Daiwa Dominates Reel Categories this ICAST and the
Saltist takes the Salt
Introduction: Daiwa crushed it this year at ICAST taking home the Best of
Show in both the freshwater and saltwater reel categories. Our readers already
know how much we like the Zillion and on the saltwater side it was the new
Saltist MQ that won over the buyers and media.
Meet the new Saltist MQ
MQ: Daiwa’s new Saltist MQ spinning reels are designed to be lightweight,
smooth, durable and sleek. The new series features Daiwa’s Monocoque (MQ)
construction, like we have seen on the Exist, and enables a small but rugged and
corrosion resistant frame.
“Serious anglers are going to be absolutely thrilled with how much advanced
technology we’ve jammed into our Saltist MQ line,” says Marc Mills, Field
Marketing Manager for Daiwa-US. “Of course, superior strength and more power is
a great edge when battling trophy fish, but to really stand the test reels need
to operate smoothly and precisely, stand-up to repeated salt-water dousing, and
take a beating day after day and trip after trip. We’ve worked hard to build a
stronger, lighter and more durable higher-end spinning reel at a reasonable
price and it’s really nice to see all that effort come to fruition. In addition
to their one-piece anodized aluminum monocoque (MQ) body, these reels feature a
Magsealed shaft, Zaion Air Rotor and Air Bail, tough Digigear technology,
waterproof Advanced Tournament Drag (ATD), and a round decorative but very
functional machined aluminum knob handle, all refined and polished under the
watchful eyes of the Daiwa team.”
The Saltist MQ took home top honors in the saltwater
category at ICAST
With sizes ranging from 2,500 to 20,000, the Saltist MQ series is saltwater
driven and can cover just about any species from speckled trout to giant bluefin
tuna. Though when we look at the smaller sizes we can easily imagine the reels
employed for bass and stripers. Yes we have a lot of other spinning reels to
pick from but the Saltist looks sharp!
Brian Yamane shows us both the new Saltist MQ and Saltist
side by side. These reels will co-exist in the Daiwa portfolio
new monocoque design, the reel body serves as a stiff and distortion-proof
frame, which is handy and compact at the same time. In this design, the reel’s
screw on side plate has been replaced with a twist in version. This allows
elimination of the screws and their sockets, allowing the size of the reel body
to be reduced even while gear size is increased by 20 to 40 percent.
With the Saltist MQ's larger
gears and a tighter seal comes more power and torque production plus a reduction
in corrosion for a win-win improvement.
Daiwa’s renown Digigear technology incorporates a larger gear, larger tooth
pattern and a perfect mesh between an ultra-tough drive gear and pinion gears
for optimized speed, torque, precision, smoothness and durability. Daiwa claims
that Digigear gear life can be as much as three times greater than the gears
used in competitive reels.
Anglers looking for a more affordable saltwater reel can
consider the new Eliminator Series
high-end Daiwa reels the Saltist also gets Magseal technology which keeps water
and contaminants from going down into the one-way roller bearing and into the
gear set itself, which can really inhibit how the reel performs. Other
performance oriented features include a Zaion Air Rotor and Air Bail. The rotor
is engineered to be especially lightweight–15-percent lighter than typical
rotors of the same material by cutting out areas to improve stability. This
reduces vibrations and enhances the rotational balance thanks to the near
symmetrical shape and very low center of gravity. Under the same strain, a
conventional rotor can become much more distorted. With the Air Rotor design
rotation of the handle and reel is easier, especially when retrieving lures and
the popular saltwater poppers driving the tuna market.
The Air Bail, meanwhile, is a tubular design. This reduces bending of the wire
to make it more rigid, and a round aluminum handle gives the user a comfortable
knob in which to really grind on fish. As you might expect a saltwater reel of
this caliber needs a powerful drag and the Saltist comes with the company's
Advanced Tournament Drag (ATD) which is fine-tuned to react quickly and
smoothly, offering smooth start up assures anglers have the give necessary to
ease the pressure of that first powerful run. Even the smallest size can deliver
22lbs of drag while the 20000 size is capable of providing 44.1lbs of pressure.
The Eliminator features an aluminum frame and Digigear
design for only $89-$119 dollars
Saltist offers a lot for $299 for the smaller sizes and $389 for the largest
sizes. Overall a good deal for what comes in this total package. The previous
generation is still popular and with shortages hitting the industry the company
has decided to continue to support the old platform for a while so it will
co-exist with the new MQ reel.
looking for a more affordable solution can also consider the new Eliminator
reels which feature an aluminum frame, air rotor, digigear, and a smooth carbon
drag. This reel doesn't have the MQ design or Magseal but it is designed to be a
workhorse at a great price from $89.99 to $119.99. Whether it is fresh or
saltwater spinning Daiwa has anglers covered this season.