New gear

Rob­bie Win­ram re­views the lat­est tackle in­clud­ing rods, lines and cloth­ing

Trout Fisherman (UK) - - Contents - Web: www.dai­was­ports.co.uk Tel: 01698 355723

DAIWA’s new Lexa rod range con­sists of 10 mod­els, seven of which are tar­geted purely at still­wa­ters, while the other three are aimed at rivers. The stillwater range in­cludes three 9ft 6in rods, with a ded­i­cated 6wt, 7wt and an 8wt that I had on test. An 8wt is what I would term as a ‘heavy­weight’ line class, and would use when tack­ling the bank in early sea­son when con­di­tions aren’t al­ways favourable or when lures are the or­der of the day. It would also be a good choice at the back end of the sea­son when fish are chas­ing fry and you need to cast a sub­stan­tial fly pat­tern in their path. In essence, I’m look­ing for some­thing that’s got a bit of cast­ing prow­ess and some ex­tra back­bone for punch­ing out those shoot­ing head-style lines. I set the rod up with an 8wt floater and a 12-foot leader with two size­able lures. The rod cer­tainly didn’t feel overly stiff and it lifted and loaded con­fi­dently and I was able to aeri­alise the two lures with rel­a­tive ease. The sub­se­quent sin­gle haul and line shoot on the for­ward cast put the line right where I wanted it and it even had a de­cent turnover. Grad­u­ally work­ing with longer head lengths out­side the rod tip gave me a good un­der­stand­ing of what this rod could achieve. It cer­tainly punches well above its weight with float­ing and in­ter­me­di­ate lines, pro­pel­ling big, air-re­sis­tant lures (es­pe­cially the large deer hair and foam buoy­ant fry pat­terns), re­ally well. I found I could call on the rod’s hid­den re­serves of power, es­pe­cially in the bot­tom sec­tion of the rod, when I needed to re­ally lean into a cast to cut through the wind. Just be­cause this rod is an 8wt, and a pow­er­house at that, doesn’t mean it will de­feat some­one with less pro­fi­cient cast­ing skills as it can han­dle lines with both short and long head lengths equally well. It did seem to match re­ally well with those front-loaded, shoot­ing head­style lines as I could just wind them up and let them go. This was par­tic­u­larly true when it came to medium and fast sink­ing lines, as the rod had plenty of lift­ing power and was able to aeri­alise a good length so I could put some long casts out. For the best turnover I did some­times have to feather the thin di­am­e­ter run­ning line just so I could get the flies turn­ing over at the end.

VER­DICT:

Per­fect for the au­tumn fry-feed­ing sport when you want to launch 40-plus and shoot­ing head-style lines which are bread and but­ter to this rod. Al­though I would class this as a ‘heavy­weight’ rod that’s not to say you can’t match it up with Blobs, Boo­bies and nymphs, but it cer­tainly lends it­self to the heav­ier end. The very gen­er­ous-sized rod tube will eas­ily house two rods.

The Lexa is fit­ted with qual­ity guides and rings.

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