Daiwa’s Proteus rods were built specifically for the SoCal market needs. They did their homework, studied some of our CA produced state of the art rods, actions, etc. The result of doing the homework was the creation of some excellent rods which offer significant benefit to fishermen. Before going into specifics, let’s talk a bit about Daiwa. Daiwa is a 50 year old firm specializing in fishing (with a golf background too since rod making technology is also used to produce golf clubs). Daiwa owns their own factories, they are not buying rods built by a third party. They have control over what’s built, and they have responsibility for the consequences of not doing things right. Daiwa is the most traditional of Japanese manufacturers, and that’s a good thing.
For our West Coast style fishing (with broad appeal in other regions) typically for rods in the $200 range we’d be looking at fiberglass. Fiberglass is darn good, it’s durable, but it’s heavy when compared to other more modern materials. An all graphite rod has earned a bad reputation by comparison to fiberglass when it comes to durability. That’s not a function of the material, it’s a function of the way it’s used. United Composites (GUSA) demonstrated that an all graphite rod was equal to or better than ‘glass in terms of strength and durability – but that was the result of changing the way rods are laid up – using the material differently.
Fishermen have evolved along with the equipment we use. The use of braid has allowed us to fish smaller gear, with greater drag capability than in years past. With the smaller, lighter reels, we’re looking for rods that have high strength but weigh less and have a thinner diameter. Balance is better, ease of use improves, call it ergonomics or just comfort, we fishermen are looking for different rods than we did a decade ago – or at least we should be. Frankly, I see Okuma’s and Daiwa’s rods as filling the arena which our fiberglass rods formerly covered, with more modern designs and construction methods. I mentioned that Daiwa did their homework, one look at the Proteus rods confirms that, and once you pick up one of the rods you immediately note that we’re not playing with old school fiberglass…ah but we’re still benefiting from some ‘glass since these rods are our preferred composite build. Light weight, durable performance, thinner diameters, nicer action for use with braid, excellent components all combine to make the Proteus series rods something I really should have brought into our inventory a year earlier. There were some reasons for that decision, but the positive is that we’ve now brought in the line and it augments our range of rods significantly. Daiwa did a great job in designing the Proteus series rods. These are some excellent rods, well worth their price, and a serious upgrade from the typical $200 fiberglass rod. You are getting a great deal of state of the art technology in rod construction, that’s simply not available in a fiberglass rod.
When I mention modern rod designs, Daiwa gets the nod. They’ve been listening and learning, and applying new methods which result in better products for consumer. Cosmetically the rods feature thinner diameter blanks (in comparison to fiberglass) and they have greater hoop strength given their blank design. They aren’t exactly United Composites in terms of their design execution, but they are darn close and with Daiwa’s backing you have long term security. For a series of rods which run about $200, I’m of the belief that the days of the fiberglass rod may be over. The Proteus rods are made from graphite and ‘glass, they’re a composite rod (like UC’s CE and CP series, Calstar’s Grafighter, Seeker’s old Black Steel and other series). The durability of fiberglass can be matched by carbon fiber when the construction methods evolve away from the same old methods or building rod blanks. UC got that right (or should I say the former Grahpite USA nailed it). Daiwa applies some similar design features with their new Daiwa’s Proteus series rods – they’re a composite too. Proteus rods may have been made with the West Coast angler in mind, but the’re also exactly what a lot of other folks are going to appreciate, too. Nice rods, good values, great construction, very nice bend to ’em, wonderful to fish.