Last week I wrote a piece on how to spool up your light tackle spin reel with fluorocarbon line. I also touched on the fact that Daiwa ABS Spool technology is second to none when it comes to maximising line control and line management due to it’s reverse taper and large diameter. The beauty about Daiwa technology and the fact that their rods and reels are manufactured in their own factories is that the benefits of these technology advancements and innovation eventually get passed down into the mid range products in their catalogue.
Case in point is the new 14 Caldia that has introduced multiple high end Daiwa innovations into a mid-range, sub $300 reel. I used the first incarnation of the Caldia when it was introduced back in 2011, and at the time it was packed full of Daiwa technology – ABS Spool, Digigear and Airbail making it a great value for money light tackle spin reel.
Fast forward to 2014, and Daiwa released the latest Caldia with even more… First thing you notice is the lightweight, corrosion resistant Zaion frame. This “space age” material gives the reel it’s super strong yet lightweight characteristics and combined with the high density of the material, imparts more vibrations through the reel to the user, making it super sensitive as well.
From the very first rotations of the reel handle, the smoothness and quietness of the reel was evident, a function of the Digigear II gear technology. Using the reel under load was no different, and the addition of Daiwa’s Mag Seal technology is added insurance to ensure that silky smooth feeling remains for a long time to come.
The thing that has always struck me with fishing reels is the amount of maintenance required to keep them in tip top shape. Not all that surprising really, when you consider the finely tuned nature of the equipment, and particularly the higher end reels. The tolerances in these reels are so small, and the smallest ingress of dust and salt are all that is needed to upset the balances. Enter the impenetrable Mag Seal technology that completely locks out dust, moisture and salt from the reel, providing an invaluable insurance policy for your investment.
All this is well and good, but what about the drag? Well, lets be honest, most of these light tackle 2004 spin reels are going to be used to chase estuary sportfish like Bream, flathead and whiting. I use mine for finesse fishing techniques using fluorocarbon lines in the 3 and 4 lb range, so drag pressure is not so important to me as drag smoothness. The new Ultra Tournament Drag (UTD) is a finely tuned, finesse drag system that is smooth from the moment line starts to be pulled from the spool, an imperative to prevent breakages when using these fine fluorocarbon lines.
These observations are undoubtedly my highlights of this great value for money, light spin reel, but don’t be fooled into thinking that this is where it ends. The reel is packed with even more features: new look Zaion Air Rotor, ABS II spool, Airbail and twist buster II technology as well as a new, improved and far more durable line roller bearing, making 14 Caldia an ultimate finesse reel.