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ICAST 2017 Coverage


A Closer Look at Daiwa LT Design, and the New Tatula Spinning Reel


Date: 7/17/17
Location: Orlando, FL
Admission: Buyers & Press Only
Manufacturer: Daiwa
Reviewer: Zander

Introduction: At the show we highlighted the complete redesign of Daiwa's mainstream spinning reels with their new Light and Tough (LT) spinning reel makeovers. While the Ballistic LT is the highest end of these new reels it is the Tatula LT that has many anglers most excited as it bears a stealthy new look and retails for under 200 dollars.  


The Daiwa Tatula LT is a stealthy looking reel and available in sizes from 1000 to 4000


Light and Tough: Daiwa's previous mainstream spinning reels had started to get a bit long in the tooth and the company has been hard at work redoing their entire line.


Pro Anglers including FLW Tour Pro Cody Meyer talk about the new Tatula Elite Rods and Tatula LT Reels


Daiwa's engineers set out to eliminate un-needed weight and improve the design of their spinning reels by streamlining the body of the reels and adding the enlarged Digigear. The reels that benefit from this new design include the Ballistic LT, Tatula LT, Fuego LT, Exceler LT, and Legalis LT. It just takes a second holding these reels in hand and the difference from the previous generation reels is noticeable.


The Tatula LT is smaller and lighter than previous generation Daiwa mainstream reels. The 2000 size weighs in at only 5.8oz.


Tatula LT: To accompany all the new Tatula Elite reels the new Tatula LT reel is a lightweight reel that is available in sizes ranging form 1000 all the way to 4000 sizes. Like the Ballistic LT the new Tatula LT has a Zaion body for rigidity and weight reduction. The bearing count of 1 CRBB, 5BB, and 1 RB is exactly the same as the Ballistic LT and it weighs nearly the same as well. 


One of the hallmarks of LT design are sleeker more compact frames


Both reels feature a machines A7075 aircraft grade aluminum Digigear and Daiwa's Air Rotor design which features a sleek shape that reduces unnecessary weight while distributing stress across the rotor for increased strength.


A black anodized handle completes the Tatula LT's menacing look


With so many similarities to the Ballistic LT why is the Tatula 40 dollars cheaper than the Ballistic LT? One word, "Magseal." The Ballistic LT has a Magsealed main shaft which uses magnetic oil to help create a low friction seal to the rotating shaft while keeping moisture and elements out. This translates to smoother performance over the lifetime of the reel. 


Only if it had a blacked out Air Bail, then it would rival the new Shimano Exsence in stealth


When comparing the two reels at the show the new Ballistic LT was just slightly smoother, and if I had my eyes closed when cranking I would have a hard time distinguishing the two. Over time the performance delta may become greater, but out of the box the reels will feel quite similar. They even look similar, save a few red and silver highlights on the Ballistic LT.


A look at the ported and machined Tatula Spool


It is the absence of all those colors that I personally really like about the Tatula LT, it and with the exception of the Air Bail it is completely blacked out. This reel looks almost as stealthy as the Dark Knight, the new Shimano Exsence, but is also a tough comparison at less than half the price and being positioned squarely in the mainstream category.


The Tatula LT's body is Zaion and the reel also features the recognizable Air Rotor for weight reduction


The Ballistic may be the highest end new LT spinning reel but I have a feeling a lot of Daiwa fans are going to opt for the Tatula LT instead. It just has more personality and comes in under that 200 dollar price point. If the Tatula LT had Magseal it would be the easy choice which is why I find it all the more surprising that the lower-end Fuego LT, which comes with a Carbon body versus a Zaion one, is outfitted with a Magsealed main shaft. The Fuego represents the best overall value in the new LT lineup at only 99 dollars. With five new LT spinning reels to choose from anglers get plenty of options to consider, and all are "light" and "tough."









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