Like a kid in a candy store! Or, maybe more like my wife Nicky at the antique furniture auction the other day! OK, it’s a crap photo, but that’s how you’d have to describe me, when I visited Daiwa headquarters last week to see some of the new generation Ultralight Bream rods due for release later in the year. Whichever analogy you want to use, I’ll say it was pretty damn exciting.
As has become Daiwa’s policy in recent years, they’ve made a habit of taking their top shelf technology, and applying it to their mid range gear. Steez blank technology in the Black Label range, Mag seal, originally released in the Certate range in the Freams and Caldia’s and even Real Four Technology that is standard in just about all of their light spin reels.
Enter three of the latest light tackle fishing rod series from the Daiwa Stable. Generation Black, Team Daiwa X and Tournament Specialist Bream. I’ll preface this by saying that I’ve only seen and handled the prototypes for these rods in the showroom, but they look and feel great – I can’t wait to spend a day out on the water with them!
The first question that always comes up is price, so let’s get that out of the way now. RRP on these haven’t been released, but I’m led to believe that they will all be sub $400 and that the Generation Black Rods will be sub $200.
Generation Black: The “Budget” range, if you could call it that, of the 3. Aesthetically, Daiwa didn’t miss here! These rods look very sexy! Silver type and trim highlights on matt black. Matt black seems to be all the rage at the moment, with a number of boats and cars that I know of taking on the stealth appearance.
But we all know that looks aren’t everything right? Well these rods are based on Steez & Black label blank actions, combined with quality components, EVA grips and Fuji Alconite guides. Not bad for a rod that is rumoured to sell for under $200!
There are 6 models in the spin range with Daiwa typical, weird names, like Drunken Monkey and Swamp Donkey, but they’ll cover pretty much every fishing application from short accurate casting of lightly weighted plastic lures, casting small hardbodies on straight through fluorocarbon, right through to wrestling larger model Barra and Jacks.
Team Daiwa X: These rods carry the “X” badge, so highly regarded by all Daiwa enthusiasts. Cosmetically, very different to everything that has come out of Daiwa for a while, these rods sat very nicely with me.
Long cork grips and real seats that are reminiscent of the old Heartland Z and Battler ranges, combined with ultra light and ultra thin, sensitive, yet powerful blanks with micro pitch tapering. Finished with new Fuji KR concept guides, there are seven spin rods in the range with technique specific actions, and I can’t wait to get my hands on them!
Tournament Specialist Bream: Designed with the Tournament Bream Angler in mind, this is the top shelf range that won’t have the top shelf price tag. There’s a blank here for every application – a six foot model for pinpoint casting, a seven foot ultralight finesse hardbody model, a powerful “heavy structure” model, and everything in between.
These lightweight blanks are designed for ultimate sensitivity and power, and they are finished with Fuji Sic K Guides, air foam grips and Daiwa’s Air Beam reel seats.
Daiwa have thought of the travelling angler as well with this series. Each model has a 2 piece construction, but the V-Joint system has the break close to the butt. Consequently, the action of the rod isn’t compromised to offer the versatility of a two piece outfit.
Team Daiwa X and Tournament Specialist Bream are due for release in August this year, with Generation Black to follow in September. I can tell you for certain that a day is being planned as we speak to hit the water with the prototypes in the next couple of weeks, so stay tuned for more from us on this…
Oh, and one more thing before I sign off. Some of you will have seen us at Marlo this year with our “self-pimped” Gekkabijin Vibes. Josh and I borrowed Vicky’s bright orange nail polish and with a black texta created our own versions of Mark Gercovich’s “nicely pimped” black and orange clam shell imitations. Well available in spring 2012, will be a new colour in the Gekka Vib range – Black Sniper.
Fished out of the box, the Gekkabijin Vib is a great little Vibe style lure, but upgrading the treble to Ecogear ZX style trailing hooks, they are deadly. Testament to this is the fact that I never have any of these lures, because they get pilfered at every tournament I attend…