Tue 19 May 15


Field Tested

Mini big pit reels have become very popular amongst the carp and specialist fraternities over the past decade. These compact power house reels can handle the punishment served on standard big pits, with an element of finesse as they usually weigh much less and feel more natural on the rod. To establish a place at the top end of the mini big pit market, Daiwa Sports released the CASTIZM 25 QDA around a year ago to critical acclaim from both the big fish and match angling fraternities alike. So the UKCa team decided to actually buy three to put them through their paces to see exactly how these £350 reels actually perform in several angling environments.


Vital Statistics

These reel has evolved to offer all the characteristics of the very popular Daiwa big pit range in a compact and universal format. By tapping into the long distance surf casting trends from Japan, Daiwa have accomplished a new design breakthrough in long distance spool geometry. They’ve created a ‘compact’ approach around a 25mm stroke spool with a 65mm spool diameter (the same as the Basia) and a 66mm spool skirt. and this feature is called Cast’izm.

This combination of spool shape, diameter and stroke has made it possible to cast extreme distances with a compact reel and because of its shortened spool length, this made it possible to shorten the body too. The CASTIZM has a ratio of 4.7:1 that delivers a power conversion aided by Digigear II, but importantly an impressive line retrieval of 96cm thanks to a filled spool circumference of around 200mm. This is a major asset when fishing at distance.

As well as its superb casting ability the Cast’izm 25QDA also features Mag Sealed. This gives the reel protection from water and debris intrusion via the rotor, which in turn extends the lifespan of the reel. The CASTIZM 25QDA also features QD quick drag and the HIP High Impact Protection line clip which is an essential feature to aid spot on casting every time.

The reels precise gearing and internal mechanism is protected by the Zaion body that is finished of in a stylish black with red trim. The reels graphite Air Rotor and Air Bail which itself combined with Twistbuster, enables the reel to perform well, offering exceptional line storage and retrieval.

Field Tested

Since January (2015) the UKCA team have used the CASTIZM 25QDA reels for the majority of our carp, specialist and predator fishing in all conditions to evaluate their all round performance. We also loaded the reels with both braided and mono reel lines, just to see how how the performance compared between the two.

Loading your spools

When you first open the box, the reel as standard produces a line lay that is ‘back heavy’ tapering towards the front of the spool. To produce a perfectly flat line lay, simply remove the spool, remove two of the slim nylon washers from the spigot and this produced a very even and flat line lay when loading with both braid or mono.

Loaded with braid and mono

Casting & line retrieve

When loaded with 12lbs mono, we were able to cast distanced in access of 140 yards with a 2ozs lead and rig loaded with a small PVA stick with minimal effort, which was very impressive considering the compact size of the spool. When loaded with 12lbs braided line, because of the lower diameter, the distances achievable were far greater, clearly illustrating the reels ability to cast at long range when required.

The Line retrieval is a very smooth affair, with every crank of the handle seeing line being evenly distributed back onto the spool with assured power generated by the superb gearing system this reel is built around. Even when fishing on a flooded stretch of the tidal Trent, when 10oz leads were required to hold bottom, these powerful reels cranked these big leads back in without any issues.

In action where they belong, out on the bank

Final Thoughts

Everything about the Daiwa CASTIZM reels shouts class in performance and total reliability. The QD system is very precise and easy to set for bite indication and most importantly for playing a fish, as minute adjustments will give you the exact control required, eliminating any chance of hook pulls under the rod tip. The Mag Sealed feature pretty much guarantees the long term protection of the reels vital internal components.

The CASTIZM 25QDA reels manual bail arm may not be to everyone’s liking but the UKCA team actually like this feature, as it gives the reel a unique character that is a total pleasure to use. The wish bone handle features a comfortable rubber hand grip, which makes reeling in a very smooth duty to perform.. The spring loaded line clip is exceptionally strong, even when casting big weights at range, the line never got marked or damaged.

Would the UKCA team recommend the CASTIZM 25QDA reels to anglers who require great performance and good casting abilities? The answer is very simple, yes we would!! Yes the CASTIZM 25QDA reels are not the cheapest mini big pit reels on the market but for £350 full RRP, you get what is arguably one of the best mini big pit reels that we have reviewed or used by choice. A superb all round specialist big fish reel, that has also found a huge following amongst the match angling fraternities, what more can we say!

Foot Note – this reel comes supplied as standard with one spool, spares are available from your local Daiwa stockist and they sell for £60 each.



Visit the Website: http://www.daiwasports.co.uk/