Nearly a year has passed since I took possession of a Daiwa Caldia Kix 4000 and teamed it up with a Loomis SJR843 GL3 rod.
Big flathead, school jewfish and a bit of inshore pelagics spinning were the intended roles and after an estimated 300 hours of fishing, here’s my verdict.
This Kix was the first Daiwa threadline I had owned in over a decade. The previous one was a little PM 1600 which was about as big as a modern 2000-size eggbeater. The old PM was a real workhorse often forced into service to spin up bonito and rat kings from Wybung Head. Long before then, I owned a couple of old Daiwa threadlines in the early 1970s and one of the old Silver Series reels which was used for beach fishing through the 1980s. A combination of simplicity and durability has carried through all of these reels and the Kix is no different.
What is quite different is the smoothness of the Kix. I’ve always thought that there’s not much point in judging how smooth a new reel is in a tackle shop. The real test is how smooth it is six months down the track. In all honesty, the Kix feels exactly the same as it did when I first spooled it up – it feels like winding air.
I suspect the Digigear drive train, five ball bearings and one roller bearing have something to do with that. Regardless, they’ve certainly done something right to produce reels that stay so smooth even after some pretty hard use.
At first I spooled the reel up with 8lb Fireline and fished the local rock platforms, spinning up tailor and chucking baits into the washes for bream. Rock fishing is harsh on all gear and a good test for reels like the Kix, which aren’t exactly what one would consider rock-fishing reels.
The one and only glitch the reel has had occurred after a month of rock fishing. The bail roller started to squeal and wasn’t turning freely. A quick spray with WD40 had the roller back in silent working order and it’s performed perfectly since. I suspect a tiny grain of sand or salt crystal had slightly jammed the roller as it certainly wasn’t a case of corrosion.
Over last Summer the Kix was used a lot on Lake Macquarie flathead. Long casting sessions are another test for a reel and once again the Kix felt like more like a cushion of air than a reel. Heaps of flatties were caught with a few around 3kg to 4kg giving the drag a good workout at times.
As we moved into the late Summer pelagic season, I took the Kix back out to the rocks and beaches for what I consider the ultimate test for a small to medium sized threadline – high-speed spinning. The Kix pulls in about 81cm of line per handle turn, which isn’t mega-fast, but certainly enough for this sort of work.
Three hours of pelting metal lures and cranking them back at warp speed is always a test on gearing and the handle assembly. In the past I’ve been very disappointed with a number of threadlines as they became wobbly after only one high-speed spin session. Not this reel. After roughly 30 hours of high-speed spinning, the Kix remained perfectly smooth. The bonito, tailor, salmon and frigate mackerel that wizzed out some string showed that the drag was as smooth as the rest of the reel.
Recently I’ve swapped over to 14lb Fireline and have been chasing snapper, jewfish and rat kings with the Kix/Loomis outfit. So far I’ve tangled with only school jew around 3kg and boated snapper to 5.5kg. The rat kings and a couple of bigger snapper really ripped out line under a heavy drag but everything remained smooth and silent.
Basic maintenance of the Kix has been a simple washdown after each outing and a monthly spray with WD40. If you’re after a simple workhorse-style reel that feels more like a cruisy Rolls Royce, the Kix 4000 fits the bill at around $300. By today’s standards that’s pretty good value for a reel of this quality.
The author has really given the Caldia Kix a good work out on the rocks. Continuous cast and retrieve in this sort of environment is tough on threadline reels but the Kix 4000 has remained perfectly smooth over the course of a year’s hard fishing.
Despite a lot of high-quality threadlines being mechanically complex, the Caldia Kix is quite a simple reel that’s easy enough for the average angler to service.
Daiwa’s Caldia Kix 4000 represents excellent value for money as far as quality threadlines go. Standout features include the perfectly aligned DigiGear drive system, fine mechanical tolerances and a powerful waterproof drag system.Reads: 5016