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Enthusiast Review


Daiwa Japan Continues to Earn Interest Off Their Millionaire Platform (continued)

Drag: The HL-SSS Ringa delivers roughly nine pounds (9lbs) of drag pressure when buttoned down completely and does so very smoothly both at start up and steady pull. I never fished with it fully buttoned down but noticed the same, smooth performance at lighter, line and rod friendly settings.


Note the ported drag star... when locked down, this reel can deliver up to 9lbs of drag pressure

Design & Ergonomics: You don’t have to be into round reels to appreciate the HL-SSS Ringa’s ergonomics but it might help. This is a 100 sized round reel and the smallest Daiwa makes but it sits comfortably on any rod and is easy to palm. It is certainly not as low as a 50 sized reel or a low profile reel, but it is not as intrusive as the next size up in round reels either.

Daiwa Japan Limited Edition Millionaire Specifications

 
HL-SSS Ringa
HL-SLC Ringa
I'ZE Light
Production Year
2008
2004
2004
Spool Weight
15
14
15
Spool Shape
Flat Bottom
Flat Bottom
V-Bottom
Handle Length
80
90
80
Overall Weight
7
7.7
7
Braking System
Magforce Z
Magforce
Magforce V + Type R+ Tuning


From left to right, spools from the 2004 I'ZE Light, 2008 HL-SSS Ringa, 2004 HL-SLC Ringa (Type R+ Tuned Magforce V, Magforce Z, Magforce respectively)

The reel’s handle is a slight disappointment from the perspective it is only 80mm. I fully expected an 85 or even better, a 90 mm handle on this reel and the newer generation compressed cork knobs are far less refined than the original.


The HL-SSS Ringa gets high points for style ...

Knit picking aside, the HL-SSS Ringa, with its polished edges contrasted against brushed aluminum is an exquisite reel and far more attractive than its HL counterpart. It rivals the I’ZE light presenting a more subdued and sophisticated color palette.


... the polished edges of this reel set it apart ...

As with all the recent Millionaire limited edition incarnations, the HL-SSS Ringa benefits from an externally adjustable brake system enabled by the custom EAS (externally adjustable sideplate) non-handle sideplate. Simply push in with the heel of your hand and turn accordingly.


... and the carbon handle and stock, compressed cork knobs are a nice touch too

Pricing & Availability: Now here’s the tough part. The HL-SSS Ringa was produced in limited quantities back in 2008. It can still be found new from time to time but expect to pay anywhere from 59,780 JPY to 70,350 JPY – that’s well over $600 given current exchange rates. Even during 2008, this reel was not that easy to come by. There’s something special about Daiwa’s limited edition versions of their Millionaire reels even more so than their lower profile counterparts.


From swimbaits ...

Applications: If you can find one or are lucky enough to already have one, the Millionaire HL-SSS Ringa is a very good general purpose reel suitable for fishing just about any type of bait from “weightless” Senkos to the 22nd Century Triple Trout and anything in between. It is refinement personified.

Ratings:

Daiwa HL-SSS Ringa 103L Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality As refined as they come 9
Performance What a difference a rotor makes 8.5
Price At this point, if you can find one brand new - GRAB IT! 6
Features Carbon handle, EAS sideplate, cork knobs, Magforce Z ... it's all good 8
Design (Ergonomics) Even if you don't like round reels, this one should feel good in your palm 8
Application A good reel for multiple applications 8.5

Total Score

8.00
Ratings Key: 1 = terrible : 2 = poor : 3 = lacking : 4 = sub par : 5 = mediocre : 6 = fair : 7 = good : 8 = great : 9 = excellent : 10 = unbelievable!
For More Details of the updated rating system visit our explanation here

 

Pluses and Minuses:

Plus

Minus
J The use of a Magforce Z rotor enables this reel to compete with modern day reels L This review came too long after the reel had already been out of production
J Styling is very refined L If you find one, it's likely going to cost you
J EAS is how the Millionaire reels should have been built in the first place  

  

Conclusion: It’s taken me quite a while to get to my write-up of this wonderful little gem from Daiwa Japan. Something always seems to come up to take this reel’s place in my writing queue and then it gets lost for a few months before I remember I need to put together this article. This cycle has repeated itself at least half a dozen times over yet despite this neglect, the HL-SSS Ringa is a reel that deserves a lot of attention. In fact, I feel it’s a reel they should transform into a full time production model and bring over to the States much as Daiwa did with the 2004 TD-Z Type R+ known now as the Daiwa Steez.


... to crankbaits, the HL-SSS Ringa can handle it all

The refinements in cosmetic detailing in this reel are exquisite and it’s no where near as flashy as the I’ZE Light yet every bit as exquisite. Casting performance is now worthy of a high-end reel and the drag is surprisingly smooth. Form factor as a 100 sized reel is just about perfect and the reel’s weight is a non factor at only seven ounces. The Daiwa Luna is a nice reel but it lacks the refinement of the former Millionaire series. The Pluton is absolutely sick, but a little heavy for freshwater applications. So why not bring a high end round reel back to the US market with an updated Millionaire, base it on the HL-SSS Ringa, and make it in this 100 size along with a smaller 50 or 75 version? That’d really be something, but for now we’ll just have to settle for the small production runs of limited edition Millionaires until Daiwa gets it together.

Looking for a HL-SSS Ringa? Try contacting JapanTackle.com, tell them you heard about them from TackleTour, and ask nicely. They may be able to dig one up for you in Japan.


 

 

 

 

 

 
 





 

 



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