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Trying out the Daiwa Fuego rod

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In my quest to find decent gear that isn't super expensive, I found myself yearning to try one of the current go-to recommendations on the forum for budget minded rods. I looked at the lightning rod, lightning rod shock, Daiwa Aird and the Daiwa Fuego for a new spinning rod that I can use at the river, for throwing senkos, or just for when the wife wants to come along. I settled on the fuego spinning rod in 7' medium (doesn't mention a tip action, but website says fast) to pair up with a 30 sized BPS tourney special reel that's been inexplicably sitting on top of my microwave for over a year. Spooled it up with hilarious lime 30lb 832 (bright lines are great, but will never not look silly) with an 8lb YZH leader that's about 15 feet long.

 

I hit the reservoir this morning in the yak to do some jig fishing, but I brought this spinning rig instead of my ML finesse favorite/sahara combo. Once I found a quiet cove without wind I went to town with a 4/0 ewg and a red shad laminate shim-e-stick senko impersonator. It didn't take long to start having an absolute ton of fun. The website wasn't joking, that action is seriously fast. So fast that I think I would have a really unpleasant time trying to throw anything too much lighter than a senko. The trade off was instant and brutal hooksets. The combination of the braid and the fast tip made for some really dramatic moments of "is that a fish or a log?" resulting in only 1 missed bite. That indecision and either really early or really late hooksets have cost me a lot of bites and is one of the reasons I'm not huge on senkos. I was readily detecting bites and dropping the hammer on them. No giants today, but I pulled a few out of the grass. The rod had plenty of backbone and took it in stride. 

 

Now for the best part, I waited patiently for an ebay sale. I paid a total of $42 USD shipped to my door. If you had told me it was a $90 or $100 rod I would be a lot more critical of it, but I think at the end of the day I would believe it.

 

Now there's a couple negatives I will hit on. First and foremost the balance could use some work. I'm using a 30 sized reel and with line on and ready to fish the balance point is about an inch past the top of the grip. Its certainly not bad and I didn't have any fatigue but it was a noticeable. It wouldn't take much to balance it. The other thing is the silly cork grip. It's actually pretty nice cork, but it's in a place where your hand won't ever touch it. On one hand that is kind of nice because it helps add weight to balance the rod a little bit. Personally I would much rather have the skeletonized split grip and actually weight the butt end to make up the difference for balance. Both issues are pretty moot for a $42 rod.

 

Overall, I'm a happy camper... I give it 2 senkos up.

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I have a Fuego is a casting rod which is 8' Heavy/X fast that I primarily only use when I am drifting fast rivers farther north. Idk about the 7' version, but mine balances very with several of my reels. It's a good, stout, lightweight rod and it definitely a keeper for what I paid for it (about $45).

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I love the Aird-X's, but the Fuego's.....at least the two I have/had, left a lot to be desired. Their powers/actions are more true to their ratings where as the Aird-X's seem to run a power lighter than rated (IE a M Aird = ML, and a MH=M).

 

I found the balance on the Fuegos's to be terrible with Fuego CT casting reels, and multiple guides on both rods had inserts break or fall out. I have NOT had that issue with the Aird-X's. Both of mine are in the trash, they are not worth fixing, and I'll just stick with Aird-X's and Berkley Lightning Rod Shock's for my budget rod needs.

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I'm glad my rods have held up the way they have. Not saying that I won't go out the next time and break some inserts and guides. But for $50 I didn't expect much anyway. But I'm a sucker for full cork handles. 

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2 minutes ago, Looking for the big one said:

@ww2farmer I had the same problem with an insert on my 7’3” Heavy. Only one day out on the water with it and now I’m looking for a new frog rod.

I feel bad, because I had these rods for a about a month, and fished them hard. And just as I was starting to add them to my recommendations for budget rods, they started falling apart. I have fished the Aird-X's for well over a year now, issue free, and Lightning Rod Shocks for a LONG time issue free. I should have waited on praising the Fuego rods, but I have been a little smitten by The Fuego CT reels, and Aird X rods, I was a bit over zealous in my praise for all things Daiwa.

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This is all quite interesting... my first impressions are rather positive, I certainly hope those issues have been resolved. I'll continue fishing the heck out of it and report back if it doesnt go so well. 

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