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ICAST 2019 Update Coverage

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Enthusiast Reel Review

Know Their Steez, Daiwa Japan's New Flagship Low Profile Baitcaster (continued)

Ergonomics: Those familiar and comfortable with the shape and feel of the former TD-Z will not be disappointed with the Steez. While the Steez has some different lines and points of detail, upon closer examination, their shapes are very similar. In hand, aside from the notable weight difference, the reels feel the same. This is a good thing. The handle, while rather eccentric in design, feels really, no different than the old, standard handle. I thought there might be some difference with the knobs placed closer to the body of the reel, but in the end, I noticed no obvious plus or minus points.


The handle and dragstar detailing of our Daiwa Steez


The Steez borrows on the detailing touches of the 2005 Alphas Ito Ai with the drilled base of the dragstar

Conversely, the dragstar, with its bent-in shape to accomodate the handle does take a little getting used to. At first, I found my thumb sliding of the drag star during on the fly adjustments, but I soon became familiar with its feel. Both the dragstar and tension knob feature a micro-click adjustment for precise and sure adjustments. The knobs for our Daiwa Steez are bearing supported and the same rubber coated cork material found on the majority of their current lineup.


The Steez features a familiar, split reel foot

At first glance, the dimpled spool of the Daiwa Steez could be mistakenly taken for one studded with small diamonds


Design: Those in the current mainstream of urban hip hop culture are already familiar with "steez" - it is, in the vernacular, a term which refers to "style with ease." Indeed with its unique spool design (one that at first glance resembles a spool studded with small gemstones), stealth, dark grey coloring, subtle gold highlights, and aggressive handle design, the Steez seems to be all about urban styling.

The Steez looks right at home on our Custom Shikari SHX built by Matt Davis of Otterods. So much so, we almost didn't want to spool it with line!


The Steez's eccentric handle reinforce's the reel's small shape and profile


One last look at the Daiwa Steez 103HL



Daiwa Steez 103HL Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Daiwa went all out in the redesign of their flagship reel. We feel they hit a homerun 10
Performance With an upgraded drag system, Type R+ tuning, and bearings galore, the Steez takes no prisoners 10
Price Prices, right now are all over the map. At the average retail of $450, this reel comes in at an approximate 28.5% increase over the former TD-Z... ouch. 7.5
Features Daiwa Japan even throws in a custom reel cover! 10
Design (Ergonomics) This reel is scary light. It held up well over our test period, but only a year or twos' time will tell if it is too light. For now, all we can say is wow, but please go easy on the branding! 9

Total Score


Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

J Type R+ Tuning in an "everyday" production reel! L Maybe too light? Only time will tell
J Light Light Light! L Freshwater applications only
J New, more robust drag system L A bit pricey at roughly 28.5% more than the former TD-Z
J Comes with a heavy duty reel cover L We get it, the reel's name is "Steez" - a bit too much branding all over the reel
J Did I say Light?  


If it stays in the market even half as long as the vaunted TD-Z, the Daiwa Steez is certain to be the front runner in many an Enthusiast's arsenal.


Conclusion: Until I opened the sideplate to discover the Type R+ rotor on the Steez's spool, I was only mildly interested in this new flagship low profile caster from Daiwa Japan. Afterall, the TD-Z was quite a reel and it's difficult to replace something that's been successful for so long. Upon close examination and use, it was obvious, Daiwa Japan took the success of their limited production reels and threw the best features of those reels into the Steez. It was that easy. Supertune the MagForce V braking system with the uber-performing Type R+ rotor, borrow styling points from Yuki Ito with the ported dragstar base, "urbanize" the design with stylized dimples that resemble small gemstones, and finish the entire reel with a stealth-like dark grey motif: style with ease = STEEZ. The only question that remains is, will Daiwa USA have the same, or a similar introduction at this year's ICAST. If the answer is yes, watch out, never before has the US market seen a reel quite like this one. For now, we award Daiwa Japan, the Ultimate Enthusiast Award for their new Steez.


Want to try the Steez? Go to Tackle Warehouse












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