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Rod Review

Low Speed Reel Shootout: Daiwa gets Crazy with the Zillion Cranker

Date: 8/30/09
Tackle type: Rod
Manufacturer: Daiwa
Reviewer: Zander

Total Score: 8.00 - GREAT

Daiwa’s Zillion Crazy Cranker features an extra low speed 4.9:1 gear ratio and is designed with a high torque gearbox for powerful retrieves of the deepest diving crankbaits. This is the most powerful reel in the high end Zillion lineup and now joins the fray in our low speed cranking reel shootout.


Daiwa Zillion Crazy Cranker Specifications

Line Capacity (lbs / yds) 12/150, 14/125 (Rated)
Gear Ratio 4.9:1
Measured Weight 8.8 ounces
Measured Max. Drag 8.8 lbs measured max drag
Number of Bearings 6 + 1 Roller
Features Swept handle, wet disc drag system, aluminum frame and handle side sideplate, soft touch grips
Origin Japan
MSRP $269

Daiwa's cranking reel... The Zillion 4.9:1 also known as the "Crazy Cranker"

Impressions: So just what is so “crazy” about this Daiwa cranking reel? How about the ultra low speed 4.9:1 gearing ratio that makes this reel the slowest cranking reel in our four way shootout. Daiwa like Abu builds upon a successful platform by introducing a cranking reel in an already existing series. The Daiwa Crazy Cranker offers all that Daiwa fans love about the reels. The Crazy Cranker features the recognizable swept handle which is designed for “maximum winding leverage,” and let’s be honest… it just looks really cool. Both the frame and handle side sideplate are constructed out of aluminum to better support the drive train and inside the guts the Crazy Cranker has a modest bearing count of only six plus one roller bearing, with four of these bearings being extra corrosion resistant CRBB bearings.

This reel features a high torque 4.9:1 gear ratio

Out of the box the Zillion Crazy Cranker looked like any other Zillion, just a little more conservative in coloration. The Crazy Cranker features the same profile as the previous Zillion reels but has a much more subdued look as the reel is pretty much just silver and black, there is no anodized red, yellow or blue here. With only black colored highlights the Crazy Cranker doesn’t look all that “crazy” at all, instead the reel looks more like a TD-Z than any of its siblings. I got the feeling immediately that this reel was all about business, forget all that flashy stuff let’s get to cranking!

A familiar profile

Real World Tests: To test the Daiwa Crazy Cranker we fished the reel for a season out at Clear Lake where we encountered a decent crankbait bite which started shallow in the beginning of summer and dropped down to deep water as the season went on. We fished the Crazy Cranker on a number of different rods and compared the reel versus the competing low speed cranking reels side by side.

Early morning testing on Clear Lake

Casting: During testing I switched out lines once. First I fished with Trilene Big Game 12lb which is one of my regular “control” lines in which to draw comparisons from, then I fished with Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon 12lb in the latter part of our tests. I found that the Zillion was able to cast both lines very well, and the cast control system did a brilliant job of keeping the stiffer fluorocarbon lines in check.

The Zillion Crazy Cranker features black highlights and is the most understated Zillion yet

The Magforce-Z system is good for a wide range of lure weights and when it comes to minute adjustments between different sized and weighted lures this system is the one to beat. While many competing reels require anglers to adjust brake weights or aggressively alter how they address the spool the Daiwa Magforce-z can be tuned in a split second with the rotation of the external cast control knob.

A Clear Lake bass cranked up with the Zillion, the air is so cold that the water steams

I found the Daiwa Zillion Crazy Cranker to be a good long distance caster and an exceptional short to mid range caster when it came to control and accuracy. By dialing the right settings on both the Magforce-Z and the spool tension knob I found I could cast even undersized cranks really tight against structure. This proper placement definitely resulted in more strikes simply by having the confidence to aggressively position lures in the zone.

The Zillion Crazy Cranker features a swept handle designed to reduce wobble and help deliver maximum winding leverage

Crank it up with the powerful retrieve









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