Team Daiwa Advantage HSTA, A "Supertuned" Remix
Total Score: 9.0 + EDITORS CHOICE!
The Team Daiwa Advantage
has been one of the most successful reels for Daiwa, and has spawned a number of
variations that are designed for either fresh or saltwater. The new TD-Advantage
HSTA is the latest iteration of the series, and designed to be the most advanced
to date. The HSTA implements a variety of souped up features which include a
higher bearing count, weight reduction, and a Zillion styled handle and drag
star… all in the name of supertuning.
Line Capacity (lb/yds)
10BB + 1RB
Red free floating perforated aluminum spool, Magforce-Z, infinite anti reverse,
6 point drive train, low profile, super seven disc wet drag,
micro-click drag adjustment, titanium nitride line guide aperture. machined
cast control knob, swept handle
Three years ago we reviewed the Team Daiwa Advantage HST, and found the reel to
be just shy of an Editors Choice. The reel walked away with a Best Value Award
for a good balance of performance versus price, and really would have taken top
honors if it had just a little more refinement. At the time Daiwa was looking
for an answer to the Curado, and the moderately priced TD-A actually found fans
among anglers looking for a solid performing alternative. At the time burner
reels had not yet become mainstream offerings for most manufacturers and the
TD-A’s 6.3:1 retrieve offered anglers just a little more speed, making this a
good choice for an all around reel.
The remixed TD-A undergoes further
Compared side by side with
the original Advantage HST model the HSTA is much slicker looking. Maybe it’s
the new finish, the new Sol-like frame porting, perhaps it is the red spool, but
most likely it comes down to the Zillion-like swept handle. The handle is the
first thing most anglers will notice as it has plenty of enthusiast appeal. Not
to mention that it is surprising in the first place to see the swept handle on a
reel of this price point.
Landing stripers in the Delta with
the new HSTA
So what does supertuning
really mean for anglers? For some more maintenance savvy anglers it means tuning
their existing baitcasters to outperform their original specification. This
usually comes by refining the reel or upgrading various components to improve a
variety of attributes, which may include casting distance, accuracy, improved
cast control, smoother retrieve, or a more consistent and/or powerful drag. When
a manufacturer says that the reel is “supertuned” this usually means that the
reel has already undergone some upgrades and/or refinement during actual
production so that anglers can expect a higher level of performance and
refinement out of the box. This isn’t to say that anglers cannot further “tune”
these already factory upgraded reels to their satisfaction.
The HSTA bears the same profile as
the previous HST reel
All in all the Advantage
HST definitely looks the “supertuned” part, and while you can never judge a book
by it’s cover the reel certainly looks “supertuned.” It was time to see if slick
appearances translate to even slicker performance.
Like the original the HSTA sits
quite low on most reel seats
Real World Test: To
test the Advantage HSTA we head for the brackish water at the mouth of the
California Delta in hopes of intercepting some striped bass. We also fished for
largemouth bass in local lakes. We tossed a variety of lures ranging from
weightless rigged plastics to magnum sized jerkbaits to see how well the reel
would handle the complete spectrum of baits.
The Advantage series is wider than
most Daiwa baitcasters
Like the reel before it the Advantage HSTA makes use of Magforce-Z cast control.
The Magforce-Z magnetic backlash control feels identical to the one on the
previous version, and anglers used to Daiwa’s system will feel right at home
with the HSTA’s implementation. In terms of casting the HSTA feels relatively
smooth and friction free but really different than the HST when it came to long
distance casts. In fact casting both reels side by side we were unable to cast
one farther than the other beyond any margin of error. Where we did notice a
distinct improvement is with the handling of smaller and even weightless rigged
baits. This reel casts everything down to weightless plastics surprisingly well.
While the HSTA is no Steez, it certainly is impressive when it comes to casting
the lighter stuff, in fact more so than other Magforce Z based reels we have
tested in the past, once again highlighting the benefits of tuning.
The first thing most anglers
notice is the Zillion-like swept handle, which is surprising to see on a reel of
this price point
Section: Casting & Retrieving