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Pflueger Asaro vs. Daiwa Black Widow II

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Has anyone used either of these reels? They both retail for around $120 and I can get them for around $75. I've handled the Asaro in store and it feels really nice, but have never seen the Daiwa. Any reason to pick one over the other?

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I have a couple of Black Widow IIs.  I've serviced a pile of Supremes, which are similar to the Asaro.  I'd buy Daiwa without flinching.  Also look at the new Citica.

All reels "feel nice" in the store.  They are overloaded with grease which masks any design flaws, if there are any.

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I have an Asaro and love it. A very solid reel.

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I have a team daiwa advantage 150H, which is basically the same as the black widow II but without the fancy paint job, and one less bearing. It is a solid reel for the money. I haven't used the asaro so I can't make a comparison, but i can recommend the daiwa.

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Shouldn't even be a question about this one.

Care to elaborate?

I may end up getting both of them, but would like to know the pros and cons of each.

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Any reason to pick one over the other?

several things to think about here:

  • the asaro is a more modern design so it'll be slightly lighter, slightly more compact, and more ergonomic.
  • the asaro has centrifrugal brakes while the black widow II has magnetic brakes. which do you prefer? given the choice, i'd easily opt for centrifrugal brakes...i think they're much easier to get consistent results with (although, to be fair, daiwa makes the best mag brakes around).
  • the asaro definitely has a solid, one-piece aluminum frame...the black widow, we don't know. but, given that this is usually a big selling point but daiwa and the tackltour review is mum on it, my guess is that the black widow frame is either composite and/or not one piece.
  • the black widow has some killer style  ;)

both daiwa and pflueger make quality products.

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Shouldn't even be a question about this one.

Care to elaborate?

I may end up getting both of them, but would like to know the pros and cons of each.

Take the Daiwa all day and twice on Sunday.

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Any reason to pick one over the other?

several things to think about here:

  • [*]the asaro is a more modern design so it'll be slightly lighter, slightly more compact, and more ergonomic.

.

More modern than what?  :-?

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Shouldn't even be a question about this one.

:;)

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Any reason to pick one over the other?

several things to think about here:

  • the asaro is a more modern design so it'll be slightly lighter, slightly more compact, and more ergonomic.
  • the asaro has centrifrugal brakes while the black widow II has magnetic brakes. which do you prefer? given the choice, i'd easily opt for centrifrugal brakes...i think they're much easier to get consistent results with (although, to be fair, daiwa makes the best mag brakes around).
  • the asaro definitely has a solid, one-piece aluminum frame...the black widow, we don't know. but, given that this is usually a big selling point but daiwa and the tackltour review is mum on it, my guess is that the black widow frame is either composite and/or not one piece.
  • the black widow has some killer style  ;)

both daiwa and pflueger make quality products.

Perhaps I can help with some of the facts in this list:

Its actually a dated design.  Flooger's newest design is incorporated into the President and the Supreme.  The internals are basically unchanged over the past ten years, with the exception of replacing the spool engagement clutch with plastic instead of metal a few years ago.  The TD-A lopro design is the benchmark that all others have followed.  AFAIK, it was the first mainstream priced reel to incorporate lowering the main gear housing below the reel foot, making it super lopro.

Actually, the Daiwa Mag-Z braking system is unique.  Instead of a series of magnets that are "adjusted" by moving them closer or farther from the spool, which is very crude, it employs two cylindrical, and concentric magnets.  On the spool is a metal cylinder.  This metal cylinder while at rest, remains in the spool cavity.  When casting, and peak centrifugal force is applied (at startup), the metal cylinder is forced in between the the two magnets.  Adjustments via the knob on the side cover twist the two magnets in and out of phase, thereby increasing or decreasing there influence on the spool.  Unique, simple and yet elegant.

All TD-A based reels have a solid aluminum frame.  Unlike many other brands, the aluminum frame integrates the pawl and line cowl.  The Asaro has three pieces of plastic protecting it.  Big difference in durability when bouncing around in the rod locker.

I actually think the Asaro is a prettier reel, but the little spiders on the BW are cool as hell.

BTW, as far as durability goes, I've had quite a few Floogers on my bench with scored roller bearing sleeves, and carbon deposits.  Perhaps the latest models address this durability issue, but I've even seen on the last gen Supremes.

Take it for what its worth.  They'll both catch fish, but the OP asked which was better.

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j francho, thanks for your insight, especially the confirmation regarding the black widow II's solid aluminum frame. my recollection is also that daiwa was the first to go super low-profile. even further back, IIRC, daiwa was also first with the in-line thumb-bar spool release and with magnetic braking. of all the magnetic braking systems today, i still think daiwa does it the best. pflueger took a stab at a variable-force magnetic braking system with their ITB (which actually works great) but they seem to have dropped ITB entirely for their new offerings.

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No problem Frank.  Daiwa is also the ONLY brand I know of that you can engage the spool after the cast by pushing up on the thumbar as well.  That's a nifty trick I use a lot. ;)

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And oh BTW, I have an original Black Widow (BW2) and the slightly "upmodel" EL2L and after nearly 16 years, they still operate better than new.  The EL2L has one ball bearing, the BW2 has exactly none.  It relies on brass and plastic bushings instead.  Smooth as any modern reel, though lack infinite anti reverse.  How's that for durability?

The BW2 after recent maintenance:

470884378_55Asr-S.jpg

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And oh BTW, I have an original Black Widow (BW2) and the slightly "upmodel" EL2L and after nearly 16 years, they still operate better than new. The EL2L has one ball bearing, the BW2 has exactly none. It relies on brass and plastic bushings instead. Smooth as any modern reel, though lack infinite anti reverse. How's that for durability?

The BW2 after recent maintenance:

470884378_55Asr-S.jpg

I took home and cleaned a buddy's reel exactly like that.  Not only did it not have any bearings, it didn't even have an anti-reverse bearing.  It had an anti-reverse cog and dog.  That friggin' dog has two thin pieces of sheet metal attached to either side.  You have to slip the cog between those little pieces of sheet metal so the dog stays aligned with the cog.  Interesting design to say the least.  

BTW, this guy bought this reel in the '80s and had NEVER cleaned it.   I had to soak the components in gasoline to get the solidified grease off of the parts.  It took me forever to scrape/chip the dried pond scoum that had accumulated inside the frame.  

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Shimano has started to incorporate the old dog 'n bone as a redundancy to the one way roller bearing system. That is BRILLIANT! While certainly old school, caveman tech, it really worked, and was all we had back in the day - and I'm not even that old, being in the under 40 crowd ;)

Oh yeah, and at 5:1 ratio, these were super high speed reels.  Most were less than 4:1, LOL.

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