A first look at the new Zillion Type R - Separating Fact
Introduction: Back at the Bassmaster Classic Daiwa unveiled a new
prototype Zillion under glass, this reel has now come to reality and is
available at Tackle Warehouse. We take a look at the new Zillion Type R to
separate fact from fiction and see just what this new reel is all about.
Another Zillion comes to the U.S.,
meet the Type R
Daiwa TD Zillion Type R
Capacity (lbs / yds)
14/120, 16/100 (Rated)
11 BB + 1 RB
Carbon Swept handle, "Ultimate Tournament" drag system, aluminum frame and handle side sideplate,
soft touch grips, left hand retrieve available
The Type R: Those that dabble in enthusiast
JDM tackle are familiar with the Type R nomenclature. Daiwa explains that the
"Type R" designator is a spin off terminology used in the auto racing industry.
Seems appropriate enough, especially for an ultra-fast reel. It seems that Daiwa
has been making a lot of 7.3:1 reels lately including the mainstream Aggrest,
Hyper Speed Special Edition and the updated Zillion Coastal. The Type R now
joins the mix with that same blazing 7.3:1 gear ratio that is capable of pulling
in 32" of line.
Under the right lighting the
non-handle side sideplate lets you know exactly how fast the Type R is
When the reel was first debuted at the Classic
there was a lot of speculation whether or not Daiwa would use a different
material to build this new reel in an effort for weight reduction. Many anglers
guessed that the frame would be made out of Zaion material similar to the new
Fuego spinning reel, while others guessed it would simply be supertuned. The
reality is something in the middle, so let's get to the facts.
Thanks to our friends at Tackle
Warehouse we were able to get a closer look at the new Type R
Let's start with the cosmetics. The reel is the
first black finished Zillion in the United States and features a few subtle red
highlights. On the non handle side sideplate anglers will find the Type R logo
as well as a large 7.3 graphic that extends across the entire sideplate. For the
most part this is also pretty subtle on the background and looks matte in
appearance but with the right light on the reel it is clearly visible, there is
no mistaking the gear ratio on this reel! On top of the reel there are slats cut
out of the frame for weight reduction, this porting is identical to what anglers
will find on the JDM Zillion PE Special, which also shares the same enlarged
soft touch knobs as the Type R.
The Type R makes use of enlarged
handle grips that are identical to the JDM TD-Zillion PE Special
Contrary to initial speculation the frame of this
reel would be made out of carbon Daiwa continues to use a rigid aluminum frame
and handle-side sideplate on the Type R. The traditional swept aluminum handle
has been replaced with a carbon handle that does have a weaved carbon fiber
look. It is good to see that while Daiwa moved up to carbon for weight reduction
they were able to still maintain their swept handle design.
A look at the non handle side
sideplate under normal lighting, notice the 7.3 logo under the "Type R"
Like the Hyper Speed Limited Edition reel the Type
R sports a whopping 11+1 bearings have been upgraded to what the company
describes as "Hyper Speed Ball Bearings" that are a higher grade than the
company's CRBB bearings. The reel was designed with them specifically to be able
to throw the "really lightweight stuff." Daiwa has not made any changes to the
spool or inductor on the Type R and relies on these bearings for the additional
Keeping with the helical cut gear
theme the top porting is slanted
The gears on the Type R have also been upgraded.
Like the side turned slat porting on the frame the gear teeth on the Type R are
helical cut (cut at an angle) for more even transmission of winding energy.
Daiwa also describes this gear treatment as helping improve the overall
smoothness of the reel, and the Hyper Speed bearings firmly support the entire
drive train for reduced wear and stress.
The Type R features the same spool
as the one found on traditional Zillions
The drag on the Type R gets a major boost in raw
stopping power. The standard Zillion reels deliver 8.8lbs. of drag pressure, the
Hyper Speed Limited Edition was exactly the same and we recently complained that
the Coastal was also the same. The Type R implements what Daiwa is calling their
"Ultimate Tournament Drag" which makes use of more surface area to deliver
15.5lbs. of drag pressure, now that is a significant upgrade and far more than
normally is found in Daiwa branded baitcasters across the spectrum.
The most enthusiast looking part
of the reel is the carbon handle, but the biggest improvement might actually
come from the souped up gearing and drag system
Conclusion: Now comes
the price. The Type R retails for $399 which is 130 dollars more than a standard
Zillion and 100 dollars more than the Zillion Coastal which also features the
same gear ratio. The Hyper Speed Limited is pretty much sold out everywhere so
if you want a 11+1 bearing Daiwa Zillion this is the only choice right now.
While we would have loved to see a supertuned spool or a fancy new frame
material the Type R does sweeten the overall value of the reel with higher grade
bearings, helical cut gears, a much souped up drag and a slick looking carbon
handle. Is this enough to justify the 100 dollar premium? Enthusiast Daiwa fans
will likely think so as a carbon handle upgrade alone can cost more than that,
but make no mistake about it at this price point we are getting close to Steez
In terms of availability Tackle Warehouse got the reels up for sale first and
actually broke this story wide open when the product page for the Type R
nonchalantly appeared under their "new items" category. The Zillion Series of
reels certainly does have legs, and while we haven't yet got one of these reels
on the water, on paper the new Type R does look like the highest performing
Zillion ever to come stateside.
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