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Is the Zillion and the Alphas the best bang per buck reels we've ever seen in fishing?


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Is the Zillion for $190-210 and the Alphas for $150 from Japan the best deals for a fishing reel that we've ever seen? I just can't think of a superior product that was sold for such a good price. These two reels have no real negatives to them, and they're being sold for about the same price as an slx or a curado, both of which are far inferior.

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Yes, 2 of the top 10 bass reels you can get, for the price of a mid level reel. Insane how worth it they are

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I just bought two Kast King baitcasters from AZ for $32 each.  Already had one from last year that I worked the snot out of.  I am retired and averaged 22 days a month last year on the water.  When I say worked the snot out of that reel, I mean hard.  No complaints.

 

Daiwa and Shimano see those big credit cards a comin'.

 

I know somehow that the Zillions and Steez, and a lot of others, are better reels, but I can't prove it, and these are bottom end, cheap reels for Kast King.

 

I can afford the high dollar stuff, but prefer to buy jerk baits.

 

I haven't tried the KK rods or line yet, but I'm going to.

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Used shimano citca E reels.  Heck they were $40 back when they were being closed out.  It's one bearing from Chronarch E. (Aside from the handle).

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13 hours ago, mcipinkie said:

Kast King baitcasters

Sorry dude, there’s no real comparison. Daiwa and Shimano reels smoke kk. 

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11 hours ago, ABU is overpriced said:

That doesn't answer the question. If you believe that Shimano has a better deal, what is the reel and price that is better.

I didn't like my zillion at all so I sold it. Uncomfortable frame, sticky/cheap thumb bar, not a great caster. I'd take an SLX MGL over it and any Curado. Whether you want to use USDM or JDM prices (I.e. Curado MGL 150 at $200 US or SLX at JDM prices). I like my Alphas SV. Comfortable frame, lightweight. Not quite as good of a caster as a Curado but similar to SLX. I'd pony up the extra money to get another Curado 150 or 70 before buying another Alphas though. I'd say SLX MGL and Alphas are pretty evenly matched

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I have mixed feelings on the Zillion. Mine is incredibly smooth and palms pretty comfortably. I WILL say that it doesn't cast as well as some of my other reels though. My biggest issue with it is the brake dial location and tightness. No matter what I do, I consistently bump it with my finger and accidentally change it.

 

My Alphas has it in the same location, but for whatever reason, I don't have issues with that reel. Maybe it's the slightly different shape, or maybe it's just more stiff. I don't know...

 

That being said,... It is hard to argue against the bang for the buck you get on Daiwa JDM Zillions and Alphas pricing. A Zillion for not much more than a U.S. Tatula SV or an Alphas for around the same as a U.S. Tatula 100?? 

 

Don't have to think twice about that!!

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1 hour ago, JN94 said:

I didn't like my zillion at all so I sold it. Uncomfortable frame, sticky/cheap thumb bar, not a great caster. I'd take an SLX MGL over it and any Curado. Whether you want to use USDM or JDM prices (I.e. Curado MGL 150 at $200 US or SLX at JDM prices). I like my Alphas SV. Comfortable frame, lightweight. Not quite as good of a caster as a Curado but similar to SLX. I'd pony up the extra money to get another Curado 150 or 70 before buying another Alphas though. I'd say SLX MGL and Alphas are pretty evenly matched

Well, comfort is very subjective. I like the frame, and you pretty much never see anybody complain about the Zillion frame, so i would certainly not consider it as an uncomfy frame. But of course, if you don't like it how it palms (i for example, can't stand the met2013 frame that's used on Metanium 2013, 2015 and 2016. Worse frame of any reels that i've owned), its an automatic no go. But still, removing comfort that is subjective, the build quality, smoothness and the longevity of those gears far surpasses the SLX/Curado. Since the Curado is a USDM reel, you can't get it for a good price either, so you're pretty much paying the same price than a Zillion, and a Zillion is a much higher end product, that also happens to be Made in Japan.

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5 hours ago, JN94 said:

I didn't like my zillion at all so I sold it. Uncomfortable frame, sticky/cheap thumb bar, not a great caster. I'd take an SLX MGL over it and any Curado.

