You might have seen I was on the path of trying to find out which reel would Bait Casting Finesse better for the small lures. And by small lures I don’t mean a 4″ unweighted senko, or a 1/8oz spinner bait, or a 2″ minnow or jerkbait, by the small stuff I mean lures of 1.6-2g, that I constantly fish for chub in my parts, and rarely for trout (I say rarely for trout, because I manly fish for lake trout, and I prefer to use larger lures for that purpose ).
I went ahead and bought what were the top BFS reels at the beginning of the year, test casted them, and came to the conclusion that the Daiwa T3 Air was the best out of the box, compared to the Shimano Aldebaran BFS XG (at the time), and the Abu Revo LTZ. I bet the new Aldebaran BFS XG Limited 2015 will outcast the Daiwa in terms of very small lures. You can see my “review” here: http://asavacustom.com/en/casting-with-daiwa-t3-air-shimano-aldebaran-bfs-xg-and-abu-revo-ltz-shootout/
After that test, I still wasn’t convinced that he T3 was the ultimate caster I could get, even though Daiwa and KTF got to the barebones of the spool, and made it as light as possible, so that they wouldn’t even recommend using braid with that reel. Even so, the spool weighted in at 8g, not the 5.6g advertised by Daiwa, which was rather disappointing for such a fragile spool, considering the aftermarket offering of sub 6.5g spools available at Avail, KTF and ZPI.
As I said, I still didn’t feel very satisfied with the result. I believed I could do even better, and in that matter I went ahead and ordered an Avail Honeycomb Spool for the Aldebaran BFS, that weighted in at exactly 6.0g with the bearing and braking system included. All this with the possibility of using braid and thinner lines due to the very small tolerance between the spool and the reel’s body. For e.g. with the T3 Air, one of the biggest problems I had was that whenever using monofilament under 0.22mm it always got caught between the spool and the reel’s body. Which is quite annoying for such a high priced reel, marketed to sell for 58000JPY, as low as 425 on ebay, compared to the Aldebaran BFS which with an aftermarket spool would be at around the same price, but with 2 spools for that matter :D. Another problem I had, was the magnetic brake inconsistency with the smaller stuff, but that with a trained thumb would be controllable.
Let’s leave the Daiwa T3 Air frustrations aside, and concentrate on the Aldebaran and the new spool. I’ve spooled it with a 0.165mm Sunline Fluorocarbon, and started casting it in front of my custom rods shop. I was amazed at how easily I could cast a 2g lure. Not to say I went and tested it on the water, where I was even more amazed to be able to cast minnows and small cranks of 1.6g. They were actually fishable, even at sub 2g weight. This in my book was the ultimate caster by far, from what I’ve tried. If you wanted to cast as far as possible you’d need to educate your thumb for cast control, and only activate one brake block, and you could cast everything from 1.8g to whatever you wished.
Lately I’ve come into possesion of a KTF spool with similar specs to the Avail Honeycomb, but due to the braking system, which had to be removed from the original spool, and added to the KTF spool, it weighed in at 9g. Even so, It casts just as good as the Daiwa T3 Air. I will use this spool with thicker line especially for fishing lake trout, where I normally use lures over 3g, so this won’t be a problem. The tolerance between the spool and the reel’s body is similar to the Avail spool.
I will definitely buy another Avail Honeycomb spool and will wait for the appearance of the Honeycomb spool for the 2015 Aldebaran, which will make micro-adjustments possible. Hope that spool will come in under 7g… if it does, I will definitely be all over it. I’m saying this, because with the small stuff, when you go ahead and activate the second braking block on the Aldebaran BFS, the difference in casting is noticeable, meaning you can really feel the extra braking force of the second braking block, cutting about 30% of the cast. I try to use the reel setup like this only with sub 2g lures, and trained my thumb to control the backlashes in the rest of the cases, with only one block activated.
P.S. All my reels, now come with Hedgehog BFS AIR bearings. That makes a difference as well in casting the smaller stuff.
P.S.2: I sold both the T3 Air and the Abu Revo LTZ after “discovering” the upgraded Aldebaran BFS.
Hope this helps for the ones that are trying to build/buy themselves a BFS setup in the future.