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Daiwa Tatula CT Review

In this review of the Daiwa Tatula CT which was first brought to market in 2016, we will take a look at this excellent entry level baitcasting reel from Daiwa.

The Daiwa Tatula CT is the entry level reel from Daiwa that includes the awesome T-Wing line management system along with a host of other features found in their more expensive reels.

The Daiwa Tatula CT is available in 4 gear ratios to suit different types of fishing including a 5.5:1 High Power for landing those lunkers.

The next step up from the Tatula CT would be the Tatula CT Type R which has been upgraded to include a few cosmetic things like its racing red paint job as well as upgraded “CRBB” Corrosion Resistant Ball Bearings, a spool made of A705 Aircraft Grade Aluminum, and an overall reduction in weight of 0.2 oz. Read the full review Here.

The Bottom Line

  • Another great baitcasting reel from Daiwa in the sub $125 range for inshore and freshwater fishing.
  • Very smooth 7 ball bearing reel with a good 13.2 lb drag.
  • Solid lightweight aluminum frame and side plate.

The Daiwa Tatula CT is an excellent choice in a low profile baitcasting reel that does not break the bank.  Available HERE.

There are a lot of things to really like about the Daiwa Tatula CT, such as the compact body that fits ever so nicely in the palm of your hand. 

The size of the body is only slightly smaller than previous models but it is enough to give you a better grip and to feel as though you have a better connection to the reel.  This in turn makes it easier to fish than larger reels especially when it comes to pitching and flipping.

The Daiwa Tatula CT is part of the T-Wing family of reels and uses Daiwa’s T-Wing system for line control which we have found to be one of the better systems on the market for assuring that you have even line lay as well as great castability. 

Features 

T-Wing System (TWS – Long cast with minimal backlash) – Daiwa’s T- Wing System solves a couple of common and annoying issues that occur with baitcasting level-wind reels, Friction and Backlashing.

The innovative design of the “T” opening allows the line to flow freely through the wider top section when casting thus eliminationg most of the friction and increasing the distance of your cast.

When you go to retrieve your line, the T portion of the guide drips down into the reel and the line is now in the narrower section of the T- Wing for even line lay across the spool.

This design also means that you will have a smaller chance of getting a backlash when you cast.

Lightweight aluminum frame – The Tatula CT boasts a lightweight aluminum frame that is smaller than the original Tatula and reduces the overall weight by 0.2 oz.  While this reel is not designed specifically for saltwater, the aluminum frame will stand up to saltwater conditions fairly well if rinsed after each use.

Magforce Z Cast Control – Daiwas answer to combating the issue of backlash is the Magforce Z system.  With Magforce Z the line comes off the spool very quickly at the beginning of your cast and then slows down due to the magnets as you near the end of the cast. What this means is that you are able to achieve a longer and smoother cast with the same amount of effort.

The way that this works is that there is an inductor cup between the magnets to apply slow, “magnetic braking,” which keeps the spool from  overrunning at the end of a cast and creating a mess.

As the spool begins to slow down less and less braking power is applied to the magnets as the inductor cup actually moves away from the magnets.  The amount of braking is controlled by a dial located on the side-plate and allows you to fine-tune the brakes to suit the weight and type of bait or lure you are casting.

Air rotation – Daiwa’s Air Rotation System facilitates a smoother feel with effortless winding and free spinning rotation of the handle. The air rotor weighs 15% less than a standard rotor and is designed to evenly distribute stress across the entire reel.

Zaion Star Drag – The star drag is made of a Daiwas proprietary Zaion material developed by DAIWA. The big advantage of the Zaion  material is its superior weight to strength ratio. Zaion is a type of very “High Density” carbon material, which is engineered to give you the  highest level of performance and provide you with extremely good durabiltiy from impacts.

7BB+1RB – The Tatula CT uses an 8 bearing system (7+1)  The main bearings are standard ball bearings from Daiwa which are excelent quality and provide an extremely smooth feel, additionally there is one roller bearing.  If you are planning on fishing saltwater then you might want to take a look at the Daiwa Tatula CT Type-R as it has corrosion-resistant ball bearings.

Ultimate Tournament Drag (UTD) with up to 13.2 lbs. max – The UTD or Ultimate Tournament Drag uses over-sized carbon fiber drag washers placed on either side of the spool which makes for a very uniform drag.  This is especially noticeable when fighting larger fish and it allows for even distribution of the drag force on the spool.

This design results in an extremely smooth and even drag at all settings.  With a maximum setting of 13.2 lbs, the drag is strong enough to bring in all type of larger fish from bass to snook, gator trout and bull reds.

Cut-away 90mm swept – We are big fans of the large cut-away swept handle design which allows you to have a large handle that at the same time feels compact and the knobs closer to the main body of the reel. 

