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