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Reel Preview


A first look at the new Zillion Type R - Separating Fact from Fiction

 

Date: 5/21/10
Tackle type: Reel
Manufacturer: Daiwa
Reviewer: Zander








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 Specifications

Line Capacity (lbs / yds) 14/120, 16/100 (Rated)
Gear Ratio 7.3:1
Measured Weight 8.5 ounces
Max. Drag 15.5 lbs.
Number of Bearings 11 BB + 1 RB
Features Magforce-Z, Carbon Swept handle, "Ultimate Tournament" drag system, aluminum frame and handle side sideplate, soft touch grips, left hand retrieve available
Origin Japan
MSRP $399

 

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 refinement.

 


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 territory. 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.    

 

Looking for the Daiwa Zillion Type R? Check out Tackle Warehouse

 



 

 

 

 

 

 
 





 

 



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