By getting the handle in close to the body of the reel you eliminate any feeling of wobble that you can typically experience when cranking on large fish.  This is due to the fact that your hand is closer to the centerline of the reel and rod.

 Features at a Glance

  • T-Wing System (TWS – Long cast, minimal backlash)
  • Aluminum Frame
  • Air rotation
  • 7BB+1RB
  • Ultimate Tournament Drag (UTD) up to 13.2 lbs.
  • Magforce Z Cast Control
  • Cut-away 90mm swept
  • Custom I-shaped soft touch handle knob
  • Right-Left Hand Models
  • P: Black, H: Gold, HS: Red, XS: Purple

If you are familiar with the Tatula 100, one thing you will notice is that the spool is smaller at first glance.  While it is true that the spool appears smaller in width, it is actually deeper and allows for you to have exactly the same line capacity.

As we said earlier, the Tatula CT has very good quality ball bearings, however, they are not corrosion resistant bearings like you will find in the Tatula CT Type-R which is really important for us saltwater fishermen and women. 

Daiwa Tatula CT Field Test

When testing the reel on the water I was able to cast very accurately and the reel felt almost the same as my older Tatula 100 with the exception of how it felt in the palm of my hand.  I have a slightly smaller hand and the Tatula CT just feels as though it fits better.  I would have to describe this as the same feeling I had when I first picked up a Glock 43/48 whch has a slightly smaller grip, it just feels better in my hand.

I found the cast control system to be very easy to adjust as well as the fine tuning I was able to achieve using the Mag Force system to match the changing conditions.  I really appreciate the adjustment dial on the side plate allowing me to fine tune the reel very easily and in small increments without having to open up the sideplate.

I find that the open design of the T-Wing System makes a big difference over conventional line control systems especially when pitching heavier baits.  In all of my testing, I did not get one backlash and I must admit that I use a spinning reel a lot more than a baitcasting reel. 

I know for a fact that I can attribute the lack of backlashes to the awesome Magforce Z cast control system.

For those of you who want all the details, I have provided the chart below.

ModelAction FW / SWBB + RB BearingsGear RatioRetrieve Rate (in)Wt. (oz.)Line Cap Mono (lb/yds)DragRetrieve
TACT100PM / L7 + 15.5:123.3"7.414/120
16/100
13.2RIGHT
TACT100HM / L7 + 16.3:126.3"7.414/120
16/100
13.2RIGHT
TACT100HSM / L7 + 17:3:130.5"7.414/120
16/100
13.2RIGHT
TACT100XSM / L7 + 18.1:134.5"7.414/120
16/100
13.2RIGHT
TACT100HLM / L7 + 16.3:126.3"7.414/120
16/100
13.2LEFT
TACT100HSLM / L7 + 17:3:130.5"7.414/120
16/100
13.2LEFT

With the 4 gearing ratios that are available on the Tatula CT, you can find just the right one for your preferred fishing style.  With this being an entry level priced reel you can even afford to get one low speed and one fast speed to make sure that you are covered for whatever situation you find yourself in.

Pros

  • Lightweight at just 7.4 0z.
  • Small Frame that fits comfortably in the palm of your hand
  • Great Casting Distance
  • Solid Drag at 13.2 lbs.

Cons

  • Bearings are not corrosion resistant

Alternatives

The first obvious choice would be the Daiwa Tatula CT Type-R which is the souped up version of the Tatula CT.  This reel is going to add about 25% in cost.  So what do you get? For your 25% increase in cost, you will get the slightly smaller and lighter weight body and the corrosion resistant bearings. Read the full review of the Daiwa Tatula CT Type-R HERE.

Another good reel in this price range is the 13 Fishing Inception which is their entry level baitcasting reel.  The Inception is slightly lighter weight at just 6.9 oz due to the graphite sideplate and aluminum frame.  The Inception offers slightly more drag at 18 lbs., has a similar braking system and 2 of the 8 bearings are corrosion resistant. Read the full 13 Fishing Inception review HERE.

I would also have to recommend that you take a look at the Shimano SLX series of reels with the SLX XT probably being the closest in terms of the braking system.  The SLX is going to be slightly lighter weight at 6.9 oz but only offers a total of 5 bearings.  Read the full Shimano SLX reviews HERE.

In Conclusion

We find that the Daiwa Tatula CT is a nice update to the Daiwa Tatula 100 mainly due to the smaller frame, however this is a personal preference as the reviewer has smaller hands.

Other than that this appears to be a new spin on an already excellent reel.  We would purchase the Tatula CT over the Tatula 100 as it is a newer model and has the smaller frame.  With that said we would not run out and replace a Tatula 100 and expect to see any major difference in performance.

This is an excellent choice for an entry level reel and is sure not to disappoint.

Summary
Review Date
Reviewed Item
Daiwa Tatula CT
Author Rating
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