Throughout our lives we are constantly being introduced to new things. When you were a kid it was different foods, new places, cool toys and when you are an adult it’s pretty much the same, different foods, new places and even cooler toys. Any hobby for me has always been a holistic journey, whether it was a high paced physical sport or a mind stimulating pastime, I always try to explore every possible angle, both physically and mentally, to ensure I do the best as I can at it. So when it comes to fishing, I have realized that there are many layers to this onion, some layers will make you cry when you peel them back but the secret is to keep peeling.
Traditionally, fishing gear has had similar structural bones over the years with technology and the advancements of materials, paving the way for smoother, lighter and more durable rods and reels with companies trying to better not only their competitors but themselves to become the industry leader in their field. But every once and a while something new pops it’s head into the market and shows more staying potential than other products, even enough potential to make a difference to our sport…… Enter the Ronin.
I was blessed enough to get my hands on the Ronin just before the end of the year, when all our tournaments are finished for the year and when anglers start dropping hints to their loved ones about possible Christmas presents. What is the Ronin you ask?? It is a rod developed by Daiwa, encapsulating their world leading interline technology but I’m not going to bore you with the specs as they are on our website. But I can hear you ask, “how does it feel”??
Being my first interline experience I was pleasantly surprised on the ease to load line through the blank (granted there are 200 odd contact points inside it) with the kind help of a provided feeder wire. On my first cast the blank felt soft due to the Ronin’s regular taper. But in it’s defense, my casting style was coming from a slightly stiffer, faster tapered rod from a different brand. So getting used to putting less casting effort in for the same return was easily worked out in a few casts of a 3.8g crank and yes this rod was feeling good! The retrieve was smooth and sensitive to the crank’s wobbling action, even with my FG leader knot running through the blank (makes a cool sound as it passes through the contact points!)
So now to find fish to load this bad boy up! We were fortunate it didn’t take long to find some willing candidates and here are the top ones.
Candidate One: BREAM 36cm fork length – Great bream taken with a subdued first run but head shakes like bull at a rodeo and a perfect rod testing fish. Keeping the rod high I could feel the Ronin’s regular taper being really responsive on each head shake giving me ample playing room so I didn’t pull the hooks out of this fish.
Candidate Two: Bream 32cm fork length – Now this fish played up like a secondhand lawnmower! Big take, great first run and big arching fight. The rod was fantastic as I could hold good pressure on the fish to keep it away from the reef bommies we were fishing around, but had enough bend to absorb the bream’s head shakes on the sweeping run. Winning!
Candidate Three: Snapper 56cm fork length – Now just when I thought the other two fish convinced me that this was a good rod along came this fish. Awesome fun on any gear, this fish did give me the ‘Maradona Hand From God’ (Please look up Google). Yes, it took my plastic and swam straight past all the unfavorable reef and into the open water giving me all the advantage to land this solid fish. So this also gave me ample time to assess the loading capabilities of the Ronin and see how it absorbed the larger runs of the snapper and the results were quite surprising.
All in all, for my first interline experience I was blown away by the performance. This is an ideal rod for throwing cranks and plastics with jighead size up to 1/8th oz with the Ronin’s action making casting an effortless job. If you had any hesitations on the interline’s technology and performance, all those would be satisfied on your first half dozen casts making this rod a great one to have in your arsenal. Even if you’re a sceptic, it’s well worth taking a look.