Producer：First of all, this is a flagship reel released in the year that marks the 60th anniversary since DAIWA’s founding, and so everyone involved participated with extraordinary enthusiasm. In planning the development of this model, we were faced with two major directions from which to choose. First, as this is a flagship product, we could use it to give shape to the standard evolution of our products throughout our history and image to the present day. Second, we didn’t want to toss away our history or image, but we could give shape to a totally new set of proposals and value system. Ultimately we chose the latter, but this choice required serious bravery. It’s easy to say what we want, but where do we start with such an idea? What will come of it in the end? It felt as though we were starting almost from zero. We have put almost four years of work into this reel, and we think that from the moment it’s in your hands, you’ll really feel like it’s completely different from everything that’s come before. I’m looking forward to the customer response to come.
Producer：Although I touched on this in my last response, we have really put this product under the microscope in various aspects, down to the very finest details. Thus it’s hard to summarize it all into one. However, if I were to just point to some of the biggest elements of this product, I would point to its development concept, body unit, and design. All of these managed to hammer out a new system of values still based on our traditional approaches and technologies.
Producer：18EXIST was created beginning with the “LT” concept. The “L” in LT stands for “light,” and “T” stands for “tough.” The LT approach can be said to be in the very DNA of DAIWA’s spinning reels. Yet reels are ultimately fishing tools, and so in the past, one or the other has been sacrificed to suit the rod, the line, or the changes in fishing style of that era. But when we got to thinking right down to the core of the tool that is the spinning reel, we ultimately concluded that LIGHT and TOUGH are extremely important fundamental principles and elements of the spinning reel.
The LT concept is not exclusive to the 18EXIST, and is also used for models already for sale internationally as well as the 18CALDIA and 18FREAMS products announced at the same time as the 18EXIST. Among these, the 18EXIST is the flagship model for the LT concept, and therefore it aimed to be the lightest and toughest of the entire lineup. “LIGHT” can be compared in terms of weight, but for “TOUGH” we have focused on the basic LT concept of rotation durability as well as, for 18EXIST, elements such as power, or high torque. Moving further for 18EXIST, in terms of that balance we also achieved a fine and precise design whereby a smaller reel would achieve a more lightweight feel and a larger reel would achieve a more powerful-feeling hoist as core characteristics of the product.
Technical designer：They do, but I would like to organize my comments a little first. Some of the components that compose the 18EXIST’s body unit are the TOUGH DIGIGEAR (drive gear), the MONOCOQUE BODY, and MAGSEALED. The drive gear provides the smooth hoisting feel and the core of rotation durability; the MONOCOQUE BODY provides the cornerstones to improving durability and rigidity as well as achieving a more lightweight feel; and MAGSEALED is responsible for durability and maintaining primary performance.
Technical designer：I think that the drive gear is comprised of three elements: the design concept, processing technology, and gear materials. In terms of design concept, the TOUGH DIGIGEAR emphasizes rotation durability. Compared to the bait-casting reel and other products, the spinning reel features an extremely complex structure. This is so that the force input by turning the handle of the reel rotates laterally to wind in the line. In the casting of the line, it is a major benefit for the line to be released with no resistance, but if it is simply going to be wound back up, it is an extremely inefficient reel structure. Vertical and horizontal gear meshing leads to power loss, with gear slippage occurring easily due to irregular connections between gears. This can cause major damage to rotation durability. With the TOUGH DIGIGEAR, we aimed to for a design that can always achieve optimal gear meshing even if slippage occurs. DAIWA’s MAGSEALED and other durability technologies protect reels from external sources of damage, and with TOUGH DIGIGEAR as a new rotation durability technology added to the mix, it contributes to the improvement of comprehensive durability in the product.
---What is “processing technology,” the second element you mentioned?
Technical designer：I haven’t yet had many opportunities to discuss this aspect in depth. The first phase of the drive gear production (processing) process is cold-sintering. This process strengthens the gears, but the gear teeth surfaces produced through this process can also achieve a certain level of rotational performance. Yet at some point it came to be felt that this was still not sufficient to serve anglers’ sensitive sensibilities. The answer we arrived at was to take gears that had had their material strength increased through cold-sintering and apply to these gears DAIWA’s machine cutting method, one of its representative processing technologies. Honestly, in thinking about the time and cost of completing one gear, we were unsure how far we should take it; but we have taken no compromises and have applied the full strength of modern DAIWA to the problem. As a result, we have fully drawn out the special characteristics of extra super Duralumin, such as high tensile strength and durability, while also increasing precision to the maximum degree possible.
---What are the actual benefits of this?
Technical designer：One of the benefits that can be felt from the moment you pick the product up is the noise-reduction when winding. Noise has been reduced tremendously compared to previous gears, and if you turn the handle for yourself, I think you will really feel the smoothness of the rotation. Another benefit is the previously-mentioned rotation durability. According to our internal company data, this product has over twice the rotation durability of previous products, depending on the specific item, and I think you can really feel how good it is as time passes.
Technical designer：The MONOCOQUE BODY has previously been used for rather large reels, such as the 3500 or 4000 in terms of our conventional sizes, and it has contributed primarily to improving durability and power. However, there are essentially two major benefits to the MONOCOQUE BODY. The first is that it is comprised of a single part, improving its rigidity. This improved rigidity helps to prevent gear slippage and can improve rotation durability.
The other major benefit of the MONOCOQUE BODY is its compactness.Whereas previous structural designs required extra space for screws, this design saves space by eliminating screws, thereby enabling the inclusion of gears of previously impossible sizes. This is an extremely big accomplishment. Having gears fill the interior of the body is just like an athlete who builds their body to be free of unnecessary muscle. Being able to have large-diameter gears enables us to make gears with large teeth, as well. This enables gears to mesh solidly with each other, simultaneously improving rotation durability and hoist efficiency as well.
---It seems difficult to relate this discussion to efforts to make the product more lightweight.
Technical designer：Although it entails a bit of a change in perspective, the fact that we can include gears of larger diameter with the same body size implies that we can also keep gears the same size but make the body more compact instead. Moreover, the unique rigidity of the MONOCOQUE structure means that it can be slimmed down (and therefore more lightweight) while still maintaining the required strength. By using characteristics such as these, with the 18EXIST we have managed to achieve high durability and hoist efficiency while also contributing to a more lightweight design.
Technical designer：Beginning with the 2010 CERTATE, MAGSEALED is a unique DAIWA TECHNOLOGY that has been used in several other series since. Something that has been keenly apparent over the course of numerous reel releases has been the harshness of the reels’ use conditions. The field of fishing always entails seawater, dust, and impurities in the water that are natural enemies to precision instruments like reels, but we nonetheless throw our products into these elements. How do we maintain top-of-the-line performance in these conditions? Seawater in particular poses a vexing problem, as even trying to wash it out from the reel can leave behind salt that forms hard crystals and impedes winding rotation.
However, if a washer or other type of seal is used to make a reel watertight and prevent the entry of seawater, rotation is impeded and slowed. MAGSEALED manages to prevent the entry of seawater and other foreign substances without affecting rotation performance, having been developed so that primary performance could be maintained indefinitely. In the 18EXIST, this combines with the MONOCOQUE BODY’s airtight design to achieve an extremely high level of watertight protection.
Producer：Large TOUGH DIGIGEAR, durable and smoothly rotating, fill up the product’s highly rigid MONOCOQUE BODY, and MAGSEALED is there to protect the gears’ performance. It would not be an exaggeration to say that the combination of these three technologies has constitutes the strongest body unit in DAIWA’s history.
Product Designer：When we started planning the visual design of the product, my first thought was to clear away and forget the “common-sense assumptions” of the past. The producer was passionate about creating something totally new, and the technical designers were passionate in their determination to make something amazing, so I thought we could not less this come to fruition with an ordinary and conventional visual design. To that end, we aimed not for what “should be,” but rather we aimed for “what has never existed before.” Just the visual design alone of this product took around two years to complete. Through that process, we arrived at the conclusion to “remove all ostentatious elements and instead to express the characteristics of the materials themselves to the greatest extent possible.” For example, blanking of the spool is one element of the visual design, but to achieve this the spool must be thick. Wouldn’t it be possible to make the spool thinner without the blanking? With that approach in mind, we made each and every element of the design, and then reconsidering in terms of combining functionality and visual design. This accumulated in a basic design prototype, into which we casually incorporated elements that convey the lineage of the long-beloved EXIST series. For example, that same style can still be seen preserved in the rear cap and other parts of the product.
Technical Designer：One of the points we struggled with after this visual design was set for the product was the visual feel of its materials. For example, the techniques and silver mirror coating used to fully bring out a lustrous brilliance in the spool component do not rely on conventional methods, but instead use new techniques created specifically for 18EXIST to achieve a visual feel unlike any before it. Even in areas like this, we aimed to convey the reel’s innovativeness.
Producer：18EXIST is a comprehensive, high-tech combination of concept, functionality, and visual design. We are eager to share this standout, brilliantly shining product with anglers everywhere as soon as possible.
Producer：We naturally put our all into the development of any reel we release, but there is indeed special feeling put into this one. I think we’ve made a reel that will serve as a guiding benchmark for all of our future reels.
Technical Designer：In a short period of time, we have developed a product with an indescribably large amount of meticulousness and insistence on quality. We hope you will get a sense of the very best of DAIWA TECHNOLOGY and techniques embodied throughout various parts of this product.
Product Designer：I cannot remember a visual design as bold and drastic as this one. So much so that my own value system for reel design has been transformed as a result of this project. I hope that you examine our meticulousness and insistence on quality down to the finest details.