Samurai Sword of Frog Rods, the Daiwa Steez XBD
Power: This premium
rod is unmistakably a Steez and while the same DNA is shared between the entire
series this particular rod definitely showcases more power than the other rods
which feel like the scales are tipped towards sensitivity over raw muscle. It
didn’t matter how thick the weeds were there was never a moment that the XBD rod
felt outmatched, yet this rods doesn’t feel sloppy at all.
The rod features double footed
titanium SIC guides for better resistance to the pressures of fishing with
The XBD rod is rated as
Extra Heavy but I felt it fished somewhere in the middle of Heavy to Extra Heavy
in comparison with other frog rods. The light feel and sensitivity give the rod
a “light” feel and it is easy to make the assumption that a rod that is this
sensitive just shouldn’t be this powerful.
I fished a variety of hollow
bodied frogs with this rod
Yet the XBD’s power
ratings inspired me to use the rod for more than just froggin and I tied on
everything from punch rigs to smaller 2oz. swimbaits and found that the XBD rod
handled the lures well and fighting fish with these subsurface baits was not a
problem at all, if anything there was extra power to spare when it came to
muscling fish back to the boat, still this is not the most powerful frog rod out
there and anglers that prefer sheer muscle may be hesitant to really set
forcefully with this rod.
Clear Lake frog heaven
Sensitivity: With a
premium look and feel that rivals quality blades and firearms there are times
when I almost felt guilty fishing frogs over the heavy weed mats with the costly
Steez XBD. With frogging being such a visual technique how much does that extra
sensitivity help? While the rod delivered extremely fast hooksets that extra
sensitivity was a plus when the rod pulled double duty as a swimbait or punch
rod, in these applications every single contact with structure or vegetation was
There is nothing quite like
catching frog fish
What about that solid
air-beam reel seat? We have established in previous reviews that the solid reel
seats do little to reduce sensitivity. Many premium rods from Japan including
those from Evergreen often have no blank through access at all, in fact many JDM
rods actually are two pieces with the blank and butt meeting within the trigger
section. So is it all marketing? Not necessarily but in the case of this
particular rod not one iota of sensitivity seems lost.
The rod features a Fast action and
XH power rating
Weighing in at a very light 5.3oz. the XBD rod is considered lightweight for a
XH 7’4” rod. The premium components including the low profile titanium guides
and “Air-Foam” grips help make this rod even more of an ergonomic masterpiece.
While the rod did balance out well with the Zillion Type-R it felt a whole lot
lighter overall with a Steez reel and it was actually easier to walk frogs for
long periods with the ultra lightweight combo which weighed in at only 10.9oz.
total versus 13.8oz. with the Type-R, I was surprised how much just 2.9oz. could
make in how this combo felt on my wrist and forearm when walking frogs.
Punching with the XBD rod actually
worked out better than I expected
The lack of any real
foregrip also helps keep the rod’s overall weight down and allows anglers to put
their fingers on the blank should they choose to use the rod for more than just
frogging and require that extra sensitivity.
An aftermarket Fuji hookhanger is
one addition I made to this rod
In true keeping to JDM
styling the XBD rod lacks a hook hanger, something that will bother some frog
anglers that desire quicker access to their baits. I’ll admit there were some
times when I wished the rod had a hook hanger rather than have to hang my frogs
on the leading guide foot, but this is easily solved with any variety of
aftermarket hook hangers including the popular plastic Fuji hanger.
The Type-R spooled with Daiwa
Samurai braid (notice I colored the first 20 feet)
What are your terms?