Diawa DF100A Giant review part 1.

Discussion in 'Fishing Reel Review' started by JimG, Jun 5, 2008.

  1. JimG

    JimG New Member

    Messages:
    15
    State:
    Illinois
    A few weeks ago I asked for suggestions on a inexpensive but usable (not a piece of junk that would fail quickly) spinning reel that was as large as possible. I mentioned that I was interested in either the Diawa DF100A or the Diawa Emcast. Both are saltwater type reels for large fish and have large line capacities. I received multiple suggestions and all were appreciated, however I ended up deciding to give the very inexpensive DF100A a chance. I found that Bass Pro Shops was the only reputable source I could find. I received the two reels today. I own quality tackle (St. Croix rods and Shimano Baitrunners and Shimano Saharas for example) but a budget crunch at my job has put a dent into my wallet hence the need for 'cheap' tackle. So I'll give my initial opinion on these reels based on my experiences with tackle that costs far more and should be better made.

    The description on BP's website and on Diawa's site (although the Diawa site was more accurate) is not entirely correct. The main body of the reel is built from a cast metal. I suspect ZAMAK. This is a zinc based metal that CAN be very strong if done correctly, it is also very corrosion resistant. However who knows what the exact composition of the metal is. The side plate is graphite with a metal re-enforcing plate. The rotor and handle arm is the same cast metal as the body. The spool is spun aluminum. The front drag adjustment knob is plastic. The drag has one fiber disc and one metal disc. It is very, very smooth and can be locked down completely. The bail wire is stainless steel. The roller looks like either anodized aluminum or TI plated aluminum. The bail itself is graphite. The body and rotor appear to be anodized. The handle itself is plastic with what appears to be an oil port in the center. The bail will not close if you try to turn the handle (very common on large reels). The bail is to be flipped closed with your hand. The line capacity is as follows-

    20lb 460 yards
    25lb 370 yards
    30lb 320 yards
    40lb 240 yards

    It has an on/off anti-reverse. The switch is conveniently located. The switch itself is plastic, but the ratchet is steel. The mainshaft is stainless steel and somewhat large in diameter. The reel has but one ball bearing. The two gears (3.4 to 1 ratio with a retrieve speed of 39.4 inches per crank) are diecast (ZAMAK??).

    Overall construction seems very solid for the dollar ($29.95). There is NO flex in the handle or reel foot/stem. There is minimal 'slop' in the handle. Actually one of my $60 Sahara's had more slop than this out of the box and it is still pulling in the bass. The reel is actually extemely smooth and the rotor balance while not perfect is good. The diecast gears are large enough that I think that stripping the teeth off is somewhat unlikely. The reel is heavy at 30.6 ounces and is very large physically. The spool is a full 3.5 inches in diameter! I have not used either of them for fishing yet as they just came today but I will report back as soon as I can stress them and see what gives. First impression is that this is a winner. Of course these are not Diawa Black and Golds or one of the large metal Penn spinning reels but I think for the money invested they are one of the better 'cheap' reels on the market right now. Of course time will tell. They seem to get good reviews on the 'net with few malfunctions. Broken bail return springs and one case of a broken reel foot or stem (reported by a member here) pale in comparison to some of the scathing reviews I've read for reels costing 3-4 times as much. I hope this review will be of use to others looking for a large budget minded reel.
     
  2. JimG

    JimG New Member

    Messages:
    15
    State:
    Illinois
    I should add that the bail will indeed flip closed via turning the handle if you force the issue but I would not recommend it. Doing this may in fact account for the broken bail return springs. Also the handle is fixed to the left side of the reel. It is NOT reversable like many spinning reels these days.
     

  3. KansasKatCatcher

    KansasKatCatcher Active Member

    Messages:
    461
    State:
    Kansas City, Ka
    You talked me into getting one JimG. I like the way it looks. Feels Solid. Just wondering is it suppose to make a clicking sound when i reel it in? Going to test it out tonight. I'll let you guys know how it holds up.
     
  4. peewee williams

    peewee williams New Member

    Messages:
    3,111
    State:
    Pembroke,Georgia
    I am a firm believer of flipping the bail closed by hand on ALL spinning reels.Tiny ultra lites to my heavy offshore,I have been doing so for 52 years.I believe it is best for the reels and that the bail system last longer.

    I also believe that excessive drag settings damage bails,level winds,bearings,shafts,drags and gearing in all reels.

    It also rips the hooks out of the mouths of fish.I know you may have no choice due to conditions,but your gear will pay the price.Just a fact of life.

    I love you Brothers and Sisters.peewee