Thursday, 10 April 2014

Daiwa SS Air × Jackson Super Trickster on the water


After some considerations, the SS air was loaded with a spool of 7lbs Daiwa Bass Finesse Fluorocarbon line.



As with the T3 air, the SS air spool being extremely thin, requires more care and attention during usage as compared to standard spools. Some of the guidelines by Daiwa regarding the usage of the spool includes:
- Nylon and Fluorocarbon lines only. No braided lines.
Line thickness, from 0.205mm (approx.6lb) to 0.330mm(approx.16lb) only
For lines with diameter lesser than 0.235mm(approx.8lb-test) lines, do not spool in more than 50m
Never spool lines with more than 500g (about 1lb force) of tension
- Never lock the spool and pull when lure is snagged
- Never cast lures over 15g

As these are all precautionary measures from Daiwa to prevent any forms of mechanical failure, users should try to adhere to it. 

Woke up nice and early today to catch the break of dawn for some field test on the new BFS setup. 



The setup was rigged up and i tied on an O.S.P I-waver 74sss. Off to the water we went.



I took a few test-casts and played around with the brake settings for a short while, with a stroke of luck a friendly peacock bass came knocking on the lure. The fight was short due to the short range where the fish took the lure thus even though i've had my first glimpse of the rod's performance, it was not fully tested to it's capabilities as yet. 

Initial impression of the SS Air was that it casted really smoothly with little effort. And similarly to my Alphas on the MB Zonda finesse spool, the reel didn't liked hard punching casts. Smooth casting strokes with gentle thumb pressure gotten the best casting results. This seemed to apply from the 4.5g I-Waver down to the 1/32oz (0.8g) Yozuri Snap (Optimal result with lower poundage lines approx. 2-5lb). The reel handle 2-3g class lures such as weightless rubbers and small minnows with ease. However for the lower limits ( <2g), lighter line class would have brought out it's full potential. 

A lure i like to use for BFS testing.



The peacock basses landed today were not huge by any measures, thus the drag was not tested to its higher capabilities, however the initial impression of the Daiwa Tournament Drag System was a feel of smoothness with no jerky burst encountered.

Overall the SS Air is a high performance Bait Finesse reel right out of the box. It is light but solid, has a silky smooth drag as well as retrieval and overall operation, lastly and most importantly bangs out finesse lures like a champ. Technical features aside, based on casting distance and ease of casts, the SS air easily performs as well as or better than most of the Bait Finesse reels out of the box in the market right now. In terms of out of the box Bait Finesse casting performance, build, features and specs aside, i feel that the Abu Garcia Revo AE74 LTZ is one of the best casters and i'm glad to report that the SS Air definitely matches its casting prowess, however whether either reel outperforms the other would require a more detailed test.

As with any performance reels, i personally believe in a bedding-in period, whereby items such as the drive gears, spool shafts and bearings etc will smoothen out after some usage, thus i foresee a little more potential performance increase for the reel for the coming months. Having said that, it is likely that a bearing swap and some cosmetic changes will be in the works for this unit.

UPDATE: Hedgehog Studios Air Beaings added to sideplate:
Freespool timing improved from 12sec > 37sec


Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Jackson Super Trickster STC-60L-AS arrived!

And it's here! My new all solid model new Jackson Trickster 2014 Rod! 

 6ft Solid Carbon
Lure Wt: Up to 3/8oz
Line Wt: Up to 10lb

Ultra Thin blank

Pimp Aesthetics 

All set for trial

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Random peacocks

Haven't been doing much fishing over the past weeks, here are some mugshots.






Let's take a look: The Daiwa SS Air 8.1R

Last friday, i received a mail from Jun san from Japantackle that the pre-ordered Daiwa SS Air is ready to be shipped. I made payment immediately and was promptly informed in a few hours later that my reel will be shipped the same day; talk about efficiency!

Yesterday afternoon the EMS package landed at my place! 3 days for Japan to Singapore shipping!

Boy, did this made my day!


I waited for day light today to get some pictures of the unboxing process.

 The box was compact and hinted the reel weight upon being held

 The black beauty

 Top view

 Side profile

Handle side profile showing the Zaion Drag star

Immediately out of the box i could feel the lightness of the reel. And the smoothness on the gear mesh was absolute butter. It didn't take very long for me to ascertain my love for this new toy.

147grams

Based on the spec the reel weights 145g, my piece was about 2g heavier than listed. Fine by me. 

And out came the heart of this machine for scrutiny

True Art 

Wispy 9g

The paper specs of the spool was 6.9g, but factory specs are based on spool alone without bearing and hardware.


video


Here's a look at the spool's free-spin straight from factory, Brakes: 0, Cast control set to just taking up all the lateral slack. On average, the stock spool spins for about 9 seconds. However it is to note that free-spins of spool does not always equates to casting prowess and the above video serves merely the purpose of reference. 

As always, reels at Lure × Style does not stays stock for long! However the reel is really pretty in its stock form and not much work will be needed to pimp out the aesthetics. Some small cosmetic parts change is in the works, however a carbon handle swap may not be necessary this time, as the stock skeleton handle is plenty light and well swept.

A pair of ZPI aluminum Knobs were added. 





The knobs dropped the weight by 1 gram compared to the Zaion pieces

The reel's build felt great out of factory, thus a tear down and re-lube was not necessary at this point as oppose to some reels that came with sticky gear mesh from factory. However stock bearings are usually over oiled to aid longevity thus, out they came, for a flush and a single drop of Hedgehog Studios Ultra light Alchemy oil was added to each bearing. The bearings from factory were of micro specs with an aluminum adaptor piece similar to bearings in Daiwa Pressos and Pixies.

video
An improvement of 3 seconds free spin was obtained from the bearings flush
UPDATE: Hedgehog Studios Air Beaings added to sideplate:
Timing improved from 12sec > 37sec


Overall, from initial impressions, the Daiwa SS Air looks to deliver all the BFS goodness as promised. Report of performance on the water will come later once i get my hands on another new toy; a newly released rod to pair with this beauty which is en route to Singapore as we speak.