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ICAST 2013 Coverage

Matching their New Reels, Daiwa Rolls out Tatula and Lexa Rods


Date: 7/13/13
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Admission: Buyers & Press Only
Manufacturer: Daiwa
Reviewer: Zander

Daiwa has been accused many a time of focusing on the enthusiast angler versus the mainstream fishermen. Well this ICAST this was just the opposite as Daiwa introduced more mainstream reels and rods than premium positioned ones. The Tatula was the big story for Daiwa this ICAST and what rod does the company hope anglers will pair with this new reel? Their own of course, meet the new Tatula Series of rods.


Curt Arakawa introduced us to the new Daiwa Tatula rod series


The Tatula rods are designed with bass anglers in mind and cover applications ranging including standard casting, frogging, flipping and finesse fishing. As you probably guessed in terms of styling the Tatula rods match up perfectly with the new reels and the gold highlights on the rod play off the components on the reel. But these rods are not just about cosmetics and each stick makes use of Daiwa’s proven SVF (Super Volume Fiber) graphite technology which is designed to deliver flexibility, strength and almost no blank twist.


The new Daiwa Tatula line of rods feature attributes of both the Steez and Zillion rods


The blank also utilizes a micro pitch blank finish. Say what? Basically the blanks are applied with fine-pitch taping during the curing process which creates a denser blank with even distribution of resin within the graphite. A natural, un-sanded finish gives the rods a distinctive look and improves strength and stability with lighter weight and improved sensitivity.


Does the Zaion reel seat look familiar?


The hardware on the rod include Daiwa’s custom reel seat and machined aluminum reel clamp nut and Fuji Alconite ring guides. The rods have a sleek looking split grip design with EVA foam grips creating a rod that reminds us more of a Steez than a Zillion rod. Each rod comes with a five year warranty unlike the Zillion and Steez Series rods which come backed with limited lifetime warranties, but here is where things get good. Unlike the Zillion Rod Series which retails for $229-$269 dollars the new Tatula rods seem like a bargain at only $149 dollars each.  


A look at the micro pitch blank finish


The spinning version


Lexa Rods: If the Tatula rods at $149 still seem too expensive for you then turn your attention to the new Lexa rods. Designed to pair with the company’s popular workhorse reels these rods feature 30 ton IM-7 graphite blank construction but they also get the new micro pitch blank finish. The rods get minima zirconia ring guides and Fuji ACS or VSS spinning reel seats. There are also three models that even get micro guides.


Looking for a rod to pair with that Lexa reel?


The most distinctive part of these rods is the woven carbon and stainless steel reel clamp, but for the most part these rods are much less flashy than say a Steez or Tatula rod, which makes sense considering they are designed for the more conservatively styled Lexa reels. That isn’t to say the rods don’t look good and I actually really liked the clean overall styling that this new series exhibits.


The Zillion rods are finished with a carbon stainless steel reel clamp


But what is best about these rods is probably the price. The new Lexa rods break the 100 dollar price barrier and will retail for $99.95 for all models. Now that is a good deal when you consider the quality of components. If $99 dollars is still too much for you Daiwa still has you covered, meet the new Exceler rod series.


Paired with a Lexa spinning reel


Exceler: The Exceler reels are basically the little brother of the Lexa series but still make use of an aluminum frame. To match up with these mainstream reels Daiwa rolled out yet another rod series targeting the everyday angler. The Exceler EXE rods are one step down from Aird series are make use of 26 ton IM-6 graphite blanks and have a woven carbon accent for styling.


Looking for a sub 50 dollar rod?


These rods make use of a straightforward Daiwa custom reel seat which is locked down with an EVA covered locking nut/foregrip. The guides on the rod are aluminum oxide and like Daiwa’s higher end rods the grips are all EVA split grip. These rods are more understated than the Lexa and this no nonsense rod is designed to deliver quality actions and components at an excellent value. How affordable are the new Exceler EXE rods? Try $44.95.


The Exceler rod series use IM-6 blanks and aluminum oxide guides


Conclusion: Mainstream anglers got a lot of attention from Daiwa this ICAST and with new rods at the $149, $99 and $49 dollar price points Daiwa is looking to lock down the mid range with rods that not only look like perfect matches for their new reels but really will deliver in terms of total cost of ownership.











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