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Rod Review

Does the Daiwa Zillion TDZL74XHFB Have "IT" for Swimbaits? (continued)

Power: I didn't manage to hook into anything significant with this stick to really test its power curve. It seems the Fall run striper on the Delta this year, wanted nothing to do with the TDZL741XHFB, but the few fish I did catch were easily subdued. Judging by where it falls in relation to the other rods on the deflection chart and how the rod feels in hand, there should be no unexpected issues with this rod when battling a fish.

The TDZL741XHFB's ratings undersell the rod's true capabilities.

Features: We already touched upon the Zillion casting rods' Zaion reel seat and SiC guides in our review of the TDZL691MHXB, but it bears repeating the shape of this reel seat translates to a very comfortable grip in hand. The overall shape really isn't new and those familiar with Daiwa's Team Daiwa rods will recognize the contours, but what is new is how carefully this new version is sculpted and hollowed out.

The 12.5" rear grip of the TDZL741XHFB is a good length for a general use swimbait stick, but it'd be more comfortable use for bottom bouncing techniques if it were just a tad longer.

If we gave awards for features alone, this new real seat from Japan would certainly earn one as it has become one of my favorites. It doesn't really matter to me that the blank is exposed, that is just a side benefit really. I just cannot say enough about the way this seat really lowers the position of the reel on the rod and then, guides your fingers to wrap around the bottom of the reel so naturally and comfortably.

Very subtle, yet classy styling cues like this winding check really add to the high-end feel of the TD Zillion baitcasting rods.

Application: As noted earlier, judging from the rod's stats, you'd think this stick was designed for finesse swimbait applications only with the soft bodied, paddletail-type baits as the primary offerings to be presented with this rod, but really, that'd be selling the TDZL741XHFB short. Out on the water, it more than holds its own with larger baits with the only area of caution being its taper - this is a fast action rod, so when fishing faster moving big baits, just be aware of that and realize the same shortcomings you might find in tossing crankbaits on a standard, fast action, graphite rod, you will probably encounter when fishing moving baits on this stick.

Four of the TDZL741XHFB's SiC guides are double footed.

One last look at the TD Zillion baitcaster plus Daiwa/Deps ZDV combo.

Warranty: Daiwa's Zillion sticks are covered by a Limited Lifetime Warranty issued to the original owner of the rod. For complete details and answers to any questions you may have, it's best to check out Daiwa's website or even better yet, contact Daiwa directly.



Daiwa Zillion TDZL741XHFB Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality This stick is really put together well. 8
Performance More well rounded of a big bait stick than its ratings may infer 9
Price Considering the components on this rod, a more than favorable price point 7
Features SiC guides, contemporary styling's, quality blank 9
Design (Ergonomics) Its all about the excellent ergonomics of that reel seat 9
Application A very good all around big bait stick 9

Total Score

Ratings Key: Ratings Key: 1 = terrible : 2 = poor : 3 = lacking : 4 = sub par : 5 = mediocre : 6 = fair : 7 = good : 8 = great : 9 = excellent : 10 = unbelievable!
(For a detailed explanation of the ratings go here)

Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

J A deceivingly versatile stick L Rear handle length could be a tad bit longer
J Light weight + unique reel seat = a very comfortable rod to fish all day long L No Hook Hangar
J This rod won't break the bank and yet, it gives you the feel of fishing a rod straight out of a Japanese Tackle Shop. L Daiwa may want to revisit their conservative lure weight ratings of this rod


Conclusion: It's rather rare these days, to find me fishing a rod I fish a rod that I have a hard time putting down, or even more rare, that inspires me to want to check out more sticks from the very same lineup because I enjoy the overall package of the stick I'm using so much. The TDZL741XHFB is almost that rod. While it isn't the perfect swimbait stick for me (a more aggressive manufacturer's lure rating, a bit longer rear handle, and a spiral wrap might do it) it is definitely one I have and will continue to take with me when space on the boat is tight and I need to limit myself to one to three sticks. The reason for this? Not only can the TDZL74X1HFB handle most of what I want to throw, it appeals to my tackle enthusiast soul as well.


Delivering enthusiast level look and feel at a less than enthusiast level price, the TDZL741XHFB inspires the passion that defines that very classification.


Even more attractive is the fact it does so at a less than "enthusiast" level price. Why, I can have two or really three copies of this very same rod on my deck, for the same cost of importing a single rod from Japan and still have a full manufacturer's warranty behind every single stick to protect my investment. While this has never been a deciding factor for me in purchasing a rod, the Zillion sure puts up a convincing argument otherwise - especially in the current economic climate. My only real big complaint at this moment, is why they don't have a cranking stick in this line to match with the Crazy Cranker, 4.9:1 retrieve ratio Zillion, finally introduced at ICAST 2008! After all, it is the Year of the Crank here at TackleTour.


Regardless of this oversight, the question posed at the very beginning of this article was, does the Daiwa Zillion TDZL741XHFB have "IT" for swimbaits, and the resounding answer to that question, in case you could not tell, is YES! Lastly, you do realize what this fervent, concluding rant is leading to don't you? It can really mean only one thing, and that is TackleTour's Ultimate Enthusiast Award! Congratulations once again Daiwa, and thanks a Zillion for such a fantastic line of rods.


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