Getting to Know Daiwa's Luvias LT
Total Score: 7.83 -
Introduction: Lately, JDM Spinning reels for me are like Sith lords. They always come in twos, no less, no more. Usually it's Exist and Stella, but in 2020, I'm getting to know two others. On the Shimano side, I've been getting acquainted with Twin Power. To match, new to my arsenal on the Daiwa side, and the subject of today's review is Luvias, the 2020 Luvias FC LT2500S-XH to be exact.
2020 Daiwa Luvias FC LT2500S-XH Specifications
|Line Capacity - Rated
||4lb / 165yds
|Line Capacity - Spool Volume
|Inches Per Turn (IPT) - calculated
28.5 - 33
|Line Roller Bearings
||Made in Japan
||$353 (varies by size)
Introducing Daiwa's Luvias FC LT2500S-XH
Daiwa's new Luvias LT is now a global brand but the manufacturer offers different configurations in North America versus Japan. Wanting to change things up from the 3000 sized spinning reels I've been fishing and in an effort to avoid those T-Knobs I find so annoying, I acquired a JDM model, shallow spool, 2500 with the model number FC LT2500S-XH. This 2500 sized reel weighs in at an amazingly low five and a half ounces (5.5oz)! This is achieved by the use of the manufacturer's carbon composite formulation, Zaion, as the reel's frame material in a monocoque (one piece) design.
The Luvias LT features a monocoque body just like the Exist LT
only made of Zaion instead of magnesium
After reading about the Luvias LT's Zaion body, I hesitated moving forward with my plans to acquire the reel. I'm still very much on the fence with carbon composites as a frame material in fishing reels. If I get a sense of that traditional, hollow feel some of these composites can have, my enthusiasm is immediately dampened.
Obviously curiosity got the better of me and when I unboxed my FC LT2500S-XH, the very first thing I did was tap all around the reel's body with my fingers to try and discern whether or not the Luvias might have that hollow feel. It passed the test. In fact, if I didn't know it was made of Zaion, I'd have guessed this was a metal reel. I was immediately impressed.
Rigged and ready for some action
Real World Tests:
I spooled my FC LT2500S-XH with eight pound (8lb) Seaguar Tatsu Fluorocarbon in preparation for some general purpose work aboard my ARK Rods Reinforcer RFC70MHXS. It's a little ironic I purchased a shallow spool, finesse tuned spinning reel (the FC in the model number actually stands for Finesse Custom) only to turn around and use it for general application work, but such are the travails when fishing and testing the amount of tackle we do. Besides, it's important for a piece of tackle to have some flexibility in how it can be used.
All spooled up, paired with an ARK Rods RFC70MHXS and ready for
Casting: It seems each manufacturer has a different strategy for improving casting performance on spinning reels. Daiwa's approach with the new Luvias is to decrease the diameter of the spool so as to reduce the angle by which the line is flying through the guides. Because your line is flying through the guides in a straighter line, friction is reduced, thus increasing casting distance. Make sense? Bottom line? I didn't notice a difference, but then again, I rarely do when it comes to casting spinning gear. As long as that line flies over the spool's lip during a cast without difficulty, I feel the reel is doing its job, and the Luvias LT does its casting job well.
Daiwa decreases the diameter of the Luvias LT's spool to reduce
friction and increase casting performance
Retrieve: The real proof in spinning reels these days is how easy it is to turn that handle and how smoothly they operate. The Luvias LT comes equipped with a Zaion rotor for super low rotational weight resulting in really easy startup inertia performance. Because that rotor is so light and well balanced, there's virtually no wobble no matter how quickly you turn the handle.
The 2500 sized reel is equipped with a 50mm handle
Power: When you turn that handle, you're connecting to a digitally controlled, machine cut duralumin drive gear for smooth, friction free performance. Daiwa refers to their gear design and manufacturing process in this reel as Digigear. At one point, I was fishing a one quarter ounce swim jig (Megabass Uoze Swimmer with a Reaction Innovations Spicy Beaver trailer) and noticed my Luvias LT felt slightly labored pulling that bait in. This specific model may not be built for this application, but it did concern me a little. Fortunately the reel did not exhibit this same difficulty fishing more finesse bait presentations nor really while battling fish.
Daiwa's approach with the new Luvias is to decrease the diameter
of the spool so as to reduce the angle by which the line is flying through the
Drag: The Luvias FC LT2500S-XH's drag consists of a single felt washer consistent with finesse tuned spinning reels. While drags like this do not deliver on ultimate stopping power, what they do offer is smooth, consistent performance. Strangely enough, there are no supplemental bearings to support the spool on this finesse tuned reel. Daiwa installs a bushing along the shaft just beneath the spool, but that's it. Nevertheless, I had no difficulties with the drag on this reel. It's easy to adjust and supplied enough pressure for me to hook and land fish.
Some higher end reels have a bearing in this spot along the spool
shaft. The Luvias FC LT2500S-XH has a plastic bushing
The drag consists of a single felt washer consistent with
spinning reels tuned for finesse applications
Next Section: Getting to know the Luvias...