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Reel Review


Daiwa’s Steez EX 100XS offers a Deadly Combination of Both Speed and Precision (continued)

The Steez XS is ready to fish right out of the box and there is no detectable backplay in the handle or any sloppiness in the spool. Tolerances are tight, as they should be in a reel at this price range. Bundled with the reel is a neoprene cover which anglers will want to use when storing the reel as well as during transport. The level of refinement that the Steez XS exhibits is impressive, this reel is bordering on functional art, but does it perform as good as it looks? It’s time to find out.


The only time you will remove the sideplate is to access the spool

Quality Ratings for Daiwa Steez EX100XS

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

10.0


The A7075 aluminum spool and inductor

Real World Tests: To test the Daiwa Steez EX100XS we paired the reel with a variety of rods from Daiwa’s own Steez family as well as offerings from Megabass and Evergreen. I fished with a variety of lines but the majority of our tests were conducted using Sunline monofilament and fluorocarbon targeting largemouth bass in Northern California.


The spool weighs 15 grams or just over half an ounce

Performance Ratings for Daiwa Steez EX100XS

Retrieve (1-5)
Drag (1-5)
Power (1-5)
Casting Range (1-5)
Brakes (1-5)
Total
Possible
Rating (= Tot/Pos * 10)
4
4
4
5
5
22
25
8.8

Casting: Deploy the clutch and hang on! The Steez XS hits the lake like a race car on the track, surging forward without hesitation. Like the other Steez reels the XS makes use of Magforce-Z cast control which is a proven system utilized in many other existing Daiwa reels. The system does a good job reducing backlashes by applying magnetic force to the spool.


Cal spools up the Steez EX XS. Time to hit the water...

In our tests the Steez XS spool spins up quickly even with light lures, but dial up the Magforce-Z and you can noticeably feel the system applying braking force to the spool on the tail end of the cast. For most applications I found that a setting of around 3-4 worked well and only dialed it up when I was facing wind speeds over 15mph or using light lures 1/4oz. and below.


The Steez EX XS casts long distance but the best part of this reel is the precise accurate casts

With all the new cast control systems out there today the Magforce-Z is getting a little long in the tooth, but it is still among the best when it comes to ease of control and range of settings. While there are many new externally adjustable centrifugal systems and even new hybrid mechanical and magnetic systems the Magforce-Z surprisingly is able to continue to hold its own. Perhaps the reason that Daiwa continues to leverage this system is that it just plain works, or that altering the system will change the inherent casting feel of the reel, something that might not go over too well with Daiwa purists. 


The 7.9 gear ratio is etched into the side of the handle sideplate

Next Section: A Hyper Speed Retrieve

 

 

 

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