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ICAST 2019 Update Coverage

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Reel Preview

World's first look inside the Team Daiwa Pluton (continued)

The Pluton will be offered in both a 200H and 200SH version with respective retrieve ratios of 5.1:1 and 6.2:1 and both will feature the same machined spool which has a line capacity of 12/185, 14/155, 17/120. The 200H will be capable of winding in 23.6” of line per crank and the 200SH will add another 5.1” on top of that. Unfortunately, at time of release only right hand retrieves will be available.

The Pluton sideplate reminded me of a billet gas cap

We've tested the drag on the 200H model before disassembly and the reel delivered 13.9lbs of drag counter pressure - not a whole lot for a reel designed to tackle big game, but we did note that the drag was exceptionally smooth. We could not get the drag to stutter even when fully buckled down. When fishing with light lines for big fish it makes sense that the drag not be overwhelmingly brawny but rather smooth and consistent to protect those lighter lines.

A look at the master gearing and top of the drag stack


To get an idea of how easy the Pluton will be to service, we dissembled the Pluton under the pressure of a stopwatch. At this time there is no packaging available for the reel, therefore, we had no accompanying schematics. None of this proved to be an issue as the Pluton is among the easiest reels I have ever taken apart. Once you remove the handle and drag star there are only three screws holding the handle side plate in place. Inside we got a look at the master gearing which was as robust as we expected. As with the casting, we will reserve our final judgment of the gearing once we have had an opportunity to crank the Pluton under load and fully test the reel’s torque.


The drag delivered 13.9lbs of counter pressure in our lab the 200SH should be around 11lbs due to the enlarged gearing. The wet drag consists of composite fiber and steel washers

Inside the reel was clean, simple, and all gears were lightly lubricated. The drag stack is a wet design with both fiber composite discs and steel washers sandwiched together with ample lubricant. Servicing this reel is straightforward, and even without schematics we were able to break down the reel in under 5 minutes.

The gear is shielded from the elements with a plate that is flush with the handle side sideplate

Ergonomically the Pluton felt very solid when paired with a rod and is small enough to palm when retrieving. The copious use of aluminum in this reel does add up however and the 200H weighs 12.5oz with the 200SH expected to weigh in at .2 oz more.

just in case there was any doubt, the Pluton is made in Japan

Daiwa shared with us the price point of the Pluton, and in December the reel will retail for $369.95 per copy. This puts the reel at a 40 dollar premium over the Shimano Calcutta 200-GT, 130 dollars less than the Calcutta 200DC, and 130 over Daiwa’s own TD-Luna reels.

One more look at the simple yet elegant front end of the Pluton before we spool her up

Conclusion: The Daiwa Pluton has been shrouded in mystery and while our first look only scratches the surface of what the reel is all about, we wanted to get this preview up within hours of receiving the reel. After examining the reel inside and out, and marveling at how refined this reel appears, I find myself even more excited to find out how it will perform under our real world tests. I haven't been this excited about a round baitcaster since the Calcutta TE DC was introduced, and the fact that Daiwa actually recommends the Pluton for the extra pressure, torque and punishment of big game is even more intriguing. From what we have seen so far, Daiwa is delivering the goods both in terms of design and refinement, but now it is time to see if the Pluton has the muscle to back it all up. Stay tuned as we spool the Pluton up and go fishing.









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