Was able to use this rod / reel combo last weekend pitching light jigs for prespawn walleye and it was excellent for the price. Interesting action for sure, under slight load it acts like a L XF action, but under full load of an 7lb walleye, it’s more L F - maybe slightly under a L power, thus their UL designation. It’s got backbone though. My opinion rating is a L F, with XF tendencies. Will be a great standard Ned rig rod, IMO.
I guess I’m hoping the walleye UL model might be a little softer, if anyone knows? I plan to pick up a second rod for light cranks (Shad Raps, Flicker Shads) and a slightly softer rod would be perfect, even though the UL model I currently have will work just fine.
Figured I’d ask here before I order a second, incase there is a difference.
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Your tussle with that walleye must have been a thriller! Thanks for the description of the Kage UL rod. Some questions:
1) Did you buy the 1-piece or the 2-piece version?
2) I don't see rod weight listed in Daiwa's online catalog. Do you know what it weighs?
3) Is that first guide a 20 or 25 mm?
4) Daiwa says it has 11 guides. Are most of them micros? Were you using a leader knot, and if so, was it passing easily through the guides?
5) I've wondered whether that many guides cut down casting distance from friction. You were pitching on your last outing, so maybe you haven't tried casting for distance, but can you share any impressions about that?
It does seem to have potential as a Ned rig rod!
1) 1pc. I suspect the 2pc. would put it square into the L F to L XF category, based on a lot of my own experience in having identical rods in both 1 & 2pc. I can’t tell you for a fact, though, since I have a chance to compare them with line through them, in-hand.
2) I do not know the weight. Certainly light in-hand with a 1000 Ballistic. I’ll weigh my next one I have coming in the mail (who knows when it will show up due to all the stay-in-place orders). I’ll update the thread when I do. I have it shipped to work, so easy peasy on weighing it.
3) I have to measure it, but by my eye it’s a high frame 25mm steel frame Fuji SiC. I’ll confirm that as well with calipers at work.
4) Definitely mostly micros. I do run braid to a fluoro leader. Was running Berkley Ultra 8 Carrier Fireline in 4lb flavor knotted to 6lb (3X) and 8lb (2X) Seaguar Grand Max leader. That leader is $$, thin, and way stronger per diameter than most. Honestly well over rating the rod. Being an UL, I wasn’t flipping eaters in the raft, but I could lift fish by grabbing the leader without issues. I settled on the 8lb in the river for abrasion resistance and lifting mid-sized walleyes by the leader line. * I always recommend to not over-line a rod to those who don’t understand when to back off loading up a rod.
5) I did cast quite a ways in spots we got out of the raft to wade. I thought casting distance was very acceptable, but realize I was running very thin lines. I think if one were stay in the 4-6lb braid to 6lb (8lb if you’re worth your salt) leaders, and tie a svelt FG or crazy alberto (I use a crazy alberto with fine lines like this) knot, casting distance should be fine. I’m going to be trying Sunline xPlasma Asegai in 6lb on my second rod. Will report back on that as well. I didn’t have an issue with my knots catching on casts or retrieves. I was running 4’-5’ leader lengths.
A few other of my thoughts: Blank loosened up a little after being broken in. Nothing extreme, I think it settled out nicely. The backbone in the lower 2/3 to 1/2 of the rod is plenty for fairly open water bass fishing. This isn’t your typical panfish UL. I wouldn’t pick this rod up to chase bull gills or big crappies unless they were in slop - which I don’t fish pannies like that anyway. I think this is a nice bass / walleye / big trout rod.
1. I agree that 2-piece rods (without a spigot joint) generally transition to backbone closer to the tip (a product of the need to have the base of the top section wider, to fit over the top of the butt section).
2. Thanks for your willingness to check this and to let us know!
3. Daiwa's website says the guides are Alconites. Is that frame stamped "SIC"? I'm happy with Alconite, but maybe Daiwa made the gathering guide SIC. Again, thanks for your willingness to report further.
4. I was going to ask what lines and joining knot you were using, but didn't want to ask too much. You clearly understand what factors could be relevant. What detailed reports!
5. I--and, I'm sure, other readers--will be interested in hearing about your impressions of the xPlasma Asegai.
As far as the Sunline xPlasma, I have only used it in the 18lb, both dark & light green and I like it a lot. It does seem more hydrophobic than Berkley Ultra 8 Carrier Fireline. It isn’t as stiff as Ultra 8, but better than say, Sufix 832. My knots hold better than Ultra 8 Carrier. This is my only beef with Ultra 8 Carrier, the knots must be perfect in all flavors of it. I try for perfect knots regardless, but Ultra 8 has to be on the money and I check it way more often than the Sunline xPlasma.
I have used Sunline xPlasma since early last fall for coho salmon, steelhead (up to teeners) both hardware and float fishing. Also vertical and cast jigging the Saginaw and Detroit Rivers and Lake Erie for walleyes.
At this point I like the Sunline xPlasma best and what I intend to buy for the immediate future. I’m pretty excited to try their 8lb. Same diameter as Ultra 8 6lb on paper.
Anyway, Bronzeye, Sz. 25 stripper guide. 3.2oz. Just need a few orders from Hedgehog to come in that include a non-coated cork knob for my 1000 Tatula, and it’s all set. I might get a longer 2500 handle to try, but I want to fish it a little more first. I do that on my 1000 CI4+ FA’s for jigging applications. Standard handles for crankbaits.
Oh, and the 8lb Sunline xPlasma Asegai knotted to 8lb Seaguar Grand Max fluoro was excellent. By my unscientific eye, it is awfully close to the same diameter as the Berkley Ultra 8 carrier in 4lb. Held knots better too, as I’ve come to expect. Ultra 8 still has a little more body stiffness, which would make the xPlasma perfect, IMO. I’m a convert to xPlasma, currently.