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Rod Review

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

Features: The STZ 711HFBA is loaded with high end components like Fuji titanium framed SiC guides, a custom designed and engineered Air-Beam reel seat, high density Air-Foam grips, a split rear grip, and of course, Daiwa's exclusive SVF Compile-X Graphite. One extraneous feature offered in the JDM version of these sticks that we would have liked to have seen brought over to the US market rod is the custom rod sleeve. Though not always entirely useful, it is an extra "nice-to-have" feature when spending $500 on a fishing rod.

SVF Compile-X vs the standard SVF rod (STZ 67MHFBA shown here)

If you're into bling the Compile-X takes the prize

But there is something to be said still, for the simplicity of the standard SVF


Design/Ergonomics: The fit, balance, and weight of this rod are pretty much spot on for me. It is why I rushed to acquire a second one without ever having fished the first. Interestingly enough, though, one feature I do like on the "regular" SVF Steez rods is that custom lock nut. It's contoured to provide a nice resting spot for your fore finger while palming the reel. This resting spot is not available on the Compile-X rod because the lockring component is shielded by a layer of Air-Foam sculpted to resemble a foregrip. The SVF Compile-X rod's lockring looks better, but the regular SVF Steez rod's lockring is more comfortable to fish.

The foregrip/lockring of the STZ 711HFBA...

...is not quite as comfortable as the machined locknut of the STZ 67MHFBA

Application: For a heavy action rod, the STZ 711HFBA is quite a versatile stick. I still believe its strength lies in vertical type presentations such as jigs, Texas rigs, and Senko's. In fact, it feels like a killer stick for those of you who enjoy fishing the oversized Senko's. This bite has not quite materialized yet in our local waterways, so I was not able to fully test the rod for this application, but I can tell you it handles presentation of six and seven inch Senko baits rather flawlessly and I look forward to using it for this purpose in the next month.

Cal working a MattLures Ultimate Bluegill with the STZ 711HFBA


Surprisingly, what I also found this rod excels with is jerkbaits. I was able to work the Megabass Vision 110 and Lucky Craft Staysee 90sp quite effectively with this rod. In fact, it felt very much on par with the STZ 671MHFBA (a medium heavy stick) in its presentation of these baits. Lastly, if you need a stick for the smaller swimbaits like the MattLures Ultimate Bluegill or 6" Baby Trout, the STZ 711HFBA is more than capable of fishing these baits as well. It is a heavy action stick that puts a new meaning in the words "all purpose".


Another look at the AirFoam lined locknut...

...vs the machined collar on the standard Steez sticks


Warranty: Daiwa offers a limited lifetime warranty on all the US Market Steez sticks. Details of this warranty were not available for reference, but our assumption is this coverage is for manufacturer defects. For actual exchange policies and charges, it's probably best to discuss these items with your local Daiwa tackle dealer.


Cal pulls in a chunky 3lber courtesy of the STZ 711HFBA


Daiwa Steez STZ 711HFBA Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality An expertly crafted rod. Both of our STZ 711HFBA's were flawless. 10
Performance I was hoping for more in the sensitivity department 8.5
Price Priced in the category of Megabass Evoluzion and Evergreen Temuljin, the Compile-X Series is not for the faint of pocket book 6.5
Features No hook hangar and what happened to the custom rod sleeves? 8
Design (Ergonomics) Fit, balance, weight, and overall comfort are excellent 9.5
Application A heavy powered rod that, at times, fishes like a medium heavy - in a good way! 9

Total Score


Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

J Light and Well Balanced L Expected better sensitivity
J Wonderful Detailing L Very expensive
J Very Powerful L Let's see those rod sleeves!
J When you need it, fishes like a MH rod  

The STZ 711HFBA may not have won an award from us, but the smiles, and these bass say it all... this is a worthy stick.


Conclusion: Even though the Daiwa Steez SVF Compile-X STZ 711HFBA did not quite meet all my expectations, it certainly met the majority of them. Don't get me wrong, it is still a very sensitive stick, but with all the potential and promise of the Compile-X blank, I was hoping for just a little more "oomph!" and I just didn't feel it. Maybe I was expecting too much, but when you put a price tag of half a grand on a stick, the grading curve is all that much harder to overcome. Expectations escalate on a logarithmic scale. That is NOT to say the STZ 711HFBA is not a worthy piece of equipment. Nothing could be further from the truth because just about everything else with this stick from its balance, low weight, fit, and finish alone, are spot on, and while its sensitivity is not extraordinary, it is certainly up there with some of the best sticks I've handled - and that right there is saying a lot. It will be interesting to see how the new Compile-X rods stack up to this one, but maybe the next time around, I'll settle for one of each instead of two.












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