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Reel Review

Daiwa Coastal Inshore Special: Engineered for light salt applications and yet still great for bass (continued)

Drag: If there is any downside to using a smaller inshore reel like the Coastal then drag pressure is it. Larger round inshore reels have oversized drag washers, and consequently can deliver more counter pressure. The Coastal makes use of a seven disc fiber composite wet drag similar to the one found on many of the other freshwater Daiwa reels. We had hoped that the Coastal would have a souped up drag but in our tests drag pressure maxed out at 5.2lbs, which pretty much puts it in line with the TD Advantage and Fuego. Is that enough drag performance for most inshore species? Yes, absolutely. Do we still wish it had more? Once again...Yes. While the total drag pressure isn't anything to brag about the level of refinement of the system is. Even when we had Lingcod on the end of the line the drag never felt jittery or anything but ultra-smooth. This smooth drag will help prevent tearing hooks from soft mouthed fish like Speckled Trout.

Update 1/15/06: We have retested the drag on this reel after cleaning out the drag washers. During our initial test we submerged this reel in saltwater during stress tests and we have discovered significant mineral salt buildup in the drag assembly. After cleaning out the drag system the reel retested to 9.2lbs of drag counter pressure which is much more respectable than the 5.2lbs we originally observed.


The titanium nitrided line guide is a plus when dealing with braided superlines


Ergonomics: Used to fishing bass baitcasters? Then the Coastal will feel right at home. With the exact same profile as the TDA this reel is a terrific reel for light saltwater applications. In our tests we paired the reel with rods using both unbranded and Fuji branded reel seats. In both cases the Coastal sat low enough to get your entire hand around the reel in palming situations. The Coastal makes use of the same rubber grips found on other Daiwa products including the Advantage and the Fuego. These oversized grips delivered plenty of tack even in heavy mist conditions. The Centriflex cast control system obviously cannot be adjusted as quickly as a traditional Daiwa MagForce system, but honestly when casting heavier saltwater lures rarely did we need to make cast control adjustments in the field. Overall ergonomics are excellent, and this reel effectively conveys traditional low profile baitcasting ease and comfort to inshore anglers.


The Coastal proved to be a respectable freshwater reel as well. The Centriflex cast control system was refined enough to cast small lightweight lures and topwater frogs


Durability: At first I questioned why Daiwa did not implement the same higher end forged handle and aluminum drag star like that used on the HST models, but after fishing with it in saltwater it all made sense. The standard handle and composite drag star may not be as refined or as pretty as the forged components but they do hold up to corrosive saltwater much better. Much less care and maintenance is necessary to keep these components looking and performing like new. In fact durability concerns are the same reason why Daiwa opted to design the completely new Centriflex internal cast control system, to eliminate the chance of harsh saltwater contaminates from entering the reel.


The Coastal isn't just for inshore species. Rigged with the same braided line the reel was great for frogging


To achieve a very rigid frame aluminum is used throughout this reel, and both the frame and sideplates are coated for increased resistance from the elements. But what is most exciting about Coastal in terms of durability are the actual guts of the reel. Daiwa starts by using CRBB corrosion resistant bearings, like those used on the Saltist. These shielded bearings last up to 12 times longer in saltwater environments than traditional bearings. Next Daiwa uses a specialized anti-corrosion treatment to coat just about every internal metal component from the mounting plates to the pinion and gears. This coating is specifically designed to shield all metal components from the harmful effects of saltwater. While we certainly don't recommend anglers do this we just had to see how well these coatings performed so we fully submerged the reel overboard in the Pacific on the very first trip out. Three months later the reel still performs just as well as the day it came out of the box. It is always good practice to spray the Coastal with freshwater and wipe down your reel after any inshore use. In addition oiling and greasing the gearing once a season will ensure a long life for your investment.


The Coastal had what it took to tackle Lingcod, it was extremely entertaining to land big inshore fish with bass sized gear

Price: Daiwa is more known for their premium freshwater reels than anything else, but lately their saltwater offerings including the Saltiga, Saltist, and Sealine reels have really come on strong. The Saltist proved that Daiwa was serious about producing quality saltwater reels at mainstream level prices, and the Coastal continues that trend. Priced at only 129.99 per copy the Coastal is ten dollars cheaper than the Daiwa Advantage HST. Even though the metal drag star and popular ported handle are gone the reel makes up for it with features like corrosion resistant treated internals and sealed cast control system, both of which cater towards inshore applications. When you figure in the added capacity to use this product in freshwater applications this crossover reel offers multi-species anglers exceptional “bang for the buck” value.


Daiwa Coastal Inshore Special 153H Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality The Coastal may look like the Advantage but many steps were taken to "saltproof" this reel. The build quality is top notch and while some anglers may not like the composite drag star and utilitarian handle the fact is that these components will hold up better in saltwater applications 9
Performance The Coastal excelled in all areas other than drag performance. Here the drag was decent but we were hoping for a souped up drag to handle larger inshore species. Instead we found the identical drag to the Daiwa freshwater offerings. Overall performance was quite good in terms of casting, power, and reliability 8
Price The Coastal is an excellent price, and a fantastic value for any angler that fishes both fresh and salt 9.5
Features The Coastal has numerous corrosion resistance features that we find admirable. Use of CRBB bearings is excellent, and specialized anti-corrosion treatments and materials guarantee more reliable service in harsh saltwater environments 9
Design (Ergonomics) If you like the TD Advantage you will like the Daiwa Coastal. Ergonomically this inshore reel is as just about as good as they come 9
Application This is one reel that belongs both in your fresh and saltwater tackle. The reel is an excellent inshore reel and a respectable bass reel 9.5

Total Score


Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

J Proven low profile design L Not available in Left hand retrieve
J Excellent corrosion resistance  
J Reliable performance  
J Multi-application capable  
J Great price!  

 While the profile of this reel may match the popular TD Advantage that is where the functional similarities end. Encased within the familiar frame is a reel that we discovered is all about taking care business. Superior anti-corrosion treatment and CRBB bearings keep the reel running smooth and fast whether you are dunking lead for Stripers or chucking spoons for Reds. The low profile ergonomic design makes this a choice reel for inshore applications that require constant casting. As if the saltwater performance wasn’t already enough we found that the Coastal was also a respectable freshwater reel as well. Daiwa has successfully breathed new life into the well-liked Advantage design and created a new reel that effectively tackles both inshore and freshwater applications successfully. Consider the low cost of ownership and it is no surprise that Daiwa’s new Coastal Inshore Special receives our Best Value Award. If you dabble in multiple species and split your time between the skinny and bass inhabited water then this is the reel is definitely for you.   











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