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Reel Review

 

Getting to Know Daiwa's Luvias LT Spinning Reel (continued)

Bail Operation: If there's one area where the Luvias LT feels a little unsure of itself it's when you move to push the bail back. It takes very little effort to flip the bail, but there's also very little indication that the bail is all the way back in open position. It stays there, don't get me wrong, but sometimes, I wasn't sure whether to let go because there's not an obvious point at which that bail clicks into open position. Instead of the typical "snap," it's kind of a soft "thud." This sometimes causes maybe a half a second's worth of hesitation - not a lot, but something. Closing the bail, on the other hand is very obvious. It closes with decent force whether you do it by hand or by turning the reel's handle.


The hollow, stainless steel bail wire opens easily but without the usual, positive reinforcement of forceful snap to hold it in open position

Line Twist: Out on the water, I want to note that my style of fishing spinning gear is to open and close the bail by hand and I consciously avoid actions that may cause premature twist in my line (turning the handle while the drag is pulling out, using lures that spin, closing the bail by turning the handle). Despite my precautions, pretty early on I experienced a loose bit of line running down around the spool just below where the line is stored.


I ran into some early, and unexpected line management issues

In order to clear this loop, I had to go through quite a mess of twisted, tangled line. I did manage to clear it and kept an even closer eye on my line after the incident. The occasional loops sticking out of the spool continued to appear, but did not create any real difficulties. They managed self cleared before I got a chance to reach down and address them.


Once resolvesd it was mostly clear casting the rest of the day

Design & Ergonomics: Diving a little deeper into how the Luvias is constructed, Daiwa describes the reel as having an aluminum body cover to go along with that Zaion monocoque body. This confused me a little bit because digging through the reel's schematics the only body cover I could discern is the round plate on the left side of the reel.


The line roller is bearing supported

The right side of the reel has a plate around the handle shaft made out of what appears to be unfinished Zaion. Otherwise the rest of the reel's base appears to be one piece - which would align with that description of a monocoque body.


The only body cover I could discern is this round plate on the left side of the reel at the base of the handle

I bring this up because remember that first impression I got tapping around the reel when I unboxed it? I thought perhaps it gave me that impression of metal because I was in fact tapping on the aluminum body cover, but judging from the schematic, I was tapping on the monocoque frame.

Daiwa's formulation of carbon composite material, Zaion, on this reel certainly lacks that hollow feel that so often serves to dampen my enthusiasm. As a result, I find the Luvias LT to be super light and rigid and fish very much like a metal reel.


This same spot on the other side of the reel is a carbon composite

Back to that FC, Finesse Custom, designation. An added benefit of this specific model and all of the Luvias reels with this designation is a smaller than usual body. This further reduces the reel's weight and bulkiness. Unfortunately, these models are limited to the Japanese Domestic Market (JDM) only.


Daiwa produces the Luvias LT in Japan

Price & Applications: Daiwa's Luvias LT ranges in retail price from $349.99 to $399.99 depending on the model, and is offered in sizes 1000 through 4000. Taking into consideration the JDM models, in both standard and shallow spool configurations with even some double handle options thrown in, and the fact this reel is Magsealed making it saltwater safe, the likelihood of finding a Luvias LT model to suit your favorite species or application is very high.


Daiwa's Luvias LT ranges in retail price from $349.99 to $399.99 depending on the model, and is offered in sizes 1000 through 4000

Ratings:

2020 Daiwa Luvias FC LT2500S-XH Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Aside from the unfinished Zaion part on the side of the reel, it reminds me a lot of the Exist LT 9
Performance Can feel a bit labored under load of a bladed jig and line management is about average 7
Price Right on the verge of premium 7
Features Monocoque body, Magsealed rotor, Light Zaion Rotor 8
Design (Ergonomics) Super light and doesn't feel hollow 8
Application Easy to find a size, line capacity, etc. to suit your needs 8

Total Score

7.83
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
+ Super Light - Bail mechanism is just a hair weak when pushing back to open position
+ Smooth and refined operation - Can feel a bit labored under load in comparison to Daiwa's higher end spinning reels
+ Wobble free  
+ Monocoque body is strong and rigid  
+ Saltwater safe  


Luvias LT and I spent a little more time than usual getting to know one another, but once we did, everything went smoothly.

Conclusion: I have mixed feelings about my Luvias FC LT2500S-XH. I like its size and weight. All of Daiwa's Light and Tough spinning reels have a nice, compact body. I'm a little disappointed at the reel's performance with the swim jig and also line management. But once I cleared the initial twisting issues and switched back to more vertical bait presentations, everything went smoothly. The best thing about this reel is that it does not have that typical hollowness carbon composite bodies often have. In short, Luvias LT and I just had to spend a little more time than usual getting to know one another, and once we did, everything went quite smoothly. Sometimes, all your tackle wants is a little more attention.

 

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