daiwa tatula ct review

Daiwa Tatula CT Baitcasting Reel Review: Lightweight Comfort

Casting lightweight lures all day can be tiring on your wrists and hands. But with a palm-sized reel like the Daiwa Tatula CT, you can keep flicking out casts without wearing out.

In my hands-on tests, the Tatula CT lived up to its reputation for being a high-performance reel that’s also extremely lightweight and comfortable. Keep reading to see how it performed across a range of metrics and why it’s one of the best baitcasters for all-day fishing.

Daiwa Tatula CT Review – An Overview

The Tatula CT combines the proven performance and features serious anglers expect from Daiwa’s Tatula lineup with a more compact, ergonomic design.

Weighing just 7.4 oz, the T-wing System Tatula CT feels extremely light in your palm. The small, low-profile frame is shaped to fit comfortably in your hand. Yet hidden inside is a rugged gear train ready for hooking bass, pike, walleye and other hard-fighting fish.

With its lightweight magnesium frame and side plates, the Tatula CT is over an ounce lighter than the original Tatula. It shares the same hardened metal drive gear, Digigear system, and smooth, ball-bearing supported retrieve.

The Tatula CT is available in both left and right-hand models. With gear ratios ranging from 6.3:1 to 8.1:1, you can pick a retrieves speed suited for the lures and techniques you use.

While more compact, the CT retains Daiwa’s proven T-Wing line management system. This innovative line guide keeps the line from ballooning up on the cast, resulting in longer, smoother casts.

Between the lightweight build and line control, the Tatula CT excels at casting small lures all day without wearing out your wrist. Let’s look at some key features that set this reel apart.

Key Features and Benefits of the Tatula CT Baitcasting Reel

Lightweight, Low-Profile Design

  • At just 7.4 oz, the Tatula CT is incredibly lightweight for a baitcasting reel. During lengthy fishing outings, a few ounces less makes a big difference in comfort and fatigue.
  • The low-profile frame fits perfectly in the palm of your hand. Its smooth contours and lightweight feel reduces wrist strain that can occur when palming bulky reels all day.
  • The palm-fitting size doesn’t compromise on gear capacity. It still holds plenty of sturdy 10 lb test braid.
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T-Wing Line Management System

  • Daiwa’s unique T-Wing line guide minimizes friction on the cast. This allows the line to flow freely off the spool without ballooning up.
  • By eliminating backlash-causing friction, T-Wing improves casting distance and accuracy. Even lightweight baits fly farther and truer.
  • The T-Wing aperture is optimized for braided lines. Braids pass cleanly through without digging in for smoother casting performance.

Digigear Digital Gear Design

  • The proven Digigear system rotates on finely cut brass gears. This results in smooth, reliable retrieves year after year.
  • Digigear’s digital gear design minimizes gear backlash when setting the hook on fast strikes.
  • The drive gear is cold forged then hardened for extreme durability against corrosion and wear.

Magforce-Z Magnetic Braking

  • Magforce-Z uses magnets to consistently control spool speed. The brakes respond quickly during casts to prevent backlashes.
  • Easy to fine-tune by rotating the external dial from 0-10 to match baits and conditions. Find the “sweet spot” for any lure.
  • Cast control remains reliable over time since it’s magnet-based rather than relying on friction from brake pads.

Rigid Aluminum Frame and Sideplates

  • Made from durable, lightweight aluminum rather than plastic. This increases rigidity when cranking in feisty fish.
  • Aluminum construction ensures precise gear alignment for smooth winding performance.
  • Hard anodized aluminum side plates look great and provide corrosion resistance when fishing in saltwater.

95mm Swept Handle

  • The elongated 95mm swept handle provides increased cranking leverage.
  • Its ergonomic angle and palm-fitting size makes it easy to fish all day without hand strain.
  • The machined aluminum handle is cut away for comfort and improved grip.
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Field Testing the Tatula CT Performance

I tested the Tatula CT over several weeks, fishing for bass and pike with a variety of lures ranging from tiny 1/16 oz finesse baits up to bulky spinnerbaits. Here’s how the reel performed across several key metrics:

Casting Distance

The T-Wing system lived up to its reputation for adding yards to my casts. I effortlessly hit targets far across the pond on windy days.

Without friction robbing energy, the spool unleashed lengthy casts even with light baits like 1/8 oz crankbaits. The magnetic brakes kept overruns in check.


The spool speed stayed consistent thanks to the Magforce-Z brakes applying the optimal tension. This allowed me to hit targets precisely and avoid tangles in shoreline brush.

Line Capacity

I loaded the reel with 10lb braid, which provides the strength for horsepower while the thin diameter enables long casts. The spool held plenty of line for any situation.

For pike in heavy cover, I’d step up to 20 lb braid for abrasion resistance without losing casts or capacity.

Drag Smoothness

The Tatula CT boasts a maximum drag of 13.2 pounds, which proved plenty strong. Fighting a 4 lb bass felt easy.

The carbon fiber drag stayed silky smooth. I could crank down the star drag when a big fish made a run without it feeling jerky or sticky.

Ergonomics and Comfort

The low profile design and swept handle fit perfectly in my hand, even when I palmed the reel for hours. No more achy wrists!

Weighing just 7.4 oz, it was easy to flick the rod all day without wearing out my wrist or forearm.

Noise Level

The precision cut brass gears stayed whisper quiet, even under heavy loads. No annoying whining or grinding noises.


After several weeks of use, the reel still looked and performed like new. The aluminum frame and components showed no corrosion or wear. Clearly built to last years of hard fishing.

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Alternatives to Consider

The Tatula CT matches or exceeds the performance of any reel in its price range. But here are two alternatives anglers might also want to look at:

Shimano Curado K:

Another lightweight and reliable baitcaster. The Curado K has a compact frame with Shimano’s centrifugal and magnetic SVS braking. It sells for around the same $180 price point.

Abu Garcia Revo SX:

Also around $180, the Revo SX is a bit heavier at 8.8 oz but sells at a similar price point. It’s a good option for anglers wanting a workhorse that can handle heavier lures.

Conclusion – Ideal for All-Day Fishing Comfort

After several weeks testing it across a variety of conditions, the Daiwa Tatula CT quickly won me over. Its lightweight feel and silky smooth performance made long days of casting a pleasure instead of a chore.

While pricey at around $180, the precision machining and thoughtful engineering shows in its flawless smoothness. Plus it’s lightweight enough for marathon fishing days. For serious bass anglers or tournament competitors, it’s money well spent.

Between the T-Wing for frictionless casting and Magforce-Z for controllable speed, the Tatula CT unleashes impressive casting potential. Lures fly far and accurately into the sweet spot every time.

While the CT sacrifices a bit of max drag compared to bulkier Tatula models, the 13 lb carbon drag proved plenty strong. Its smoothness and reliability also shined when battling big fish.

If you’re seeking a high-end baitcaster that lasts for years while reducing fatigue, the Tatula CT is a perfect fit. The quality is obvious when holding it, and the comfort sells itself after a long day on the water. For anglers ready to upgrade, you’ll quickly appreciate why it’s one of the most popular reels around.