Reels | Rods | Lures | SwimbaitsBFS Lines | Terminal Tackle | Tools | Storage | Apparel | Enthusiast | Watercraft | Interviews | Events | Autopsy




Enthusiast Reel Review

Prepare to be Assimilated : The 2005 Alphas Ito Ai

Date: 6/26/05
Tackle type: Reels
Manufacturer: Daiwa Japan
Reviewer: Cal

Total Score: 8.92

Introduction: There are no two words that excite fans of Daiwa reels more than "Ito Engineering". Our recent feature of the 2003 Megabass/Daiwa TD-Ito reels inspired an entire new level of madness for these works of art. Imagine then, the anticipated arrival of the announced 2005 collaboration between these two Japanese Tackle giants. Then, imagine the dismay and disappointment when early photo's revealed the result of this latest collaboration, the Alphas Ito Ai, as an austere, almost sterile object. We've moved past our own initial disappointment with this reel and have taken it upon ourselves to investigate whether or not 2005 Alphas Ito Ai really does miss the mark or if something magical exists beneath the shroud.


Daiwa Alphas Ito Ai Specifications

Line Capacity (lbs / yds) 12/100
Gear Ratio (actual retrieve) 5.8:1 (22 inches per turn)
Measured Weight 5.9 ounces
Measured Max. Drag 5lbs
Bearings 6 + 1 roller
Features Single Piece Aluminum Frame, GIGAS drive gears, Duralumin Spool, TypeR+ Cast Control Tuning
MSRP $300 (Approx. Import Price)

Impressions: True to early photographs of the reel, the 2005 Daiwa Alphas Ito Ai is very plain in comparison to its 2003 siblings. However, that's not to say it's without its own intriguing details such as the red highlights in the handle, under the cast control knob, and on the spool itself. The drilled holes in the dragstar shaft and spool are very precise while the bare aluminum finish on the reel together with the lexan sideplate and front bridge begins to inspire thoughts of Terminator 2 meets the Borg. But is assimilation inevitable?


Introducing the finely tuned Alphas Ito Ai

The Field Tests:
One thing for certain about this reel right when you lift it out of its box is that this version is much lighter than the standard Alphas. In fact, this reel tipped our scales right at 5.9 ounces. That's only 0.1 ounces more than the Pixy! We spooled this feathery Alphas with 12lb Seaguar Carbon Pro line and mounted it on our Megabass Super Destroyer III for some real world, on the water tests.


While not as striking as some of the previous ITO Engineered reels the Alphas Ai will surely appeal to many die hard Daiwa and ITO fans


Casting & Pitching: The Ito Engineering/TypeR+ super tuning on this reel is evident with the very first pitch. If we had to put numbers to the ease by which this reel casts and pitches, we can safely state that there is a ten to fifteen percent gain in performance over the standard Alphas with this reel. In fact, to test this theory, we pulled out a standard Alphas for comparison. Indeed, with each first attempt using a quarter ounce jig, we consistently out pitched the standard model with our Alphas Ito Ai. After repeated casts with the standard Alphas, we were able to eventually match the distance of the Alphas Ito Ai, but it clearly required more effort to match each mark.

The single most striking element of this reel is the ability to see through the sideplate


With this in mind, we pulled out one of or Daiwa Pixy reels to offer up an additional comparison and what we discovered was, the Pixy just barely edged out our Alphas Ito Ai in pitching performance. In fact, the Alphas Ito Ai more closely resembled the Pixy in performance than the standard Alphas! Ito Engineering strikes again.


Red accents highlight the ported handle

Retrieve: Those familiar with the standard Alphas will feel no difference in the Alphas Ito Ai. We were optimistic that the Ito version would come equipped with bearing supported knobs, but this is not the case. In fact, aside from cosmetic differences, the handle of the Alphas Ito Ai is practically identical to the standard model. Actual retrieve of the new, lightweight, GIGAS gearing is sure and reliable with the prototypical feeling of Daiwa machinery.


The translucent lexan extends to the front of the reel as well


Drag: No clicking dragstar on the Alphas Ito Ai. Drag performance tests displayed the same results as the standard Alphas with 5lbs of maximum pressure. The drag was smooth and reliable in performance, but our hopes of something just a little bit more given the reel's pedigree were dashed.


Small details like the drilled drag star are what make Ito engineered reels so special, the body and components were machined to further reduce weight .7oz lighter than the stock Alphas

Next Section: Ergonomics, Design, and Ratings









Copyright 2000-2023 TackleTour LLC All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy information