The Tatula Elite comes in three standard sizes: 6.3:1, 7.1:1, and 8.1:1. Of the three, Zona has found himself using the 8.1:1 the most.
“I love the fast retrieve for topwaters and speed reeling bladed jigs for shallow fish. It really shines of topwater, and you can cast a long way with just a flick of the wrist,” said Zona. “It is great for when fish come up schooling way out from the boat. It is amazing how easy it is to bomb a cast.”
All three gear ratios have their time and place according to Zona, and each of the different models shares the same ability to launch a bait. Read R
TATULA ELITE PITCH/FLIP
In addition to their long cast version, Daiwa also released a new reel designed for flipping and pitching. It has a shallow light spool and comes in a 7.1:1 and 8.1:1 gear ratio. This helps make it perfect for the technique, but Zona says the bigger handles are his favorite part of the new reel.
“When flipping and pitching, you don’t need a deep spool. The shallower spool they use is perfect because it lets you have the right amount of line that you will be using,” said Zona.
The line capacity for the Pitch/Flip model is 100-yards of 14-pound-test and 90-yards of 16-pound-test. The standard version can hold 150-yards of 12-pound-test and 125-yards of 14-pound-test line.
Another plus for the new reel is the larger handle.
“Give me a handle I can grab and big knobs for leverage. The worst thing when you are flipping and pitching is when you go to set the hook, and your thumb slips off of the reel paddle,” added Zona. “They eliminated that with the bigger handles and knobs. It is exponentially better to have a reel with a longer handle.”
The Pitch/Flip model has a 100mm handle as opposed to the 90mm that comes on the long cast version.Besides just the handle size, the shallower spool helps to improve accuracy. The A7075 shallow light spool helps with smoother line release, which leads to better presentations when flipping and pitching.
Mark Zona spends many days each year on the water filming Zona’s Awesome Fishing Show, Bassmaster’s Zona LIVE, and countless other shows and sponsor obligations. Throughout this, he’s learned to have rods and reels that help make his job easier. The latest is the Daiwa Tatula Elite baitcast reel lineup. •