For a little while now I have been playing around with a 2500 size Daiwa Caldia MAG sealed spinning reel. As to when they appear on the shelves this year I am not entirely sure, but since this is my first blog post of a brand new year (Happy New Year by the way), I thought it might be a bit of fun to talk about a brand new spinning reel that seems to have created a bit of a stir.
If you have been following my blog for a while then you will know that for much of last year I was fishing with the smaller 2500 size Daiwa reels. I am entirely comfortable lure fishing for species such as bass, pollack and wrasse with a "little" spinning reel - they hold plenty enough line and the fish we fish for ain't going to trouble these spinning reels one bit. That drag knob on the top of the reel ? Tighten it up a whole lot more and give your fish the gears. But each to their own of course. Just go for the size of reel that you feel most comfortable with, and the reel that feels the best balanced on your lure rod(s) of choice.
I believe that the high-end Daiwa Certate spinning reels were the first in their range to come with this new MAG sealed technology, so all credit to Daiwa for now including this "goodness" in what I suppose is a mid-priced reel - I am not saying £249 is remotely cheap, because it is not, but it is perhaps mid-price when compared to say the Certate. For those of you don't know much about "MAG sealed" (me), I quote from the Daiwa 2012 catalogue : "MAG Sealed - The innovative use of magnetised oil has allowed us to achieve a reactive fluid barrier to salt and debris. This brings reels an enhanced performance and improved life expectancy." Now I have never fished with a Daiwa Certate, indeed I only got to pick one up for the first time the other day. And then I rather wished I hadn't picked it up because it felt rather nice........but we are of course talking about the new Caldia here.
OK, so the new Caldia is a very light reel, indeed I believe that it weighs around the same as the awesome and hugely popular Shimano Rarenium in the equivalent size. The line lay on the Caldia seems to be just fine and so far I have not experienced a hint of a wind-knot/braid blow up, but then I do tend to err on the side of caution with my spinning reels and underfill them a fair bit. The thing that really struck me from the off is how smooth the new Daiwa Caldia is. Very smooth, but then to be fair, you would expect spinning reels around this price (£249 RRP) to be as smooth as hell would you not ? And you would expect a reel like this at this price to be very nice to fish with. Which it is. Line comes off the drag without any snatching and the bale arm has not snapped over in mid-cast - something which I have never, ever had on any of the Daiwa spinning reels I have fished with over the last couple of years. That bale arm goes over and stays there until you (manually) snap it back into place and start the retrieve.
I can't give you any serious long-term findings because I have not had the reel for long enough, but at least I can tell you how I tried to test out this MAG Seal thing. When I took the reel out I made sure to fish with it for a bit and then I deliberately submerged it in saltwater and shook it about like crazy in the (salt)water to try and see if I could do it some harm. I am not sure that this is a very technical way to test out reels, but rest assured that I did this a few times and then simply carried on fishing with it. The reel still felt as smooth as when I first took it out of the box and photographed it here at home. After that week in Ireland I then rinsed the Caldia under a freshwater tap and deliberately left it alone for a while until I fished with it next. Bear in mind that I never took it apart to give it a proper clean (not sure if you are even meant to with a MAG Sealed reel - anybody know the answer to this ?). I tried my best to see if the reel felt any different, but yet again it felt just as smooth to fish with. Line comes off the drag just fine and the whole reel feels like it did before I drowned it. Seems pretty good to me so far.
Does this prove that this MAG Sealed technology works ? I'm not sure, but that's because I don't know enough about this new technology. Going on what Daiwa say this stuff is all about though, I guess that there's something going on in there that is working as they say to keep the reel pretty well sealed up against saltwater getting in to the guts of it. They are not sealed up tight for going swimming with like a Van Staal is for example, but from my limited "trials" I can only conclude that there's something good going on in this new Caldia with that MAG Sealed technology. I would not advise anybody to deliberately go and drown their reel/shake the hell out of it in saltwater like I did, but at least from my (limited) experience with this new Caldia you can take some confidence that mine has not come to any harm - yet I grant you, but the signs are looking pretty good if you ask me. If I come across anything problematic long-term then I will blog about it, but for the moment I am just going to get on any enjoy fishing with this little beauty.
But are we getting a (high-end) Certate for (mid-range) Caldia money though ? Are Daiwa being that nice to us anglers that they have gone soft inside and decided to give us a full-on Certate at nearly half the price with this new Caldia MAG Sealed ? As I said, I have not fished with a Certate, but I have picked one up and spun the handle a few times. If you have fished with say a Shimano Rarenium and also a Shimano Stella then you will understand what I am about to say - both are awesome reels, and both will do all the lure fishing in our waters that you might come across. But there is just something "extra, extra, outrageously smooth, almost delicious in fact" about fishing with a Stella that I just can't describe. You will know what I mean if you have fished with one. Turning that handle and fishing with it is just a league above the Rarenium. And so it should be with the price difference. And I got the same feeling when I picked up a Certate. Sure, the Caldia is a delight to fish with and it's smooth as hell, but the RRP is £249 (what they will actually sell for in the shops here in the UK and Ireland I don't know). The RRP for a Certate is much closer to the £500 mark, and from simply turning the handle you can feel straight away how the Certate is just in a different league. And so it should be for nearly double the price of the Caldia. But is the Certate actually worth almost double what one of these brand new Caldia MAG Sealed reels is, when the new Caldia feels simply sublime as it is ? That is a question that only the prospective buyer and then end user can answer...............
OK, so what's the catch with this new Daiwa Caldia ? Well I tend to look for the positives in life, and so far I am very simply just enjoying fishing with it. I have come across nothing that I dislike so far, but just to be fair here I am going to pick up one tiny little thing that I would like to change about the reel. Bear in mind though that this is 100% a personal thing, but for the kind of light lure fishing that we do here in the UK and Ireland, I just can't get away from liking the handle knob on the Daiwa Luvias 3000 the most out of any spinning reel I have ever fished with. The handle knob on the Caldia is just fine, but I like that Luvias 3000 one a bit more - as in the photo above. Like I dig say the handle on those insanely powerful Shimano Trinidad multipliers for example. But does it really matter ? Nope. Not one bit. As I said though, it's purely a personal thing and it's me trying to find something almost pointless that I might change about a product that I reckon Daiwa have quite simply nailed. I would hazard a guess that somewhere out there one can buy a custom handle knob for the Caldia anyway...........