Field and Stream

Daiwa Kage LT

- —Pete Robbins

With a butter-smooth drag, flex-free body, and silky retrieve, this $200 spinning reel performs like it costs three or four times that. The LT stands for Light and Tough, and this reel is both, featuring a high-density Zaion body that’s 20 percent stronger and 50 percent lighter than reels made of traditiona­l materials. Daiwa’s Air Bail and Air Rotor systems further decrease weight. Still, the reel feels capable of handling bonefish, steelhead, and giant trevally, so you can be sure that no hard-pulling smallmouth is going to faze it. There’s no startup resistance on the drag when a fish takes off with your lure, which means you’ll lose fewer on the hookset, and the reel stays smooth and consistent throughout the fight to help ensure that hooks won’t work free from a fish’s mouth. A unique premium cork handle knob looks sharp, feels good in the hand, and is a nice finishing touch.

$200 • DAIWA.COM (AVAILABLE ONLY THROUGH INDEPENDEN­T DAIWA DEALERS)

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