For a tackle junkie few things excite as much as a new reel fresh out of the box. That new reel feel, the smoothness of the first spin of the handle, and of course the anticipation of what lies ahead when you’re spooling up your reel for the first time are akin to taking a new car for a test drive.
While we all love the new car and new reel smell, picking up a new reel to take home isn’t always an option. One option that is available is taking a reel that you already have and giving it a touch love, a touch of the new, and the golden touch courtesy of Daiwa RCS (Reel Custom System).
If you’re wanting to upgrade the look, hone performance, and customize your reel to stand it out from the crowd then the RCS stable of products is the perfect way to pimp your ride and give it a new lease on life.
Supremely designed, meticulously engineered and styled to deliver that bling factor to your reel, RCS is the embodiment of fashion and function, and the ultimate system for ultimate performance in your Daiwa reels.
You’ve Been Spooled
The first port of call for pimping your ride is the spool, and both spin and baitcaster anglers are catered for within the RCS range. For light tackle spin anglers looking for shallow spool finesse performance and feather light upgrades the Air spools are the way to go.
With sizes ranging from the ultra finesse 1503 (2kg), to the 2506 (3kg drag) and 2508 (7kg) these are a great way to deliver shallow spool finesse capability to your deep-spooled (2000 & 2500) reel.
If you’ve already got a shallow spooled reel then buying another spool means you can have one spool filled with fluro and another with PE. Any that’s exactly what I used to do in the late 2000s when breaming was my go-to style of fishing. The Steez 2004 was my reel of choice and I’d had a collection of 2004 RCS Air spools loaded with varying line types and sizes, that I interchanged and swapped depending on the lure I was throwing and location I was fishing.
Having multiple spools for one reel opens up your options and gives you the flexibility to match your line to varying situations and needs.
For anglers looking to upgrade both looks and performance the coloured (blue and red) RCS spin spools (2004, 2506, and 2508) are a must have. Heavily ported for supreme rotational balance and a reduction in overall reel weight, particularly when installed on a non-finesse reel, these coloured spools are a great way to liven up the look of a reel, and off course turn a deep spool reel into a shallow spool reel.
I’ve been running the red and blue 2506 spools on my 2500 Freams over the last 2-3 years and find them a great way to sex-up the look of the reel, and deliver a finesse drag on a non-finesse reel.
It’s not just the domain of smaller reels when it comes to RCS spools though with the larger 3500 PE spool and Z spools (4500 and 6000) delivering PE specific spool capabilities, and multi spool options for high end, high priced reels.
For the baitcaster fraternity looking for improvements in performance then the new RCS SV 1000 spool is a must have for all T3 baitcaster owners. Delivering the super versatility of a T3 SV to a standard T3, I’m so impressed by the SV spools that I’ve retrofitted most of my T3s with these gold super spools.
Broadening the casting performance range so the reel performs equally well throwing ultra light finesse lures as throwing big XOS lures the SV spool is the spool that does it all, and takes the already impressive performance of the T3 to another level again.
Upgrading the knobs on a reel is a change that may seem inconsequential to many, but it in facts has a lot to offer. At first cosmetic changes are the most notable, particularly when the cork, blue, or red RCS I Knobs are used.
These deliver a splash of colour, a fact that I like, but they also allow multiples of the same outfit to be coloured coded to denote points of difference. If I’m running multiple outfits (rods, reel, and line) all the same, the addition of different colour knobs tells me at a glance which outfit has the 4lb, 8lb, or 12lb line. It’s a simply way to organize your tackle and makes time on the water more efficient. A handy thing to have, especially when the tournament clock is ticking.
Retrofitting a reel with a new set of knobs aren’t just for the vain, or those that like a little colour in their life. Performance and power gains are there to be had courtesy of the Power Knob models in the RCS range.
From lightweight neoprene models designed to deliver greater control and cranking power on light tackle spin reels (1500-4000), through to custom styled (Egi Wood Knob), technique specific (Power Light Jigging Knob), and hi-performance knobs designed to deliver the strength and reliability that you find on Daiwa’s flagship heavy duty spin reel, the legendary Saltiga, the Daiwa RCS knobs offer improvements in both looks and performance.
Handle upgrades deliver a similar combination of performance and aesthetic improvements as the knobs that feature on them, with both spin, overhead and baitcaster reels reaping the rewards of an RCS handle make over.
Baitcaster and overhead reel anglers looking to minimise reel weight, and maximise cranking performance, will find the swept carbon handle a worthy addition.
Dark and industrial in their style, they not only look good but they also improve a reel balance, particularly the cranking balance, by bringing the reel’s handle closer to the centre of balance of the reel. This is particularly noticeable on long handled and overhead reels where heavy and fast paced cranking is required.
This performance benefit has been the motivation behind many of my handle upgrades over the years, with a stable of carbon handle upgraded reels testimate to my liking for the carbon handle look and feel.
Technique specific handles, both spin and overhead, offer a lot for anglers, The Ryoga Jigging Handle is a perfect case in point and allows you to customize your reel for maximum cranking power and jigging performance. For light tackle spin applications where the need for fingertip cranking control are required the RCS W Handle is a must-have. Featuring a double handle and precision rotational balance this is the handle that is the hallmark of many of Daiwa’s legendary eging reels.
If more finesse and increased cranking precision is what you’re chasing then retrofitting your spin reel with a smaller armed handle (50, 55, 60mm) can help your achieve that. These Machined RCS handles can also help you enhance reel balance, reduce reel weight, and of course add a customised, pimped look to your reel.
So whether you’re simply wanting to customize your reel to express your style or if you’re seeking to elevate your reel’s performance to another level the Daiwa RCS is a range, a complete system that’s designed to enhance, enliven, and engage with your Daiwa reel.
For a reel addict like myself it’s a system that allows me scratch my tackle loving itch, and evolve my reels to another level both in looks and function.