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Product Shootout

TT Shootout : Zillion TWS vs Chronarch CI4+ (continued)


Retrieve Ratios/Versatility: The Zillion TWS is available in four different retrieve ratios including a super low cranking ratio (5.5:1) and a super high bragging rights ratio (9.1:1). Any given angler may not have the need for all four retrieves, but if you're building an arsenal and want one reel to cover most all your needs, you'll find better utility with the Zillion TWS's four options as compared to the Chronarch CI4+'s two (6.1:1 & 7.6:1). Advantage : DAIWA

The CI4+ is only available in two retrieve ratios.

Handle Length: Power would be the next logical discussion point but our two test reels are of different ratios, so we were unable to conduct a side by side power comparison out on the water. What we could compare though were the stock handles that come with each reel. Shimano supplies the Chronarch CI4+ with a generous 84 millimeter handle, but Daiwa supplies the Zillion TWS with a huge 90 millimeter handle affording the angler a lot of leverage when churning the handle. Advantage : DAIWA

The Zillion TWS is wide and not very comfortable to palm.

Ergonomics: When we refer to ergonomics in this shootout what we're really talking about is how does that reel feel in the palm of your hand when mounted on a fishing rod. If you've read each products' individual review, then you already know the answer to this category. Shimano's Chronarch CI4+ is tiny compared to the Zillion TWS and fits in the palm of my hand so much nicer than the new Zillion. Were this the old Zillion body we were talking about, the comparison might be a bit closer, but given the new, wider feel of the Zillion TWS, this category easily goes to Shimano. Advantage : SHIMANO

Where as the Chronarch CI4+ disappears in my hand.

Weight: Coming in at 7.5 ounces, the Zillion TWS is actually a nice weight for an aluminum framed reel. The original Zillions weighed over an ounce more at 8.6 ounces! But the Chronarch CI4+ has an unfair advantage here in that it's made from a carbon fiber alloy giving it an overall weight just fractions of an ounce off of what the same reel would be if made with magnesium - yet it's saltwater safe! Six and a half (6.5) ounces is what the Chronarch CI4+ weighs. Couple that with the reel's ergonomics and it's about as comfortable as a low profile reel can get. Advantage : SHIMANO

So which reel is it going to be?

Price: The results for this category were actually a surprise to me. When Zander and I first discussed the prospects of shooting these two reels out, we did so because we assumed they were at the same exact price point. When conducting a shootout, we always look for products that are priced similar to help those who might be on the fence and are honestly trying to compare similarly priced products. The Zillion and Chronarch have always been rivals and we just naturally assumed both were priced at $300. While this is true of the Zillion TWS, the Chronarch CI4+ is actually listed under that threshold at $270! Advantage : SHIMANO


Zillion TWS vs Chronarch CI4+ Shootout Results

Daiwa Zillion TWS
Shimano Chronarch CI4+
Low Casting Limit
Max Drag
Sweet Drag
Retrieve Ratios/Power
Handle Length


Conclusion: Product shootouts are fun and part of what's defined us as a site. Realizing half of the metrics we scored come down to a personal preference, don't overlook our comments on performance as these two reels were really neck and neck through most of the casting tests. We were really surprised. Having fished them individually, I expected the Chronarch CI4+ to smoke the Zillion TWS. What it came down to was finding a brake setting that was similar in each reel (basically one third brake force) and taking things from there. With the apples to apples comparison, these reels were a lot more similar than I had anticipated.


Winner : Shimano Chronarch CI4+ !!!


The Zillion TWS as an entire suite of reels, is more complete than the Chronarch CI4+. The Chronarch CI4+ is a much more refined piece of machinery than the Zillion TWS. This is evidenced by the way each reel felt in my hands and how comfortable the Chronarch CI4+ was compared to the Zillion TWS during fishing operations. It was a close battle, but to me refinement wins out over versatility and Shimano takes this shootout with a score of 5-4-1.


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