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Rod Review

The Samurai Sword of Frog Rods, the Daiwa Steez XBD (continued)

Casting: As our initial lab tests showed the Daiwa XBD rod has a fast taper that lends to the rodís overall crisp and responsive feel. The rodís light weight makes it easy to swing the rod hard and quickly to deliver laser shots in between structure or to skip the frog under hanging branches or docks. We colored the Izorline we were fishing with making it very easy to see the exact bullet trajectories of each cast.

The XBD rod can be accelerated quickly casting frogs with laser accuracy...

The same can be said of the hi-vis yellow Daiwa Samurai braid, and while I love the yellow when casting and working frogs I did feel like it was too visible when working frogs over open water. To address this I used a green marker to color the first twenty feet of line. Overall the XBD rod casts like a dream, it is as precise as I imagined and working frogs into seemingly impossible bits of water was definitely made easier with the exceptional control afforded to me by this precise feeling stick.

...just don't get crazy overconfident like I did...

At one point during the test I started becoming overconfident, the combo was just so easy to cast. I started shooting frogs into extremely tight spots under overhanging branches in submerged trees, this resulted in a few nice blowups and with each cast I started trying to get the frog deeper and deeper into the trees. Just when I thought I was making perfect casts my frog hit the tree branch and my thumb wasn't properly managing the spool on my Alphas Ito.... blam... I was presented with the mother of all backlashes. It reminded me quickly.... don't fish with an ego. If I was in a swordfight this would have been game over, but lucky for me I had a extra reel packed.

...or experience monster backlashes

Retrieving: Without question this is the most sensitive frog rod that I have ever fished. Every single contact can easily be felt when using braided line with the XBD rod. The low overall weight of this rod only further adds to the XBDís incredible feel and the added stress of fishing with braided lines full time was never an issue on this rod.

A look at the machined fore-nut that has become a common characteristic of all Steez rods

Many anglers think it is the surface of the braid that cuts into the guides and while braid by itself can cause damage to some softer guide materials it is usually the combination of particulate matter that the line picks up that acts as an abrasive on the guides. SIC guides are definitely hard enough for braided line and throughout my tests there wasnít any damage done to the guides whatsoever.

The Alphas Ito was my second favorite reel to put on this rod right behind the Steez...

When retrieving frogs all day long the XBD rod definitely reduces wrist fatigue as the rod is not only light but well balanced with a variety of reels. I fished this rod all day on many occasions and never get tired, back to the sword analogy the XBD absolutely feels like a Samurai sword while many other rods feel more akin to a Claymore.

...but the Zillion Type R also paired nicely and actually balanced out pretty well even though the total outfit weight difference could clearly be felt while walking frogs

Next Section: How much power in that rod?










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