"A rod which, frankly, punches well above it's weight, or at least well above it's price point."
First sample of a brand new budget range of rods from Daiwa. This comes in a lightweight canvas bag, no tube; three sections so in the bag this is a bit longer than most of my modern trout rods, a lot shorter than my salmon rods; the cork grip is turned from modest cork, shapely enough – just; all metal reel-seat, double-locking rings – very solid! Then fit a line.
In the hand this is a light rod, the action is firm and relatively fast. If you can haul, my goodness this inexpensive rod can throw a long long line! Cast without hauling and this feels a little stiff, I want a heavier line or, better, a casting lesson to bring my line-hand into action. Then go back to casting normally, for me that means hauling, throwing a long straight line, the sort of work I use a 10ft rod for, and this is a very effective rod. Casting with the wind at my back, typical of boat fishing, I could punch line into the back-cast. Similarly, casting into a headwind this has the guts (stiffness) to punch my line through a good breeze – helped by a slim, light blank.
At short range, where I would not normally use a 10ft #7, this is a little numb, a little too stiff. Then with more line outside the tip ring, simple lightness means I have easy rod speed, ideal for Spey and roll casts. Try picking line up off the water and this Daiwa lets me lift the head of my WF line with ease.
Daiwa have placed one patch of colour on this rod, just above the butt, otherwise they have concentrated on getting the basics right. The outcome is a rod which, frankly, punches well above it's weight, or at least well above it's price point. My one caution, this comes alive when I double-haul, making this a rod for a more able caster, or, a rod on which to learn how to haul when casting and you will be shocked how much easier your casting becomes.
(At the time of writing this range had only been available to dealers for a few weeks.)
Daiwa Trout Fly
Action angle: 72 degrees
Rings: One lined butt ring, single leg snakes
Fighting butt: Small
Cork quality: Modest
Reel seat: Metal
Blank: Gloss carbon grey
Build quality: Good
Rod bag: Canvas
Rod tube: No
Price: £39.99 (or less!)
From: Daiwa stockists