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It was a reel (excuse the pun) surprise toget home from work one evening on the lead in to Christmas and find a new rodn’ reel sitting on the door step! Upon opening the box the Legalis reel is unmistakable. The black and gold spool matched with the gun metal grey body isa classy looking unit. It felt smooth, solid, and the positive click from the drag adjuster gave confidence. I am a user of braid and hadn’t heard much about “J Braid" so pretty much spooled it on thinking…bright isn’t it! The rod is what intrigued me most. It looked very smart, very strong, and looked great with the reel on. To be honest I got more comments on the rod than anything else.

Where have I used it?

During the test period I target two areas. The Waimakariri river mouth is for Kahawai and early Salmon was the first venue. Here you can fish atany part of the tide however I prefer the later half of the outgoing. Targeting Salmon I added 12lb fluorocarbon leader and cast 17- 28gr lures depending on flow. My other haunt at this time of year is the canals around Twizel. I use a variety of methods here so this year I gave the Legalis/Procaster rig a go at the full spectrum which included lurefishing, soft baiting, and shrimps on aledger rig (sometimes you get desperate!)I kept a record and during the test period used the gear on 21 occasions totaling over 50 hours use.

How did the gear perform?

This is a great combo for targeting strong fighting Kahawai and Salmon. The stiffness of the rod and smooth casting braid made casting lures of 17-28gr a breeze. The Procaster rod has a stiff, fast action that allows power and accuracy when casting heavier lures. That power is also there when hooked up. The largest fish that I caught was only a 4lb Kahawai, but it gave a hint of what a much larger fish would have to battle with should it latch on to this gear. It also just looks awesome! When softbaiting in the canals we generally use jig heads of 1/16oz to1/8oz. This was too light really for this rod. It lacked the whippy tip needed for casting such light weight lures. The rod is light weight, well balanced, and operates excellently within it’s intended casting weight range. I just wish that I got the chance to fight a heavyweight like the one that my fishing buddy caught one evening right beside me! A 17lb Rainbow caught in the Ohau “C” Canal in mid January.The Legalis reel has truly been faultless. It has cast and cast without issue. The drag has been smooth with very little “start-up inertia”, and the drag adjuster gives good “feedback” clicks as you turn the dial. For the money it couldn’t be faulted. I am used to using Shimano Stradic FJ reels at 2500 and 4000sizes. I love the Stradics, now the Legalis 3000 is a very nice addition and at a price that is softer on the wallet. I am particularly impressed with the “J” Braid. I hadn’t expected to be particularly surprised by the braid supplied…but I am! The braids that I had used previously (some considerably more expensive) had offered the sensitivity and low diameter desired, but was a pain as far as knots went!

How does it work that any knot that you attempt to tie with most braid has trouble staying tied, but a wind knot is impossible to unravel? Not so with the J Braid! I found that the knots that were supposed to hold did and the odd wind knot just pulled through with ease. It casts beautifully and has low/no line memory. A great product! The braid supplied was 15lb and I think that for the Salmon I would feel happier spooling up with 20lb and know that the reel, rod and braid would handle even a fresh20-25lb’er.On the river bank it was very popular. Many anglers were interested in the gear and when offered it up to them they were impressed with the feel and performance. One guy loved it so much he said he was going to go and buy the set!

In summary…It has been an absolute pleasure testing the Legalis/Procaster/ J Braid combo. I am as well informed as the next fellow regarding fishing tackle and spend my fishing dollars with as much wisdom as I can muster. My Fly rod is an aging but trusty Kilwell Innovation, my spinning trout rod is a Dragon X-TREME from Poland, my softbait rod a Okuma Nano-matrix, my Salmon rod a Shimano Mexican Fire. As you can see…no brand loyalty here. On reflection I realized that during the time I was testing the Daiwa set up not once did I reach for my existing gear over the Diawa gear. This is a fairly significant realization. The Legalis set allows you to target big strong Kahawai, Salmon and Trout all day long. It is strong, light weight and reliable. Add to this it’s classy good looks and I can see it being very popular. Thanks Daiwa!

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