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Reel Review

Daiwa Coastal Inshore Special: Engineered for light salt applications and yet still great for bass

Date: 10/19/05
Tackle type: Reels
Manufacturer: Daiwa
Reviewer: Zander

Total Score: 9.0 + Best Value

The Team Daiwa Advantage took the market by storm last year, successfully blending top notch performance with an exciting new low profile design, and a price tag well within reach of most anglers. While the Team Daiwa Advantage is saltwater capable Daiwa decided to build upon the successful design and introduce a new reel, the Coastal Inshore Special, which is specifically designed to address the needs of saltwater anglers. We explore the differences between this reel and the Advantage, as well as see if this reel has what it takes to be a true crossover reel between both fresh and inshore applications.

Daiwa Coastal Inshore Special 153H Specifications

Line Capacity (lb/yds) 12/140, 14/120
Gear Ratio 6.3:1
Line Retrieve Per Handle Turn 28"
Weight 8.3 oz.
Bearings 5BB + 1RB
Additional Features Free floating perforated aluminum spool, Centriflex anti-backlash system, infinite anti reverse, low profile, seven disc composite drag, special corrosion protection treatment
MSRP $129.95

The TD Advantage Supertuned was among our favorite reels reviewed last year. It essentially offered the Daiwa faithful a low profile reel that could compete with the proven Shimano offerings in the sub 150 dollar price range. Since then the reel has only grown in popularity thanks to its high quality construction and admired ergonomics. The Daiwa Coastal can be called the saltwater sibling of the TDA, and is designed to give inshore anglers a lightweight yet high capacity finesse reel.


The Daiwa Coastal Inshore Special features the same profile as the TD Advantage


Upon first inspection the ties to the Team Daiwa Advantage are unmistakable. The Coastal has the same handle and drag star as the more affordable "H" versions of the Advantage. Other notable differences are the lack of any external cast control system and a gold aluminum machined perforated spool, rather than the standard aluminum one found on the Advantage reels. The Coastal features the same gear ratio as the Advantage reels and thus is able to draw in the same amount of line (28 inches) per turn of the handle.

The Coastal delivers low profile performance to inshore anglers looking for a small lightweight reel with enough capacity to get lures down and target fast running saltwater species

Overall the reel felt light for a reel of this size, and as it turns out the Coastal is actually .3oz lighter than the TD Advantage Supertuned models and .2oz lighter than the standard TD Advantages. The weight reduction comes from the absence of the fancy forged handle and aluminum drag star, and replacement of the MagForce Z system with the internally adjustable Centriflex system.


Complete Rig for Daiwa Coastal Inshore Special 153H Field Tests

Rod Lipper Evolution EV-C701M
(Solid Carbon), G.Loomis MBR783C
Reel Daiwa Coastal Inshore Special
Line(s) 30lb. PowerPro Braid


The Field Tests: We pitted the Coastal against some of the very inshore species it was designed to tackle including Stripers, Halibut, and Lingcod but we also wanted to see whether this reel had the finesse and refinement to perform in freshwater applications as well. After fishing the Coastal for three months in saltwater we mounted the reel on a G.Loomis MBR783C and head straight for the California Delta to target largemouth bass.


Sitting low on our Evolution test rod


Casting: We first tested the Coastal for casting distance in a freshwater pond. Using a 1/2oz casting plug we were able to get 70-80 feet using PowerPro 30lb line. When comparing this to the Team Daiwa Advantage 153HST the overall casting distance turned out to be about 10% less. I found that the MagForce Z system is still more refined than the Centriflex system, mainly due to the greater amount of adjustment that can be made on the fly. Centriflex makes use of brake blocks which pop outwards applying pressure with each cast. As the spool reaches maximum speed the Centriflex levers push the brake blocks against the brake drum to create the braking action necessary to prevent overrun. Adjustments to the settings are made by rotating the disc mounted on the spool itself. This system is like the Magforce Z in that it is designed to apply braking only at peak spool speed. The result is definitely fewer backlashes and trouble-free casting, but less ability to tune for really long casts of lighter lures. To the reel's credit this is much less of a concern since this is a saltwater reel.


The oversized clutch made it easy to disengage the spool even with gloves on


Once I dialed in the Centriflex settings I found the Coastal to be a quality caster, but more importantly very predictable. This predictability made it easy to toss heavy lures with little effort and not have to worry about bird nesting the reel. To further improve casting the attractive gold aluminum spool is machined and perforated for a quick startup regardless of lure weight. Whether I was tossing saltwater jerkbaits, swimbaits, or simply lobbing Megabait jigs the Coastal felt just as easy to use in the saltwater environment as any freshwater baitcaster.


Unlike the Advantage supertuned models the Coastal makes use of the more utilitarian handle and composite drag star. While not as attractive these components are easier to maintain


It was after all this casting that I really began to wonder how good this reel would be for freshwater casting applications. Though the reel is low in profile it features a deep flat spool allowing anglers to put on 140 yards of 12lb mono or much much more braid. Since our test Coastal was already set up with 30lb PowerPro it made sense to me to try this reel out on the Delta tossing topwater frogs over vegetation. The reel didn't feel as refined as some Daiwa reels but it easily got the job done. At times I completely forgot this low profile reel was a saltwater reel at all. In terms of casting the Coastal will be able to satisfy both inshore and freshwater applications without any reconfiguration of the cast control system.


The Coastal provides wide access to the spool. This is excellent when casting a lot for species like Redfish


Retrieve: The first 2 weeks of tests barely stressed the reel in terms of retrieve performance. We hadn't hooked into anything substantial so all we were sure of at this point was that the Coastal was a smooth performer. Then on week three we finally got what we were waiting for. At 70 feet down I felt something take my 4oz diamond jig. The fish immediately head straight down into the rocks and I was snagged before I even had a chance to pull in an inch of line. As I tugged on the dead line I figured the lure had snagged horribly and began bouncing my rod tip in an attempt to salvage my jig. About 10 seconds later the jig finally did break free and as I began to retrieve the jig line started stripping once again, the fish had stayed hooked through it all! What ensued was a tug of war that ended with the Coastal getting the best of a good sized Lingcod.


To access the Centriflex system it is necessary to remove the takedown aluminum sideplate


The Coastal has plenty of muscle and while not as powerful as some of the round reels I am used to fishing for Lings the Coastal sure is a enjoyable lightweight reel to fish with. Once fish have tired out the high speed 6.3:1 ratio brings them to the boat quickly. For fast running fish like Stripers, Reds, and Calicos the Coastal's unique blend of speed and power really makes sense.


Cranking down on the familiar oversized rubber knobs


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