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Enthusiast Review


 

Daiwa Japan's Ryoga Shrapnel - Take No Prisoners

 

Date: 6/15/16
Tackle Type: Enthusiast
Manufacturer: Daiwa
Reviewer: Cal






Total Score: 8.01 - ULTIMATE ENTHUSIAST AWARD!

Introduction:
Daiwa sometimes has a way of inexplicably killing the product life cycle of seemingly popular products. Case in point the Pluton (or Ryoga in Japan), was very popular amongst anglers looking for a long casting, smooth performing reel for big baits. Perhaps sales plateaued or dipped, but Daiwa has yet to come out with a worthy replacement for that reel. Recently in Japan, the manufacturer introduced an update to their limited edition Black Sheep reel designed for targeting invasive snakehead. This reel is based off the Pluton/Ryoga product line only upsized for greater line capacity and blacked out for a stealthier, more hard core look. Here now is our look at Daiwa Japan's Ryoga Shrapnel.

 

Daiwa Ryoga Shrapnel Specifications

Line Capacity - Rated 17/220, 25/130
Line Capacity - Spool Volume 34 cm3
Retrieve Ratio
6.2:1
Inches Per Turn (IPT) - calculated
8"-26"
Weight 13.7 oz
Spool Weight 26 g
Handle Length 90 mm
Bearings 12+1
Bearings per Knob 2 bearings
Levelwind Bearings 1 bearing
Tested Max Drag ~27 lbs
Origin Made in Japan
MSRP $539


Introducing Daiwa's Ryoga Shrapnel - limited edition reel.

Quality/Construction: The Shrapnel is somewhat the equivalent of a 300 in Daiwa's round reel sizing. Its rated line capacity is actually a little less than that of the Luna 300. The aluminum reel is anodized black with perfectly aligned sideplates. There is zero play in the handle either back and forth or in and out from the body of the reel. The rectangular grips also have zero play. Fans of round reels will appreciate the workmanship of this reel.

 

Quality Ratings for Daiwa Ryoga Shrapnel

Finish (1-5)
Frame & Sideplate Tolerance (1-5)
Handle Tolerance (1-5)
Knob Tolerance (1-5)
Total
Possible
Rating (= Tot/Pos * 10)
5
5
5
5
20
20
10


The Shrapnel is a 300 sized reel in Daiwa's round reel lexicon.

Performance: I spooled this reel with 25lb Sunline Supernatural and mounted it on a Megabass Orochi XX Leviathan for some big bait action on several Northern California bass waterways.


It looks even wider from the back.

Retrieve: The Shrapnel has a very smooth, but also a kind of old school, connected feel to its gearing. Those purchasing this $500+ reel and expecting super, buttery smooth performance will be disappointed. But instead of that connected feel communicating raw, unrefined construction, the Shrapnel's retrieve is quite the contrary. There's refinement in the way you can feel the teeth between the main gear and pinion shaking hands with each progressive cycle of the handle.


The "Serpent Bite" knobs are a new design for Daiwa.

It is built with a 6.2:1 retrieve ratio and a deep spool so the inches per turn (IPT) range you'll get, depending on how much line you have out on your cast will range from eight to twenty six inches (8"-26") per turn of the handle.

Performance Ratings for Daiwa Ryoga Shrapnel

Retrieve (1-5)
Drag (1-5)
Power (1-5)
Casting Range (1-5)
Brakes (1-5)
Total
Possible
Rating (= Tot/Pos * 10)
4
5
5
5
4
23
25
9.2


This drag stack delivers at least 27 lbs of max drag.

Drag: I've yet to hook a Snakehead, but I've seen one and know these fish can put up quite the battle. The Shrapnel's drag consists of two metal washers sandwiched between the usual ceramic discs to deliver a max, tested drag of twenty seven pounds. Referencing the reel's Sweet Drag Performance chart below you can see even with the drag locked down, the reel's drag is very smooth and consistent.


Fig 1: The Sweet Drag Performance chart above shows the consistency in drag performance of our
Daiwa Ryoga Shrapnel.

A surprising feature of the Shrapnel's drag is that it clicks. There's a little pin on the drag stack's cover that runs along a created channel on the main gear to deliver an audible clicking sound when the drag is pulled out. No doubt this is to satiate those who purchase this reel to baitfish for their prey. If it annoys you, there's a simple solution. Simply take the reel apart and remove the pin. Unfortunately, there is no external switch to turn the sound on and off.


Remove this clicker if you want your drag to be silent.

Sweet Drag Performance for Daiwa Ryoga Shrapnel

Lock - 8
Lock - 6
Lock - 4
Lock - 2
Lockdown
Avg % Change
Start Up
3.8
4.9
5.2
6
18.8
Sustained
3.7
4.9
5.3
6.7
24.6
Lowest Value
3.3
4.5
4.7
5.8
18.4
Change in Startup vs Sustained
3.1%
.5%
2.4%
11.8%
30.8%
9.7%
Biggest Drop from Sustained
9.1%
7.9%
12.3%
13.5%
25.1%
13.6%
Drag on this reel was tested with the dragstar fully tightened. Then with each successive test, the drag was backed off with two short pushes of the dragstar with our thumb.

Additionally, for those who care, the Shrapnel comes with a non-disengaging levelwind meaning the line guide tracks back and forth on the spool as line is being pulled out with the drag engaged. This feature is not something most bass sized reels have, but on reels with extra wide spools like that of the Shrapnel, it can be an important function to mitigate against the occurrence of line coming off the spool at a sharp angle causing friction as it rubs against the guide while you're battling a fish.


Otherwise, as it rubs on the inside of the gear along this channel, there will be an audible click when the drag is engaged.

Power: The Shrapnel is equipped with a hefty 90mm handle capped by two rectangular shaped, rubber knobs. These "Serpent Bite" knobs are larger than those typically found on a bass sized reel, but still extremely comfortable to grasp and give you more to hold onto as you crank the reel's handle. This lever combined with the reel's 6.2:1 retrieve is powerful combination.


The range of baits you can cast with the Shrapnel is surprising.

Next Section: Designed for frogging?!


 

 

 

 

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