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Reel Review

Revolutionary one handed slack pickup and twitchin' with the Daiwa Viento

Date: 8/17/05
Tackle type: Reels
Manufacturer: Daiwa
Reviewer: Zander

Total Score: 9.0 + INNOVATION AWARD!

Daiwa is among the very first reel manufacturers to officially release their new 2006 products. In a surprise move the company announced availability of the Viento, Luna, and SOL & Fuego spinning reels at the Bassmaster classic, just days after the conclusion of ICAST. The Viento is a unique baitcaster that sports more than just a new-fangled paint job and profile. This reel’s innovative integrated “twitchin’ bar” is designed to change the very way that anglers bring baitcasters into play when targeting bass.


Daiwa TD Viento Specifications

Line Capacity (lb/yds) 12/120, 14/100
Gear Ratio 6.3:1
Weight 8.3 oz.
Bearings 6BB + 1RB
Additional Features Twitchin' Bar, Free floating perforated aluminum spool, Magforce, infinite anti reverse, low profile, seven disc composite drag, titanium nitride line guide aperture, precision machined high strength alloy gears
MSRP $199.99

Keeping with the tradition of Spanish element names like the Sol and Fuego, this new baitcaster is pertinently named the Viento. In Spanish “Viento” means “wind” and the name seems to fit the intense blue color and the key features of this reel. Recent Daiwa reels certainly have become colorful, a major departure from the silver and gold traditional Daiwa’s in the past. The colors make identifying combos quicker, but what we are also seeing is that each Daiwa baitcaster really does seem to have it’s own style and personality. The Sol is sleek and purposeful, while the Fuego is robust for a magnesium based reel and also rather multi-talented in nature. So what type of traits would the new Viento display?


Introducing the SUV of Daiwa's baitcast lineup, the new Viento

The Field Tests: The Viento was high up on our list of new reels we really wanted to get out on the water for an actual test after seeing the product firsthand in Las Vegas. We spooled the reel up with 12lb Sufix Elite and head out on the California Delta and two local lakes for some serious “twitchin.” While the reel is principally designed for jigs and plastics we also wanted to see how well the twitchin’ bar would handle jerkbaits and topwater lures.

Complete Rig for Daiwa TD Fuego Field Tests

Rod GLoomis GLX BCR803
Reel TD Viento
Line(s) 12lb. Sufix Elite

Casting: Before spooling up line we played with the twitchin’ bar and found that if you depressed the bar slowly the spool would advance at a predictable and constant rate. If you press down on the bar aggressively and promptly the spool would actually go into a prolonged spin. The handle rotates when the twitchin’ bar is activated and with a firm push we were actually able to spin the handle all the way around. It was for this reason that we began to become really inspired and wonder what would happen if we tied a jerkbait at the end of the line.

Basic components, the Viento features a aluminum frame and right sideplate

Casting distance with our ½oz test plug was pretty respectable. We were able to cast our test plug nearly 120 feet with 12lb line in light wind conditions. The casting doesn’t seem as effortless as the SOL but the reel does seem to start up rather smoothly. Cast control isn’t as refined as the Fuego or SOL’s Magforce Z system as the Viento makes use of the older but still reliable traditional Magforce. As with many of the latest Daiwa reels adjusting the cast control with one finger on the fly was quick and easy. Because of the quick startup of the perforated spool the Viento felt right at home casting smaller jigs and plastics when it came time to actually start fishing. Overall I found the Viento simple to cast and quite accurate when it came to tossing ¼ oz weighted lures and up.


The Viento with perforated aluminum spool

Retrieving: Let the fun begin! The Viento underwent a wider variety of retrieve tests than any other baitcaster we have tested to date. Before heading out to the water we tested the twitchin’ bar in our test tank where we could visually see exactly how lures react when the feature is activated. We noticed immediately that the spool spin we were able to generate when there was no lure tied on was instantly altered once we had weight at the end of the line. You actually can feel the weight of your lure at the end of the line. While this is a good thing it also means that you draw in a lot less line then we normally projected. Pressing the twitchin’ bar slowly eases in 4 inches of line, a quick press draws in more line, but overall retrieve is affected by the weight and type of lure you are using. We found that pushing down slowly on the bar creeps lures forward but they remained on or close to the bottom of the tank. If we mashed down on the bar even a ¾oz jig would surge up and forward in a brisk underwater vault then settle back down on the bottom. I’ve never seen a jig react so much like a retreating craw in my life. We then tried to replicate the same effect with a standard setup using the rod to twitch the jig up and forward while retrieving. While we were able to produce a similar effect it was awfully tricky to create the same effect repeatedly. With the Viento all it took was the push of a button.

The aluminum frame houses the twitchin bar, notice the twitchin' bar's spring on the inside of the frame

After seeing what we could do in the test tank we head out to the Delta and some local lakes to twitch for fish. We tied on a purple 1/2oz Rodstrainer jig and began our tests. On  the forth cast as we were twitching the lure back we suddenly felt resistance on our line. What we initially thought was an unfortunate run in with structure turned out to be a 3lb bass. The twitchin’ bar had not only created fish catching action but “set” the fish in the process! While very cool this wasn’t the norm during our test. Most fish took the jig after the lure settled in between hops. Rather than use the twitchin’ bar to bring the lure all the way back to the surface once we felt the lure had exited the key strike zone we used the normal handle and hauled the lure back in. We found the twitchin’ feature very effective for fishing both traditional jig and jig and worm setups.

The Viento makes use of original Magforce cast control technology

Retrieve continued...









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