Not that long ago (2015) the Daiwa Emeraldas Air was a Japanese made reel adorned in gold, turquoise and purple and was the pinnacle of egi reels. It was blingy, bold and every egi enthusiast wanted to have one, it also had a price tag of around $700. 2017 saw the birth of Daiwa’s LT concept and much to the dismay of many Emeraldas fanboys the Emeraldas received a huge overhaul, manufacturing had moved to China, it lost all its bling, and the older model was superseded. Here at Hooked Up we thought it was a better reel. It was lighter and had a faster gear ratio and it has stood the test of time as tough reel, something we couldn’t really comment on in the first review we did.
They’ve now released the Emeraldas Air FC LT and it’s an even bigger departure than the previous model. It seems like a bad move, but I get why, so stay with me here. FC stands for Finesse Custom and it’s a smaller reel at 2500 (they’re traditionally 3000) with a moderate gear ratio of 5.1:1. None of these specs are great attributes of a traditional egi reel aside from the fact it’s available in double handle and features an egi friendly EVA knob.
So, what’s the deal? Well, it’s marketed as a multi species reel, the website even states it’s great for bream, bass or trout- and it is! It’s an awesome reel that features 12 bearings with one in the roller. It has Daiwa’s monocoque tech to house a large drive gear (which is very egi friendly) and it’s super smooth with outstanding line management, it’s just not purely an egi reel, it’s a little too slow and a little too small and light, but you can still work a jig and catch a heap of squid.
In the realities of most fishermen, they’re not going to buy a different reel for every species, and this allows you to have one reel to cover a lot of different species. If you do however want a dedicated high speed 3000 with amazing gears and tech, you can grab a Certate LT, modify the handle slightly and it will be a better reel than any Emeraldas that’s ever existed- and it will cost you the same as the original from 2015.
Distributed By: Daiwa Australia