Daiwa Sol II Baitcaster
I originally owned a pair of the first series of Daiwa Sol baitcasters and they were an awesome reel. Smooth drag combined with the magnetic cast control made them a great reel for casting small lures long distances without the potential for back lash. The original series were quite expensive at over $300 and I was shocked to find the second installment of the Sol baitcaster was much cheaper than this.
I was excited and apprehensive when the Daiwa Sol II was released as I really hoped it would live up to my expectations after being so impressed with the original model. The original Sol had an extremely low profile and was also very light at 210grams. This made for great all day casting potential when matched to light rods. The 4kg drag system was just right considering I was mostly using 8lb braid and didn’t need an over-sized drag considering the type of fishing I was doing. The Magforce-V automatic magnetic anti-backlash control was its greatest feature, as well as the free-floating spool which together made casting small lures accurately so easy.
So how did the Daiwa Sol II differ? Well there were improvements to the magnetic cast control system with the upgrade to the Magforce Z system and an upgrade in the drag system to UTD and a 6kg maximum drag. The original Sol was not marketed towards saltwater but the addition of corrosion resistant components and the drag system give it greater versatility. The T-Wing system also provides greater casting smoothness and the reel in general just feels like a superior reel to the original.
My only criticisms of the new model are that it is a tad heavier (not much at 225grams) than the original and much more bulky. It lacks the low profile of the original model which sat in the hand quite comfortably. The introduction of the T-Wing system, increase in gear ratio from 5.8 to 6.3 and increased spool size from 85 metres of 12lb to 135m of 12lb have all made the reel a lot bulkier.
The overall changes to the reel have made it more versatile and suited to a variety of fishing types (including estuary fishing) but have taken away some of the features that made it highly suited to kayak fishing for bass. However, its superior performance and lower price tag ($290) to the original make it a much better reel than its predecessor overall in my opinion.