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Complete list of all current ICAST 2014 coverage
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Glide Week : Riding the S-Wave!
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Abu Garcia Raises the Speed Bar with their Rocket!
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Daiwa’s Steez EX 100XS offers a Deadly Combination of Both Speed and Precision
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First look inside the new Curado I baitcaster
 


 


Rod Review


Daiwa’s new Steez rods exhibit just as much Performance as they do Style (continued)
 

Casting: My first impression of the STZ631 is that it felt similar to a GLoomis MBR782C in my hands, but the minute I started casting it seemed to feel more like a MBR783C. The rod feels very refined and controlling various lure weights is easy with this “crisp” feeling rod. The STZ631 has a very unique taper that seems to react well to a wide range of lure weights from ultralight weightless plastics all the way up to 1oz lipless cranks. While the rod is a bit short for flipping and pitching I found it was possible to sling lures with great accuracy.

 


The Steez Air-Beam seat is extremely low profile positioning reels in easy palming position

 

The STZ631 can cast just about any light to medium weighted lure, and I found it excellent for vibration baits, spinner baits, cranks, and even Texas rigged Senkos. In fact this 6’3” rod is probably the easiest casting rod I have ever fished when it comes to accuracy alone.  Daiwa’s SVF graphite feels extremely lightweight but I was impressed by the action presented by the blank. Even with a 1oz lure there was no twisting whatsoever. Casting distance is also benefited by quality low friction guides.

 


The Air-Beam seat's flip flop paint seems to change color from different angles

Daiwa looked at many different options but finally settled on premium Fuji Titanium framed SiC guides. These guides are lightweight, especially durable, and highly corrosion resistant. The titanium frames are very attractive because and they save nearly 1 gram in weight versus stainless steel hardware.


The Air-Beam seat is hollowed out for weight reduction

Sensitivity: If there was one area that I was most concerned about on this rod it was sensitivity. The Air-Beam reel seat is undoubtedly one of the most stunning reel seats when it comes to beauty, but where’s the blank through? The Air-Beam reel seat goes against most of what most anglers look for in a reel seat. The lack of the blank through is popular on many rods in Asia, but is this a case of form over function?


The Steez makes use of Fuji Titanium frames SiC guides

The Air-Beam reel seat was built from the ground up and features a hollowed out design that is intended to minimize any excess weight while providing the most ergonomic grip, as well as enhancing vibration through the chamber. Daiwa is also able to use their advanced "Flip-Flop" paint process to create an inimitable look that makes the reel seat a work of art in itself.


A look at the low profile stance of the Steez reel and rod combo

 

After telegraph tests we still hadn’t made up our mind yet on the Air-Beam’s affect on sensitivity. Like other custom rods the lack of a fore-grip makes it possible to extend your index finger to detect vibration off the blank itself…but how many of us actually do this? We left our hands on the Air-Beam for our sensitivity tests. By day two we had formed a solid opinion of the seat….and though I was skeptical at first, the Air-Beam had successfully won me over.

 


The base of the rod features a laser cut insert

 

The Air-Beam translates even the most subtle strikes well and is among the most comfortable trigger grips I have ever fished. There is space on the grip for not one, but two fingers. This helps anglers feel even more connected to the rod, and positions your hands in perfect palming position. This makes it even more important to choose a low profile reel to pair up with the rod.

 


The Air-Foam grips are both comfortable and lightweight

To lock your reel in place Daiwa has machined a compact fore-nut out of aluminum. All excess metal is removed while a ribbed surface makes it easy to tighten the nut. The combination of the ultralight ported Air-Beam reel seat and the SVF graphite is perfect match. Not only does the rod exhibit excellent sensitivity, but it also looks stunning in the process.


The SVF graphite fibers are visible in direct light


Next Section: Power, Ergonomics, Price & Ratings


 

 

 

 

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