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Reel Review

Advanced technology in a traditional baitcaster... Daiwa Millionaire CV-X

Date: 2/13/02
Tackle type: Reel
Manufacturer: Daiwa
Reviewer: Zander

Total Score: 8.75

Introduction: There are some anglers who will always prefer the solid feel of a traditional baitcaster, and for these fisherman Daiwa packs some of their latest technology into the Millionaire CV-X103A.

Daiwa CV-X103A Specifications

Line Capacity 12/120;14/100
Gear Ratio 5.8:1
Weight 9.5 (oz)
Bearings 3BB, 1RB
Additional Features Aluminum frame, Aluminum spool, Aluminum Oxide line guide, Magforce V, bronze and brass machine cut gears
MSRP $149.95

Impressions: When I first examined the Daiwa CV-X I was immediately attracted to the solid design of the frame. It was very obvious that this reel had been machined from high quality aluminum, and you could see from the inner sides of the reel where the alloy had been machined away. The CV-X is a very attractive reel, and in contrast to the silver frame rests a lightweight gold spool. The entire reel felt very solid...no plastic parts here.

Some anglers still prefer the traditional solid feel of a traditional baitcaster, and for these anglers Daiwa packs their latest technology into the CV-X

The Lab Test:
In the lab we tested the CV-X freespool and drag capabilities. The freespool was quite impressive and the use of Daiwa's super speed shaft definitely helped. When we tested the CV-X drag we found some difficulty in adjusting the drag in minute increments, but found it to be very strong, and could hold off 20lb's of pressure with ease thanks to a 7-element drag system.


The CV-X only utilizes 3BB and 1RB but feels incredibly smooth when cranked. Its smoothness can be likened to other reels that employ twice as many bearings. The Roller Bearing did its job in the lab, and even with swift cranks we experienced zero back play in the handle. We were eager to get this reel into the casting tests and some real world applications.

Complete Rig for CV-X Test

Rod Quarrow OTC665F
Reel Daiwa CV-X
Line 12lb Trilene Big Game

Real World Test:
We spooled the CV-X with 12lb Trilene Big Game and headed out to nearby Calero Reservoir for 2 days of intense testing.

The CV-X is very compact but still offers good finger placement for feathering the spool

The CV-X casting performance was very good. Line flows quickly from the spool through the slick aluminum oxide line guide for smooth and long casts. The main reason for the extended casting distance is that the CV-X uses Daiwa's "super speed shaft" which floats the spool on precision bearings.


In the case of the CV-X the spool and frame design also affected casting performance. If you look at popular low profile baitcasters, spooled up to specification, you will often see that because of the slim design the line actually needs to travel downwards to pass through the line guide and this angle puts pressure on the guide and builds friction between the line and the guide during casting. The CV-X with a traditional cylindrical design places the spool directly behind the guide at equal level, and when spooled up to spec, the line passes directly through the guide, reducing friction and extending casting distance.

Rotating the sideplate exposes the quick change spool and Magforce V
cast control system

The Cast Control System: The CV-X uses Daiwa's Magforce V system, but unlike their other Daiwa baitcasters, the system is shielded behind a sideplate, an the only way to adjust the magnetic cast control is to unscrew the sideplate form the frame. Removing this sideplate also gives anglers access to the spool for quick changes if necessary. To some it may seem cumbersome to have to remove the sideplate to adjust the cast control, but rest assured removing the CV-X takedown sideplate is as quick as 3 rotations of the plate. The Magforce V backlash system does a great job of preventing unwanted backlashes.

The Drag: The CV-X drag is strong and offers smooth stopping power, but like in the lab tests fine tuning wasn't completely refined. We went to a nearby fishing shop to test the higher model CV-Z to see if minute adjustments were better, and sure enough the CV-Z which retails for 50 dollars more has a much more precise drag. This is because the CV-Z utilizes a 11 element system versus the CV-X's 7. Overall drag performance is good on the CV-X, and once you get the drag dialed into a setting you are comfortable with it won't fail you.


The Spool: The CV-X features a very lightweight machined aircraft aluminum spool  which holds quite a bit of line for such a small reel. Key to the smooth performance of the reel is this floating spool that can be completely separated from gearing during casting operation.


The CV-X's frame and sideplates are precision machined from a solid bar of stock aluminum, and the line guide is made from Aluminum Oxide


The Retrieve: The CV-X103A really shines in this department. Remember the CV-X103A is a very small and compact reel yet it offers a very fast gear ratio of 5.8:1, faster then all the other Millionaire's...even the CV-Z models. The CV-Z is able to retrieve 24.0 inches of line per turn which is more line then the next two sizes up. On the water, and in the lab, the reel feels silky smooth and we just couldn't believe it only housed 3 ball bearings!


Daiwa CV-X103A Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Solid construction that brings top notch materials to a traditional design 9
Performance Good performance in almost all areas. Design actually complements performance bringing a good balance of design and performance 8.5
Price A reasonable price for anglers desiring traditional baitcaster design, and the benefits of advanced technology 8.5
Features Many great features, some may like the cast control adjustments on the outside of the reel, but we liked them protected, and found removing the sideplate to be quick and easy 8.5
Design (Ergonomics) Timeless design, and purists will find Daiwa's Millionaire loyal to traditional baitcast appeal 9
Application The Millionaire line has a reel for every occasion and now even offers a "Power Handle" option for more leverage on larger reels, but the CV-X103A is excellent for bass fishing in fresh and brackish water 9

Total Score


Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

J Solid construction L Minute Drag adjustment
J Advanced technology  
J Fast Gear Ratio  
J No Plastic anywhere!  
J Reasonable Price  

Conclusion: The CV-X is designed as a reasonably priced fully featured reel that can satisfy anglers that desire traditional baitcast design but can also benefit from advanced technology like Daiwa's Magforce V cast control system. In all tests the CV-X103A performed well, and anglers that like the look and feel of the CV-X can also spend a bit more and upgrade to the even smoother and perfect drag performing premium Millionaire CV-Z reels. From the frame to the inner guts of the reel, the CV-X is a solid reel utilizing top notch materials, and is made with great attention to details....another winner from Daiwa.









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