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ICAST 2019 Update Coverage

One for the Enthusiasts: The Shimnao Antares A70 Baitcaster with MGIII


Small but Mighty, the Megabass Dark Sleeper Swimbait
SOLID! The Shimano Bantam MGL Baitcaster

Selecting the right Rod, Reel, and Line for Your Walking Bait Arsenal


Reel Review


The Best Tatula Yet? The Tatula SV TW103 Baitcaster is a Worthy Baitfinesse Option (continued)

Drag: Even though the new Tatula is designed to improve casting control, making it a good choice for those aforementioned finesse applications, it also comes with an improved drag system. The reelís Ultimate Tournament Drag (UTD) is rated at 13.2lbs. of drag pressure, and our tests in the lab have shown that it can surpass that under full lockdown where it delivered 13.8lbs. of max pressure. Like many other reel manufacturers Daiwa conservatively rates their drags to ensure they meet the published specifications.

The drag system is pretty simple but the key is the use of various materials that sandwich the gearing to increase surface area

The UTD drag is adjusted with the same plastic star found on the original Tatula 100, and if there is any part of the reel that feels a little cheap this is it. The Zion drag star found on the more expensive SV TW and Elite Series Tatulaís definitely add a little refinement to those models, but functionally there really is no difference.

The new Tatula SV TW reel is nice and light and matched up well with just about any mid-range casting rod

Ergonomics: Ergonomically I found the new reel almost exactly the same as the other Tatula reels but Daiwa was able to beef up the cast control system while also reducing weight. The new reel feels immediately familiar in hand, which isnít a surprise considering the unified 100-size Tatula tooling.

The compact form factor is comfortable to palm

The 90mm aluminum swept handle makes use of the same soft touch handle knobs that are used on the Tatula Elite, and they do a great job providing a solid grip without ever feeling oversized. The best thing about this new reelís ergonomics is the weight. The Tatula SV TW 103 delivers the SV spool upgrade and improved drag over the Elite Series model and yet weighs in exactly the same (6.7 ounces). This new reel paired well with just about every mid-range and multipurpose casting rod we bolted it on.

The soft touch knobs are comfortable and just the right size

Price & Applications: In many ways this new Tatula SV TW103is a better reel than many previous, and existing Tatulas, and the main reason is the inclusion of the 32mm A7075 SV spool which delivers an improved balance of weight and strength thanks to the super duralumin construction. Add this in with the dual cast control system and you have a legitimate baitfinesse option, and yet when it comes time to pull those fish away from cover the reelís souped up UTD drag is certainly up to the challenge.

The Tatula Series is already full of good options but the new Tatula SV TW 103 might very well represent the sweet spot for mainstream anglers, as it delivers exceptional casting on both sides of the range, and with a retail price of $199 dollars it falls right between the original Tatula Series and the Tatula Elite Series reels.


Ratings: (We've re-calibrated our ratings standard for 2008 and have included a key at the bottom of the following matrix as a guide):

Daiwa Tatula SV TW103 Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality The Tatula Series keeps getting better and better. This new reel is built out of aluminum and feels compact and solid, and the finish looks high-end. The only part of it that doesn't stand up to the original Tatula SV TW is the drag star which is not made out Zaion 8.5
Performance One of the best Tatulas yet when it comes to casting. The SV spool implementation is excellent and the reel handles both heavy and lightweight baits, and performed really well at the lighter end of the spectrum. This is a good option for baitfinesse under the 200 dollar price point 9.5
Price Though it may hard to tell at first with so many similar Tatula reels the new SV TW103 hits the sweet spot when in comes to features, performance, and value 8.5
Features With a compact profile this reel delivers plenty of cranking power, excellent finesse performance, and an excellent drag, but the real star is the SV spool with Airbrake 9
Design (Ergonomics) The Tatula 100 platform feels more ergonomic and compact than the older CT platform and continues to be a very palmable reel that is a pleasure to fish with 8.5
Application The Tatula SV TW103 is good for the complete range of applications and performed very well with lighter presentations. This reel is great for freshwater applications 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:

                        Plus                                            Minus
+ There are a lot of Tatula reels but this one stands out with the compact form factor and SV Spool - Sideplates are not aluminum
+ Great for lighter presentations, casts everything well - Drag star is not made of Zaion and feels "plasticky"
+ Excellent overall ergonomics - Tactical look but doesn't visually stand out from the rest of Tatula lineup
+ Quality drag system  
+ Hits the sweet spot when it comes to features, performance, and value  

Conclusion: As the 50th Anniversary Classic kicks off Daiwa brought their A-Game with the introduction of the new Tatula SV TW103, their best 100 sized Tatula reel yet. With eight reels now in the Tatula lineup it is clear that Daiwa is going all-in with this mainstream series.
With so many Tatula options it may be hard to decide which one is right for you, but if baitfinesse at a reasonable price is high on your list of priorities then this latest version is the one to get.

The Daiwa Tatula SV TW103 delivers the best balance of features, performance, and value we have seen from the series yet

Anglers looking for more refinement and speed can also consider the companyís other Classic debut, the blazing fast Zillion 10.0:1, which features an even lighter G1 SV spool. Daiwa continues to up their game with both the Tatula and Zillion models, giving anglers a one-two punch at the mainstream to premium segments. We will have to wait and see how the Classic plays out this weekend, but we already know that Daiwa has a winner, an Editorís Choice Award Winner, with the exciting new Tatula SV TW103.

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