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:
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).
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.
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.