LONG-TERM REVIEW: Daiwa Tournament 5000T reels

LONG-TERM REVIEW: Daiwa Tournament 5000T reels

RRP: £360 | www.daiwasports.co.uk

Tackle editor Marc Coulson takes a look at Daiwa's classic workhorse carp reel...

  • We like: The most reliable reel I have ever used, and it’s mega carpy!
  • We dislike: The line clips need to be doctored or replaced

If the famed Daiwa Basia can be likened to a Range Rover Sport then think of the Tournament reels as the Land Rover Defender.

Robust, built to last and unashamedly retro in appearance, the set of Tournaments that I have used for nearly a decade have outlived far more expensive and desirable reels.

 An iconic sight for decades

An iconic sight for decades

One of my regular fishing pals calls mine “your purple reels” but in truth they wear a mid-blue finish, which sounds far worse than it is and which is carpy in the extreme.

Along with Daiwa’s SS3000s, the Tournaments have been the mainstay of many a top angler for a very long time and I’m proud to still have my set all these years on.

In fact, I was sent a set of Daiwa’s Black Tournaments when they were launched a couple of years ago (which are exactly the same reel, save for a couple of refinements and the finish) but I soon passed them on to one of the staff writers elsewhere as I just couldn’t take to them.

Everybody makes black reels these days but I’m happy not to conform to modern trends in this respect and often display my ‘purple’ Tournaments as a badge of honour.

I’ve been around carp fishing for a while now and so have these reels. We form a comfortable alliance which will outlast many of the modern fly-by-nights, I’m sure.

Right, here comes the bad bit, which in itself is also what I love about these reels.

They’re not the smoothest reels to use, they squeak a little and there are no fancy features such as quick drag, Dynabalance or Air-Bail, all features which adorn Daiwa’s modern flagship ranges.

However, I like that they are not bursting with modern features; I like that they clink a little; I like that they are heavy. Most of all, I like the fact they are the classic example of function over form and they just work.

They work really well in fact and, apart from a service at Daiwa HQ a few years back, I have never had to replace a part on these reels, nor have I ever had any concerns over their reliability.

If, like me, you play your fish off the clutch then you’ll love these reels. Sure, it takes a few turns to switch from freespool to locked up, but herein lies the clutch’s strength as each click makes a tiny adjustment when playing a carp, unlike some modern ‘quick-drag’ reels.

Actually, I must correct myself a little in terms of not replacing anything, as I have had the line clips changed on my Tournaments.

The old-style ones were a bit harsh on lines – in fairness they were not designed to be used how we carp anglers use a line clip. However, a trip to Johnson Ross saw me have all six of my spools receive new spring-loaded line clips, which have proved as good as those on any reel I’ve used.

I saw an artist’s impression of the new Land Rover Defender recently and it looked horrendous. It had lost its identity and, having been given a wholly modern facelift, fell into the same category as all of the other Chelsea tractors out there.

I hope Daiwa are never tempted to do similar with this legendary reel.