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Daiwa Zillion TW1516- The Jack Extractor – Dan Kaggelis

When hunting Mangrove Jacks in tight, snag ridden creeks, the bait cast reel is certainly the preferred jack snaring weapon of choice. With the snap of the wrist the bait caster allows anglers to project lures with deadly accuracy into the tightest of spaces which is where your lure needs to be to entice the might of the Mangrove Jack. The bait cast reel also provides a more direct fighting style which is perfectly suited for the violently brutal battle that occurs when a big jack is hooked in such confined spaces. If this style of fishing appeals to you, then look no further then the Daiwa Zillion TW1516 or what I aptly name, ‘The Jack Extractor”.

The Daiwa Zillion stable has earned its reputation as a leader in design, strength, reliability and performance and the TW1516 not only meets these high expectations but exceeds them in all facets. This is accomplished through the inclusion of Daiwa’s latest innovative design technologies which have transformed an already awesome reel into one that is perfectly suited to both targeting and extracting big jacks from the heaviest timber.

To go into more detail let’s start with one of the most important aspects of mangrove jack lure fishing and that is accurate inch perfect lure casting. It is no secret that jacks love to sit tight in structure and the jack strike zone is often measured in inches not feet. In fact, a mere two inches off a snag can often be the difference between a lure crunching red boil or still water and a slack line. This is where the TW 1516 Zillion’s combination of innovation and technology comes into play. The inclusion of the Magforce Z technology, Air Rotation System and the revolutionary T Wing line guide systems allows for less line friction and amazing line control which ultimately leads to casting performance and accuracy which is second to none.

To enhance this even further the inclusion of a duraluminium spool means that the reel is lighter and stronger with a faster line spilling design which in fishing terms means more accurate casting with minimal effort on behalf of the angler. This technology allows the smallest of under or over hand flicks to send that lure deep into where it needs to be. Every successful Mangrove Jack lure fishermen will tell you, casting accuracy is paramount to success and with this much technology and innovation packed in to one reel to enhance this, your chances of snaring a big Jack will be on the improve right off the bat.

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Whilst casting accuracy is integral to Jack success, so is the ability to put the brakes on a big fish and extract them out of their snaggy leader destroying homes. This would have to be one of the best attributes of this reel as the inclusion of Daiwa’s Digigear and Ultimate Tournament Drag system has plenty of stopping power but more importantly is incredibly smooth especially under heavy load. This is crucial to the successful capture of jacks as often the initial impact is so violent and sudden that sticky drags can see even heavy poundage braid or leader snap. Being able to apply heavy handed pressure to extract these fish away from snags but at the same time have a drag system which is silky smooth allows the angler to have no fear of pulling hooks or striking too hard on hook up.

There is plenty of drag pressure per kilo to handle these big red devils and the oversized Zaion star design allows the angler to easily crank it right up in the midst of battle if needed without giving an inch. Large perfectly balance handles also allows for awesome cranking control and are perfect for getting the upper hand early in the battle when most Jacks fights are either won or lost. This reel provides plenty of muscle under load but in a subtle smooth form and is perfectly suited to not only put the brakes on but cushion the intense in your face style jack attacks. The TW1516 also comes in both a low speed retrieve which will suit barra anglers and a high speed 6.3 ratio retrieve (71cm crank) which is perfectly suited to extracting big jacks as quickly as possible. Being able to quickly retrieve those valuable inches early in the fight can make a huge difference to success or being buried in the timber.

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Next comes the feel and design of reel which is quite amazing considering the amount of technology it has built in. Weighing in at 215 grams and built on a solid aluminium frame this reel is balanced perfectly to allow for supreme comfort for all day fishing. Combine this with the silky smooth retrieve thanks to Daiwa’ Digigear technology and the inclusion of 8+1 ball bearing and you will find fatigue and soreness is no longer an issue. This is a significant trait as mangrove jack sessions can see the number of casts and retrieves numbering in the hundreds, so having a reel which is balanced perfectly and silky smooth to use takes away the weariness associated with fishing long periods of time.

There is nothing worse than fatigue costing you a fish especially when you have worked so hard to entice a strike. This is a common issue for jack anglers as you need to be prepared for that strike at all times and being off guard for one split second can see you buried deep in the timber.

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Finally comes a trait that all anglers want from a reel and that is reliability and longevity. The Zillion TW 1516 includes Daiwa’s innovative Magseal technology which utilises magnetized oil to form a seal to prevent all the things that kill bait casters quickly. This is especially good news for jack fishermen who really put their gear to the test and require reels which will stand up to plenty of salt, dust and dirt.

Fishing for mangrove jacks on lures can be quite a challenge as often the fish has the better odds over the angler due to the style of fishing involved. Being able to fish for them on gear which is perfectly suited to counter their aggressive behaviours and provide a level playing field can be a big step in the right direction to mangrove jack success and the Zillion TW1516 is certainly up to the task.




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