Reviewed by: SCOTT CUSHMAN
The immensely popular Daiwa TD SOL has been given an upgrade and version II was put in my hands for a tackle test, matched with a Team Daiwa T72MLXS fishing rod. From the outset, it looked and performed like a winning Batman and Robin duo, dealing without issue to any of the fish I hooked.
Looking first at the rod: it had a very nice progressive taper, with a lot of power in the butt section. The interesting thing is that the rod is rated for 4 - 11lb line and lures 5 - 12gm in weight, but it certainly punches above these figures without sacrificing sensitivity.
Graphite rods can sometimes end up with a stiff action; however the IM7 blank has been constructed with a sensitive tip that quickly gets strong and beefy further down. The guides are all single foot in design and the fore-grip is the right length for any fishermen to get a decent hold on when dealing to stroppy opponents. I prefer a grip to have at least a hand’s length of room for this reason, so top marks for its grip length. The lower grip is very short, which makes sense, and the butt has a plastic end rather than being finished in EVA, which can get worn and tatty fairly quickly.
If I had to find something to pick on, it would probably be its rating being a little light for lure fishermen, despite its obvious reserves of power; 5 - 12g is more suited to light softbaits and micro jigs, and unweighted baits. As I mentioned though, it punches above its weight so you could cast heavier (28-56g) softbaits or heavier (20-30g) micro jigs without overpowering the rod – however you’d have to cast carefully and be fully-conscious of its sensitive tip. But I would highly recommend the rod to anglers, as long as they were aware of the rod’s stated range of line/lure weight. A nice finish is the epoxy coating on the whole blank for protection from scratches and knocks.
The TD SOL was a winner for Daiwa and enjoyed a cult following. The new version follows in its footsteps and is heavily laden with Daiwa’s evoloving technology. They have taken a serious approach to designing a reel that will endure the battering of a saline environment; Magseal is described by Daiwa as magnetised oil; ‘used in conjunction with magnets, the oil attaches itself to the metal surfaces to form a seal. Being magnetized this lubrication system avoids any friction, reduces dust or water intrusion, eliminating oil spray and improving reel life expectancy.’
I didn’t have several months to test this particular feature; however the rubber gasket on the drag and also around the handle connection shows that Daiwa have carefully thought about how to produce a reel that will strongly resist water ingress, the slow killer of saltwater fishing reels.
The gearing was smooth without any back play when put under pressure from a stroppy snapper. The retrieve is a very quick 6.2:1, pulling in 105cm of line with each turn of the handle. This is certainly a fast retrieve for a 3000 size reel – there are larger surf casting reels that don’t pull in as much line, even though they have bigger spools.
The drag was also a good performer, releasing line smoothly when needed. It has a micro click adjustment design so it is easier to assess how much drag is being applied or released during a fight. It’s rated to 7kg, which seems to outstrip the rod rating, although it balances very nicely with this model of rod. 7kg of drag for a reel this size is fairly significant and gives the angler plenty of line options. You could fish line strengths from 3 - 10kg over a wide range of applications, especially given the fast retrieve of the reel.
During my testing of the combo, I enjoyed the handle design with an EVA handle; they feel more comfortable to me than plastic or rubber types. Even though EVA can absorb wet substances (e.g. fish slime), it still provides some grip when slippery.
A note if you are changing the handle from right to left: the handle cap actually unwinds in a clockwise, not a counter-clockwise, direction. You wouldn’t want to force the cap and break the threading.
Could I find something to fault? Nothing specifically with the reel design. I would have to say that a spare spool for the same price would bump up the ‘value for money’ stakes in a competitive tackle market, given the drag range and fast retrieve, but the reel itself is a pleasure to use and well appointed. The finishing is excellent and gives that technology of today impression to match its functionality and performance.
I would rate the combo an 8/10 for performance and value for money. As mentioned, a spare spool for the same money would have raised it a half point.
Line Weight: 4 - 11lb
Cast Weight: 5 - 12g
Model: TD SOL II 3000H
Ratio: 6.2 105cm retrieve
Bearings: 8BB, 1RB
Line capacity: 12lb/200m, 16lb/150m