Same, selling mine soon. The way the market is near me (selling locally) i can actually get more then i paid for it too. I got the US version on a super sale. I just saw a really bad conditioned one sell within 2 days locally last week for alot of money, so i should be able to make my money back since its almost new and used twice. I really like the look of it but it feels odd, maybe its too small?

And is terrible at skipping for me, my Tatula SV TW can do a much better job for that.

And casting certain baits just feels underwhelming.

I got my SLX MGL last year for $75 and i shouldve bought 3 of them instead.

I really liked the Zillion, had it new in box for almost a year, thought it was a great reel that would change the game. After fishing with it im not impressed. Really dont understand what makes it better than a Tatula CT on sale. I dont care about the parts it has inside of it, i care how it feels and works. And it didnt do either for me.

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I have all of the above, The Zillion's are a very sweet reel IMHO. I also really like my Chronarch and Curado's too. I also have the opinion that the Bantam and Metanium are the most solid feeling reels I own. They are "tanks" that are a joy to fish. I was a solid Shimano fan boy before I tried the Zillion and that one hooked me. I now have four of them.

FM

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42 minutes ago, Fishingmickey said:

I tried the Zillion and that one hooked me. I now have four of them.

Bait Monkey is strong with this one.

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16 hours ago, MediumMouthBass said:

I really liked the Zillion, had it new in box for almost a year, thought it was a great reel that would change the game. After fishing with it im not impressed. Really dont understand what makes it better than a Tatula CT on sale.

Making a final judgment on any brand new reel, especially ones like a Zillion that come out of the box with over greased spool bearings is, well, you know. After they're flushed and oiled, or have oil added to dilute the grease, or simply used enough to sufficiently break down the grease, their performance changes, and sometimes radically better. That was the case with mine. It opened right up.  Over greased bearings sort of act like added spool tension. 

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@PhishLI I'll have to take a look at the spool bearings. I bought 2 Zillions over the winter and I'm not impressed. They're not bad, I just thought that they'd easily outshine my Lew's Custom Pros. I'll withhold final judgement for now. My Custom Pros are effortless and a pleasure to use - the best I've ever had.

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21 hours ago, ABU is overpriced said:

That doesn't answer the question. If you believe that Shimano has a better deal, what is the reel and price that is better.


the price on jdm shimano has corrected upwards now, but I bought my met and my bantam for right about $215. My zillion was $205 around the same time so basically the same. I’d take another met or bantam over another zillion in a heartbeat. The zillion is great and at current pricing it’s the highest quality to price ratio on the market. I prefer the shimano form factor though. 

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On 6/16/2024 at 3:22 PM, mcipinkie said:

I just bought two Kast King baitcasters from AZ for $32 each.  Already had one from last year that I worked the snot out of.  I am retired and averaged 22 days a month last year on the water.  When I say worked the snot out of that reel, I mean hard.  No complaints.

 

Daiwa and Shimano see those big credit cards a comin'.

 

I know somehow that the Zillions and Steez, and a lot of others, are better reels, but I can't prove it, and these are bottom end, cheap reels for Kast King.

 

I can afford the high dollar stuff, but prefer to buy jerk baits.

 

I haven't tried the KK rods or line yet, but I'm going to.

Your opinions mostly mirror mine. I did fork over $120 for a single baitcasting reel for a $180 reel on close out. Kinda hurt because most expensive reel before that were two made in Sweden Abu Garcia 4500's I paid $100 for both at a local fishing store GOOB sale back in either 1989 or 1990. All my other baitcasters are the Kast King Royal Legend and Royal legend II I usually pay less than $45 for them with a 10% off coupon. I have fished them pretty hard as I was able to afford to build a bait casting set up for cranks, frogs and chatterbaits. 

 

Then I was shopping at Amazon and Ebay in March of this year because my boys were in need of their own baitcasting setups and saw Abu Garcia Max Pro4's for $48.15c TMD. Thought a $75-$80 reel for $48 is worth a try so I ordered one. Thankfully it arrived quickly and I spooled it up with 12lb Yo-Zuri Copoly and did a dawn till dark day of fishing chatterbaits and spinnerbaits.

