Taipan rods have been around for a while as an OEM of blanks for other manufacturers and builders but in the last few years they’ve started making their own production rods based on their own designs, start to finish. They are one of the few companies that builds blanks and rods in-house instead of outsourcing blank manufacturing to another company, this lets them have a tight grip over quality control and makes it much easier to make adjustments and improvements. Their first rods were oriented towards freshwater bass fishing and they’ve found some success but they have turned towards the saltwater segment of SoCal fishing as the next place for expansion. The new rail rods from them have been designed in house and have gone through several iterations of testing which let them adjust action and bend to make sure they are well received. Captain Rene of Shogun Sportfishing has been testing and helping with the development process for the last year and they’ve made a lot of improvements that have resulted in many big bluefin landed without hiccups.
These rail rods feature a heavy duty rail grip that is abrasion resistant and should last a long time, it is similar to other products on the market made of a durable hose material that has metal lining. In practice these grips hold up well, although they give you a bit less grip on the rail than the cold shrink tubing used by custom rod builders and companies like UC, this in general shouldn’t be an issue but it is something to keep in mind since the surface isn’t as soft it will not stick to the rail as easily. They use Alps CAH23 aluminum reel seats which should every class of reel you would be putting on the rail rod and they’ve also chosen to use Fuji HB SiN insert guides which are durable, corrosion resistant and have a great ring that is more than braid ready.
They’re manufactured start to finish in Yuma Arizona and come in at a smoking price point considering they are one of only 3 US rail rod manufacturers that make their own blanks, the other being United Composites and Calstar which come in at a more premium price point. The rods feel light overall and the diameters are very thin despite the strength you get from them. They have softer tips which give you a bit more action, I would fish the XXH model at 80lb and XXXH at 100lb respectively although you could certainly go down one line class if you’re a hard puller. Since the rods are made of a fiberglass and carbon fiber composite you get the extra durability of glass along with the extra bit of tip bend while still retaining the pulling and lifting power of graphite.