I bought one of the new Daiwa Tatula reels last fall after talking with the Daiwa folks at ICAST and fishing with Andy Montgomery last fall. He raved about how good and smooth the reel was to cast and fish with, so I had to review the Daiwa Tatula 100 for myself.
Here are few of the facets of the reel that I believe make it worth your money:
- Good weight
- Solid construction
- Smooth operation
- Frictionless casting
Here is a break down of the features I like on this reel and then my personal experience with the reel.
Solid performance and construction
The reel is not the lightest in my lineup, but it’s not that heavy either at 7.9 ounces. It feels solid in your hands. I like that in a reel. Sometimes with the super light reels, they almost feel plastic and cheap in your hands. The all aluminum frame and oversized gears make for one solid reel.
I’ve used the reel hard for about 4 months now. It still looks brand new and is every bit as smooth today as it was when I bought it last fall. It doesn’t show any sign of boat rash or gumming of the levelwind. The finish is pretty slick and I think that keeps it looking sharp.
The reel comes in 5.3:1, 6.4:1 and 7.1:1 gear ratios. I opted for the 6.4:1 reel as a good middle ground with applications for a variety of lures including square-billed crankbaits, vibrating swim jigs and swimbaits.
I thought the paddles and the oversized handles helped with the smooth operation of the reel. You get a lot of leverage on a hard pulling fish and I don’t feel like I have to work as hard to retrieve a lure.
Unique level wind and casting system
The thumb bar engages effortlessly every time without any sticking or locking, popping their unique T-Wing system into place for long casts with much less friction than typical line guide systems.
On the retrieve the line guide snaps back into place and the line slides into the groove and you can continue fishing with it. One thing I will note, if you like to fish with your finger under the line just ahead of the reel, be mindful that you can lift the line up out of its groove fishing like this. This doesn’t seem like a big deal but I noticed you can set the hook with the line out of the groove and you’ll feel the line sort of pop down into the groove when it’s under pressure. It’s just a different line management system and will take some anglers a bit to adjust.
My personal experience
I started out using the reel to fish shallow crankbaits in the prespawn. One of the things I immediately liked about the reel was it seemed to handle lighter lures really well. That may be due to the T-Wing system that opens a large port for line to freely flow off the spool on a cast.
From there I moved to spinnerbaits and caught several nice bass to 6 pounds on the reel fishing shallow flooded cover. The reel is so smooth and effortless, that you sometimes think your drag and tension is turned way down on it.
Recently I’ve been throwing deep diving crankbaits on it with a Daiwa Tatula 7-foot Medium Rod. It’s a beautiful combo that fishes extremely well. I’ve caught bass weighing more than 5 pounds on the combo and it casts and retrieves lures smoothly and fights bass solidly.
I’ve also spooled it up with some heavier line, 20-pound Seaguar Inviz-X fluorocarbon, and been throwing some big swimbaits on it on a Dobyns 795 Champion Series Swimbait Rod.
All I can say is, at $149, this reel is a real workhorse. It can handle light baits as well as it handles big heavy baits. It’s smooth, casts far, is easy to get the tension adjustments dialed in so you’re not dealing with wind knots or overruns constantly.
It’s a great reel in what I consider a medium price point for anglers who need a reel that can do a lot of different things and last a long time.