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Rod Review

Does the "X" in Daiwa's New SVF Compile-X Rods Stand for EXCEPTIONAL? (continued)

For the jigging stick, I chose my TD-Z 103HL Custom Metallic Red reel and for the swimbait stick, I chose a Daiwa Millionaire I'ZE Light 103L. Later, I would also pair up the jigging stick with a Daiwa Alphas Ito Ai. All three reels handle outstandingly well on this rod.

JIP takes the STZ 711HFBA + Alphas Ito Ai combo for a spin

and lands this Wadda Jig bass!

Complete Field Test Set-Up for Daiwa Steez STZ 711HFBA

TD-Z 103HL Custom Red
Millionaire I'ZE Light 103L
Alphas Ito Ai 103L
14lb Sunline Shooter FC (100yds)
20lb Sunline Shooter FC (70yds)
12lb Seaguar Carbon Pro (80yds)

Pitching and Casting: So off to the water I took this past Fall and over the colder than normal Winter months here in Northern California. On the STZ 711HFBA I designated for jig duty, I tied, at the end of the line, a three-eighths ounce Cooch's Wadda Jig by TnT Baits capped with the discontinued Yamamoto Flappin' Hog as a trailer. The STZ 711HFBA matched with my Custom TD-Z turned out to be a pitching machine. Precise, distant pitches were a breeze with this setup that was complimented by the use of 14lb Sunline Shooter FC. What could be better? The Daiwa Alphas Ito Ai actually felt even better on this rod than did the Custom TD-Z and the silver and red color scheme of the Alphas Ito Ai is almost an exact match for this very same scheme in the STZ 711HFBA. What a combo!


Cal tests out the pitching characteristics of the Steez Compile-X stick

Matched here with the Daiwa Alphas ito Ai

Not quite on target


Casting practice came on the swimbait combo and the STZ 711HFBA that was paired up with my Daiwa Millionaire I'ZE Light 103L. Swimbaits of choice for this stick? MattLures Ultimate Bluegill and six-inch Baby Trout baits. Rated for baits up to one and one-half ounces in weight, the STZ 711HFBA handled both these baits effortlessly. To test the lower end rating of this rod, I tied on a Megabass Vision 110 to the rod paired with the TD-Z Custom and fired away with overhead and sidearm casts. This bait was also handled with ease by the Compile-X casting rod - incredible range. In fact, while fishing the Vision 110, this rod feels more like a medium heavy stick than a heavy.


The STZ 711HFBA's specifications

Style with Ease = STEEZ

The laser etched buttcap


Sensitivity: This is where I really expected this rod to shine. It flat out feels like a stick that is pre-tensioned to deliver the ultimate in sensitivity. In actual fishing applications, I was, in fact, disappointed. It is a sensitive rod, do not get me wrong. In fact, I find it on par with my BCR893 GLX and even my Megabass F5 1/2 68XFti SB Diablo - both very good jig sticks. But with the way this rod feels in hand, I was expecting to be blown away, especially when fishing a jig, and I wasn't. Bottom composition is fairly easy to discern with this rod, but where I was hoping for extra-feedback was in actual strike detection. While fishing the jig, I still encountered a fair number of pressure bites which lead me to the conclusion this rod is no more sensitive than the other two I mentioned above. Perhaps I was just expecting too much.

Daiwa designed the Air-Beam reel seat especially for the Steez Rods

The 2004 Custom TD-Z in Metallic Red mounted on one of our STZ 711HFBA's

Rigged and ready to go with a TnT Cooch's Wadda Jig + Flappin Hog Trailer


Power: In this area, the STZ 711HFBA does not disappoint. Hooksets with this rod are sure and reliable with a simple sweep of the rod's tip. As our RoD WRACK comparisons suggested, it is very much on par with that of the MBR844C GLX, and the Compile-X rod is confidence inspiring when it comes to power.

The STZ 711HFBA is a powerful stick!


With many heavy or even extra-heavy powered rods, it is all about power, but interestingly enough, with the STZ 711HFBA, once the initial hookset is made, the rod softens up a bit enabling you to better battle the fish without fear of pulling the hooks out of its mouth or losing control of the fish during the fight. This is a characteristic I find common in many higher end sticks and a welcomed feature with the STZ 711HFBA - especially when you have a five pound largemouth at the end of the line!


One more look at this attractive component

The split rear grip is highlighted on either end by red winding checks and features a woven graphite insert in the middle

A closeup of the wrap detail holding in place the Fuji Ti/SiC guides


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