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Rod Review

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

Retrieve: With an ultra low speed 4.9:1 gear ratio the Zillion Crazy Cranker is the slowest reel in our shootout and is really designed for fishing crankbaits. Trying to move any baits fast with this reel is like taking a go-kart to a top fuel race, it is just the wrong tool for the job. The Crazy Cranker is capable of winding in 22 inches per turn of the handle and with even large lipped lures in tow the reel never feels strained. To further test the sheer lifting power of the reel we jigged with 3oz. spoons in deep water and the Crazy Cranker felt right at home lifting the heavy iron.

During our test we muscled up a lot of bass

The gearing on the Crazy Cranker is quite robust and even under high-torque the reel doesn’t ever feel strained. Like the Abu Garcia Winch the Zillion Crazy Cranker makes use of both a rigid aluminum frame and handle side sideplate. Because Daiwa intended the reel to cope with the constant pressure associated with heavy cranking it was important to them to have a very rigid frame to support the drivetrain and maintain the tightest of tolerances. The design works and the Zillion is probably the most refined feeling offering of all the low speed crankbait reels when it comes to consistency.

Existing Zillion owners will find the Crazy Cranker very familiar

Like many other Daiwa reels the Zillion CC is more about delivering an instant response, and that connected feel is ever present. Though the reel is smooth it is not buttery smooth, and you never get the feeling that there is a lot of grease or oil sustaining the fluidity of this reel. Instead it is more about the gears meshing together flawlessly to deliver that immediate reaction with every turn of the handle. Whether you prefer this type of feel or the more friction free lubricated feel comes down to personal preference.

A fight to the finish

Drag: Though rated at 8.8lbs. of max drag pressure we were able to achieve just over 9lbs of counter pressure in the lab at full lockdown. The Daiwa CC makes use of Daiwa’s proven eight disc wet drag which is not the most powerful drag but among the easiest to adjust in small increments. In our field tests the drag put even and consistent pressure on even larger fish.

Porting helps reduce some weight but the Zillion weighs more than the competition

While not the most powerful drag I found the Zillion Crazy Cranker’s drag to be among the most polished when it came to make detailed adjustments. With each few clicks of the drag star it is able to fine tune the drag in surprisingly small increments. The multi-drag makes use of varying materials and the grease between the washers actually helps reduce corrosion and contaminates from altering performance.

The Zillion Crazy Cranker features a easy to adjust Magforce-Z cast control system

Ergonomics: Daiwa’s Crazy Cranker weighs in at 8.8oz. making it the heaviest of the four main contenders in the shootout. Wait, a Daiwa reel that is the heaviest in its class? Usually Daiwa reels come in weighing the least as the company puts a great emphasis on reducing total weight both in reels and rods. The Zillion series is designed to be the company’s mid-high range workhorse reel and while it is built solid it does weigh more than many of the low profile competitors.

The Zillion Crazy Cranker is the same exact dimensions as other Zillion reels

Durability and Price of the Cranker









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