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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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First look inside the new Curado I baitcaster
 


 

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Rod Review


Taking "technique specific" to the next level with the titanium tipped Team Daiwa Cielo rod (continued)
 

Sensitivity: After catching decent sized fish I started to get used to the rods characteristics. It is very sensitive and Daiwa did an excellent job fusing the SVF graphite with the STT tip. The transition is seamless and I'm not sure how far down the titanium wired tip goes through the blank but the changeover is not noticeable. As I noticed in my very first fish battle the rod is a lot of fun to fish with, simply because the tip comes alive both when twitching lures to life and when there is a live fish on the line.

 

Notice how the tip does most of the work on this rod, slight twitches are all it takes

 

Telegraph tests were very affirmative and I found that I could detect even the slightest vibrations on the end of the tip. No matter how thin diameter a line you use the rod transfers vibration nicely due to premium Fuji SiC guides. These silicon carbide guides are very sensitive and durable enough to even fish with straight braid and a fluorocarbon leader if you wish.  

 

Testing the sensitivity


Power: Power is somewhat deceiving on this rod. After months of use I concluded that the rod is actually quite powerful, though the first few times you fish the rod it may not feel that way. The tip takes so much of the load that at times it feels like the main graphite blank should be doing more. After time I started placing more faith in the super thin tip, telling myself... "it won't break."

 

Weighted and finished with a stylish butt cap

 

I trust titanium used in spinnerbaits but bearing all the load on my rod? No the tip never did break, in fact it never faltered. Once you reach that that comfort level you can begin horsing fish around with the same ease of mind you have when fishing a traditional Daiwa LT rod.

 

Top notch Fuji SiC guides are sensitive and durable

 

Durability: Durability was the area I had the most concern about when I first started fishing with this rod. The initial skepticism has been replaced with confidence after a half season of fishing with the Cielo. The titanium tip is obviously the biggest point of concern, but after deliberately stressing the tip with 3 lbs of counter pressure I was satisfied that the tip would easily address any real life applications. The Fuji SiC guides are top notch, and the exclusive custom designed tournament reel seat held my reel securely without any issues. To shield the blank from damage the durable clear coat proved to be effective at thwarting knicks and scratches. A big plus to cap it all off is that anglers don't have to take a chance with this rod, as Daiwa includes a Limited Lifetime Warranty with the package. So go ahead and stress that STT tip without trepidation!

 

An open ended hook hanger makes holding odd drop shot weights easy

 

Ergonomics: The Cielo has many features that put it right up there with import offerings in terms of quality ergonomics. Let's start with the exclusive reel seat which is painted to match the rod, and comes with that oh so sweet clicking metal reinforced clamp. Next we move on to the natural cork grips which feature Duracork reinforcement for more long term durability. The butt of the rod has a metal balancing ring, and a Daiwa insert. The front of the foregrip is topped off with a gold winding check, and yes...the rod comes with a open ended hook hanger, making it easy to secure any drop shot weight quickly and easily. We found the rod weighted and balanced better than most drop shot rods, but on the downside it is slightly heavier than some competitors with a total weigh in of 4.7oz

 

Natural cork grips surround the reel seat

Price & Applications: This rod can handle other light baits for other applications like jig and worm or darter head fishing, but it doesn't shine at these secondary applications. This rod, more than any other drop shot rod we have tested, is made with a singular purpose....to be a lethal drop shot stick. If you want a rod that can do it all...this isn't it. If you like...no, love drop shotting, then the Cielo is calling for you. With the slightest of twitches this rod can work miracles. Never has it taken so little to bring so much lifelike action to your vertically rigged baits.

No matter what size the fish, fishing is exciting with the innovative Cielo

 

Now onto the subject of price. The Cielo is one of the most expensive domestic Daiwa rods introduced to date, but in terms of an enthusiast offering it falls in line. At 299 dollars per copy the Cielo is a significant venture for any angler, but drop shot fans will find it a worthy investment.


Ratings:

Daiwa Cielo (TDCEL6101DSS) Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality This rod is built very well, and out of quality components. The Fuji guides are top notch and the titanium tip stands up to plenty of abuse 9
Performance Sensitivity is excellent but what really takes this rod over the top is the exceptional action. Never before has it taken so little to bring your lures to life. It takes a little getting used to when casting or fighting fish, but this rod offers anglers a unique...and very fun new experience 9.5
Price A premium rod, and a premium price tag. This rod pushes right into high end territory with the likes of G.Loomis. While cheaper than the highest end rods out there it does offer something that other rods can't and gets bonus points for that 8
Features Chock full of features! From the very cool reel seat to the flip flop paint and open ended hook hanger, this rod has features normally found only on import offerings 9
Design (Ergonomics) Ergonomically this rod is excellent save for the extra oz of weight due to use of metal components for balancing. Overall the rod is very comfortable to use and better balanced than the vast majority of drop shot rods out there 9
Application Looking for one rod to do it all? well this isn't it. This rod is made to be a top notch drop shot rod, and in that area it succeeds with flying colors. If you plan on using this rod just for drop shot applications then you won't be disappointed 7.5

Total Score

8.66


Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

J Innovative blend of materials L Very very technique specific
J Action unlike any others L Heavier than some competitors
J Enthusiast look and feel  
J Very good sensitivity  
J Well balanced compared to many other drop shot rods  
J Still can't get over that clicking reel seat clamp...very nice!  


Conclusion: I don't think I have had this much fun fishing a new rod for quite some time, and the innovative combination of graphite and titanium into this rod is a total success for Daiwa engineers. Thinking outside of the box the team at Daiwa has successfully created a rod with a balance of super fast tip action, sensitivity, and power never before achieved by any traditional rod. The tip may be fine in diameter and may be intimidating to fish at first, but throw all your preconceived notions out the window...this tip is tough, and with the slightest of twitches can become very effective at bringing your lures to life. The TD Cielo has an overall "enthusiast" feel to it, and it is great to see Daiwa taking their domestic rods to the next level. This isn't just another drop shot rod, its entirely unique both in look and feel. The Super Titanium Tip is truly innovative and pushes this rod over the top, making the Cielo the only rod this year to receive a TackleTour Innovation Award!


                             


 

 

 

 

 

 
 





 

 



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