TCM – Brand vs Brand

This is the second part of the Tackle Choice Matrix and we will have a look at how the same reels of the same brands shape up against each other. Then we will compare the best two reels of each brand with one another to see who has the best reel. Do not skip to the end!


Daiwa Medium

If you only look at the 5 primary factors of the Daiwas in 3000/3500 size the Ballistic is the most superior reel scoring at 13.92. The Saltist wins when it comes to secondary factors, mainly because of its absolute beauty with a total of 13.15. With the scores combined however the Ballistic is the winner with a total TCM score of 26.31, followed by the Saltist on 26.28 and the BG on 24.57.

The reel with the best Price/Performance % and thus the best value for money is the Exceler with 65% followed by the BG on 61%.




When comparing the Primary factors of the Penn reels there was one clear winner. The Slammer outscored its closest competitor with more than 2 points and has a total of 13.05. This mainly because of an drag of 30lbs and a superior line capacity.

I actually couldn’t believe the drag in the Slammer and went to my local to go and test it. I closed the drag and tried to turn the spool with my hand but couldn’t.  It is a ridiculous amount of drag in a light/medium reel. I suppose the only criticism would be that its too much… You don’t need it, but its still astonishing.

The Slammer also won the secondary factors with 10.97, followed by the Spinfisher on 10.35. It is no surprise then that the Slammer blows all his siblings out of the water with a total score of 23.93 followed by the Clash on 20.93.

The best value for money reel is the Fierce2 with 90% followed by the Battle2 on 59%.



The reel winning the primary section is the Sustain FG with 11.47. This is mainly because of the amount of bearings in the reel. The Stradic is second with 10.77 followed by the Ultegra on 10.58.

Interestingly the Sustain has the worst drag of all the Shimmis at 20lbs. This is probably because it is the only one left with felt washers compared to the newer models. It has been rectified in the newer Sustain FI released this past week.

When it comes to the secondary factors the Sustain won again with 10.53, surprisingly followed by the Sahara on 10.17. This was mainly because of the price, which at R1050 is very good.

The best value for money reel is the Sahara with 94% followed by the Nasci on 66%.

The big boys face off

I took the two best reels for each of the main brands and compared them against each other. The results is interesting and surprised me.

I decided to use the new “blue” Saltist and Saltist BG instead of the Ballistic (Daiwa winner) because its the newer Daiwa models and wanted to see how they compared to the rest.

Main Brands

The primary section was won by the Slammer with 11.08, followed by the Sustain at 10.46 and the Stradic coming in third place with 10.12.

With the secondary factors the Sustain won with 10.56 followed by the Saltist and Slammer on 10.27 each. Its important to note that the Sustain makes a comeback because of the higher brand rating and its stunning look. The Saltist won the look section with a score of 9 with its stunning black and blue features.

And the winner is… The SLAMMER with a total TCM score of 21.35!!! Slamming all hope and believe I had that the Shimanos will conquer all. The Sustain comes in second with 21.02 followed by the Saltist at 20.14.

The reel with the best P/P% and value for money is the BG with 46%.

One more thing

Remember the Primary factors is based on fact, whilst the Secondary factors, apart from the price, that change all the time, is based on your personal scoring. That combined with the fact that certain factors might be more important to you than others might result in a total different outcome.

Hope you enjoyed!

Tight Lines



3 thoughts on “TCM – Brand vs Brand

  1. Hi Blikkies,

    Interesting stuff. As you say, the second category is down to an individual’s preference and will change significantly from person to person.

    My impression for example is that penn spinning reels breakdown when put under serious fishing pressure (This isn’t a problem for me as I don’t have the opportunity to fish that much, but it does leave an uneasy thought).

    I have an old silver daiwa exceller, which I was given second hand and it hasn’t let me down (expect for the need to replace the line roller, which got jammed). It’s caught some good fish and has been a really reliable reel. However, my perception of Daiwa is that authentic parts for repairs are really hard to come by.

    I’m biased toward shimano, and the reason for this is a humble old solstace, which has been a lucky reel. It’s caught countless grunter, steenbras and leeries in rivers and has never given an issue over many years. As a result of this I’ve recently bought the stratic 5000fk for medium to big edibles and the small 2500 sahara for grunter and light lure fishing is estuaries. I will have to use them and catch a lot more fish to see if they stand the test of time …. if they do (as I expect them to) then my perception of the secondary factors will become even more skewed in shimano’s favour.


    1. Hi Gareth! thanks for the comment.
      Exactly, I have had bad experiences with Penn regarding spares that I had to wait for on two different occasions. The one time I waited 3 months and the other 4 months for a part. On both occasions the local store ended up stripping a new reel from the shelve to get my reels repaired…

      Penn therefore doesn’t have a high rating form my point of vue. I haven’t broken a Shimano yet…


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s