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Reel Review

The Team Daiwa Advantage HSTA, A "Supertuned" Remix (continued)

Drag: Lately Daiwa seems to be focusing more on drag refinement rather than sheer power. Many competing reels of the same size offer drags that are capable of delivering 10 plus lbs. of drag counter pressure. A comparably sized Shimano Curado has 10lbs of drag pressure and the Abu Garcia Revo series delivered an insane 20lbs plus lbs. in our tests!


One benefit of the swept handle is easier access to the drag adjustment


The HSTA is rated for 8.8lbs of drag and it managed 9.1lbs in our lab at full lock. The drag proved to be smooth and unswerving in the lab as well as in the field. The drag is more than enough for largemouth bass, but 10+ lb stripers did test the drag’s maximum stopping power. Even with the drag buckled down the fish were able to strip line away a generous amount of line from the drag, albeit it was in consistent and safe quantities.


Both the cast control knob and sideplate release knob are now machined


The HSTA makes use of what Daiwa calls their “Super Seven Disc Drag.” As you might have guessed the drag makes use of seven fiber composite and stainless steel washers for a combination of smooth performance and fish control. This system is different than the drag system found in other Daiwa reels like the TD-X. The TD-X makes use of a seven disc drag system as well but substitutes the fiber composite washers with teflon and graphite. The teflon washers actually handle heat a bit better but the end result of the two systems is near identical drag total pressure.


Unscrew the sideplate knob to release the sideplate


Durability: With baitcasters durability really goes hand in hand with reliability. Unlike saltwater reels that are subjected to a barrage from the elements baitcasters have to deal with less stressful boat rash, and the majority of issues that arise from these reels come from internal failures due to stress. The HSTA makes use of a slew of bearings, in fact when you compare the 10+1 found in this reel to the 6+1 in the Fuego or Sol you start to understand just how good of a deal this reel really is. While this reel can be used for light inshore applications it will necessitate more attention than other Daiwa reels like the Coastal and the Zillion which make use of more corrosion resistant bearings.


Like most Daiwa reels the sideplate is constructed from composite


So while it can pull double duty, and is certainly powerful enough, the reel is still best utilized in fresh and brackish conditions. Stick to these applications and the reel will last. Throughout the months that we have fished the TD-A HSTA it has remained smooth, and doesn’t gum up as much as the more expensive TD-X does. In fact, this reel is so consistent that it is truly a good choice as a quality all round workhorse reel.


The inductor could use further supertuning at the hands of savvy reel upgraders to create an even faster startup for more distance


Ergonomics: The original Advantage HST and the HSTA feature the same basic profile so palming the reel feels very similar, in fact there are many TD-A variants that feel similar (Coastal, Black Widow, Tierra, etc). Some anglers feel like the Advantage series is too wide, and it certainly is when compared to reels like the Sol, but for most anglers it will palm reasonably well simply because it does sit relatively low on the vast majority of reel seats. The difference in the new reel is not the profile but the finish. The original HST featured a matte finish, one that was even more matte than the TD-X series. The Coastal had a slicker finish due to a layer of corrosion resistant gloss. Turn your attention back to the HSTA and anglers will find the glossiest reel yet. The finish is surprisingly durable and doesn’t scratch easily, helping prevent the early onset of boat rash, however this comes at a price....


Like the original there is also porting in the frame below the levelwind

Next Section: Ergonomics detailed, and Price explored









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