The world’s largest sportfishing trade show was held last week, hosting 9,500 members of the global sportfishing industry in LA to showcase the latest innovations in fishing gear, accessories and apparel. Needless to say, it’s a spectacle of some proportion and it would take far longer than the allocated three days to comb through every exhibitor’s booth to get to know all the new products on display.

One of the big stories at this ICAST though was the Daiwa Tatula, which the company is positioning as a more affordable quality rod for mainstream anglers.

Daiwa have been accused in the past of focusing on enthusiasts at the exclusion of more mainstream hobbyists, and so it’s interesting to see that unlike the Daiwa Zillion Rod Series, which was priced at around £150-£180, the new Tatula rods are a bit more affordable at £98.

The rod is for bass fishing and covers applications such as standard frogging and flipping. For these purposes it uses Daiwa’s bespoke SVF (Super Volume Fiber) graphite technology, which is flexible, strong and stabilised against blank twist. It actually has something called “micro pitch blank finish”, which means the blanks are applied with fine-pitch taping during curing, creating a denser result with even spread. Of course the rods are perfectly matched with the Tatula reels, which have the same sexy gold highlights, and a distinctive natural, un-sanded look (compare these for current Daiwa reels for sale, and you can see the difference).

There are two reel models: the Type R and regular Tatula, and both have an all-aluminium frame with oversized gears. The Type R is priced at around £130, while the Tatula has a price-tag of £98. Probably the most interesting feature for many is the T-wing system, which, according to Daiwa “allows line to flow freely through the wide top section on outcast, reducing the normally sharp angles and friction that slow line flowing through a narrow aperture when exiting the reel”.

Hardware on the rods includes a custom reel seat, machined aluminium reel clamp nut and Fuji Alconite ring guides. The warranty is reduced from lifetime to 5 years (you get what you pay for!), but the quality is all there. There are 16 rods in the line-up and the ceiling price is £111.

So, the Tatula gear has arrived right in the middle of a competitive price range for rods and reels, where there are many, many products vying for attention. Consumer expectations for presentation and refinement are low but performance is essential, and so time will tell if they’ve delivered a product that will fly off the shelves this season.

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