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Enthusiast Tackle: Reel Preview

The Extreme Collectibles for the Supreme Enthusiast - Team Daiwa Limited Edition Reels

Date: 10/27/04
Tackle type: Reels
Manufacturer: Daiwa Japan
Reviewer: Cal

Enthusiasts and other aficionados revel in the rare, exotic, hard to get, and often times obscure pieces of tackle. These rare commodities are often attributed to era’s long gone while contemporary pieces with this potential are often overlooked as either fads or unpractical acquisitions. Daiwa Japan has, within the last couple of years, brought the hobby of collecting fishing tackle to an entirely new level of obsession with limited edition, supremely engineered, and elegantly crafted offerings. This article gives an overview of two such offerings, the 2004 TD-Z Custom and 2003 Ito Reels.
During the Spring of 2004, Daiwa Japan, poised to release their limited edition, souped up TD-Z Type R Plus reels, created an opportunity for tackle enthusiasts around the globe to custom specify certain features of the TD-Z 103H Type R Plus reel and receive, several months later, their very own custom fishing reel complete with an owner’s certificate and souvenir pin. Enthusiasts were given the opportunity to choose from left and right hand models, 5.7:1 or 6.3:1 retrieves, and one of up to nine different custom colors show here.

Chart of available colors for the 2004 TD-Z Custom 103/103ML

Depending on the source, the retail cost of these reels ranged from $430 to over $550. A second opportunity to custom order one of these reels opened in the Fall of 2004 but will no doubt have expired by the time this article reaches press. Delivery of this second order of TD-Z Custom reels is expected around December of 2004 and it is not out of the question to believe some retailers may have placed mass orders with the intent of later selling the reels once they are actually in inventory. Below are some detail shots of our TackleTour Team TD-Z Custom reels.

Detail shots of our 2004 TD-Z Custom reels in TackleTour team colors

Team Daiwa Ito Reels: In 2003, Daiwa Japan offered a different custom reel of sorts. The specification and design of the reels were actually set, but the number of reels made was based on pre-orders. This release consisted of four (4) reels total that were developed through a collaboration between Daiwa Japan and Yuki Ito, founder of Megabass fishing tackle. First of the four reels was the M-Ito 103/103L, a round baitcasting reel based on Daiwa’s Millionaire series but with a machined frame and handle to reduce weight, Oakwood Knobs, Abex 7 Gears, a 5.8:1 retrieve ratio, 50% increased drag strength, MagForce V, 10 ball bearings, and the ability to hold 100 yards of 14lb test. It was a pink and gold reel and sold for anywhere between $400 - $450.


It’s a known fact that Yuki Ito enjoys beautiful and functional fishing tackle, the M-Ito 103 is no exception to this rule. Note the oak wood knobs on the handle crafted from whiskey barrels. Photographs courtesy of Jun Sonoda, JapanTackle.com

Second of these fabulous reels was the TD-Ito 2506C, a shallow spool spinning reel based on the original limited edition Type R (not to be confused with the 2004 Type R Plus) platform reel which in turn was based on the TD-Ignis 2506C. Specifications on this reel include a 4.9:1 gear ration, estimated 7.1 ounces in weight, a 5mm longer handle for added cranking power, and 9 + 1 ball bearings. Line capacity was rated at 110 yards of 4lb test line (0.215mm). This impeccable work of art sold for approximately $600 to $700 retail and is truly a site to behold.

Detail shots of the TD-Ito 2506C
Photographs courtesy of Mark Janeck Custom Fishing Rods

The remaining two reels were also based on Daiwa Japan’s original Type R reels, and they were the TDZ Ito 105H and 103H models - available in both right and left hand retrieve. Highlights of these reel included a further lightened magnesium body and gears when compared to the standard TD-Z, and a super tuned MagForce V cast control system that reportedly enables the spool to spin at initial speeds in excess of 30,000 rpm (the same as that of the Calcutta DC but without the electronics).

Detail shots of the TD-Z Ito 103HL

Like the other two Ito reels, attention to detail was unprecedented down to the Japanese characters on the spool, that reportedly represent the hands of devil, heart of Buddha. Actual cost of these reels ranged from $450 to over $550 depending, again, on the source and time frame of purchase. Specifications for these reels are pretty much identical to their standard TD-Z counterparts but with super tuned casting control to enable Pixy-like casting performance while maintaining a full five to six pounds of maximum drag pressure (lab tested) and the ability to use standard size fishing line.

The TD-Z Ito 103HL shown here, mounted on a matching Megabass F7-711X flipping stick

Conclusions: The reels presented here, though difficult to locate, are still available from time to time at online auction houses or other used fishing tackle resources. Due to their limited availability, this article’s intent is simply to bring the information on these reels to light. Should you run across the opportunity to possess one of these rare gems, do not take the opportunity lightly for not only are these reels aesthetically pleasing and unique, their performance alone is more than worthy the investment. Trouble is, after acquiring such a prize, how many of us enthusiasts could actually fish these works of art? How far would you go to be faced with such a dilemma?









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