I just got the Daiwa Saltiga SA30 in the mail yesterday. Wow! what a pretty reel! It is very very well made and feel very solid. I loaded the reel with 50lbs Izor line spectra top off with 100 yds. of 14 lbs. Stren Original line and headed to the dam to test the reel on big carps. The fish was very coorperative and I landed severals 15-25 lbs size carps. The drag was very very smooth and powerful. It also casts better than I expected. It casts very far (with 1 oz. weight) and backlash is very easy to controlled with thumb. I came home and check out the drag of this reel against my progear albacore special 280. To my surprise, the Saltiga generate nearly as much drag as the progear which has a much bigger drag (6/0 drag). I didn't have a scale to check what it was but it has much more drag than my trinidad 14.
Zander, if you are reading this letter, please explain how a smaller drags could generate almost as much drag as other reel with much bigger drag. What type of material Daiwa use for the drag washers? I have yet to check how consistent the drag is during a long battle with drag set at near max. I can't wait to take this reel to Thailand for those Giant Catfish to test the durability of the reel in general. My trinidad 14 had landed many big cats now need new drags. It only produce less than 3 lbs of drag at the max setting. Something is wrong with the reel... I will sent it back to shimano to bring the drag back to life again. That's it for now. Got to go back and play with the reel. Have a great day.
Sorry it took so long for my reply, I was out field testing tackle in San Diego.
Fantastic! I'm glad you had a chance to fish the Saltiga already! I logged more hours on the Saltiga as well, and have to agree that this reel casts amazingly well.
In regards to your question about how the Daiwa smaller drags can generate more drag pressure then the larger competitor drags: Size, or surface area of the drag plate usually translates to a advantage when it comes to drag friction but it doesn't necessariliy equate to drag pressure. Through use of a grease impregnated graphite-composite multi-disc drag, the Saltiga is able to accomplish more drag pressure then reels of similar size...and in some cases even larger reels.
Thanks for your reply. Hope you have a good time testing new equipment (of couse you will!). I wish I have a job like your right now. I probably work 60+ hour per week without asking for payment for OT. I have not yet catch fish that will put strain on the drag of this Saltiga. I recently landed a 24 lbs carp on a 14 lbs line. It wasn't a fair fight at all.The only place I can take the reel to put it to a real test is in Thailand. I had to set the drag at or near max setting during a 30 min or longer fight all day long. Those fish would repeatedly pull 200+yds of line off the reel. My Trinidad 14 drag is already shot and I had send it out to COFE to have HT-100 washer replace one of the dartinium washer under the main gear. This will give the reel 10-12 lbs of drag. I remember you did a fishing trip in Hongkong (catching shrimp?) May be one of these days you might want to take a trip to Thailand and go fish in this fishing park. Please check out "anglingthailand.com" for more info. If you love fishing, this is one of the place that you need to experience. You will catch fish from 20lbs and up all day long. Right now I plan on getting a rod for the next trip. I am looking at the backbouncer rod from GLoomis (GL3 rated 17-40 lbs test). It has the long handle and the length for casting long distance but at the same time has huge amount of lifting power. I have GLoomis IMX HOTshot rod (1021C rated 10-20 lbs test) and like the power this rod deliver. This rod is too small for use in Thailand. The tip of the rod will break real fast if fish go swim underneath the dock. I am also looking at St Croix Avid Muskie rod in 7' length medium heavy action for 17-40 lbs line. The rod is very light and the workmanship is just beyond words. I will grap one of these rod if I ever able to sell my shimano Stella reel. Don't forget to report how well the reel handle big fish and how long the drag would last. I will try to open up the reel and learn how to put it back together so that one day I can replace the drag myself. That will happen for sure. Take care now. Have a great day.