Like all Daiwa Zillions, the Daiwa Zillion PA/PLA Crazy Cranker need to have the basic upgrade to super-tune it. Among these upgrades are Carbontex Drag upgrade, worm gear bearing, and a JDM swept handle so that you can put 4 ball bearings on them. The US version has riveted paddles. This means that there is no way to remove the paddles to replace the bushings. But because the replacement handle is too expensive ($100+), it will take some time before I get to purchase one. By the way, if you will use the reel in saltwater most of the time, it is actually better to have a bushing in the paddles. If you want bearings, you need to have the ones with extra protection from salt (CRBB bearing). Those bearings are not cheap. Each will cost you Php600 each. That's Php 600 x 4pcs = 2400 or $50. For the meantime, a carbontex upgrade and worm gear bearing would do.
The Daiwa Zillion PA/PLA Crazy Cranker is the most powerful Zillion because of its gears. It has a 4.9:1 gear ratio that is built for deep diving crankbaits and heavy bottom baits/lures. I decided to get the Crazy Cranker for heavy plastic swimbaits, big spoons, madai, and tenya jigs in Saltwater. Because all Zillions are equipped with corrosion resistant bearings, using them in salt is not a problem.
|The Daiwa Zillion PA/PLA Crazy Cranker Gear Set. From the size of the teeth, you will know that this reel is all about power.|
I got the JDM Zillion HLA 6.3 gear set from Plat.co.jp. Plat is my favorite online parts seller for Japanese reels. They have excellent customer service and they will go the extra mile to get what you need. I highly recommend this store.
Parts from Plat. Excuse the discoloration in the gears. I have been using this gear for a few weeks before I took the pictures.
To get started, remove the side plates, the retainer screw, the handle nut, the handle, the drag star, the clicker assembly and the tension springs.
Next, remove the old 4.9 gear and drag assembly and the Yoke and Yoke springs. The pinion should come out together with it. Here is what I will be replacing. The felt drag washer and the powerful 4.9 gearing.
Now, what can I say about the Daiwa Zillion PA/PLA Crazy Cranker? Simply, amazing! It's smooth, very powerful, and it's an excellent caster. The Magforce Z brake is fantastic and I can cast against the wind without problems. The internals are top notch. The only plastic part inside is the yoke and it appears that there are no cast aluminum parts inside it, almost all are either brass or stainless steel. It's saltwater safe. So far, after a month of use, no corrosion issues.
I was asked earlier why I chose 6.3:1 instead of 7.3:1 gears. The 6.3:1 is a general purpose gear. Not too fast, not too slow, and most specially with enough torque. I believe that whenever you increase the gear speed, the torque of the reel goes down. I have tried the 7.1 gears from Curado and from other Daiwa reels and the torque was not for me.
Next upgrade is a Worm Gear bearing and hopefully a 4-bearing handle.