Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Trying out a Daiwa Ryoga 2020HL

I had been aching to try this reel for my saltwater fishing needs. After my recent tussle with a suspected Black Bass or New Guinea Bass, my desire to get this reel was even more unbearable.

Then, a few weeks back, it happened. I was finally able to get a Ryoga 2020HL. My first reaction after receiving it? Oh boy, it's a tank!
It's a no-nonsense work horse of a reel. It looks like it's built for muscle fishing, rough and tough, but when you crank it, it's unbelievably smooth and the drag is outstanding. It has a clicker so when a fish runs, you can hear an audible clicking sound similar to a spinning reel. With 12CRBB, a sealed drag, and machined frame and side plates, it's worth every penny spent. 

I immediately spooled it with 35lb varivas and tied on a puny 20lb mono for a leader. I realized I have no leader heavier than 20 and I still don't have a matching rod. Heck, even so, I went out to try a few casts and feel how this machine stacks up against my other reels. No salt spot nearby so I had to make do with an old haruan (dalag) spot. 

I love the way it casts. It's actually better casting than my Bay Casting Special or my Zillion. It's probably the RCS spool which makes it a awesome casting machine. The power is also amazing. I was able to winch a few haruans from heavy vegetation without any problems. The reel looks bulky but when you grip it, it's actually comfortable to hold, cast, and work my lures with.

Technically, it's an inshore reel and it's a no contest when used on snakeheads. Perhaps when a Toman or a Black bass is on the other end of the line, it will probably show how powerful the reel is. 

For my next project, I need to get a heavy flipping and pitching rod in the 15-30lb class, probably 7'6" and can handle up to 3 ounces of lure. I sure hope it balances well with this Ryoga 2020HL. I am not really going to do flipping and pitching for bass (well, maybe I would if I have a chance to go to Pantabangan or Lumot). Instead, I am planning to use this for light popping, heavy swimbaits, spoons/jigs, and even live bait, while on a kayak.

Then maybe a little later, a nice light jigging/madai rod that matches this reel. Something I can use while on a kayak or when a banca.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Some more Daiwa Zillion Upgrades and a few more Dalag (Haruan/Snakehead)

I'm almost finished upgrading my Daiwa Zillion PLA Crazy Cranker. Last time, I got a 6.3 gear and pinion as secondary gear set as the all-purpose gear for top water fishing. I can still use the 4.9 gear for heavy cranking and heavy spinners or for bottom bouncing.

Last month, I ordered a Daiwa Aggrest swept handle, a set of Carbontex for Daiwa Zillion, and a set of Daiwa Wormgear upgrade from tackletrap.com. It was also a perfect timing because Kenny, our generous angler friend from Canada sent me some stainless steel handle bearings and Ceramic bearings for Daiwa Zillions.

All in all, below are the upgrades for the Zillion Crazy Cranker:

1. 6.3 Gear and Pinion
2. Carbontex Drag Washer
3. Worm Gear Bearing
4. Aggrest Swept Handle
5. 4-bearing Paddles

After the upgrade, my Zillion is now 12-bearing reel (stock reel has only 6-bearings). It feels smoother when cranking than it was before.

The next upgrade is to install the Ceramic bearings that I got from Kenny (after I find a spool pin remover) and some cork handles.

I went out yesterday and tested the reel on Dalag (Haruan). Got myself 4 nice sized snakeheads. All were caught, photographed, and released.

Go to Daiwa Zillion: Upgrading the Gear and Pinion plus Drag Washer