Some time ago, back in 2011, I wrote a review on the Daiwa Infeet RF68T rod. That was in the early days of my association with Daiwa, and at the time, I’d been using the rod for around 2-3 months. Those that know me, or have seen me out fishing will know that rod still holds pride of place on the deck of my boat, almost always rigged with an Atomic 38 Deep crankbait.
Plenty of time and plenty of fish have passed over the deck of the boat since then, and I still stand by my initial comments.
Everything about the Infeet rod, is light. Designed specifically for use with Fluorocarbon lines, it is effortless to cast, and when fully loaded, the regular action allows for a full parabolic arc in the blank. When combined with the 9 “micro” guides, this helps to exert even line pressure through the rod, thereby utilising the full action of the blank. The end result? Reduced line friction, with less pulled hooks and line breakage, even with ultra light lines.
Now, as is the custom, Daiwa have taken this fantastic product and made it even better. Enter the new TD Commander Electric Strawberry. I’ve been fortunate to fish with the prototype for a little while, and I’m pretty certain, I may have found a replacement for the Infeet.
My initial impression of the rod was that it is extremely light. Even lighter than the Infeet, which is a function of the AGS guides combined with the HVF blank, and as with the Bayonet Division, the airfoam/cork grip and the reel seat are very comfortable in the hand. Having said this, when I picked it up for the first time, I immediately balked at the action. It felt way too fast for my liking, particularly for use as a finesse crankbait rod to fish straight through fluoro, for which I had assumed it would be ideal.
Well first impressions can sometimes be deceiving, and those initial perceptions were quite misguided. I loaded both rods up, side by side, and the Electric Strawberry has an almost identical parabolic arch as the Infeet. This got my interest a little more – a rod that is more crisp in the hand (which aides in casting accuracy and sensitivity), yet loads up like my favourite crankbait rod? When I questioned Brad Sissins, Daiwa Australia’s Marketing and Product Development Manager about this, his response was “I took your favourite rod and made it better”!
Well time on the water has proven this to be the case. The combination of AGS guides with all of their associated benefits, and the blank design culminate in the ultimate crankbait rod. The crispness of the blank and it’s recovery during casting are important for casting accuracy, yet the regular rod action when loaded is perfect for fishing light lures on light line ensuring that fish almost hook themselves on the small trebles of the lures, and the blank cushions those trebles from surges and lunges from the fish during the fight.
These rods should be in store in a matter of days, so don’t take my word for it, check them out for yourself.