daiwa made, the reels do not feature an anti reverse or a drag as the sole intention was to backwind when playing fish, just as people used to do with Abu 501's and 506's, after they had removed the anti reverse dog, Daiwa went a step further producing an ultra light closed face without both and saved a chunk of weight - they also feature a pick up that does not need the big leaf spring that Abu's had, and in so made a bullet proof pick up held, and housed under the bell cap, all in all a really solid closed face reel that - when converted to bearings - makes an ultra light reliable and sturdy reel that will handle anything from chub to carp and barbel that's almost indestructible.
As you can see, as standard the reel only came supplied with two plastic bushes, which, although they did their job adequately, gave the reel a bit of a 'cheap' feel and in my opinion, sold it a bit short.
The 123M is in essence a really well built and well engineered piece of kit ......
Solidly built and pretty much indestructible, this reel suits big, hard fighting fish like carp and barbel, the control that backwinding brings for me, is a bit like playing a fish on a centrepin, it's something you need to experience, and with the reel running on two stainless ball bearings, it's something to be enjoyed !
Being a carbon body it is very light in weight, more or less impervious to rust and won't suffer paint falling off or oxidisation . . . . . . . . . . .
Along with a thorough strip down and clean out to factory clean standards before re-fitting, each part is checked for wear to be sure it will be silky smooth when converted.
Whether you fish rivers for dace and chub, or barbel on heavy lines, or prefer the ease of use for a commercial carp fishery, this little reel will handle it all . . . . . .
And as an owner of Abu 501's and 503's I can tell you...... reliability wise this is on par with either, weight wise it wins hands down, but I always had a soft spot for Daiwa's !
It's a no brainer, swapping the top row for the bottom !
I charge £24.50 for a bearings upgrade, which includes a service and reel check
AND the return postage to you ! If you bear in mind that you can pick these reels up on eBay quite often for under £20 on auctions, it has to be the best value for money you can get !
That single pick-up built in, without the need for the (fairly) unreliable leaf spring of the Abu's, Daiwa did away with it and proved it wasn't really needed, and in so, simplified the design of closed face reels, without compromising reliability.