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Rod Review

A Spinnerbait stick from Daiwa Japan, the Heartland-Z Hama Special (continued)

Sensitivity: For a heavy power rated rod, the sensitivity of our HZ-6101HRB-ti is quite respectable. It took throwing some of the heavier spinnerbaits in our arsenal before we could feel the vibrations of our lure through the rod's tip, but with the Kanji Zen Spinnerbait rated at three-quarters of an ounce, we were able to feel the lure as we pulled it through the water. Simarly, larger crankbaits, like the Lucky Craft LV500 and the Fat BDS 3 & 4 could be felt through the rod as well. Actual strikes are transmitted well through the blank though not quite as crisp as we've experienced with some other rods.

The Ti-framed SIC guides of our HZ-6101HRB-ti (upper left): The super low profile, wide flange reel seat (upper right, lower left) : The brushed aluminum winding check of the foregrip (lower right)


Power: The HZ-6101HRB-ti lacks nothing in the power department. If this rod is any indication, Daiwa's Magnum Taper Heartland-Z rods are built to handle heavy cover and handle that they do. After discovering the serious backbone this rod possesses, we switched up tactics and began fishing right in the heart of some of the nastiest cover the Califorina Delta has to offer. Slow rolling spinnerbaits right in the heart of weed beds and ripping lipless cranks through this cover as well, the HZ-6101HRB-ti really shines. We landed many cookie cutter one and two pound fish in the Delta with these tactics but were unfortunately, not able to hook into anything larger before committing to press for this article.


The Magnum Taper Power curve of our HZ-6101HRB-ti


Features: Our Heartland-Z Hama Spinnerbait Special has many similar looking features as that of say, the Daiwa Light and Tough Series sold here in the United States. What we found different in features is the refinement of the entire package: The purple colored blank; more comfortable foam handle with split rear grip; brushed aluminum winding checks and accent pieces; titanium framed sic guides; stamped metal counterweight; branded velvet rod sleeve. Our HZ-6101HRB-ti also had cleaner detailing and assembly than some of the Light and Tough series rods we've played with in the tackle store, and of course, that undeniable power we've not found in any US market Daiwa rod.


For some reason, not all Daiwa Heartland-Z rods are made in Japan, however, the HZ-6101-ti is not one of them

Warranty: As far as we know, there is no warranty coverage for this Japanese Market rod within the United States, so if you proceed, do so with caution. We fished our HZ-6101HRB-ti very hard during our two and a half months of fishing and experienced no problems, but of course, individual results may vary.


The Daiwa Heartland-Z Hama Spinnerbait Special is a rod built for heavy duty fishing


Daiwa Japan Hama Spinnerbait Special Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Very well crafted rod with a fine finish and high quality components. 9
Performance Very much inline with a rod rated as heavy in power but lacking the forgiving tip necessary for spinnerbait fishing 7.5
Price This is rod comes at a premium - especially when purchased new from Japan 7
Features Titanium framed SiC guides, magnum taper blank, comfortable foam grip, super low profile reel seat 8
Design (Ergonomics) A very well balanced, attractively assembled rod with a beautiful rod sleeve bonus 9
Application Built for fishing in heavy cover, this rod is well suited for that application though again the magnum taper is a little quick for traditional spinnerbait fishing. 7.5

Total Score


Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

J Top quality components L No warranty support for US purchases
J Clean detailing L Price is at a bit of a premium
J Powerful taper L No Hook Keeper
J Solid, comfortable grip L Not quite suited for general spinnerbait fishing which is only a minus because of the rod's name

Conclusion: If power is what you seek when chucking horizontal presentation baits, the Daiwa Heartland-Z Hama Spinnerbait Special could be the rod for you. We were surprised by the power this rod possesses and since conducting this review, have changed tactics yet again using this rod now in support of fishing smaller swimbaits. Were it not for the fact this rod is titled "Spinnerbait Special" it may have scored more highly, but judged against is obvious intended application, the bottom line is, we were left wanting for more. The detailing and artistry of this stick are undeniable, but with less than inspirational performance in support of our spinnerbait fishing, we can't help but be disappointed in our acquisition of this stick.











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