If you believe all of the hype, the new TD Commander spin rods from Daiwa Australia are the most feature packed spin rods that the Company has ever produced. 7 Cutting edge, light weight blank designs purpose built for individual applications, Megatop tip technology where required, V- joint for ultimate functionality, AGS, Daiwa Surround Reel seats for ultimate comfort and a lightweight, stylish combination of cork and Air Foam grips.
Due for release this winter (2014), I’ve been fortunate enough to trial the prototypes for a couple of rods in the series. With the usual, unusual rod names such as “Electric Strawberry” and “Hell Kat”, that are becoming synonymous with the Daiwa Brand, I was itching to get my hands on a couple and hit my local haunts on the Harbour over Autumn.
I’ve spent a bit more time than usual fishing lightly weighted plastics on the pontoons and poles in and around the harbour. It’s a technique that I probably haven’t done enough of over the last couple of years, so I picked out the new TD Commander – Bayonet Division rod as the perfect tool for the job.
So what were the 4 things that I loved about this rod?
The Blank – Read the specs and you can easily be forgiven for thinking that we’re talking formula one race cars. The high tech, jargonistic descriptions of High Volume Fibre graphite blanks, precise resin control with Bias Wrap Construction and V-Joint basically means it’s a super technically advanced fishing rod blank that is incredibly light, responsive and sensitive. Boil it all down, and I think you’ll agree that is what really maters.
The Bayonet Division is an ultra light, extra fast rod perfect for casting ligtweight plastics around structure. Rated at 1-2 kg, it still had plenty of power to muscle fish quickly from the structure. The beauty of the V-Joint means you get a 2 piece rod without compromising the rod’s action, because the joint is below the stripper guide. This makes the fishing rod far more manageable packing for travel on planes, and in cars, minimising risk of that “AAMI” moment when you snap the tip pushing the rod into the car through the back seats.
AGS – Josh has written extensively about AGS or Daiwa’s Air Guide System because he’s been road testing these high tech guides for a while now. Me on the other hand, I, actually haven’t had a great deal to do with them. Most of the rods that I’ve been using haven’t been equipped with this technology. To be honest, I was a little sceptical of the benefits, much the same as Josh in the beginning. I mean, how much difference can a set of guides make to a fishing rod?
Well let me tell you, I have a slightly altered opinion now. Yes they are super light. That’s the first and obvious thing you notice about rods that are built on these guides. More importantly though, the lightweight, rigid construction of these guides facilitate a rod that allows you to “feel” more and cast more accurately.
Sensitivity – The combination of the HVF blank and AGS guides make these rods about as sensitive as you can get. Josh has written about “being able to tell the difference between mud and sand when a diving crankbait hit the bottom” when using these guides, and I think I have to concur. That, and being able to feel the most minute and subtle “ticks” through the guides and blank make it a perfect “contact” rod.
Casting accuracy – I don’t consider myself to be one of those blessed anglers that can cast a lure wherever I want it. Fishing tight structure, we want to get the lure into the places where the bream live right? Those 10cm gaps in the pontoons, at the back of the tiny crevices, and cracks, under the ledges and up beside the docked boats. All the spots that require a bit of accuracy and ability when it comes to casting. This is one of the reasons why I tend to choose shorter rods. The shorter the rod, the more control you should have, but I’m no Kris Hickson and I still miss more casts than I land. Well the Bayonet Division truly made a difference with my casting! I’ve been landing the lure in those nooks and crannies, and again I have to put it down to the blank/AGS combination.
You see the lightweight AGS guides allow the rod blank to recover more quickly, reducing “recoil” or wobble in the rod tip. What does this mean? The line and lure goes where you want it to go more regularly, and that can only be a good thing.
All in all, the TD Commander Bayonet Division, at 6’6 it’s a tad longer than I would normally go for, to suit this application, but after using it extensively for a while, I’d have to say I’ve been more than pleasantly surprised. If they aren’t already, they’ll be in the shops very soon, and I suggest you take a look for yourself.
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