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Rod Review


 

The Surprisingly Versatile Steez AGS "The Sensor" Casting Rod

 

Date: 11/14/22
Tackle Type: Rod
Manufacturer: Daiwa
Reviewer: Cal






Total Score: 7.83 - GOOD

Introduction:
It's been nearly two decades since Daiwa introduced us to their now classic, original Steez series fishing rods. While there have been incremental improvements along the way, a full fledged refresh has been missing. Given the short, three year life cycle of most rods and reels these days, that's quite unusual. Daiwa addressed that fact recently with an entirely new Steez bass rod series complete with their proprietary AGS guides. Here's a look at the Steez AGS STAGS701MMHXB-SM, a rod they have nicknamed "The Sensor."

 

Daiwa Steez AGS STAGS701MMHXB-SM The Sensor Specifications

Material SVF Nanoplus Graphite
Length 7'-0"
Line Wt. 5-14lb
Lure Wt. 1/8-3/4oz
Pieces One
Guides 10+Tip (Daiwa AGS + Titanium Tip)
Rear Handle Length 10"
Power Rating Medium-Medium Heavy
Taper Fast
Rod Weight 4.1
Origin Made in China
MSRP $599


Introducing Daiwa's Steez AGS STAGS701MMHXB-SM, The Sensor

Impressions: Daiwa's Steez AGS STAGS701MMHXB-SM, The Sensor, is a seven foot (7'-0") stick built on the manufacturer's updated SVF Compile-X graphite blank featuring Nanoplus resin. Guides for this stick are Daiwa's latest, proprietary AGS guides featuring carbon fiber frames. At one time, I thought they were using SiC inserts for these guides, and they still may be, however, current literature on AGS does not describe the inserts. I bring this up because those on my STAG701MMXB-SM have a much more polished appearance than I recall. The inserts almost look like metal.

 


A new Steez means a new reel seat

 

The Sensor's grip configuration is split and made with cork as opposed to the original series which featured EVA foam. The reel seat, a favorite feature of mine with the original series, while designed by Daiwa like the original Air-Beam seat, is more conventional in appearance with a cutaway at the bottom. Daiwa refers to it as their "Air Sensor" seat. The seat is capped with a decorative locking mechanism that also serves to finish off the grip assembly.


However, I miss the Air Beam seat from the original Steez rods

The feature that gives this stick its name is the specially designed tip. For The Sensor, Daiwa resurrects a technology we first fished in their Cielo sticks back in 2006. Instead of using a solid carbon tip like many of the JDM finesse tuned rods (and their own former Steez Megatop stick), Daiwa inserts a titanium tube. Not only is this more durable than the solid carbon strategy, but the titanium tube is designed to heighten sensitivity. How does it fare? Let's find out.


The Super Metal Top of this stick is a titanium tube

Real World Tests: For the most part, I fished The Sensor with a couple of reels, both designed for the growing bait finesse (BFS) movement. The first was an Abu Garcia LX992Z spooled with five pound Sunline Sniper, and the second was a Daiwa Gekka Bijin spooled with the combo of twelve pound Sunline SX1 braid and a leader of six pound Seaguar Tatsu.


Ned Rig success when paired with the Abu Garcia LX992Z

Casting: The Sensor comes with a line and lure rating that confuses me. Looking at the line rating alone of five to fourteen pound (5-14lb) test, my thoughts immediately turn to finesse applications, but its lure rating ranges from an eighth to three quarters of an ounce (1/8-3/4oz). When it comes to finesse fishing, the upper end doesn't much matter, but it did make me question the rod's suitability for these applications.


Carbon framed guides are my favorite Daiwa rod innovation

So while I did start out using this combo for Ned Rigs, I also, later, fished The Sensor with my modified Limited Edition 2005 Daiwa Airy Red Pixy. This Pixy has upgraded bearings, drag materials, bearings installed in the levelwind, a TDZ line guide, and aftermarket handle by Avail. Given The Sensor's ratings, this upgraded Pixilla as we refer to them here at TackleTour, was the perfect match for it. The reel was spooled with 50 yards of Daiwa X8 JBraid and installed a 12lb leader of Seaguar Gold Label FC using an Albright knot.


The rod's ratings had me a little confused

I did all that to uncover that the STAG701MMXB-SM makes a wonderful jig stick whether that be a small and light micro-jig like a Ned Rig, or a standard jig in whatever variety you need (football, swimming, casting, etc.). The stick's lure rating is accurate and its versatility intriguing.


I felt the benefit of The Sensor's tip was more in the visual clues to a bite than the actual feel

Next Section: Just how sensitive is The Sensor?

 

   

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