AGS: The final verdict

I’ve been following the development of the Daiwa AGS rods for a long time now right through from the first working prototypes to the finished product and I’ve written about them throughout that time.

These particular models have been designed specifically for Australia, so the fact that I’m going to give my final verdict after using them at the 2nd Hobie Fishing World Championships in the USA for Largemouth Bass for the past 10 days may seem contradictory but all that time fishing really did highlight just what this rod can do.

These rods are designed to be super sensitive and that was half the reason I chose to take it. If there was a finesse (for Largemouth) bite it was going to be a go to rod.

Guess what? The first three days were a finesse bite throwing what the Yanks refer to as a “shaky head”. The day before the official prefish was spent on another Austin lake called Travis where our guide showed us the ropes of crawling a small, strange jighead that had a screw end to hold the plastic and the hook point was buried in either a craw or floating worm.

At first I simply couldn’t get the gist of it. I was hooking fish but it was usually long after the fish had taken it and I went to move the plastic and felt dead weight on the end.

After a little help from Bryan the guide on how to manipulate the rod for fishing shaky heads it all fell into place. I really started to feel every bit of the bottom and Bryan said that when I crawled it over a larger “chunk rock” as opposed to the “pea gravel” around it to let it sit a little longer as this is where the bites would come. Sure enough, I started detecting the more subtle bites, counting to two and used the faster, stiffer action of the Pursuit Special started to drive the hooks home Yankee style.

Prefish day was a little of the same but it was put away to look for other patterns as well but one boat of locals I came across said they had done well in the morning on 1/8oz jig heads and small worms early on.

When I woke the next day and the weather was even colder than the two previous I knew it was time to slow down and simply get a bag. Honestly, I was sitting next to two Americans and I was out fishing them for a lot of the morning.

I needed to feel the contour of the bottom to know when I was near drop off and the larger chunk rock. The bites were very subtle but I was laying into a lot of fish, not all of them size but I did manage to get 6 legals on the shaky head. A lot of which I would have to put down to just how sensitive the AGS was. I credit my doing well at the worlds to simply being consistent and on a day when the fish were finicky – the rod certainly helped me do that.

All in all, this is an enthusiast rod and not everyone is going to rush out and get one but it is a highly functional piece of kit.

As I have said from the start the AGS series is cutting edge F1 stuff and I’m sure in the years to come the technology will trickle down but if you have the inkling to own one of these now I don’t think there is any chance you will be disappointed.

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