Being some what of a big fish junkie myself, I am always interested in stronger more capable reels. I for one would always be experimenting with various drag washers and drag greases in order to give the normal run of the mill issued reels a little more oomph in their stopping power, lets face it the latest reels, be it Daiwa, Penn or Shimano have all got the correct materials and development required to make them strong and capable of handling seriously big fish, the manufacturers definitely wont spend the amount of money they do on development if this was not the case.When news of the new Daiwa Saltiga 50 HK Hyper multiplier made it my way I insisted on the first reel imported to be put aside for my grubby paws to test. The reason I was so interested in this reel was because of its drag abilities. The normal size Daiwa, Shimano and Penn multiplier reels have drags rated between 8 to 12 kilos. These ratings are good but as far as I am concerned not really good enough considering the distance and size of baits we are using to hook monstrous fish. The Hyper boasts a 15 kilo drag, now that is raw power when it comes to a multiplier style reel.When I finally got my hands on my new toy I loaded it full of 50 pound braid and .55, 18.1 kg Kingfisher Giant Abrasion mainline. I got hold of a mates scale and was soon pulling him around the lounge testing the drag, to my surprise it tested to 15.5 kilos when tightened to the max, that&rsquos 3 kilos more drag than my modified standard Saltiga drag. The next thing I had the reel stripped to pieces, after using the correct amount of grease on the drag washers and other parts and putting it back together it tested to 18.5 kilos, now I had caused myself a serious headache, I know my Bimini on the braid tests to 16 kilos, too light for the strength of the new drag rating, so some homework was needed. I needed to get the knot strengths up in order to handle the raw power of the drag system, a braid stitch on the 50 pound braid was the answer for the braid knot, it tests to around 20 kilos making it pretty ideal to use with the Daiwa&rsquos powerful drag, the .55 Kingfisher Giant Abrasion tests to around 18 kilos so loading it with .57 Siglon was my only choice. The stitch knot to the .57 Siglon mainline pulled a 25 kilos salter scale flat without breaking, now that is in my words unbelievable.The true test came in at Mazeppa Bay, where due to dirty cold water the raggies were rampant and soon had us stretching our lines to the max, because of a tournament which was on the go we chose to fish Sharks Point, where it is very difficult to land fish, particularly raggies and without a gaff on top of it. There is a narrow gully on the left of the point where one has to steer the fish towards, then once in line pull them as hard as you can to get their head coming into the gully. The first fish I hooked on the Daiwa Saltiga Hyper was a raggie of around 100 kilos, it tussled hard but as soon as I had its head in line with the gully, three clicks on the saltiga drag had its head coming straight into the gully, even when the water washed back the drag smoothly allowed the slightest amount of line to come off the spool without parting off. This to me was a true test, the next fish however gave it a proper test, a raggie of nearly 150 kilos again gave me hell around the bricks but once again when it was lined up nicely with the gully a few clicks on the drag had the .57mm Siglon mainline and 1,5mm T-Line stepped leader pulled to the absolute maximum, at one stage I thought my arms were going to be pulled out of their sockets, other anglers around us could not believe how easily we had maneuvered such a large fish into a land able position in such a short period. The reel was now well and truly tested, and it more than matched my expectations.Straight off the shelf the reel is already a real mamba and no adjustments are necessary at all, as I said above it is a passion of mine to play around and get the maximum performance out of any of the tools I use, but using it as it is will still deliver better results. If you are not familiar with the interior workings of these mean machines then rather leave them be, if you, are then using less grease on the drag washers will help increase the drag abilities. Most reels have no grease on the washers however I have definitely found a little grease to do wonders.Incidentally, the Saltiga Hyper has been designed for our harsh South African fishing conditions. Most of the standard multipliers available off the shelf are specifically designed with offshore fishing in mind. The Kingfisher, being the importers of Daiwa into SA have had a few adjustments done to the standard issue reels and have made small tweaks to their entire Daiwa range in order to make them more South African friendly. After all we are one of the only countries in the world where shore fishing is done the way we do it, wading, swimming along beaches and fishing from treacherous rocks is something only practiced in a mere couple of other countries worldwide. The HK label on the Saltiga range sets them apart from other Saltiga&rsquos worldwide, as HK is only placed on reels with adjustments made to counteract our local conditions.By Raymond de Bruyn, Pro Angler.

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