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12 May 2015
by CARPology
Come to the dark side
CARPology can reveal that Daiwa’s Tournament 5000T, the world’s most legendary reel, has just become a tad more legendary…

There are some chaps who love reels and some that don’t give a monkey’s. But even those who take no interest will agree that reel legends don’t come more legendary than the Daiwa Tournament 5000T. It has everything going for it: the looks (the bespoke wooden handle), the brains (it was the first reel to feature the now patented Twistbuster system), the tech (‘One Touch’ folding handle) and consequently one hell of a big following: Hearn, Sharp, Clarke, Willmott and co. So how can Daiwa improve this already proven cult-classic? Simple: they gave it a matt black paint job.

The UK’s relationship with anything black has gone from strength-to-strength in recent years. We’ve spent so long married to greens and browns that an affair felt inevitable. With JAG’s ‘Black’ collection and Trakker now painting all their poles black, what began as a casual fling is now about to turn into a full-blown orgy with the release of the new Tournament S 5000T Black – or ‘TS Black’ for short.

The big questions


A brand-new Tournament. What’s different this time around?
Nothing. Seriously. Daiwa has stated that “The TS Black Series is simply answering demand from the EU carp scene: ‘same reel please but in black’.” And before you jump to any price conclusions, you’ll be pleased to hear this new matt black version retails for exactly the same price as the original (silvery blue) model – the Tournament ST.

Paintwork aside, what’s so special about it then?
The TS is seen as having the kind of ‘in-the-field’ durability that you associate with a Land Rover Defender. There are more refined rides out there but… it’s a TS sort of thing! And now, thanks to its new paint job, it offers all this ultra reliable performance but in a deeply understated and modern appearance.

So what’s under this fabulous new paintwork then?
Tons of stuff. And it’s all bloody hardwearing. Micro adjustable ten washer front drag, super Duralumin gears, Super Metal rotor for durability and strength, five ball bearings and worm gear oscillation for super line lay.

Worm gear what?!
We thought that might confuse you! In a nutshell, it controls the evenness, speed and height that the spool travels as it goes up and down. Some cheaper (often copies of the Tournament) reels don’t have this feature – they use a drive gear system which is much less reliable and far less accurate, and when it comes to big pit reels, line lay is everything and you’ll achieve far superior line lay with a worm gear oscillation system.

So I’m guessing long casts can be achieved then?
Definitely. Thanks to the large spool, 330m of 14lb main line is housed and then very much looked after, courtesy of the patented Twist Buster and the spring-loaded line guard. Plus, what’s even better is the meaty gearbox on the inside: it has a ratio of 4.2:1, which in non-reel-language means you’ve got high-powered output which will bring in a lot of line in one go – in this case almost 90cms per one turn of the handle.

Err, back up a minute, Twist Buster?
It’s that clever rolling system you’ll find on the bail-arm on pretty much all of Daiwa’s flagship reels. It rotates to help combat that dreaded line twist you used to get on your old Mitchell’s in the 70’s and 80’s. In essence, it means you’ll only have to change your line every 12 months, not six.

I like the sound of that. What’s the clutch like?
Pretty damn good, and that’s thanks to the coil spring-loaded front drag (the best place for it); you can set it from virtually ‘free spool’ to ‘solid’ within a couple of twists. Ten washers, some of which are Teflon impregnated (this increases their working life), with a coil spring and micro adjustment, means you have more settings than you’d find in a BASIA or ISO. Ah, and here’s a good tip for you: to keep your clutch working at peak performance, never store your reels with them wound up tight. If you do, the washers will be compressed together which, overtime, can cause them to stick and result in a ‘snatching’ clutch.

Oh, and whilst we’re handing out tips, here’s another one: how much line you load onto the reel will dictate massively how far you can cast. Whilst you may think overloading it will mean the line will be able to come off quicker and ultimately gain you more yards, in actual fact it will reduce distance. The lip of the spool is there to guide the line through the butt ring, so should you try and bypass that, the chances are you’ll just end up with loads of frap-ups.

Cheers for the tips. So come on then, do I really need a set?
Absolutely. Whilst at the heart of it, this TS model has exactly the same DNA as the original Tournament ST, what Daiwa have done cosmetically is sensational. They’ve managed to cultivate a mean, modern-day streak into this latest version of the Tournament and it’s all the better for it. In terms of looks, performance and heritage, it simply doesn’t get any better.

“GIMME”: £360.00; spare spool, £60.00; daiwasports.co.uk

Buy Now

The Daiwa Big Pit timeline: From start to current day

1978
Japanese reel geeks launch a reel range called the Daiwa SS Series Reel. The original 3000 model wasn’t alone; also in the range were the SS2000, SS4000 and SS5000. So technologically advanced they even included three stainless steel ball bearings…

1985
Seven years later and Daiwa increase their range of reels aimed at the specialist sea angler – namely the ST8000D – the first long-distance fixed spool reel. This could hold 260mts of 15lb line, weighed 20.8ozs and retailed at £39.99!

1990
At the beginning of the 90’s, Daiwa introduced the little-talked-about-today GS9000 Millionmax reel, but what was more significant was just two years later Daiwa had their real eureka moment: a new reel was about to land and change reel design forever…

1992
The previous year, top carp angler, Kevin Nash spots the SS3000 – a reel aimed at the sea market. It was tweaked, adjusted and one year later, launched into the carp market. Users included Damian Clarke, Mike Willmott and Rob Maylin.

1994
With sales going through the roof, Daiwa launches the SS9000 – the bigger version. It featured six ball bearings, a 2° taper “gold” spool and held over 350mts of line. It also cost a £100 more than the 3000 version, but like that model, it certainly was pretty.

1995
The following year the SS collection was replaced with the Tournament ST range. Classed as “the ultimate” by Daiwa’s boffins, it boasted a full seven ball bearings and featured their now patented and now tried and tested Twistbuster system.

2001
For six years the Tournaments or ‘Tournies’ as they became known went untouched. Small advances were made thanks to new materials and the technology coming along in Japan. A Bite ‘n’ Run Converter was also launched in this year - which also broke sales records.

2005
But the next ‘quantum leap’ in design terms didn’t really happen until 2005. Magnesium Alloy combined with Quick Drag spawned the first Basia. At £375 each it shocked and awed, leaving everyone staggered by its lightness.

2009
The BASIAIR, the lightest ever big pit reel created incredible interest in both Europe and Japan. At 450g each, customers worried that the box had nothing in it! Apart from all the remarkable features, the other big talking point was its RRP: £775!

2014
The Cast-Izm 25 QDA: Daiwa’s biggest break through in spool shape. It’s a reel that can match the casting distances of its frighteningly more expensive bigger brother, the Basia, yet is half the size – and half the price. Good, eh?!

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This article was taken from May 2015 (Issue 134) of CARPology magazine. Be the first to read CARPology's articles in print before they're posted on-line, and get your hands on loads of additional content by subscribing on-line.

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