 

Got home that night and ordered five more so significantly was I impressed with the Abu Garcia Pro Max4 for a <$50 reel with tax. Once my sons proved they are serious about fishing on as regular of a basis as possible I ordered two more so my both my sons and I can have their own dedicated baitcasting setups for frogs, chatter and spinnerbaits. 

 

I will be the first to admit I am basically a novice about the intricacies of baitcasters and also will admit IMO the Abu garcia Pro Max$ is not worth $75 but again IMO it is an absolute awesome deel at <50$.

My four Kast King Royal legends are all 4 years old now and I do yearly maintenance on them (as well as all my reels) and they have held up well with zero issues and I'd say from March till late september get used an average of four days a week 2-3 hours minimum each use and I feel the AG Pro Max4's are a significantly better reel and so far I can not be more pleased with the AG PM4's performances.

 

Love to afford mid higher end rods and reels but when you're buying for three VS only one $250-$300 each fishing setups for me are just not financially possible as my boys are both attending local colleges full time now. I am very thankfully I recently stumbled across a deal on MHF 7'3" 13 Fishing Blackout casting rods at Ebay for $270 if you bought a bundle of five rods so I bought a bundle. I already had bought two 7'3" MHF 13 Fishing BO rods from Tackle WH or Tractor Supply for IIRC <$50 or $55 each and was very satisfied with them so when an even better deal on them arrose I jumped on it.

 

Now my son's and I have pretty good baitcasting setups for under $110 per setup. I know a lot of guys here wouldn't be happy with these setups, but these are fisherman who both own bass boats and spend likely twice as many hours chasing just bass than I do so it is only logical fisherman of that caliber have higher quality fishing set ups. As a dedicated shore fisherman who's bass fishing setups are completely ill suited for the steelhead and salmon fishing I do every year and my bass and steelhead/salmon setups are again ill suited for when I case bluegills and perch every year and I need a few dedicated setups for panfish one can see where $300/ea fishing setups are just not financially prudent for me. 

 

"I haven't tried the KK rods or line yet, but I'm going to"

And BTW. I have six Kast King Crixus Spinning rods. Two are 7' MHFA, two are 7'3" MHF, one is 7'6"MHFA one is 7'3" MAF and I am 100% satisfied for  these rods performances considering they all cost <$43 each. For the price I feel they are great spinning rods. 

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21 hours ago, CDMTJager said:

Your opinions mostly mirror mine. I did fork over $120 for a single baitcasting reel for a $180 reel on close out. Kinda hurt because most expensive reel before that were two made in Sweden Abu Garcia 4500's I paid $100 for both at a local fishing store GOOB sale back in either 1989 or 1990. All my other baitcasters are the Kast King Royal Legend and Royal legend II I usually pay less than $45 for them with a 10% off coupon. I have fished them pretty hard as I was able to afford to build a bait casting set up for cranks, frogs and chatterbaits. 

 

Then I was shopping at Amazon and Ebay in March of this year because my boys were in need of their own baitcasting setups and saw Abu Garcia Max Pro4's for $48.15c TMD. Thought a $75-$80 reel for $48 is worth a try so I ordered one. Thankfully it arrived quickly and I spooled it up with 12lb Yo-Zuri Copoly and did a dawn till dark day of fishing chatterbaits and spinnerbaits.

 

Got home that night and ordered five more so significantly was I impressed with the Abu Garcia Pro Max4 for a <$50 reel with tax. Once my sons proved they are serious about fishing on as regular of a basis as possible I ordered two more so my both my sons and I can have their own dedicated baitcasting setups for frogs, chatter and spinnerbaits. 

 

I will be the first to admit I am basically a novice about the intricacies of baitcasters and also will admit IMO the Abu garcia Pro Max$ is not worth $75 but again IMO it is an absolute awesome deel at <50$.

