Daiwa’s ever expanding range of smaller, high quality threadline reels has been attracting some serious attention over the last couple of years.
At the very top of the tree sits the Steez and Exist reels, but we can’t all afford to buy these without burning holes in our hip pockets. The high quality Daiwa Airity range of threadlines currently retail for around $460 and don’t stretch the budget as far.
Earlier this year I purchased the largest of the range, the Airity 2506. When I say large I mean the dimensions of the reel not the line capacity or weight. In fact, when I first picked up the box that the reel came in I thought it was box – that’s how light these reels are. The 2506’s ‘airmetal’ magnesium body weighs only 195g.
The concept of Daiwa’s shallow spools was one of the reasons that I choose the 2506 over the other sizes in the range. This spool also houses a very finely tuned set of drag washers that are specifically aimed at lighter lines. I wasn’t sure how much 4lb Fireline the spool would hold, so I gave it 20m of 3kg mono and 115m of flame green Fireline. As it turned out, it would have been perfect without the extra little bit of mono as the spool was just slightly overfilled.
I teamed the Airity with a 6’ IMX G.Loomis rod and went off chasing Tuggerah Lakes bream in my canoe. I noticed two things about the lightweight reel immediately. The Fireline constantly fell off the spool, as I had used too much, and that the bail spring was very powerful. The bail arm always snapped back like a big rat trap going off. Although the bail arm would easily snap shut with a turn of the handle, I’ve always preferred to manually close it with a finger flip and it soon became a novelty to hear the loud snap of the bail shutting.
Once a few bream had pulled out some string I noticed how smooth the drag system was. I like to constantly check and re-adjust the drag of any reel I’m using and I found that adjustments on the Airity could be finetuned to suit the exact situation. It also takes quite a few turns of the drag knob to significantly increase the pressure. That’s a good thing when pushing light line to the limits on big fish – a major plus for the serious tournament angler.
After a few months of tangling with Tuggerah bream, the Airity was put to use on a north coast estuary where school jewies are commonly hooked. In no time at all Fireline had peeled off the spool and a respectable schoolie towed the canoe around for 15 minutes. For such a small, ultralight weight reel, the Airity seemed as solid as a rock. Since then a few more school jew have come along and each time the drag system feels as smooth as silk. I must admit that it’s yet to be tested on a real jewie though!
After six solid months of use the Airity still seems impressive to use but I think there are two minor downsides to the reel. One is that I don’t think this reel is as smooth as my Daiwa Certate 1500. You can pick up an Airity for less than a similar sized Certate, but they were originally much more expensive and I would expect that they should be as smooth, if not smoother than a Certate. It may sound a little bit picky, but the difference between the two reels was noticeable.
The other negative aspect is the small line capacity of the 2506 model. Yes, it’s perfect for bream and bass, but the 2000 size would probably make more sense if you expect to hook the occasional jewie or other big fish that’s going to rip out a lot of line. If considering a 2506, I would suggest spooling it up with 2lb braid, as you’ll get more line on the spool and the finely tuned drag will take good care of the light braid.
Overall, the Airity is a very impressive piece of fishing equipment for the serious light tackle angler. If your priority is cutting back the weight factor, the Airity may be the reel for you.
AIRITY 2506 SPECS
|Line Capacity:||100m of 2kg|
|Bearings:||9 plus 1 roller bearing (5 of which are Daiwa’s CRBB)|
|Spool:||Shallow ABS with titanium nitride lip|