Daiwa Spectron 9/10ft feeder rod.

robtherake

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As some of you will no doubt have read, I was lucky enough to win this in a free-to-enter competition. At an RRP of £285, it's the only way it'd have found its way into my rod bag! The question is this: what does that buy you in terms of performance over the mid-range kit I'm more used to?

Take it out of the zippered neoprene pouch (it can hardly be called a bag) and the quality is immediately apparent; the finish is as good as anything I've seen and completely without blemish. The cork used for the armlock handle is of fantastic quality and at 23" is neither too long nor too short. Rings are Fuji K-guide Alconite and have the appearance of being whipped on back to front, but this, apparently, is a clever ploy to reduce tangling. It's supplied with three carbon quivertips of 1, 1.5 and 2oz which blend beautifully with the blank with nary a hint of a flat spot, and none of the fierceness associated with many carbon tips. Guides have a big enough diameter to allow the free passage of stop knots.

At 9ft the balance is perfect. With the 1ft extension in place the balance shifts forward a little, but not appreciably so.

So it talks the talk, but does it walk the walk? First chance to use it came when the family stayed overnight at The Willows - a B&B located a few miles outside York and featuring a couple of small, but picturesque bagging pools. Arriving too late for an evening session, the alarm was set for 3.30 so I could grab a few hours before we had to go.

The proprietor had advised me to drop into peg 53 on the larger pond. It looked fishy, but snaggy, with bushes and stumps protruding from the water, and with a couple of lily beds to my right.

With a short cast of fifteen yards or so needed, I elected to use the rod at 9 feet with the 1.5oz tip fitted. A 25g method feeder, 10lb main line and 4", 7lb hook link completed the ensemble.

Now, I'll freely admit that accurate casting has never been my strong point, but this rod makes it easy, with the feeder disappearing down the same hole with monotonous regularity. Nice.
Despite the slimness of the blank, a few smaller carp up to a few pounds were landed with contemptuous ease, the initially tippy action extending progressively further down the blank as pressure was applied. A few casts later, one of the most vicious bites I've ever experienced almost pulled me off the chair :eek: With no room to manoeuvre, I was forced to clamp down hard and hold on, but the rod simply bent a bit more and absorbed it all. Just as I was starting to win the battle, the tip sprang back straight. "Bother", I said, or something similar. I'd used a Drennan method feeder, which was the only one in the box I'd packed (the Preston ones are far better!) and - believe it or not - the sleeve on the connector had come off completely, allowing the hook link to do the same. Would you credit it? Anyway, time was up, so I reluctantly packed away.

So is it worth the cash? Well, on first impressions it's by far the best short tip rod I've ever used by some margin. It's delicate enough for silvers but capable of absorbing an amazing amount of pressure from a big fish without loss of control. Damn near perfect, and I ain't even tried it with the extension yet!

I'll write more when I've lived with it for a while, but can't imagine finding any negatives. What must the Tournament be like - it's hard to imagine better than this!
 
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robtherake

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Told you they were good mate! :)

Enjoy!
...and how! In the hand it feels like the most delicate wand, making the 2 to 10lb line rating seem outrageous. In action, it's difficult to see how it could be bettered and seems almost impossible to bottom out under load. Paradoxically, the tip's lovely and soft without a hint of sloppiness, making it ideal for small hooks and soft-mouthed fish. The elasticity of the playing action is similar to that of a good kevlar rod, but far crisper. It's a little belter :D
 

robtherake

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Well, it's now 17 months since my initial views were posted (doesn't time fly!) and the Spectron continues to impress.

Circumstances have dictated that much of my fishing has taken place on waters attached to the caravan sites that the family has visited. They're usually commie-style fisheries, although less heavily stocked and, so far, mercifully free of the oiks that make some commercials unbearable. Angler levels are much lower, too; at times I had a whole pond to myself, which was very nice indeed!

I've used the rod with feeders up to 45g, although 30g is more of an optimum; at this weight a 60 to 70 yard cast is easily achievable in good conditions with the rod set up at either 9 or 10ft, though as you'd expect, it has much more backbone and punch at the longer length. At 10ft, with a 10lb mainline and 8-9lb hooklink, it's possible to be quite the bully with this little rod. Once you've realised how much it can take - considering how anorexic the blank looks - you can really lean into a fish, almost stopping it in its tracks as long as it hasn't had chance to build up a head of steam. Carp up to 10lb are lambs to the slaughter, although it's not out of its depth with fish almost twice as big, given a little space to do it in.

On hard days, scratching for bites with the rod at 9ft, the action's soft enough to make tiddler bashing an enjoyable process, with bites showing up easily on the sensitive tips. So, even if £240 (usual selling price) seems a bit steep, remember that this rod may well do the job of 2 or 3 of the tip rods you use right now, and at a higher standard, too. In fact, apart from my Avon Duos, it's the only quivertip rod I've carried all year, given that all my fishing time was spent on small to medium sized stillwaters. (Maybe I should cash in the "retired" rods and get the Medium Spectron, to boot. Hmm...:D)

So, in summary:

Pros

Excellent casting performance, particularly at 10ft, and tremendously easy to be accurate with.

Extremely forgiving anti-lock action which just doesn't seem to bottom out. Correspondingly few hook-pulls.

Sensitive tips that blend seamlessly into the blank. The best carbon tips I've ever used. Others have complained of breakages, but mine have been problem-free.

Great looks and finish. The Fuji K-guide rings are designed to be as tangle-free as possible, particularly with braid. It has to be said that the rod's an extremely smooth caster and this no doubt helps with the accuracy part of the equation. Thinking back, I didn't have any snarl-ups using 20lb braid (I hate the super-thin stuff,) which is something of a minor miracle in itself. :)

The Fuji reel seat is snug and secure, easily accommodating a 4000 size Shimano baitrunner. The handle is (for me) the ideal length; the AAA cork with armlock facility is much more than a gimmick.

Equally good at either length.

Cons

None, apart from the price, but you do get what you pay for. It's bloody lovely. :)
 
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B

binka

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That sounds about as comprehensive a review as you could get Rob.

Can't believe you won it, or the Rolawn bark! :)

If there's one thing I try to do (and I'm not knocking those that don't) it's avoid rods that are the best at one particular thing and not overly good at several things and so your review was an interesting one for me.

Like you say, you have to put the price tag into context of what the rod will actually do and then it might seem good value whilst still offering a very good user experience.

I'm not in the market for one but I wouldn't mind giving one a waggle purely out of curiosity.
 

robtherake

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That sounds about as comprehensive a review as you could get Rob.
I'm not in the market for one but I wouldn't mind giving one a waggle purely out of curiosity.
That's a dangerous plan you have there; it could well leave you out of pocket.:)
 
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