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Reel Review

Shoot for the moon, the well machined Daiwa Luna (continued)

Casting cont'd: The 300 size makes use of a takedown sideplate which provides access to the same Centriflex automatic centrifugal system found on the Daiwa Coastal. Centriflex is adjusted by moving a collar back and forth and the system applies braking at peak spool speed. While the system can be adjusted quickly it is a pain to have to physically remove the entire sideplate to access the system in the first place.


The 300 size with a wide clutch


The sideplate seals out the elements nicely but having to remove the sideplate in the field just increases the chances you will lose it with slippery hands and on a moving boat. The Shimano TE reels also require you to open up a sideplate to access the VBS, but the sideplate swivels out and remains attached making it faster to adjust settings than the Luna 300.


The smaller size reels feature the familiar Daiwa knobs


With these round reels it is possible to toss everything from a small crankbait to a massive swimbait, so the ability to adjust your cast control on the fly is a major plus. The ported spool on the Luna also makes a difference in casting, and the fast startup helps make the reel feel more like a baitcaster than a traditional reel.


The Breakdown: Luna wins. When it comes to cast control systems the Daiwa Magforce-Z feels very precise and while the Calcutta TE system is better than the Luna 300, the Luna takes the cake in all the other sizes when it comes to casting feel and ease of operation. Now if you bring the Calcutta TE DC into the mix then the DC definitely trumps the Luna.


The 300 size features power handles for more leverage

Retrieving: All Luna sizes are equipped with 5CBBB bearings and 1 roller bearing, which is a surprisingly low count for a reel that feels this fluid. The Luna feels very refined despite its low bearing count, and makes up for it with precision machining. Both the frame and sideplates are machined from bar stock aluminum which provides exceptional alignment of both the exterior and internal components. The spool is also machined from aircraft grade aluminum. When the gears lock in on the retrieve the engagement feels solid and there is very little backplay in the handle. The result is one refined reel with a silky yet authoritative retrieve.


A closer look at the external cast control

The Calcutta TE comes in standard and GT models and bearing counts range from 5 to 12. When we compared the retrieve on the Luna and Calcutta the two reels exhibited very different personalities. The Luna felt silkier than the Calcutta TE, but there was much less friction resistance in the retrieve of the TE. The Luna exhibited slightly less backplay in the handle and the clutch could be engaged or disengaged by pressing up and down the clutch, whereas the TE needs to be cranked to re-engage the reel.

Cal palms the reel to adjust the cast control for various swimbaits


Both reels feature non-disengaging levelwinds, and feature titanium nitrided stainless steel line guides. The Luna feels more fluid, and the Calcutta feels more powerful due to the enlarged offset high efficiency gearing. In our field tests the Luna felt good reeling in 12lb stripers, but the Calcutta absolutely manhandled similar sized fish with its gargantuan torque.


The Breakdown: Calcutta TE wins. The Luna like many other Daiwa offerings feels refined, and the response on the gearing is solid and instantaneous. The Calcutta still reigns supreme however with a friction free feel and powerful retrieve are still the benchmark by which other round reels are judged by.


The Luna is a deep gold color thanks to hard anodization


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