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Product Review- 21 Zillion SV TW

By Nic Moore

I first got my hands on the new Zillion SV TW in April 2021. I was eager to get a high performance workhorse reel that would fit a certain niche in my quiver. After much exploring and deliberating on the various options available, Daiwa Australia’s Product Developer suggested I try the new Daiwa Zillion SV TW.

The niche this reel would fulfil is two-fold. One, for a technique I have used extensively in local sooty grunter tournaments, namely fishing vibes deep and slow. The second, a crossover reel for mid-sized impoundment barramundi with a similar technique to the afore mentioned one for sooties.

During winter I used the Zillion on the sooties and I was initially surprised at the extensiveness and significance of the overhaul to the reel. It certainly didn’t look like any other Zillion I have had in the past, and as soon as I put it on a rod, spooled it up and had a few casts I quickly realised that this was a reel jam packed with improvements. The technology list is long and the new ‘Hyper Drive’ features are listed on the product’s webpage and detail the extensive collection of upgrades made to the Zillion platform. They all come together to create a reel that is beautiful to fish with.

The following are the main differences I have noticed to my other Zillions. The direct feeling felt through the reel, and the casting performance and the ergonomics/ palmability on a multitude of different rods. These attributes combine to make the new Zillion a major redesign and reboot for the famous baitcaster.

The casting feels different compared to my previous Zillions. Based on the settings I normally like to use (somewhere between 4-6 on the cast control) I felt that it was a lot more forgiving in various conditions. It just felt a lot more effortless.

The reel is spooled with 15lb J-Braid Grand and it casts with ease into headwinds and downwind with both light and heavy lures. It just makes fishing that little bit more pleasant. As they say it’s all the one percenters and the casting ability of this reel certainly adds a few of them to the overall enjoyment of your outing. 

The direct feedback you get through the reel handle is something to be felt. I think it comes down to great gear meshing and refinement in manufacturing tolerances which transfers the feeling through the reel direct to the user.

I can’t put my finger directly on it but it certainly feels like you get a little bit more feedback through your cranking hand, which is awesome when fishing subtle techniques. Of course have the correctly selected outfit plays a huge part with the correct line, leader, lure, rod and reel all seamlessly connected and working together to maximise on water comfort, control and efficiency.

I tried the Zillion on a number of different rods. From TD Blacks and TD Zeros through to TD Commanders and Steez rods and on all these rods the reel matched perfectly with the rod and palmed beautifully in the hand.

One of my bugbears of the older Zillions was how high they sat in the reel seat and on top of the rod. The new Zillion sits a lot lower on the rod, palms a lot easier and feels more comfortable in the hand. Again adding a few more of those critical one percenters to the overall enjoyment factor.

I was fortunate to win the World Sooty Championships in May. The primary outfit was the new Zillion SV TW paired with a TD Commander rod and a Duo Realis Nitro 65 lure. I opted for the slower speed ratio as I have tendency to fish fast in certain techniques where I really need to fish slow. With the new Zillion coming in three different speeds (6.3, 7.1, 8.5) is makes is easy to choose the right ratio reel to allow you to fish a technique the way you should.

The reel has caught numerous sooties and is a pleasure to fish with. With spring now here I’ll be spooling up the reel with 20lb and using it for very similar techniques in the barra impoundments. The only drawback with the current model for those chasing larger Aussie species is line capacity and to a lesser extent drag capacity. Hopefully in the coming years we see additional bigger models released on the same platform to give us a little extra insurance when chasing the Aussie Icons.

The overall feeling with this reel is one of positivity and it’s a reel that you quickly fall in love with. If you loved the older generations of Zillions then you definitely want to try out the new version. And for those that perhaps didn’t have a special spot for the older models then you’ll definitely want to pick up and have a cast with the new 21 Zillion SV TW, because the new Z is one awesome reel.

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