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Daiwa Zillion SV TW Review

Daiwa Zillion SV TW Review

This Daiwa Zillion SV TW review will hopefully show you why this reel is considered to be one of the best in its class.

Introduced in 2016 as part of Daiwas ongoing “Project T,” this reels claim to fame is its ability to deliver on basically no chance of you getting backlash while casting.  Due to the innovative shallow SV-free floating spool design and the T Wing, we would have to agree with Daiwa that we have not been able to get a big ‘ole birds nest, no matter what we try.

If you like to pitch lightweight jigs, then this might be just the reel you have been looking for due to the SV Free Floating Spool design.

I would classify this reel at the higher end of baitcasters as it is approaching the $300 range.

The Bottom Line

  • Extremely smooth baitcasting reel with innovative “T Wing” design to eliminate backlashes.
  • Great casting distance with the SV spool design.
  • High-quality manufacturing
  • Very durable anodized body

The Daiwa Zillion SV TW is an awesome reel and is available HERE.


Zaion Body – The body of the Daiwa Zillion SV TW is made of a proprietary material that Daiwa calls Zaion, composed of carbon resin and long carbon fibers.  The material is both high density and very lightweight with a strength that is superior to Magnesium.

TWS T Wing System – The TWS from Daiwa is extremely innovative in how it deals with the line when both casting and retrieving.  By snapping up to retrieve, it creates a conduit for the line to flow, assuring that you get even line lay on the spool every time.

When casting, the T portion of the guide pops down and creates a wider opening for the line to feed out, creating less friction, which means you can cast further.

SV Spool – The free-floating SV spool is one of the best things to come along in baitcasting reel design, in my opinion, as it makes it so easy to learn how to fish this type of reel.  The SV design allows for the spool to keep pace with whatever weight lure you are casting without getting any backlash.

AIR BRAKE SYSTEM – The Air Brake System from Daiwa has very similar attributes as the Magforce Z system also from Daiwa in that it matches the spools speed to the speed of the line and lure, which means that you will eliminate backlashes.

The brakes can be adjusted from zero to twenty (0-20), I find that somewhere between 5 and 8 is what works best for me.

4CRBB + 4BB +1RB – The Daiwa Zillion features a total of 9 + 1 bearings, which are all high-quality corrosion resistant Japanese ball bearings that deliver a very smooth cast and retrieve.

Ultimate Tournament Drag (13.2lb) – Daiwa uses oversized carbon washers to create a very smooth and strong drag.  Not only does carbon provide a smooth drag but it also lasts longer.  When retrieving a large fish, there is no bouncing on the drag, it is very smooth.

Cut-Away 90mm Swept Handle – The large cut-away swept handle design allows you to have a large handle that at the same time feels compact as it brings the knobs closer to the main body of the reel.

By getting the handles in closer, you also create a much better experience when fighting a larger fish, as there is less wobble since your hand is closer to the centerline of the reel and rod.

Features at a Glance

  • SV Concept
  • 4CRBB + 4BB +1RB
  • Ultimate Tournament Drag (13.2lb)
  • Cut-Away 90mm Swept Handle
  • Light weight Soft-Touch Cork Handle Knob
  • Right/Left Hand Models
  • H: Gold, SH: Red

As I have touched on earlier, what makes the Daiwa Zillion SV TW such a special reel is that it is very easy to cast without any worry of backlash.

It is the combination of the innovative “T Wing System” or TWS line control, SV free floating spool design and the Air Brake system that allows to cast this reel and literally not even use your thumb on the spool and still not get any backlash.

When you cast, the TWS design snaps the guide down, allowing the line to flow through smoothly, reducing the friction between the line and the guide, which means you get the same distance with less effort.

After you have cast your lure, the guide pops back into the retrieving position, where the lower guide portion assures even line lay on the SV spool.

The SV Spool is actually free-floating, it sits on its own shaft with its own set of ball bearings as opposed to being attached the pinion gear.  What this creates is a very smooth cast that allows the spool to keep up with the pull of the line and lure when you cast.

I have found that I can cast much smaller and lighter lures and jigs with ease using this reel.

I remember when I first started using baitcasting reels, it took a bit of practice before I was able to get any distance without either burning my thumb from putting to much pressure on the spool or getting a birds nest that would take precious time to pull apart.

The body of the Daiwa Zillion is made of a material that Daiwa calls Zaion, composed of carbon resin with long carbon fibers.  This combination produces a body that is both high-density and very lightweight, with a strength that is superior to Magnesium.

The other thing that the Zaion material does very well is that it transfers the vibration from a hit through the reel.

Daiwa Zillion SV TW Field Test

When testing the Daiwa Zillion SV TW, I was impressed with the fact that I was able to fish both very lightweight as well as heavier lures with the same setup.  I loaded the reel with 10 lb. braid and headed out into the Matlacha pass to target trout, reds, and snook.

First up was the trout, which I targeted using a short leader of fluorocarbon. The tide was coming in, so I decided to live line some shrimp around one of my favorite oyster bars.

I was amazed at how far I was able to cast shrimp with no additional weight, much better than with a Daiwa SW BG 2500 which is my normal setup for inshore.  The SV spool just made it very easy to get my bait out where I wanted it.

Next, I decided to use a variety of soft plastics, including some paddle tails with a 1/8 owner-weighted twistlock.  I was able to get great distance with a lightweight lure.

The wind started to pick up and I thought now was a great time to test this reel out and see if I can get any backlash.  I cast the reel a number of times into the wind hard without my thumb touching the spool and was stunned that I could not get a backlash—amazing!

I managed to hook a nice red, probably around 4.5 – 5 lbs and the reel performed flawlessly.  The drag was smooth, as was the retrieve.


  • SV spool is awesome, no backlash
  • Lightweight and durable construction
  • Good with both light and heavy baits


  • Higher price point


If you want to stay with Daiwa and save a few dollars, then you can always look at the Daiwa Tatula SV TW, which weighs in a bit more and has slightly heavier braking, which will cost you some distance.

From Shimano, you can take a look at the Shimano Curado 70 which features the Super Free Spool design or the Shimano Tranx 300 if you are targeting larger fish.

In Conclusion

Overall, I am very impressed with this reel as I expected it to be at the near $300 price point.  I think the thing that I can appreciate the most is just how easy it was to cast a very lightweight lure or bait and actually get some distance.

For someone who has spent 90% of their time using spinning reels, I have a new appreciation for a quality baitcasting reel.

This reel is at the higher-end of the price range for this type of reel, however, I have always been a firm believer in purchasing quality equipment and then maintaining it well.  This reel will be part of the fishing arsenal for years to come.

I’ll be heading up to Maine in early June and can’t wait to put this reel to the test with some smallmouth during the spawn.

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