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Reel Review

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

Drag: The 200 size Luna and Calcutta TE reels match up similarly on size and capacity while the Luna and Calcutta TE doesnít match up to the 300 in size, for example the Luna 300 is much wider and holds 320 yards of 14lb test line while the Calcutta TE 300 holds 190 yards of 14lb line. When we compared both the 200 and 300 sizes side by side we found that the Luna delivered superior drag pressure on both reels. In our tests the 200 size Calcutta TE GT dished out 10.3lbs of counter pressure while the 203 Luna delivered 11.2lbs of counter pressure. On the 300 sizes the Luna further widens the gap, though it isnít necessarily fair considering the size difference between the two reels.


The machined side plate of the Luna 300


In the field both drags felt consistent under pressure, the Lunaís drag was stronger than the Calcutta, but the TE seemed to offer a wider range of drag settings. While powerful the drag stack on the Luna does have a slightly stickier feel than the dry system employed by Shimano. The Luna makes use of a multi disc fiber composite and stainless drag system while the Calcutta makes use of a reliable and consistent Dartanium drag.


The Breakdown: Luna wins. The Luna wins by a hair in this round with a surprisingly smooth and powerful drag system. We look forward to seeing how the drag holds up over time, but out of the box the Lunaís drag is exceptional


The spool on the 300 features Centriflex cast control


Ergonomics: Ergonomically speaking round reels are nowhere near as comfortable to fish with as their sleek baitcast cousins, but round reels donít have to be a pain to fish with either. The latest round reels, the Luna included, make use of improved drivetrains which require less space. The result is a reel with a better balance of weight, size, and retrieve feel and strength. Reels like the Calcutta TE actually soup up the gears and use an offset sideplate to fit the larger gears. By offsetting the sideplate Shimano is able to add in even more robust gears without affecting ergonomics or reel balance adversely.


The inside of the reel shows the detailed machining

The smaller Luna exhibits everything you would expect from a premium reel in terms of ergonomics, easy operation, relatively low weight, large clutch, easy access to the spool, and comfortable knobs. As a bonus all Lunas under the 300 size make use of the quick and easy sideplate adjustment for the Magforce cast control. This is in stark contrast to the vast majority of competitors that require anglers to open up a sideplate to adjust centrifugal braking systems. This feature allows the Luna to be adjusted faster the on the fly than other reels.


We dissect the Luna, starting with the handle and drag

When you compare the weight of the two 200 size reels (Luna 203 versus Calcutta 200) the Luna actually weighs .7oz more. The weight is barely noticeable on reels this size, but nonetheless the weight delta is there.

The Breakdown: Tie. Luna wins on smaller sizes, while larger Calcutta TE reels win. While it is somewhat hard to compare apples to apples between the two reels the smaller Luna reels have the excellent external cast control system, and all reels have a two way clutch. The external adjustment is lost on the 300 Luna unfortunately, and the larger Calcutta reels actually feel more compact thanks to the offset gearbox.

The handle-side sideplate


Durability: Both these reels make use of machined parts, and while the Luna prides itself on having a machined frame and both sideplates, the Calcutta TE makes use of a combination of a machined frame and forged components. While the machining improves the refinement of the reel it doesnít necessarily offer improved durability over forging, and design plays as a much a factor as build processes in this category. Over the course of the tests we were not able to get any of the reels to fail. We also submerged all of the reels in brackish and saltwater, and none of them were any worse for wear.


A look under the hood


Next Section: Durability, Applications, and the Rundown









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