Retrieve: Technically, the new 7.3:1 Zillion retrieves just under half an inch more per turn of the handle as compared to the 7.1:1 version, and out on the water of course this slight increase in rate of return is barely perceptible. It’s more a badge of honor being the first 7.3:1 reel to hit the market than anything else.
The spool is
laser engraved commemorating Daiwa's 50th Anniversary.
In hand, the 100SHSLA is very smooth and solid as you crank its stock ninety millimeter, swept handle though I found it interesting Daiwa didn’t go all out and use one of their I’ZE carbon swept handles instead and match it with a special dragstar. The knobs are bearing supported AND removable which is a good thing because they are also the US market, "soft touch" knobs featuring cut ridges that supposedly give you better grip. I much prefer the smooth, JDM style knobs.
Of course, access to the spool is through the non-handle sideplate.
Drag: The 100SHSLA features the same eight disc drag system found on other Zillion models with fibrous discs very similar to the aftermarket Carbontex washers available through SmoothDrag. The stock drag delivers a full eleven (11) pounds of maximum pressure and pulls out smooth and consistent throughout its range.
Simply remove it and pop the spool out for servicing.
Design & Ergonomics:
The Zillion platform is very familiar dating back not only to our 2007 review, but really, back to the discontinued TDZ. It is among the most comfortable reels to fish and has excellent palming ergonomics. The afore mentioned, stock 90mm handle is the longest amongst our specimen of shootout reels giving you just that added degree of leverage when powering a fish or bait back to the boat.
The Zillion SHSA/SHSLA makes an excellent jig and soft plastics reel.
It’s interesting that coming from a company known for its lightweight reels, the Zillion 100SHSLA comes in third amongst our shootout contenders weighing more than the new Shimano Chronarch and the Quantum Tour Edition PT. Of course, were it the Steez 7.1:1 in this battle, all weight bets would be off.