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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
 


 

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Event Article: 2006 ICAST Rod Coverage


ICAST Coverage Day 2 (Rods) - Perfectly matching reels in application, balance, and style (continued)
 

Daiwa: Daiwa narrowed the gap between import  enthusiast reels and domestic reels with the introduction of their Zillion and Steez reels here at the show. To match up perfectly with their ultralight 5.5oz Steez baitcast reel and their 6.9oz spinning reel they decided it was time to bring their new line of Steez rods stateside. These are among the most stylish rods ever and simply the most advanced rod Daiwa has ever produced.

 


We were greeted by Bill Liston, Daiwa's Marketing Manager

 

Daiwa believes the US market is ready to fully embrace enthusiast level tackle, and if our own forum is any indication they are right on the money. The Steez rods make use of exotic components, and really showcase a unique blend of technology and style. These are not ordinary tools, but each and every rod has a unique character to match it's distinctive abilities.

 


The new Steez rods are beautiful, and feature import refinement and aesthetics

 

We were pretty shocked to see the complete lineup of Steez rods, and felt like we were standing on the show floor at the Tokyo tackle show. Bobby Saraya, Rod Product Manager for Daiwa, is an expert in premium rod design and is responsible for bringing these rods to the US market. He explained that they are designed to be the ultimate bass rods...bar none.

 

Bobby Saraya is responsible for bringing the Daiwa Steez rods to the US, and enthusiasts everywhere will be glad he did

 

No compromises were made when designing these rods. A new SVF graphite blend and SVF compile-X graphite were used on these various rods to create a super sensitive rod. Unlike most rods on the market the graphite features a unique super-interlocking weave dubbed "Bias graphite construction." This creates a unique flex point, increased strength, ad virtually zero blank twist! 

 


The Air-Beam reel seat is designed to minimize weight and enhance vibration sensitivity...and it looks great too

 

Interestingly these rods do not feature a blank through reel seat. Instead Daiwa went to the drawing board to design a reel seat to help amplify sensitivity while reducing weight. Their answer is the unique "Air Beam" reel seat which features a hollowed out core, and special ribs that touch the blank. The artistry on these reel seats is phenomenal, and when you look at them they have a 3D effect. This is achieved with a unique flip-flop paint finish, which is a similar process to that we first saw on the TD Cielo rods.

 


Bobby shows Zander each individual component that goes into the making of each rod

 

First the reel seat is hollowed out, then paint is injected through the core, so that paint is actually inside the reel seat and can never rub off. Then a hard outer coating is applied to the seat itself, but the core remains exposed right where your fingers grasp the rod. The end result is absolutely beautiful. The reel seat is capped with an ultralight machined fore-nut and the foregrip is removed completely for weight reduction. Fuji Titanium frames SiC Guides are used throughout, and are both cut proof and highly corrosion resistant.

 


The reel seat in a SVF graphite based Steez rod

 

Daiwa also addressed ergonomics head on with the implementation of a brand new grip called "Air-Foam." These are noticeably lighter than cork and EVA foam, yet feel very dense and comfortable in the palm of your hand. For aesthetics and balance a laser engraved butt-cap showcases the "Steez" logo.

 


Zander tests a normal graphite rod side by side with a Steez to see if there is any difference in feel and response

 

These rods are already starting to ship to dealers this month, and will range in price from $349.99 to $499.95 depending on the rod. There are currently a total of 5 rods in the series, 3 of which use SVF graphite, and two of which use SVF compile-X graphite.

 


The laser etched butt cap

 

Both versions use "Bias" graphite fiber, but the Compile-X rods use it from butt to tip while the rods only use it on the lower portion of the rod. Daiwa builds rods at plants in Thailand and Japan, but the Compile-X rods are so difficult to build that these can only be manufactured in their most advanced plant in Japan.

 


The cap of the more expensive SVF-Compile-X Steez rods

 

With such an investment it is good to know that Daiwa is warranting these rods with a limited lifetime warranty. The Steez rods are breathtaking to see, but when you feel them side by side with a normal graphite rod you can instantly feel the difference in sensitivity and response. The Steez is a dream come true for Daiwa fans that have looked at other import customs to match up with their ultralight reels. With the new premium reels, tuning parts, and now Steez rods we can tell Daiwa really "gets it" when it comes to addressing the bass enthusiast market head on....heck even Steez fluorocarbon line is on the way! 

 


These Compile-X versions will be available in a 7'1" H and a 6'8" F spinning version. The process is so complicated that they can only be made in Japan

 

Daiwa also addressed Surf this year with the introduction of new Saltiga Ballistic surf rods and blanks. These are designed to match up with their soon to come Saltiga surf specific reels. Like the Shimano Tiralejo they will feature a counter balance system, but the reel seat is fixed. They feature a V-Flex ferrule system that performs more like a one piece rod. We do appreciate the fact that Shimano is offering the surf blanks in two sizes so that surfcasters can go to custom builders and tailor their own rod from the blank up. The rods will retail for $399.95, and blanks will retail for $299.95. The mass produced rods also come with a lifetime warranty.

 


The new Saltiga Ballistic surf rod can come in blanks so consumers can go to custom rod builders to create a unique rig. This blank matches up with Daiwa's upcoming Saltiga surf series reels

 

Finally, during our meeting we spotted a tiny rod which we thought was a demo. Sure enough, this tiny rod had debuted as part of the Viento demo last year, but so many buyers liked the tiny 3 foot "twitching rod" that Daiwa decided to produce the tiny rod. It will be positioned in the Triforce series, and is nicknamed "Shorty" and will retail for only $14.95. This is the perfect little rod to stow in the trunk of your car for fishing on the go.

 


Toru shows Zander the "Shorty," which was only intended to be a demo rod for the Viento, but due to demand has become a real product

 

Daiwa continues to create a inimitable brand image and garner a strong following for it's quality engineered products. What we see most from Daiwa is a company that is willing to take chances, and more often than not these aggressive steps have paid off. Enthusiasts are sure to flock to the new Steez rods, and it is a mad rush for dealers to see who can get them in stock first as production is just starting to ramp.


Next Section: GLoomis introduces Mossy Back Rods


 

 

 

 

 

 
 





 

 



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