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Reel Review

2009 Highspeed Reel Shootout : Daiwa's 50th Anniversary Hyperspeed Zillion

Date: 6/10/09
Tackle type: Reel
Manufacturer: Daiwa
Reviewer: Cal

Total Score: 8.33


Introduction: Daiwa’s Zillion is one reel that requires no introduction to the TackleTour readership. Since our review of the high speed version of this reel in February 2007, the Zillion, or rather, the special editions of this reel have been a favorite amongst our readers. Unfortunately, those versions of this reel are only available as Japanese Domestic Market (JDM) products. That was until January of this past year. Presenting Daiwa’s entry into our 2009 High Speed Reel Shootout, the special edition, US Domestic Market (USDM), 50th Anniversary Hyperspeed Zillion!


Introducing Daiwa's limited run 50th Anniversary Zillion


Daiwa Zillion 100SHSA/SHSLA Specifications

Line Capacity (lbs / yds) 14/120 : 16/100 (Manufacturer Spec)
Gear Ratio 7.3:1
Measured Weight 8.3 ounces
Measured Max. Drag 11 lbs measured max drag
Number of Bearings 11 + 1 Roller
Size of Spool/Sideplate Bearings 5x11x4 : 3x8x4 : 4x7x2.5 (handle)
Length of Handle 90mm
Spool Weight 20 grams
Features Mag Force Z, 7.3:1 retrieve, CRBB's, available in left and right hand retrieve, bearing supported handle knobs, removable knobs, serialized thumbar, clicking drag and cast control knob
MSRP $300


The Zillion is a familiar platform to TackleTour readers.

Impressions: When we caught wind of this USDM special edition Zillion back in June of 2008, we were pretty excited. It’s a rare occurrence when a tier 1 manufacturer decides to bring out a special edition product for the North American market. Throw into the equation the Zillion 100SHSA/SHSLA is a special color, superTTuned for hyper speed, and individually serialized, all for only thirty dollars ($30) more than a standard edition reel and you have the makings of an Enthusiasts’ favorite.

Each reel is individually serialized.

Field Tests: So does the 50th Anniversary Hyper-Speed Zillion have anything further to offer than the standard edition models? We took it with us to El Novillo Lake in Mexico and on several trips to Clear Lake and the California Delta to find out.

The 100SHSA/SHSLA features a 90 mm swept handle...

Casting: The Hyper-Speed Zillion features a MagForce Z spool weighing twenty (20) grams as compared to twenty one (21) grams on the standard edition models. In real life casting situations, the 100SHSLA feels no different than the other three models and casts quite well. Slow speed, pitching presentations are also made with ease and again performance is reminiscent of the previously reviewed 100HSA & 100HSL.

...and the Daiwa Soft Touch grips. Unlike the standard Zillion, however, these knobs are removable AND bearing supported!

During our time with the 50th Anniversary Edition Zillion, we threw mostly cranks and big baits, but in the upcoming High Speed Reel Shootout Wrap article, we’ll see how it does head to head against the other reels in our shootout when they’re all spooled with the exact same line and taken through pitching and casting performances with a predetermined collection of baits selected to test upper and lower end casting and pitching abilities.

The SHSA/SHSLA's extra-fast gear fits within the oversized gearbox located on the handle side of the reel.

Though certainly not an issue for points deduction, Daiwa misses the mark for bonus credit by not providing the Zillion SHSA/SHSLA with a more refined spool that's either significantly lighter than the standard Zillion or equipped with a tuned rotor like the Steez, or better yet, both of the above! That would have really cemented its status as "limited".

The Zillion platform is amongst the most comfortable reels to palm

Next Section: On to that hyper-speed retrieve









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