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ICAST 2019 Update Coverage

One for the Enthusiasts: The Shimnao Antares A70 Baitcaster with MGIII


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Event Article: 2006 ICAST Rod Coverage (Special)

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

Components: The Steez rods make use of exotic components from the blank level through the metal hardware. Every component was carefully selected, tested by itself, re-tested on the rod, and then implemented. This rod is warranted for a lifetime, and Daiwa wanted to make sure the components would stand the test of time. In cases where Daiwa could not find a component on the market to meet their strict requirements they went to the lab and engineered their own solution. Daiwa affectionately calls this "no-compromise technology."


This is what the Air-Beam looks like in the various stages of production. First the seat is molded, then injected with flip-flop paint process inside the beam, then treated on the outside


Air-Beam: Fancy names aside, the new Air-Beam reel seat goes against most of what most anglers look for in a reel seat. The lack of  blank through is popular on many rods in Asia, but is this a case of form over function? Daiwa doesn't think so. 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 a inimitable look that makes the reel seat a work of art in itself. 


Just the machined fore-nut is a work of art in itself


Machined Fore-Nut: Designed to match up perfectly with the Steez reel the fore-grip is machined to perfection. Excess metal is removed while a ribbed surface makes it easy to tighten the nut. Daiwa has eliminated the seldom used traditional fore grip to reduce weight, something we are seeing more and more on custom rods. To protect the Air-Beam surface a special gasket liner is used inside the fore-nut. This gasket also allows anglers to tighten the machined nut on your premium reel without fear of scratching the foot. A big plus when you are fishing with magnesium based reels....like the Steez baitcaster.


To protect the paint on the Air-Beam seat a special gasket is used on the inside of the fore-nut


To differentiate the Compile-X Trigger rod a different fore-nut is used. This one has a small foam insert, and is highlighted with anodized aluminum. The locking ring matches the rod's butt section.


The Compile-X version features a unique locking fore-nut


Guides: Daiwa looked at many different options but finally settled on premium Fuji Titanium framed SiC guides. These guides are lightweight, very durable, highly corrosion resistant. The titanium frames were very attractive because they save nearly 1 gram in weight versus stainless steel hardware. This may not seem like a lot of baggage, but to the Daiwa engineers every single gram counted.


To demonstrate the extent they went through to minimize weight they chose special titanium guides over stainless just to save .92g


Grips: Many premium Japanese rods make use of foam versus cork. This is in stark comparison to what most US anglers are used to in a premium rod. Cork is a fantastic material, but tends to age quickly with use, and is susceptible to drying and discoloration just from the very oil on our hands. Foam grips are easy to maintain but often do not offer the same type of sensitive feel. Daiwa was not happy with current EVA offerings and decided to implement new "Air-Foam" grips which are noticeably lighter than cork and conventional EVA grips. They are extremely light, yet dense so they don't have a spongy feel. When I held the grips alone I was surprised how light they were, yet they were able to hold their structure even when I tried to bend them with no blank inside.


The end result...a serious rod specifically introduced for the growing number of US tackle enthusiasts


Conclusion: Daiwa is sure to elevate their presence in the rod market with the new Steez rods. My initial impressions were very positive and from what I have seen the Steez rods certainly have the technology, build quality, and certainly the style to match up with just about any bass rod out there. Prior to this I am not sure how many anglers intending to buy the new Steez reels would have planned to match up the reels with a Daiwa rod. What I am sure of is now many of those anglers are not just thinking about a Steez reel, but rather an entire Steez "rig." For those of you fanatics that wrote in over the last two days and exclaimed "I want a Steez now!" .....your wait is almost over.










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