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Reel Review

Daiwa's New Workhorse, the TD Zillion: US and Japanese models compared (continued)

The Field Tests: Our entire team put the Zillion 100SHA and 100SHL through several months of tests in pursuit of both black bass and striper in the local waters of Northern California. As such, we fished this reel with several different fishing lines and on several different fishing rods. These combinations are detailed in the following table.


Complete test rigs for Daiwa Zillion 100SHA & 100SHL Field Tests

Megabass Jabberwock Evoluzion
Daiwa Steez STZ 671MFBA
Megabass Shiryu 610
G.Loomis SBR813C
15lb PLine Floroclear
12lb Berkley Big Game
12lb Berkley Transition Red
20lb Sunline Siglon Fluorocarbon

Believe it or not, the Zillion 100SHL, shown here on our Megabass Shiryu 610 GT3, functions well as a cranking reel - even for deep diving cranks!


Casting & Pitching: Those already familiar with Daiwa's MagForce braking system in its various incarnations will feel right at home with the Zillion. Casting is smooth and effortless with most baits down to about three-eighths (3/8ths) of an ounce. If in a pinch, the Zillion is marginally capable of presenting baits down to one-quarter (1/4) of an ounce, but this is not the reel we would choose for long term presentation of baits in this range. In fact, this reel really hits its stride with baits in the half to three-quarter ounce range.


JIP makes a double handed cast during one of our distance tests


Another look at our Zillion 100SHL rigged and ready to go on a Megabass Jaberwock Evoluzion fishing rod


The Zillion sports a familiar line guide


Pitching performance is equally smooth and familiar especially if you take the time to adjust the reel accordingly. These adjustments are facilitated by the external dials on the Zillion but be mindful to adjust the reel back to cast settings if switching back and forth between presentation techniques or risk spoiling your spool of line with a backlash. Just ask Cal!


The familiar Daiwa external brake adjustment updated with some aggressive styling touches


Here's the Mag Force Z's cast control dial. The photo above this is the one from the JDM reel


One of the really nice features of this reel, but perhaps also why it does not handle the light baits as well as the Steez, is its deep, flat spool design. We were able to spool up 100 yards of twenty-pound test Sunline Siglon Fluorocarbon on this reel and use it to throw swimbaits! Naturally, if you use a lighter pound test or smaller diameter line you'll be able to spool up with even more line, so for those who are leery of today's shallow spools, the Zillion is a welcome departure from this trend.


A close-up of the Zillion's spool


The Zillion features Daiwa's MagForce Z braking system



Next Section: On to the retrieve... 









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