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Event Article: 2006 ICAST Rod Coverage (Special)

ICAST Special (Rods) - I want a "STEEZ" now...

Date: 7/24/06
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Admission: Buyers & Press only
Reviewer: Zander

Introduction: After posting our initial ICAST rod coverage we were inundated with messages and mail begging for more information on the upcoming Steez models. We received questions ranging from "Tell me more about the Air-Beam reel seats" to "I want a Steez now, where can I buy one?!" To help satisfy your thirst for more Steez data we decided to follow up our initial coverage with a second dose of of these new enthusiast level rods.


Toru shows Zander the new Steez rods


Whatís a domestic enthusiast reel without a domestic enthusiast rod? Yes fellow dark-siders, Daiwa has not only brought the Steez reels stateside, they are bringing the rods! In a somewhat abbreviated lineup, Daiwa introduced us to 4 new baitcasters and one new spinning rod that are sure to command much attention from the enthusiast crowd. We sat down and discussed this lineupís origins with its designer, Bobby Saraya.


The Steez rods are unbelievably light, yet feature numerous metal components


Steez Rod Features
Daiwa's exclusive SVF Graphite or SVF Compile-X graphite
Bias graphite fiber construction for flexibility, strength, and virtually zero blank twist
Air-Beam reel seat
Machined aluminum fore-screw nut
Fuji SiC guides, cut-proof and corrosion free
Air-Foam grips are noticeably lighter than cork or ordinary EVA foam yet offer a firm, non-slip grip
Laser engraved butt cap
Limited Lifetime Warranty

The Air Beam reel seat is extremely ergonomic, and designed to enhance vibration while reducing overall weight


Steez Rod Series Specifications

Model Power Action Length Pieces Line Wt. (Lb.) Lure Wt. (Ounces) No. Guides
SVF Graphite Trigger rods
STZ 601MFBA M F 6' 1 8-16 1/8-5/8 8
STZ 631MFBA MH F 6'3" 1 8-20 3/16-1 9
STZ 671MFBA MH F 6'7" 1 12-20 1/4-1 9
SVF Compile-X Trigger Rod
STZ 711HFBA H F 7'1" 1 16-30 1/4-1 1/2 9
SVF Compile-X Spinning Rod
STZ 681MLFSA ML F 6'8" 1 4-12 1/16-3/8 9


Like most premium import offerings the Steez is weighted and branded stylishly


Rod Choice: Each of the new rods is designed for a particular lure application. These rods are application specific and matching the right rod to your unique requirements is paramount.


Steez Bass Rods

Rod Lure Application

Top Water Plug, Texas Rig, Rubber Jig, Vibration Bait, Spinnerbait, Crankbait, Weightless Rig

STZ 631MFBA Vibration, Spinnerbait, Buzzbait, Texas Rig, Shallow Crankbait
STZ 671MFBA Texas Rig, Rubber Jig, Spinnerbait, Crankbait
STZ 711HFBA Texas Rig, Carolina Rig, Pitching
STZ 681MLFSA Light texas Rig, Jig Head Rig, Wacky Rig, Minnow


Notice how the Air Beam reel seat contours to the shape of your fingers, with indentations exactly where your fingers rest on the reel seat


These new rods achieve "Style with ease," just as their appellation implies. These Steez rods are quite unlike any rod currently available in the US market. Up till now the early adopters, or "enthusiasts" as we call them here on TT, have imported the vast majority of their offerings. Is the mass market ready in the US to adopt such a rod series? Quite possibly. Take for example Megabass, which now has a devoted following for their rods despite having a premium price point. Yes, there are anglers out there willing to shell out the big bucks for a premium enthusiast grade offering.


The SVF Compile-X models feature a even more aggressive split grip and butt


With price points between $349.95 to 499.95 (for the Compile-X versions) they are priced within parity of some other existing premium domestic rods. The Steez rods are not all about style, they also make use of the very best technology that Daiwa has to offer.


The Compile-X casting rod's bold reel seat


The Steez rods make use of exotic components, and showcase a unique blend of both cutting edge technology and extreme style. A new SVF graphite blend and SVF compile-X graphite were used on these various rods to create a rod that would perform different than any rod out there, as well as elevate Daiwa's brand in the domestic rod market.


The first look at the only spinning rod of the bunch, this Compile-X rod is exclusively made in Daiwa Japan's most advanced factory


Both versions of this rod will make use of the "Bias" graphite fiber first explored in our coverage. Interestingly this process is so advanced, that only Daiwa's flagship plant in Japan can produce the Compile-X versions.


Bobby shows Zander two prototypes, and describes their distinctive actions


When I felt both rods it was hard to discern the exact difference between the normal SVF and SVF Compile-X versions, and only after field testing would we be able to tell you if the X version is worth the additional one hundred dollar investment. What we do know is that Daiwa has made a concerted effort to differentiate both versions, and the X rods feature even more aggressive styling cues from butt to tip.


Both Steez versions use premium Fuji Titanium framed SiC guides


Bobby Saraya, the man responsible for bringing these rods to the US is a guru when it comes to exotic rod materials and design. We had an opportunity to sit down with him in Las Vegas and he broke down these rods one component at a time.

The Machined Aluminum fore-nut

The detail in which Daiwa designed these rods is impressive, and what we initially thought might have been done with design as a priority, in most cases turned out to be functional well thought out engineering. Let's see just how far the rabbit hole goes...


A breakout of all the components on just one Steez Compile-X rod


Next Section: Show me the components!









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