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Reel Review

Daiwa Tatula Type R - Worth the Upgrade? (continued)


Casting Range: This is where the Tatula Type R should distinguish itself from that of the standard Tatula. The Type R benefits from a much lighter spool weighing in at 16.17 grams versus 18 grams for the standard Tatula. All this is achieved from a mere change in materials. Given this weight difference, theoretically, the Type R should be able to cast lighter weight lures than the standard model.

The Type R comes with a much lighter spool - 16.17 grams versus 18 grams on the original.

Thing is, we were already able to cast baits down to one eighth of an ounce with the standard Tatula. So how low can the Type R go? Well, we attempted to go lower with the Type R respooling it with 10lb Sunline Super Natural mono and matching it with a Phenix PHX-682L in the parking lot of TT HQ. While the lower end threshold still seems to be an eighth of an ounce with the Type R, this weight was easier to cast with this reel than the original Tatula. It was a marginal difference and we're unconvinced we'd be able to tell out on the water in real world fishing conditions.

Even with that lighter spool our attempts to establish a difference in casting performance were inconclusive.

Brakes: Brake adjustments on the Tatula Type R are the same as that of the standard model via an external dial numbered from one to twenty (1 - 20). There are no discernible differences to report here in terms of brake adjustment and sensitivity.

Two bearings under each knob would have been a nice upgrade, but the Type R is the same as the original with one bearing and one bushing.

Features: The check list of features on the Tatula Type R are the same as that of the standard Tatula namely an external brake adjustment dial, bushings in place of bearings on the levelwind, one bearing and one bushing under each knob on the handle, a micro click enabled dragstar, no reel cover, and a small vial of oil in the box.


Features Ratings for Daiwa Tatula R100HL

Ext Brake Adjust? (1-2)
Levelwind Bearing (1-2)
Knob Bearings (1-3)
Micro Clicks (1-3)
Reel Cover (1-2)
Oil (1-2)
Rating (= Tot/Pos * 10)


Design & Ergonomics: Weight differential in the two reels is also very minimal. For a $200 reel, the Tatula Type R has an acceptable overall weight but not anything extraordinary or sought after. I really enjoy the handle length on this reel, the knobs are comfortable and palming is just average. Ease of breakdown of this reel is the same as the original version.


Design & Ergonomics Ratings for Daiwa Tatula R100HL

Handle Length (1-5)
Knobs (1-5)
Palming (1-5)
Overall Weight (1-5)
Ease of Breakdown (1-5)
Rating (= Tot/Pos * 10)


Application: Given the lighter spool on this reel one might expect that either this reel would be better in finesse applications than the original or able to cast further than the original. Lighter spools equate to faster startup and don't necessarily mean better casting distance but do usually equate to the ability to cast lighter baits than normal.

There's also no bearing to support the levelwind worm gear.

The Tatula Type R demonstrated some of that ability to cast lighter baits but not enough to where we felt it would translate to a real world application given the original can already comfortably cast baits down to one eighth of an ounce. As such, in our tests, we're unconvinced that the Type R shows any greater utility than the standard Tatula reel.


Application Ratings for Daiwa Tatula R100HL

Horizontal (1-5)
Vertical (1-5)
Finesse (1-5)
Big Baits (1-5)
Topwater (1-5)
Rating (= Tot/Pos * 10)



Daiwa Tatula R100HL Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality As solid as the standard version 9.0
Performance We weren't able to discern any real world benefit over the original despite the much lighter spool 8.4
Price Worth the $50 increase over the original? We're not so sure. 7.5
Features Despite the lighter spool, pretty much the same as the original 7.1
Design (Ergonomics) We would have liked to have seen a one ounce difference over the original rather than just 0.3 ounces 7.6
Application Same uses as the original save for the faster retrieve option 8.8

Total Score

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:


+ Same great features as the original - Just not quite enough difference from the original for us to see the value in spending $50 more
+ A faster retrieve ratio option not available in the original  
+ Stealthier finish than the original  


Conclusion: I know a lot of you have been waiting with eager anticipation for the Tatula Type R to become available in store shelves and by the time this article debuts, it will probably have been made available for several weeks. While the added cost of this reel is not outrageous, we're here to keep things in perspective. The differences you get from this reel over the standard Tatula is a lighter spool with inconclusive real world benefits, a different paint job with red highlight colors, two corrosion resistant bearings, and the option for an 8.1:1 retrieve ration that is not available in the original version. If any or all of these differences are worth the $50 step up in price to you then wonderful.

Are two CR bearings, an 8.1:1 retrieve ratio option, and a spool that's roughly 2 grams lighter worth the upgrade to you? If so, the Type R version of Daiwa's Tatula is a worthwhile investment. For us? We'll stick with the original.

What we would have liked to see in this reel are a few more bearing enhancements like two bearings under each knob and bearings under the levelwind. Enhancements that will improve the feel of the reel and the long term viability of that worm gear. Shaving more than 0.3 ounces somewhere, somehow would also help this feel like a true, tuned version of the original rather than something with simple cosmetic differences and a lighter spool. There's little doubt Daiwa knew how to do high end. We're just hoping given their recent dedication to the mid-market reels that they haven't forgotten what high end is all about. While we really like how the original Tatula performs and what it represents in terms of Daiwa acknowledging the $150 price point, we expected more from the Type R version of this very same reel.


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