Where have you been fishing with your gear, ie general area, tide, time, conditions?
I have mainly been fishing in the Hauraki Gulf in the areas 18-35m in the greater Whangaparaoa Bay area. Fishing all tides and when conditions allow.
What techniques have you used and what's worked best for you?
Bait fishing has proved more effective over this period since Christmas through now. We have been anchoring up and berleying and the snapper have been coming on the bite gradually. Flasher rigs have actually caught the largest snapper rather than straylines. Fresh jack mack bait going well. Lure fishing has been really slow with the snapper not feeding aggressively like they were through the spring period.
How did the Daiwa gear perform? Please detail casting and fighting fish. Drag, rod action etc.
The Daiwa gear performed really well, especially the Lexa! It casts the best of any overhead reel I have used and the drag system is very smooth. The Saltist rod has been excellent while lure fishing although I have not found it ideal when bait fishing due to the light action – particularly straylining where a heavier action rod was needed.
How does the gear compare to what you have used in the past?
I haven’t used a baitcaster reel before, usually favouring small conventional overhead reels ahead of baitcasters. I have really enjoyed the ease of dropping and retrieving with the Lexa though, turning the handle to engage the drag makes lure fishing a delight. Casting with it too is amazing, I can achieve great distance and to date have had zero over runs. The Saltist rod is very sensitive in the tip which I like, but would prefer a faster taper so there is more power lower down so that you can apply more hurt on a fish.
Have you used braid before? How did you find the J-Braid you received?
Yes. The J-braid was excellent. Knot tieing ability was great, colour system with the marks every meter was super handy, smooth through the guides, sat well on the reel – checked all the boxes really.
Any other thoughts on the gear, highlights/ challenges etc?
I regularly have had the braid catching under the hook notch on the rod – it is situated facing left on the rod, if it was facing down (the opposite side of the rod from the reel) I think it would be an improvement. Only a minor thing though and it’s just a flick with your hand to flick it off. This set is definitely my go to set for lure fishing now!