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Enthusiast Review


Yuki Ito's Take on Daiwa's Flagship : The IS73

 

Date: 3/20/11
Tackle type: Reel
Manufacturer: Megabass
Reviewer: Cal






Total Score: 7.08 - GOOD

Introduction:
It's been over two years since we reviewed a Yuki Ito tuned fishing reel. Our last journey into the Ito Engineering Reel Division was with the Ito Monoblock 100XR/XR-L. Since the introduction of that reel, there has been a shift in the Ito Engineering landscape. Once reliant upon Daiwa as an OEM source, Yuki Ito now has a stake in the Daiwa Corporation and is active in their R&D department. This new found partnership is quite apparent with the plethora of Megabass branded reels based off of popular Daiwa models in the market today and while not all of these reels may seem worthwhile, especially given the current exchange rate, one reel remains somewhat intriguing.

 

Introducing the Steez IS73 by ...

The last time Yuki Ito worked his magic on Daiwa's flagship reel, the result was the coveted TD-Ito, the signature, ultimate enthusiast casting reel. Yet, when it really comes down to it, the TD-Ito merely borrowed upon existing technology in the previously released, limited edition, Daiwa Type-R, and dressed it up with a snazzy paint job. Granted, Yuki-Ito extended the availability of the Type-R tuning as the TD-Ito was available in both left and right hand retrieve where the Daiwa TDZ Type-R was only available in right hand. So what of the new IS73 and IS63 reels?

... Megabass.

We've long touted Daiwa's current flagship, low profile reel, the Steez baitcaster as the most refined, lightweight, high performance production reel on the market today. The Steez 103 represents the culmination of Daiwa's efforts through their Type-R and Type-R+ limited edition TDZ experiments. Those reels served as public prototypes for what is now the Daiwa Steez. Daiwa simply took the Type-R+ tuned TDZ, changed the profile of the reel slightly, upgraded its drag, changed the handle and dragstar design, lightened up the entire package and called it their style with ease baitcaster, Steez. The 103 is supertuned right out of the box and its retail price is testimony to this evolution.

Megabass IS73 Competition Baitcaster Specifications

Line Capacity (lbs/yds) 12/150, 14/120
Gear Ratio 7.3:1
Measured Weight 5.3 ounces
Measured Max Drag 9lbs
Number of Bearings 11+1
Size of Spool Bearings 5x11x4, 3x10x4
Length of Handle Heavy
Features Magforce Z, Ported Spool, Swept Carbon Handle, Ito Knobs
MSRP ~$850.00

 

Impressions: The Megabass IS73 is a Yuki Ito tuned Steez 100SH and the IS63 is based on the Steez 100HL because Daiwa has yet to offer the super high speed Steez in left hand retrieve. So if  Yuki Ito didn’t have enough pull to convince Daiwa to produce the super high speed version of the Steez in left hand retrieve for his “IS” interpretations, what did he really do with these reels? We took a closer look at the IS73 specifically to find out.

 

The IS73 is a tuned version of the Steez 100SH featuring a ported spool ...

The Daiwa Steez 100SH reel weighs in at 5.7 ounces out of the box. The IS73 features a carbon handle instead of aluminum, a ported spool, small, aluminum knobs, and a cut top plate all resulting in a .4 ounce weight savings. It’s official weight? 152 grams or 5.36 ounces.

... the same MagforceZ rotor ...

 

The spool of the IS73, though ported instead of solid, features the same MagforceZ casting system as the 100SH but the retrieve ratio on this reel is upgraded to 7.3:1 versus the 100SH’s 7.1:1. As previously mentioned and as of this writing, the IS73 is only available in right hand retrieve.

 

... a 7.3:1 retrieve ratio (versus the 100SH's 7.1:1) ...

Field Tests: So are there any performance enhancements in the IS73 over the 100SH or even the standard Steez 103? In a word? No. The 100SH features a MagforceZ casting system that is designed to afford the angler casting performance for distance. The IS73 casts no further than the 100SH, at least not noticeably. I fished this reel on several rods, switching back and forth between it and Zander's 100SH and any differences I felt in casting performance can be attributed to the rods each reel was mounted on. I didn't have identical rods on hand to facilitate this experiment.

... and an even stealthier matt black finish.

Easy casting motions (versus all out swings for distance) also resulted in very similar casting performances, so the IS73, under practical, real world conditions, does not start up any easier than the 100SH despite the ported spool. I also felt no difference in pitching situations and the Steez 103 definitely still outpitches both reels.

Also stock is an 80mm, swept carbon handle outfitted with Ito tuned knobs.

Next Section: Ito in the Amazon


 

 

 

 

 

 
 





 

 



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