To be totally honest with you, most of the reels on my front deck are fairly cheap in regards to today’s bass fishing industry standards. I’m totally cool with that because as I’ve stated before, fishing isn’t a fashion show to me. But when I get an opportunity to test one of the high-end Cadillacs of the industry, I’m absolutely going to give it a spin and see what it’s all about. Funny thing is, however, is that a lot of these super fancy reels don’t really do much for me.
With that being said, I went into this review with very little expectations. Of course, Daiwa is an incredible brand and makes some of the best reels I’ve ever laid hands on. But I tried to go into this with an open mind and with zero preconceived notions.
After several weeks of testing, I can confidently say that the Daiwa Zillion SV TW G Casting Reel is one of the finest bass fishing reels I’ve ever put in my hands. I don’t care what the cost is—if you blindfolded me and put it into my hands, I’d pick it over just about any other reel I’ve tested in recent years. That’s exactly why it made our recent Best Baitcasters of 2023 list.
Interestingly enough, it doesn’t really look like much due to its fairly featureless sideplates and toned-down design scheme but I’m thinking maybe that’s a good thing. Maybe Daiwa invested more time into the guts and performance of this reel instead of trying to make it a surface-type reel that only looks pretty. So hang out with me for a minute or two and I’ll let you know exactly what I think about it.
Lightweight and comfortable
I guess this might be kind of an obvious statement for a high-quality reel but I wanted to highlight it for a very specific reason: With all of the focus on weightlessness these days, these expensive reels have become so low-profile that my nasty paws can barely hold ‘em or set the hook with ‘em without feeling like they’re going to break. I don’t care if the reel is light as a feather. If it feels like a fragile antique in my hands, I don’t really want much to do with it.
Although the Daiwa Zillion SV TW G Casting Reel weighs in at just 6.7 ounces, it palms really well in my hands. It doesn’t feel like a flimsy piece of plastic that’s going to crack if you accidentally step on it on your front deck. It has a little bigger profile than some other reels in its proverbial weight class and that’s an outstand trait in my opinion. It gives you a little bit more to hold onto while you’re fighting fish or retrieving high-resistance baits.
In my honest opinion, this is one of the more perfect balances between weightlessness and frame size/palm control I’ve tested in my career. You’ll pay a little bit more for this reel but I think it’s absolutely worth the extra coin once you put it in your hands.
Outstanding castability and line management
I never look at the specs of a reel before I test them because I don’t want my brain to get all fogged up with fancy verbiage and things of the sort. My bottom line is simple: Can I, in good conscience, recommend this reel to a reader? This principle magnifies even more when the reel is on the more expensive end of the spectrum. We all work hard for our money and I take that seriously.
If you really want to, you can go to the link buttons in this article and read all of the technical specifications. I know some folks love that kind of stuff but as you probably know by now, I’m not “some folks”. Heck, I can’t pronounce half of the words in the fancy description of this reel. I can, however, tell you how it works because there are few people on this planet who have tested more bass fishing reels than the Wired2fish guys.
The Daiwa Zillion SV TW G Casting Reel can cast just about any lure in your collection a country mile and that includes lightweight options, too. You’ll notice that with about half of the effort of many other reels, you’ll be able to make casts nearly twice the distance. It’s one of the most impressive things I’ve laid hands on in recent years.
I have several now-discontinued reels I’ve bought over the years because I liked ‘em so much. If my wife ever figured out how much I paid for ‘em, I’d probably be writing this piece from a dimly lit Motel 6 somewhere in rural Georgia. But I bought these older reels because they’d cast like a dang rocket but there’s always been a problem with em—the line management sucked and they’d backlash like crazy if you moved your thumb even a millimeter it seemed.
The Daiwa Zillion SV TW G Casting Reel doesn’t need the constant babying of your thumb to avoid backlashes. Due to its electromagnetic induction braking system (there’s one of those fancy terms we talked about), you can use this reel for both a balsa crankbait and skipping a 1/2-ounce jig 15 feet underneath a boat dock. It avoids backlashes extremely well and I can totally see even a beginner baitcaster user really enjoying its user-friendly operation traits.
Clean sideplate allows for error-free fishability
This is a little-talked about problem but something I’ve had an issue with several times over the years. When I yank a bunch of bass from underneath docks or grass mats, sometimes my next few casts don’t feel quite right and I’ll start getting a few loops in my spool. Maybe I’m just a little weird but when I palm the reel, I’ll actually inadvertently turn the brake dial on the sideplate with my non-reeling hand.
I really, really like where the external brake dial is located on the Daiwa Zillion SV TW G Casting Reel; it’s totally out of the way and you’ll never have to worry about accidentally knocking it due to its strategic location.
While we’re talking about the braking system, I want to reiterate how easily and finely you can tune it regardless of your lure’s weight. Whether you’re skipping docks, pitching grass, frogging or casting a small jerkbait across a windy point, this fine-tuned braking system virtually eliminates all worries of backlashes.
90mm swept handle and easy-to-grip knobs
I can’t tell you how many reels I’ve tested in the past few years with bent handles. That probably sounds crazy to some folks but I’m telling you, you’ll take ‘em out of the box before you even spool ‘em up, spin the handle and it’ll wobble like a half-flat tire. Of course, this reel has absolutely no problem with that and is solid as a rock from the minute it comes out of the box. It is a beautiful piece of machinery; it’s hard to even call it a fishing reel. It’s almost like artwork in your hands.
The handle feels great throughout the retrieve and the knobs have a unique material on them that allow them to remain tacky even when you’re touching ‘em with fish slime-covered hands after unhooking and culling fish.
The bottom line
Man, if I was looking you in the eye right now, I’d tell you this is one of those rare high-end products you might want to save your money for. You know I don’t test and review the crazy expensive stuff normally but this is a dang good reel and I’d probably pay even more for it after testing it like I have. It’s super comfortable, it’s easy to fish with and it’s butter smooth. If you’re thinking about getting into the higher-end reel game, I’d absolutely suggest this option.