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Complete list of all current ICAST 2014 coverage
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Glide Week : Riding the S-Wave!
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Abu Garcia Raises the Speed Bar with their Rocket!
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Daiwa’s Steez EX 100XS offers a Deadly Combination of Both Speed and Precision
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First look inside the new Curado I baitcaster
 


 

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Reel Review


The Team Daiwa Advantage HSTA, A "Supertuned" Remix (continued)
 

Casting cont'd: What has been improved on the reel is the cast control cap on the other side of the reel. Instead of the standard cap found on so many Daiwa baitcasters the HSTA makes use of a machined aluminum cap, and the sideplate screw on top of it is machined in the same style. The knobs not only feel more premium but are easy to adjust or unscrew simply by rolling your finger over the top of the knob, a very nice touch.

 


The handle on the HSTA is now 90mm providing additional leverage for retrieves

 

Retrieving: These days 6.3:1 gear ratio falls right within the norm for the average multi-purpose baitcaster, and the HSTA is capable of pulling in 28” of line per handle turn. The gear ratio makes this reel a good choice for everything from plastics to deep diving cranks, but how does the reel feel when it comes to smoothness and power? If you have fished the original TDA HST you will find the HSTA very similar in feel. While the gearing tolerances have been improved the overall smoothness of the reel’s gearing is about the same. The only area of real improvement is in the handle and knobs which do feel slicker and slightly more friction free.

 


Though wide the HSTA offers exceptional access to the spool

 

The theory behind the swept handle is that the pushed in design will reduce wobble resulting in an overall better feel and increased winding leverage. While the HSTA exhibits very little wobble, and a very small amount of handle play it is hard to argue the real world performance offered by the design. However by bringing the handle in and adding the stealthy drag star design it is easier than ever to make drag adjustments on the fly, even during the action when retrieving. The handle is certainly no worse than a traditional handle, and it just looks darn cool.

 


A close look at the titanium levelwind insert

 

During our field tests we were lucky enough to get into 12lb stripers running into the Delta from the San Francisco Bay. These fish fight hard, and as they transition from saltwater to freshwater environments were eager to attack minnow lures. With the rip bite on I was able to put in a lot of time casting and retrieving high speed lures. Even better, being able to work the gearing and drag on these fish put the HSTA to the test.

 


The HSTA feels more powerful than your average Daiwa reel and proved excellent at turning fish quickly before they could reach cover

 

The HSTA’s rugged six point drive train responded to the challenge with enthusiasm, and was more than a match for both rapid retrieves and turning fish. If there is one word to describe the retrieve offered by the HSTA it is “consistent.” The feel is powerful and consistent, and the reel actually feels the same towing lures as it does fish, which is a positive statement about the quality and tolerances of the gearing. Something not often found in a reel of this price point, as many reels are just fine when retrieving lures yet suddenly feel stressed when there is a fish at the end of the line.

 


The familiar Magforce-Z knob allows quick adjustments on the fly

 

The HSTA feels more powerful than the average Daiwa reel thanks to an already stout drivetrain, rigid one piece aluminum frame, and larger handle. Unlike most Daiwa reels the HSTA sports an enlarged 90mm (from post to post) handle. The other Advantage style reels all sport 80mm handles, and the extra 10mm translates into more leverage. If I had to associate the retrieve feel of the HSTA to any other reel series in the lineup it would have to be the Zillion. The Sol and Fuego definitely feel lighter with an emphasis on accuracy while the Zillion and the HSTA appear more powerful and fluid.

 


The reel now sports two ported openings on top of the frame like the Sol for weight reduction
 

Next Section: A Super Seven Disc drag?


 

 

 

 

 

 
 





 

 



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