My four Kast King Royal legends are all 4 years old now and I do yearly maintenance on them (as well as all my reels) and they have held up well with zero issues and I'd say from March till late september get used an average of four days a week 2-3 hours minimum each use and I feel the AG Pro Max4's are a significantly better reel and so far I can not be more pleased with the AG PM4's performances.

 

Love to afford mid higher end rods and reels but when you're buying for three VS only one $250-$300 each fishing setups for me are just not financially possible as my boys are both attending local colleges full time now. I am very thankfully I recently stumbled across a deal on MHF 7'3" 13 Fishing Blackout casting rods at Ebay for $270 if you bought a bundle of five rods so I bought a bundle. I already had bought two 7'3" MHF 13 Fishing BO rods from Tackle WH or Tractor Supply for IIRC <$50 or $55 each and was very satisfied with them so when an even better deal on them arrose I jumped on it.

 

Now my son's and I have pretty good baitcasting setups for under $110 per setup. I know a lot of guys here wouldn't be happy with these setups, but these are fisherman who both own bass boats and spend likely twice as many hours chasing just bass than I do so it is only logical fisherman of that caliber have higher quality fishing set ups. As a dedicated shore fisherman who's bass fishing setups are completely ill suited for the steelhead and salmon fishing I do every year and my bass and steelhead/salmon setups are again ill suited for when I case bluegills and perch every year and I need a few dedicated setups for panfish one can see where $300/ea fishing setups are just not financially prudent for me. 

 

"I haven't tried the KK rods or line yet, but I'm going to"

And BTW. I have six Kast King Crixus Spinning rods. Two are 7' MHFA, two are 7'3" MHF, one is 7'6"MHFA one is 7'3" MAF and I am 100% satisfied for  these rods performances considering they all cost <$43 each. For the price I feel they are great spinning rods. 


It’s never the price you pay but the memories you make. I’ve had just as much fun catching fish with an ugly stick combo from Walmart and my $1,000 setups from the bank. I am blessed to be able to afford the enthusiast gear I can but I never forget where I came from. 
 

If you ever want to just talk gear, even finding those budget options is a blast for me. I geek out on gear regularly. 

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The Zillion SV TW G is the best reel Daiwa has produced in recent memory. I know Steez is the flagship bougy reel, but you can buy 2 Zillions for the price of one Steez. They both have similar frames one is Aluminum while the other is Magnesium. The magnesium frame is decimals to an ounce lighter than the aluminum. I will never get rid of my Zillions. The Alpha is JDM and never tried, but I will say that the Tatula 100 is a very underrated reel. It doesn't have an SV spool but it does have Hyperdrive. 

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The JDM Zillion to me is the best bang for the buck out there. I would also throw the JDM Metanium in there as well. Both reels at under $250 are amazing. 

 

I also have one other honorable mention, the Shimano Twin Power.  At around $300 or less, you are basically getting what feels and performs like a Stella at (not quite) half the price. 

 

I can't speak for the Alpha but I have never heard any complaints from the people who own them, unlike the Tatulas.

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On 6/17/2024 at 1:47 PM, NavyToad said:

@PhishLI I'll have to take a look at the spool bearings. I bought 2 Zillions over the winter and I'm not impressed. They're not bad, I just thought that they'd easily outshine my Lew's Custom Pros. I'll withhold final judgement for now. My Custom Pros are effortless and a pleasure to use - the best I've ever had.

They should if you start skipping baits.  If you just sling baits out on open water the Zillion is good  but nothing spectacular.  It's well rounded casting nature and smoothness under cranking load are its best perks imo.

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On 6/16/2024 at 10:43 AM, ABU is overpriced said:

Is the Zillion for $190-210 and the Alphas for $150 from Japan the best deals for a fishing reel that we've ever seen? I just can't think of a superior product that was sold for such a good price. These two reels have no real negatives to them, and they're being sold for about the same price as an slx or a curado, both of which are far inferior.

I think so

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I just wanted to thank everyone on this thread for their opinions as I was looking at both these reels for quite awhile with the exchange rate making the decision more difficult. For Father’s Day Mrs B. gave me the gift of the Alphas which arrived today via Amazon and will probably be replacing my trusty old Type F. 

image1.jpeg

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