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Reel Review

Wicked style, the limited edition Daiwa Black Widow II

Date: 3/23/06
Tackle type: Reels
Manufacturer: Daiwa
Reviewer: Zander

Total Score: 8.41

Daiwa has certainly gotten a lot of mileage out of their Advantage design. The award winning series has spawned a number of well received products including the HST supertuned model, the Coastal inshore reel, and now the limited edition Black Widow II. Is the Black Widow II more than just an Advantage painted black? One thing for sure, it is considerably different from it’s rather dated predecessor, the original Black Widow.

Daiwa Black Widow II Specifications

Line Capacity (lb/yds) 12/140, 14/120
Gear Ratio 6.3:1
Weight 8.6 oz.
Bearings 6BB + 1RB
Additional Features Free floating perforated aluminum spool, Magforce-Z, infinite anti reverse, precision machined marine bronze gears, low profile, seven disc wet drag, micro-click drag adjustment, titanium nitride line guide aperture
MSRP $119.99

Are you familiar with the original Black Widow? We don’t blame you if you aren’t. While it is a decent reel it really is a few generations past in terms of design. The previous generation reel gained fame for its combination of performance at the right price, not for its ergonomics or “good” looks. One feature that really was nice on the original was a flipping mode switch. While this feature is left out of the mix on the new reel the redesigned BWII is an improvement from just about every angle. So where to begin? The BWII is obviously a “modded” TDA Advantage. The profile and dimensions are identical, but the guts are not. The reel looks very good with the matte black finish and orange highlights. Where have you seen this color combination before? If you’re a tackle aficionado you will immediately perceive the analogous details between the BWII’s finish and the ultralight Daiwa Japan Presso.


The very mean looking Black Widow II

Spec wise the BWII falls in between the TDA Advantage and the supertuned Advantage HST. It features the same oversized gearing, drag system, and Magforce-Z cast controls, but adds one more ball bearing for a slight bump in retrieve refinement. Unlike the HST the drag star is composite rather than metal, similar to the Coastal. The spool is anodized orange, as is the cast tension knob, both look prominent against the reel’s understated black finish. To top off the arachnid theme a graphic of a black widow spider can be found on the Magforce-Z cast control knob. All in all a very handsome package, one with enough cosmetic differences to set itself apart visually from it’s sibling Advantages.

The reel sports the familiar Advantage profile

The Field Tests:
I paired the Daiwa Black Widow II with one of my favorite all round rods, the GLoomis MBR783C. Together this combo was able to handle a wide range of applications ranging from dragging plastics to deep cranking. All tests were conducted at two local Northern California reservoirs. During the tests we fished the BWII side by side with the normal Advantage, the HST, and the Coastal for a direct comparison.


Complete test rig for Daiwa Black Widow II Field Tests

Rod GLoomis MBR783C
Reel BW-II
Line 12 lb. Yozuri Hybrid


Like it's siblings the Black Widow II sits low on Fuji reel seats


Notice the spider marking on the Magforce-Z cast control adjustment knob


The Magforce-Z control knob is easy to adjust on the fly


A titanium nitride line guide makes this reel braid capable


The anodized orange spool tension knob matches the spool nicely

Casting: When it came to casting there were no surprises. The BWII casts better than the Coastal, not as good as the HST, and identically to the standard TD Advantage. The Magforce-Z system was good across the range, and easy to adjust on the fly. Like the other Advantage reels the system is reliable, and offered varying cast levels of cast control in rather minute increments, making it easy to match up with any skill level or bait. Like the other Advantage reels the BWII casts with a relatively low trajectory which helps anglers place baits accurately, while minimizing splashdowns. This is a nice trait if you enjoy fishing low hanging structure including pilings and docks.


Next Section: Retrieve and Drag Performance









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