Thursday, September 26, 2013

Test Drive: Daiwa Tatula Casting Reel

As our industry grows and expands I knew it would only be a matter of time before big name companies started to bang out high quality gear that would not only attract pro level anglers but would have a price tag that could make them affordable to the weekend warrior. Daiwa is at the forefront of this revolution bringing not one but two new series of reels to the table, both under the $200 mark

In need of some new reels earlier this season I picked up a couple of the Daiwa Lexa spinning and bait casting reels, both of which I quickly became a of, but little did I know, Dawia still had another trick up there sleeve, Project T aka Tatula, was introduced to the public back in May with a series of videos (found HERE) over a 10 week period leading up to ICAST 2013. During that time we got a few sneak peaks at a reel that took some of the best features from various other Daiwa models and combined them into a nearly perfect reel that wont break the bank. ($149)

The team at Daiwa was kind enough to give me the chance to test drive this reel prior to it being available to the Canadian market (scheduled for a November 2013 release), and here is what i found... 

Weight & Size:

Weighing in at 7.9 ounces the Tatula may not be the lightest reel on the market today, but I don't think there is a single feature I would tweak/change in order to shed a single ounce. Too many reel companies (and anglers) are putting the much focus on the weight of a reel over it's actual performance. If you don't make a durable high performing reel, does it matter how much it weighs? 

The one knock I have heard on the Tatula is its size. In other reviews I have heard it called "a tad wide" or "harder to palm". This may come down to personal preference, but for me it is the perfect size for my hand (see top image) which means its is comfortable, yet beefy enough to leave me with confidence in its fish handling power


Daiwa is a company that does not rest of their laurels but in turn uses past success and failures to continue to move forward, the T-Wing system is the perfect example of this. Introduced a couple seasons back on the Ballistic series of reels the T-Wing had some positives and some downfalls, Daiwa took this feedback and improved upon the system using the new and improved T-Wing in the Tatula. I for one was a fan of the original T-Wing (and still use my ballistic reels), but Im much more impressed with the systems performance in the Tatula.

The big difference being that the T-Wing is engaged for casting, allowing for long smooth friction free casts with even the lightest of baits (yes even un-weighted soft plastics). Once your start the retrieve the T-wing disengages thus improving its ability to lay the line unilaterally back onto the spool... can you say best of both worlds? 

The below image shows you the T-Wing in both retrieve and casting mode. HERE is a link to an image published by Daiwa to help better explain the importance of the T-Wing system 

The Retrieve:

I think if there is one area that the Tatula impressed me the most (other then its casting ability) it has to be its incredibly smooth retrieve. Daiwa did not have to look far when naming it "Air Rotation" as there truly is no better way to describe the feeling then "air"... it feels weird at first, almost like there is nothing happening.. yes its that smooth

Another big perk to this reel is the oversized handle. coming in at 90mm the handle on the Tatula gives you more torque and leverage when battling big fish in heavy cover. The paddles or knobs are also oversized, they fit very well in your hand and don't put as much pressure on your finger tips as most reels. (I usually use reel grips on all my reels, but the Tatula does not require them, nor would they fit)

Strength & Durability

From the frame on up, every little detail that Daiwa put into the Tatula was done with strength and durability in  mind. Starting with the 2-pc aluminum body that offers rugged longterm durability, but still allows the reel to be light weight.

The Tatula is equipped with Daiwa's UTD or "Ultimate Tournament carbon drag", rated at just over 13lbs UTD offers more power then many other reels in ints price point (or higher).

The brake adjust range on the Tatula may cause many anglers some early confusion. Unlike most reels that offer adjustments from 1-10 the Tatula's brakes range from 1-20.  Once on the water and a few casts in, you should be able to quickly and easily find your personal sweet spot on the dial. I also really like that the brake dial is slightly recessed, on my own reels I find that the way I grip the reel puts my hand in position to accidentally adjust the dial while fighting a fish.. this is not the cause with the Tatula

So there you have it, and early test drive report on Daiwa's Tatula bait-casting reel. I know the minute these bad boys are available for sale in Canada I will be adding at-least two to my reel arsenal. I highly recommend you put your hands on one, but fair warning, you wont truly get a feel for what this reel can do unless you get it on the water


  1. The best option is actually a casting technique named pitching.

  2. Just read your article. Good one. I liked it. Keep going. you are a best writer your site is very useful and informative thanks for Sharing best spinning reel.