Tournament Specialist Bream – My Fluorocarbon selection

Not all rods are made equally.  The Tournament Specialist Bream range shouldn’t surprise anyone, Daiwa have been creating gems just like these rods for many, many years and getting hold of these rods has highlighted how much the technology advancements just keep rolling in.

You may think that research and development and technology should or would only apply to reels, you’re dead wrong.  Firstly, the importance of a fishing rod is often overlooked and the focus is placed on the reel but what often escapes anglers is the amount of work a rod does compared to a reel.  Your rod may be designed to act as drag or a buffer or alternately as a “come here” stick, resembling a broom handle or somewhere in between and the Daiwa range are particular designed to suit a need, all of this while your reel is a device that holds and retrieves line, while having a smooth drag… Period!

With Bream, the situation you’ll find yourself in depends more on the technique you are employing more than anything else and more often than not, should be chosen based on the underlying fact that bream have soft mouths that tiny hooks can be ripped from.  With this in mind and the fact I fish a lot of treble hooks, I find myself reaching for the softest rods I can get my hands on.

Enter the Tournament Specialist Bream rod range.  With a selection from 6ft through to 7ft 6in, there is at least one rod for every style of fishing (if not multiples) and with an ever increasing range of techniques employed for bream fishing, there is something here that will suit the need.  Testing in winter almost immediately rules out a surface session but I was able to use them in a couple of scenarios.  This is my fluorocarbon selection:

TNSB 602ULFSOH

My favourite and not surprisingly, there are not enough 6ft rods in the world and this one reminds me heavily of the Heartland Z Finesse Special of old.  The Finesse Special is like hens teeth and for good reason but I can guarantee this rod will appear on the casting decks of all the lureandfly.com boats.

I used the 602ULFSOH for throwing small crank baits and stick minnows.  With a smooth parabolic arc, this rod helps to prevent fish tearing the small treble hooks that we use from their mouths.

Short rods are great for pitching at tight structure where casting accuracy is key.  The 602ULFSOH works well when lobbed or flipped into structure and this comes down to the action of the blank where the rod doesn’t necessarily have to be loaded to get the most out of it.

When hooked up, this rod behaves well but the shorter reach of the rod does limit control over a fish (being able to guide the fish using the rod tip) due to the length.  The parabolic arc (where the rod loads almost equally throughout the blank) acts like your reel drag and applies steady, even pressure and can be adjusted by changing the angle of the rod (point the rod at the fish to relieve pressure, point the rod to the sky or away from the fish to apply more pressure).

TNSB 672ULFSOH

Considered an all-rounder, I found this rod was great for fishing around structure.  Not quite long enough to be cumbersome but not so short that it impacted casting distance and control, I was regularly using this rod casting at edges and structure, where casting and fish control is imperative.

Similar to the 602ULFSOH, the parabolic arc this rod makes is an advantage when fishing spinning fluorocarbon.  Along with the natural characteristics of the fluorocarbon, the rod takes the headshakes and lunges that the fish will throw at you and considering there may only be a single hook point, from a tiny treble just buried in the mouth of your prized fish, parabolic arcs help to keep it there.

TNSB 702ULFSOH

At 7ft, this rod provides that extra casting distance.  Using a 2000 sized reel with spinning fluorocarbon, I was able to fish small vibration baits and jig heads, covering larger expanses of water.   This rod really bridged the gap for me between my short, soft rods and the longer but firmer rods that I had to play with.

This rod is a good start point for fishing fluorocarbon.  I often hear of anglers who are hesitant to fish this type of line because of the loss in sensitivity and immediately reach for their extra fast rod to try and remedy the problem.  What happens from here is only expected, they hook a fish and due to the extra fast blank, they risk tearing the hooks from the mouth of a fish.

Enter the 702ULFSOH – the parabolic taper helps to prevent the hooks tearing or pulling from the mouth of your fish but this rod would be equally at home with a jighead or blade fished with braided line.  Being a versatile option, this rod can be used effectively with both line types.

9 responses to “Tournament Specialist Bream – My Fluorocarbon selection

  1. Hi Chris,
    How does the TNSB 672ULFSOH compare to your Daiwa Geka rod? Do you use your Geka for crankbait and stick minnow as well?

    Do you have a price range on the TNSB rod?

    Thanks
    Matthew

    • Hi Matthew,
      The 672 and 602 are similar to the Gekka rods. I certainly like the action of both the TNSB and Gekka for crank baits and stick minnows on fluorocarbon.

      Sorry, I’m not 100% sure on price.

      Thanks,
      Chris

  2. I don’t know the price, I suppose Tackleworld will suprise me. as I ordered the 7 ft the monday after I fished with you in the Abt, even splashed out and ordered a 2000 Certate, loaded with3lb fluro to go with it. can’t waite for it to arrive and use it. Allan

  3. How does the TNSB 602ULFSOH compare to the Steez Super Skyflash?

    Ever since a mate broke my Heartland Z No Sinker Special I’ve been looking for a replacement for that. Have never found a rod that since that could cast unweighted plastics the same distance.

    Cheers,

    Darren

    • I have only had my Specialist tournament bream rod a short. but I love it is set up with a Certate reel with 3lb fluro carbon. I don’t have any problems casting light weights, but mainly use it to throw crank lures. I also use a black label BL691UFS 6′ 9″ matched with a Luvias 2000 with 2lb line, I throw 1/40 jig heads with small prawn lures with this. Because I love this set up for throw light weights I don’t use the other rods for light weigh jigs that much. I also have a Steez rod and reel but has braid line. this I mainly use for hard bodies. hope this helps. by the way. the first time I used the Black label and the luvias with an 1/40 and an eco prawn, I landed 15 bream in the first hour. then went after flathead. Allan

    • Hi Darren,
      I reckon (I may be shot by Greg and Josh for saying this) the TNSB672ULFS is better than my Heartland Z Finesse Specials. I own 2 of the Finesse Specials but I still think the TNSB672ULFS is better.

      I haven’t used the Skyflash and TNSB602ULFS side by side but I do know that I’d take either. In terms of affordability, the TNSB602ULFS wins because it is such a good rod for the money but it’s hard to argue against a Steez!

      For plastics, I’d also look at the TNSB702ULFS. This served me really well with plastics but is still soft enough for other applications. Keep an eye out for some video reviews that Greg will be doing.

      Regards,
      Chris

  4. Hi guys wondering if you could help me. I’m having trouble deciding over the tnsb602ulfs and tnsb672ulfs I will be fishing in tight structure and need to be able to extract the fish out quickly and change its direction so it does not bust me off. The bream are tight under bridge pylons and they don’t come out from underneath so when I drop my lure right next to it I get sucked in instantly under the pylon.

    • Hi Kiet,
      I’d say those tnsb’s would be a bit light for heavy structure. I would be more inclined to use my 6’10 black label :)

      Chris

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