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.
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.