Now a year old, Daiwa’s latest iteration of the Zillion TWS brings a variety of cool features to the table, all in the name of promoting longer, trouble-free casts while at the same time improving accuracy and durability in a lightweight package.
I took one for a test drive to find out how sweet it is.
Going the Distance
Daiwa built the Zillion to be the rocket launcher that it is with three key features that work in unison to improve casting distance. Longer casts allow crankbaits to dig to their maximum depth and help keep baits in the strike zone for longer periods. Longer casts can also be a big plus when reaching out to fish that are prone to be spooky in ultra-clear water.
The three features:
1. TWS Technology: TWS is short for Daiwa’s T-Wing System. The T-Wing is the mechanical aperture that the line passes through when casting and retrieving baits. By hinging up and down, and due to the T-shaped frame, the aperture size varies with the mode of the reel.
When the gears are disengaged for casting, the T-Wing rotates down, allowing line to pass through its 3/8-inch-wide upper section as it peels off the spool, instead of through the narrower bottom section. The T-Wing aperture during casting is significantly wider than traditional line apertures, which means more room for the line to feed through as the guide cycles back and forth. Daiwa says this reduces friction and frees up line flow, thus lending to improved casting distance while cutting down on backlashes.
Engaging the reel causes the T-wing to rotate up and close, which restricts the line to a much narrower channel. The result is smooth, uniform line distribution across the spool during take-up.
This is Daiwa’s innovative magnetic braking system that can be adjusted quickly and easily through 20 settings to help reduce overruns and maximize casting distance with baits of varied sizes in changing weather conditions. The system adjusts using a clickable knob on the left side plate.
3. Free-Floating Spool:
Crack open the reel’s left side plate behind the Magforce-Z cast-control knob and you’ll make an interesting discovery. The Zillion’s line spool floats freely on corrosion-resistant stainless ball bearings at both ends, completely independent from the pinion gear, which rides on a shaft of its own. This reduces friction in the cast.
I chose the TWS 100H 6.3:1 for review because I wanted a reel with a medium-speed gear ratio that would suffice for performing a variety of techniques effectively. I spent a couple of months last fall and winter putting the reel through the wringer. I strapped it to assorted rods and filled it with lines of different sizes suited for everything from throwing topwater baits and spinnerbaits to flipping in deep grass to working all types of crankbaits, swimbaits and jigs.
The reel performed well across the board so long as the necessary adjustments were made using the micro-click spool-tension knob and Magforce-Z braking system to compensate for the varied lure styles, weights and wind. I was particularly impressed by the reel’s ability to zing baits long distances without much effort, the buttery smoothness of its operation and its all-around solid construction – true testaments to the quality of engineering that went into designing the reel and the premium components that were used inside and out.
Other Key Features
The body is a pleasure to the palm and weighs only 7.5 ounces thanks to its aluminum frame and other modern lightweight materials. An oversize swept handle also features cutouts to reduce weight without compromising the balance.
The reel is equipped with a capable 13.2-pound Ultimate Tournament Carbon Drag and is color-coded according to gear ratio to distinguish it from other reels in the Zillion family.
Daiwa offers the Zillion TWS is four gear ratios rated for: high power (5.5:1), high speed (6.3:1), hyper speed (7.3:1) and extra-hyper speed (9.1:1). The 5.5:1 model is available in right-hand retrieve only. The rest come in right- or left-hand retrieve.
My final thoughts are that if Daiwa cut any corners on this low-profile reel I certainly couldn’t find one. It’s a good all-around reel that performed admirably with a variety of baits and presentations.
Stainless-steel ball bearings: 10
Spool capacity: 120 yards of 14-pound-test monofilament/100 yards of 16-pound-test monofilament
Weight: 7.5 ounces
Available gear ratios: 5.5:1, 6.3:1, 7.3:1, 9.1:1
More info: daiwa.com