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Enthusiast Review

Daiwa Pixy Epiphany : PX68/68L SPR (continued)

Casting: To have such an easy spinning spool that does not excel at pitching really boggled my mind. The pessimism began to set in rather quickly. I took the next step in testing just how low the PX68L SPR would go figuring maybe it's an even better light bait casting machine but thought if that's the case, why did it take Daiwa so long to switch the brake setup from magnets to centrifugal?

Casting finesse plastics? Same deal.

Well, near as I could tell, and that's from switching the reels back and forth between the three rods I had available for testing, one eighth of an ounce was the lowest, usable threshold for the PX68L SPR and it fared no better in distance and accuracy than the standard PX68L. I just wasn't getting it.

The handle is aluminum instead of carbon but still 80mm in length.

The Other Stuff: If you've read our review of the PX68L, all the information regarding retrieve, drag pressure, availability, etc., directly translates over to the SPR interpretation of this reel as well. They are essentially the same reel. The only difference is the treatment of the casting brakes that up until this time I was having a hard time figuring out why Daiwa went through the trouble making the SPR other than giving consumers another piece of equipment to buy and quibble about at the dock, in the boat, and over the Internet. They weren't THAT conniving, were they?

Some color highlights for accent.

Epiphany: After I failed to discern a difference between the standard and SPR versions of this reel, I put my PX68L SPR on the back burner packing it with me on testing trips, but using it sparingly in finesse applications, griping each time I pulled it out as to how I wasted over $1200 on two copies of this reel.

Lures like this miniature Rapala Rippin' Rap #5 are why Daiwa developed the SPR.

Then on one trip, where I had the PX68L SPR mounted on my Evergreen International TDC-66MLBF-Pro Stingray 66, I found I was in need of a rod to cast a plug I was trying out. It was a pint sized version of Rapala's Rippin' Rap, the #5 which is specified at two inches in length and five sixteenths of an ounce. Maybe I've been throwing big baits too much, but it feels much smaller than that.

When that light bulb goes off, that's when the fun begins.

Anyway, armed with nothing but high powered, creature fever sticks to pitch and flip plastics and throw umbrella rigs, the Stingray and PX68L SPR were my only option to cast the #5 Rippin' Rap so I tied it on and tossed it out to see how the bait swam. That's when it hit me.

When all is said and done, the SPR is truly a revolution for small plug fishing.

All I did was make a simple roll cast with the bait, but when I snapped my wrist and lifted my thumb off the spool, the bait shot out like a missile out over the water. I forgot all about checking out how the bait swam in the water, quickly reeled back in and tried that again with the same, astonishing result!


There are no settings to play with, just tie your bait on, toss it out, and appreciate ease with which your plugs sail across the top of the water with Daiwa's PX68/68L SPR.

A few days later, checking the specifications of this reel online, I found right there on Daiwa Japan's website "SPR (Small Plug Revolution)". Sure would have been nice to have had that understanding from the very beginning wouldn't it? I guess sometimes that trigger finger just pushes "buy" a little too soon.


Daiwa PX68/68L SPR Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Same as the standard PX68 9
Performance You kinda need to cast it to believe it 8.5
Price Even pricier than the standard PX68! 4
Features Still hard to digest a Daiwa with centrifugal brakes? The brakes also slide in and out all the way and can fall out 6
Design (Ergonomics) Fit and finish are familiar but again no external cast control here 7
Application A very specialized reel tuned for casting plugs and it works 7

Total Score

Ratings Key: 1 = terrible : 2 = poor : 3 = lacking : 4 = sub par : 5 = mediocre : 6 = fair : 7 = good : 8 = great : 9 = excellent : 10 = unbelievable!
For More Details of the updated rating system visit our explanation here


Pluses and Minuses:


+ It handles its design intent with great aplomb - We get the utility, but not the price difference from a standard PX68
+ Really fun to cast once you match it up with the right stick - Far too easy to damage the spool with removal and reinstallation of the sideplate
  - More line capacity would be nice considering the long casting baits you'd likely use with the reel


Conclusion: So in the end what I discovered is not so much that the PX68/68L SPR is any better or worse than the standard PX68 but that it was designed with a different purpose in mind. Are you looking for reel to cast small plugs on light line or heavier plugs into tight quarters on braid (i.e. frogs under docks)? This could very well be the reel for you. The weights this reel is capable of casting and the distances achieved are actually not any different than the standard PX68/68L but where the differences lie is in the energy necessary to impart into each cast. The SPR requires less effort and is somehow, just smoother as your bait is sailing through the air. There are no settings to play with, just tie your bait on, toss it out, and appreciate ease with which your plugs sail across the top of the water.









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