Daiwa’s Computerized Fishing Reel

Computer screens and bassin' - a good combo?

Computer screens and bassin’ – a good combo?

Last week, Terry looked at one of the more popular baitcast models from years ago, the Shimano Bantam. Like in all things fishing it seems, for every good product out there, somebody probably produced something that wasn’t so good. That appears to be the case in this week’s post.

When the digital revolution took place in the 1980s (you bought a Casio watch that did all sorts of cool things, admit it), the bassin’ world wasn’t immune from its effects either, at least not initially. Imagine if you will, a reel that is equipped with all kinds of sophisticated computer monitoring, capable of telling you things like;

  • the speed of your retrieve
  • the length of your cast
  • how much line you had out when a bass hit your bait
  • even how far down your bait was

Sounds like a really cool deal, until you make it a functional product and try and sell it to the public – or better yet, have someone actually use it out on the lake. Such a reel was in fact made and marketed by Daiwa, the PT 10E & PT 15E. Beyond all the fancy electronic info displayed on the screen of the reel or audibly “beeped” to the angler, the reel had all the typical Procaster features that Daiwa was famous for: low profile, autocast thumb bar, start drag, paddle handles, even the line memo feature. However, in something akin to underwater cameras, freshwater anglers found out that you can’t really bass fish and watch a computer/TV screen at the same time, at least not efficiently. Of course, as with all similar products, weight becomes an issue to take into account since you have to hold this thing all day long, as well as overall balance (or lack thereof) for casting. So while the reel had some potential as a trolling apparatus, and newer bulked up versions are actually still in use for the saltwater jigging market, serious and hardcore bassers found that multi-tasking isn’t necessarily a great thing when it comes to bass tournament fishing, or even reacreational bass angling for that matter.

So chalk up another great idea on paper that never quite translated to the bass fishin’ lineup.

  • I always liked the catch phrase, “The first reel with a mind of its own.” They obviously never tried to cast my Penn bait casting reel. THAT thing had a mind of its own. Didn’t matter how you adjusted the brake or thumbed it, when it wanted to make a 50-wrap deep backlash, it was going to make it no matter what.

  • Tim

    Can’t agree more watching your reel for info while bass fishing is a bit crazy and to think Daiawa thought this was a marketable product…for trolling sure at least you have some time to read the display if the sun was not in your eyes…

    Now to have this information sent to a computer to be analyzed and mapped for future use….that may be useful….

    Technology is making its way into fishing and that is for sure GPS can you fish without it? Software that is popping up is amazing today…The I-pilot from Minn Kota….good stuff….electronic reel…perhaps….maybe more thought on Daiawa side of things….good article…interesting….