A lot of things get a lot of hype these days. With social media, forums and other forms of “new media” plenty of products get touted as the most amazing thing ever designed to hit the fishing scene. I understand why it gets done but these days I reserve judgement until I actually use the product. The old Battler series were classic rods in every sense and for their time were the height of aesthetic and technological design and along with other series like the Heartland Z range became collectors items. These were the kind of rods you bought for $400 and sold three years later for $400 (and then wish you hadn’t sold them at all) and would last less than a day on “for sale” forums before they were snatched up. Between myself, Greg and Chris, I would say we still own about 20 of the original Battler and Heartland Z rods.
The new Battler series has certainly had the hype and I’m here to say that in my opinion, after using them, they are easily going to live up to it. Daiwa has been implementing various new technologies for a few years now like Megatop, AGS and SVF Graphite construction but in different “high end” rod ranges like Steez, Tournament AGS and Gekkabijin AGS Ajing. The Battler range is going to call on all of these technologies.
I’ve been following the AGS technology from the start and this is one of the biggest things the Battler range has going for it. The Air Guide System makes use of guides made of carbon fibre rather than metal which makes unbelievably light and sensitive and has been used on the Tournament AGS and the Gekkabijin AGS Ajing. My only problem so far has been that the Tournament AGS line only had 3 rods, which were all very similar just in different weight ratings and the Ajing had 2 similar rods in different lengths. I have used one from each line for a while now. The “Pursuit Special” gets a lot of use for light Snapper and got one hell of a workout on Largemouth Bass when I was in the USA and as you read a few weeks ago the GAA 73L-S Ajing has quickly become my favourite rod. In short, they were awesome but there were not enough of them.
This is where the Battler range has got me really excited, even more so now that I have used them. There are 11 rods from 6’4″ to 8’6″ and every weight rating from ultra light through to heavy and they don’t do that thing where longer just means heavier. There is the UL “Mighty Midget” at 6’4″ and the UL “Kung Fu Prancer” at 7’6″, the heavy “Hot Dog” at 7′ and the medium heavy “Shorehunter” at 8’6″. Basically, there is a rod for nearly everything I would want to do.
Another thing I had to wrap my brain around was the fact that even though the actions of all the rods are stated as “fast” they are actually all quite different. The use of Megatop on some of the rods means the tip is made for casting very light lures and extra sensitivity makes the stated action of “fast” correct but once that light tip folds away when a fish is hooked some of the rods move into a seemingly slower action.
So far I have spent a few good days on the water using the “Noodle Master” and the “Kung Fu Prancer” but with the way the bite has been lately the lions share was with the KFP. My Previous problem with only having one Ajing GAA 73L-S seems to have been solved. The Kung Fu Prancer was right at home throwing Presso Minnows for big, lake Trout on 4lb straight through one day and hopping blades for finicky Black Bream on braid the next. It could launch a lure out a long way but was sensitive enough to detect tiny bites and loaded into a nice parabolic curve when a fish was on.
You will surely be seeing much more in depth reviews of all of these rods coming through the next few months as they all get put through their paces properly but for a first look, I feel safe in saying that these rods will be an instant collectors item that will be coveted for years to come. In fact I already covet them and I don’t think Greg is getting them back 😉