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Rod Review


WTF?!? : Does Daiwa's Steez AGS Deliver As Expected? (continued)

Features: Naturally the story behind this stick is all in its very unique AGS guide system. Daiwa has been using these guides for years on their JDM surf rods. Funny thing about these guides is while they are branded Fuji, the company that manufactures the guides for Fuji is Daiwa!


Daiwa has been using these guides for years on their JDM surf rods.

The grip for the STZ701MLFSA-AGS is a split design integrated with the reel seat so that the reel seat locking mechanism screws in from the bottom of the reel seat to secure the spinning reel. This mechanism is ratcheted so you here tiny clicks as you tighten your reel down. Otherwise, instead of a bare blank and awkward transition from the other side of the reel seat to the blank, Daiwa molds the EVA foam over the entire assembly to make it appear as all one piece. It is a very nice design that is also very comfortable to hold.


Braid and fluoro cast fine through the guides.

The rod comes with a drop shot style hook keeper located at the rear portion of the split rear grip and the rod also comes with a very thin nylon rod sleeve that works well in your rod locker to prevent the line and guides from tangling.

Features Ratings for Daiwa Steez STZ701MLFSA-AGS

Grip (1-5)
Guides (1-5)
Reel Seat (1-5)
Hook Keeper (1-5)
Rod Sleeve (1-5)
Total
Possible
Rating (= Tot/Pos * 10)
4
5
5
4
4
22
25
8.8


The rod's grip is molded around the reel seat to shape that is very comfortable to grasp.

Design/Ergonomics: The STZ701MLFSA-AGS's weight and balance are right in line with that of our baseline WTF spinning rods. In hand, the rod feels even more balanced than the numbers suggest which is not a big deal with a spinning rod. I bring this up, though, because when held, minus a reel, the rod feels like it floats in your hand. It's strange because there is nothing unusual about the rod's weight, balance, or balancing torque, yet something about those guides make it see as if its lighter and better balanced than usual when the numbers do not back this sensation up.

Lab Results for Daiwa Steez STZ701MLFSA-AGS

Model
Avg RoD (2-32 oz)
Taper
Measured Weight (oz)
Balance Point (inches)
Balancing Torque (ftlbs)
Daiwa Steez STZ701MLFSA-AGS
2.99
Fast
3.7
8
0.15
DSR820S GLX
3.02
Fast
3.9
8
0.15
SMR822-SP GLX
2.75
Fast
3.7
7.5
0.15

As mentioned above, the rod's EVA foam grip is molded very nicely and the result is a comfortable handle hold. The colors and graphics are very subdued with a predominantly black motif accented with silver lettering and metallic blue winding checks.

Design & Ergonomics Ratings for Daiwa Steez STZ701MLFSA-AGS

Grip (1-5)
Colors / Graphics (1-5)
Balance (1-5)
Weight (1-5)
Total
Possible
Rating (= Tot/Pos * 10)
5
5
4
5
19
20
9.5


Zander broke the rod in officially, but this time, I made sure to get the rod back!

Application: For general applications, the STZ701MLFSA-AGS is a little light in the power department. As a finesse stick able to handle a variety of finesse presentations, that's a different matter. This rod is wonderful with everything from small swimbaits like the afore mentioned Shockwave 3.5 by Missile Baits to drop shot and shakey head presentations. It can probably handle small crankbaits and spinnerbats this wouldn't be my first choice for those techniques since it excels so well in techniques that require feel.

Bass Rod Application Ratings for Daiwa Steez STZ701MLFSA-AGS

Rip/Jerk (1-5)
Steady (1-5)
Lift & Drop (1-5)
Drag (1-5)
Twitch (1-5)
Total
Possible
Rating (= Tot/Pos * 10)
4
3
5
5
4
21
25
8.4


CA Delta fish hit the Missile Baits Shockwave but I was targeting striper.

Ratings:

Daiwa Steez STZ701MLFSA-AGS Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Epoxy work can use a little tightening up 8.95
Performance Pretty much what you'd expect from a high end stick from Daiwa 9.6
Price Again, pretty much what you'd expect from Daiwa for high end 6
Features The guides are what make this rod, but the blank and grip design should not be overlooked 8.8
Design (Ergonomics) Bounce the rod up and down in your hand without a reel and see if it doesn't feel like the rod floats in your hand 9.5
Application Really good option for general purpose finesse applications 8.4

Total Score

8.54
Ratings Key: 1 = terrible : 2 = poor : 3 = lacking : 4 = sub par : 5 = mediocre : 6 = fair : 7 = good : 8 = great : 9 = excellent : 10 = unbelievable!
For More Details of the updated rating system visit our explanation here

 

Pluses and Minuses:

Plus

Minus
+ Guides are not only cool to look at, they increase the rod's sensitivity - High end comes with a price
+ Tip is nice and soft for feel, with a stronger than expected backbone - great taper  
+ Comfortable handle design with a smooth transition to the rod's blank  

  


Smallies are great fun on this stick!

 

Conclusion: What the Finesse is right. Anyone seeing this stick and its guides for the first time is likely to exclaim an expletive or two. Walk with it up to the register for purchase and a few more choice words are likely to escape your mouth. Continue your journey with the stick out onto the water and you're not likely to stop. It is that inspiring, that expensive, and that "sick" of a rod view, own and fish. Fish with it long enough and that irresistible urge to grin from ear to ear will eventually take over and remind you what being an Ultimate Enthusiast is all about. It's nice when a piece of tackle lives up to the hype and expectation bestowed upon it. Nice job Daiwa, this stick is THAT good.

 

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