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Rod Review

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

Price & Applications: Before we explore just how much this rod and a total combo will set you back let's flash to Kill Bill Volume 2 when two of the villains, Budd and Elle Driver, converse about the Bride’s Hattori Hanzo sword which Budd has taken possession of and is now looking to sell:

Budd: …guess what I'm holding in my hand right now.
Elle Driver: What?
Budd: A brand spankin' new Hattori Hanzo sword. And I'm here to tell you, Elle... that's what I call sharp.
Elle Driver: How much?
Budd: Well, that's hard to say, being that it's priceless and all.
Elle Driver: What's the terms?
Budd: Get your bony a** down here in the morning, with a million dollars in folding cash, and I'll give you the greatest sword ever made by man. How do you like the sound of that?
Elle Driver: Sounds like we got a deal…

The XBD rod also proved to be a decent light swimbait stick

While the Steez XBD rod won’t set you back a million bones it won’t come cheap either. While most frog rods retail between 150-250 dollars on average the XBD rod costs a whopping $445 dollars. Add a Steez reel to pair with the rod and you are up to $923 dollars pre tax and let’s not forget the Samurai braid you probably want to spool up with and we are nearing a grand…ouch.

The rod has plenty of backbone to cast those big baits

At that price the XBD rods are definitely not flying off the shelves, instead this premium frogging stick has become one of the more exclusive rods on the market. You have to be pretty darn serious about bass fishing first of all, and then secondly you must really like frog fishing to want to invest a grand for a single fishing combo. Most other anglers will call you insane, we call you an enthusiast.

The rod loads quickly, here I missed a strike but hey...sets are free

While the Steez XBD rod is designed primarily for frog fishing it can be used as a light swimbait rod and even a punch rod in a pinch. The rod’s extreme sensitivity and ability to handle great shock make it a more rounded rod than we originally expected.

The Type-R makes for a slightly cheaper reel option that works well on this rod, the high speed retrieve is great for topwater fishing

Ratings: (We've re-calibrated our ratings standard for 2008 and have included a key at the bottom of the following matrix as a guide):

Daiwa Steez XBD (STZ741XHFBA-XBD) Frog Rod Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Excellent construction throughout, this rod is built with the same level of precision you would expect from a finely honed blade 9
Performance Light and powerful, this frog rod is the most refined frog rod we have tested to date and is an absolute pleasure to fish. It isn't the most powerful frog rod but it is no slouch either, it is however the most sensitive frog rod we have tested 9
Price Ouch, with a 445 dollar price tag this is the most expensive frog rod available domestically from the major brands, add a Steez rod to the combo and your talking over 1 thousand dollars after tax.... did I say ouch? 5
Features Features include extreme light weight, excellent sensitivity, top end components including machined elements and Fuji SIC guide inserts... but true to its JDM roots there is no hook hanger on this rod 8.5
Design (Ergonomics) Extremely lightweight and easy to fish all day long. It has never been easier to walk a frog 9
Application Though designed primarily for frogging this rod can be used for smaller and lighter swimbaits and punching 9

Total Score

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

J Beautiful construction and extremely refined L Expensive on its own and extremely expensive when paired with a Steez reel
J Extremely light and crisp feel L While well balanced this is not the most powerful frog rod if you are looking for sheer muscle
J Excellent sensitivity  
J Can be used for more than just frog fishing  

Conclusion: Seconds after the Bride delivers the death blow to “Bill” in Kill Bill Vol2. He says “How do I look?” to which the Bride calmly responds “You look ready.” That is the question… are you ready to invest in the Daiwa XBD rod? This stick transcends what a frog rod should be and for most anglers it is downright overkill. But for those that are seeking the ultimate in precision and refinement in a topwater rod the XBD is a fishable work of art that cuts through the competition when it comes to both sensitivity and sophistication.

Are you ready? While this rod is overkill for most it truly is the Samurai sword of frog rods and is the most refined froggin stick I have ever fished to date

After fishing the XBD rod most (but not all) other frog rods feel heavy and sloppy in comparison. This rod is not for everyone, and the price tag alone is a huge barrier to entry, yet there is no doubt that Daiwa fans or fanatic froggers will absolutely adore this rod, pair it with a premium Zillion or Steez reel and it truly is the samurai sword of frog combos. Looking for the right weapon to take on those “huge rats?” Frog rods just don’t come much sharper than the Steez XBD.

Looking for the Daiwa Steez XBD rod? Try Tackle Warehouse.










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