive Gear
that is identical in size but weighs about one-third as much as the TD-Z
gear. It is made from A7075 Aluminum, which is a very tough and durable alloy,
made primarily from Zinc, Magnesium and Aluminum. A7075 is commonly used in
aircraft and aerospace applications.
The metal and carbon-fiber
drag washers in the Steez are the same size as those used in the TD-Z, Alphas,
Sol, etc., and the metal washers are titanium coated stainless just like in the
TD-Z. Unlike the teflon-carbon drag washers used in earlier low profile reels,
the stock Steez carbon-fiber washers are supposed to be periodically lubricated
with a very light coat of Daiwa grease (DSG505). They have a texture on both
sides of the washer which reminded me of 300 grit sandpaper.
and Shaft Components
(Steez Carbon Fiber Washers Compared to Carbontex Washers)
I upgraded the drag sets in
all my Steez to Carbontex drag washers, only because I had the reels open and
had spare sets of Daiwa Reel #1 washers on hand. I cannot say the reels even
needed the drag upgrade and I really could not tell much difference in drag
performance after switching to the Carbontex washers. Although the Carbontex
washers added approximately a .1mm increase in total stack thickness (due to the
slightly thicker fiber washers), the reels still worked fine with them
The Drag Click Leaf Spring
Holder, Click Leaf Spring, and Drag Spring Washers are identical to those used
on the TD-Z. However, the detents under the Drag Star are smaller than on the
TD-Z, providing for finer adjustment of the “Micro-Click” drag.
The Drag Star and Click Cup
used on the Steez are still too big to fit on an Alphas or Pixy. The Alphas and
Pixy will not have sufficient drive shaft length, and the spool tension cap will
contact the drag star.
The Drive Shaft and
end of the Drive Shaft is configured a little differently than other Daiwa low
profile reels. The Steez does not use a Handle Nut; instead it uses a
right-hand tapered screw with a 10 mm head to attach the end of the shaft to the
handle. A screwed retainer fits over the head to keep it in place.
Steez Drive Shaft
The rest of the handle has
threads that are the same size and taper as the other Daiwa low profile reels
(reverse for LH reels and normal for RH reels). It is possible to put a
different handle on the shaft if you want to upgrade to a more conventional
Daiwa or aftermarket handle. However, I did not even attempt to make a handle
change, because the new swept handle felt very comfortable and was easy to use.
I also found that having the knobs a little closer to the reel takes some of the
strain off my wrist that holds the reel, which was apparent while landing larger
Handle and Knobs (with Reel Grips)
The handle on the Steez uses
four (4) ball bearings (two under each knob). The bearing sizes and knob
configuration are identical to the TD-Z, except two (2) thin 2.5 mm washers are
used at the bottom of each knob, instead of one used on some stock Daiwa
Now that I have had a detailed look inside the Steez it is easy to see why the
Steez provides much smoother operation when compared to many of my other Daiwa
reels, and it was obvious that Daiwa wanted to mitigate play, gear noise and
vibration in the design of the reel. A nice and smooth metallic feel is really
the only way I can describe how the Steez cranks.
Daiwa did take successes of their limited production reels and combined the best
features of those into the Steez. They also focused on improving drag, operation
and performance in the process.... all of which result in a reel that exudes
just as much "performance" as it does "style."