The new Daiwa Z series represents a further development in the company’s range of high-performance fishing rods.
Getting the right blend between a casting tool and fishing rod is never easy but this five-rod range, which I have been helping to develop, hits the spot.
One of the major problems with designing a rod is finding the correct benchmark when it comes to an angler’s physique and casting technique, which gives a wide variation in potential performance. Most anglers don’t look at a rod from that perspective – they are more touchy feely, and if it feels good in the hand and casts well, they buy it.
A good fishing rod should be adaptable to cover all fishing scenarios…and this is where Team Daiwa Z steps into the spotlight.
There has been a move to quite stiff rods in an attempt to increase leverage and therefore distance, but these rods can feel like hard work on the beach. In reality it is important to bend the rod to fully utilise its performance and make it feel easy to hit the required distance.
Shore fishing can require a lot of physical effort, and you don’t want to be straining at every cast. Daiwa’s Z rods attempt to fulfil these requirements as efficiently as possible with the technology currently available.
The blanks are now split into two equal sections to improve both storage and transportation, and have been designed so the joint has minimum impact on the rod’s action. The parallel handles are fully covered to allow the reel to be fitted anywhere along its length. The angler can choose between the up or down reel position and then fine-tune it for power delivery and reel control.
Tough BNHG Fuji rings are still the most robust option for working fishing rods. The ring sizes and spacing give the best performance with either multiplier or fixed-spool reels because there are specific models for each reel type.
The bottom half of each rod has a combination of flex and rigidity to generate leverage for long-range fishing, yet feel comfortable during the cast. If the bottom section is too stiff the rod will feel harsh; too soft and the power will not transmit to the tip efficiently.
The top section has a distinct tip action and is a bit softer than previous models. Again this gives the rod a progressive feel, even with exaggerated casting techniques. The varying conditions a shore angler can face often means exaggerated casting techniques are not possible, yet long casts are still required. So it is necessary to compress the blank with simpler casting styles if good performance is to be achieved.
Bite detection from the flexible tip is also enhanced, allowing the tide to set the perfect bend and show both pull down bites and slack liners. Then, when landing fish, the tip works to minimise loading on the hook-hold, reducing the chance of it pulling out.
When I carried out the initial tests on these rods they were ‘softer’ than others I had been using, and I wasn’t convinced of their casting potential. However, after a brief period adjusting to the different action I was left in no doubt that distances were better. Their combination of appearing to use less effort with increased comfort, while retaining performance, was a big bonus for a high-performance fishing rod.
With their thoughtful design and quality finish, these rods are set to establish themselves as class leaders. The 12ft 6in rod is perfect for those who favour a high reel position and pendulum casting. The 13ft 6in version offers increased leverage, works well with a low reel placement and is ideal for less complicated casting styles.