Henry Gilbey
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Henry Gilbey blog

Daiwa Morethan AGS 93ML 9'3'' 7-35g (Demon Power Commander, yes!!) lure rod - around £360.00

At times I have confused the living daylights out of myself by trying to make sense of what kind of lure rod is best for what kind of lure fishing, but in reality it simply doesn’t matter one single sodding bit if you like fishing with it. Fast rods, slow rods, stiff tips, softer tips, short rods, long rods, it matters not, because as far as I can tell most manufacturers are going to tell you that their particular lure rods are the best anyway, and at the end of the day it comes down to what we can afford and what we like fishing with. Ask me what my “perfect” lure rod action is and I’ll pass you the Major Craft 9’6’’ 10-30g Truzer (review here), but that doesn’t mean it’s going to suit you as well as it does me………

Over the years I have heard snippets of very positive information about the Daiwa Morethan range of lure rods, but up until the other day I had never seen one. Their Morethan rods are I believe next in line beneath the reassuringly expensive Branzino range, and I note with interest how Daiwa UK are now making three of these Morethan rods available here in the UK. From what I can tell the £UK price is essentially the same as what you would pay in Japanese Yen for the same rods in Japan. Not cheap I grant you that, but the fact is that many anglers have accepted that good lure rods cost, and they aren’t just some add on a quiver full of what can be very expensive shore rods.

I have the longest Morethan rod here that Daiwa UK are listing in their catalogue, the Morethan AGS 93ML 9'3'' 7-35g Demon Power Commander (gotta love that name, makes me feel very manly), and I can bet you the first couple of things that most people say when they pick this rod up is firstly, “wow, it’s seriously light”, and secondly, “it feels quite tippy”. And yes, those were essentially my words when I first picked this rod up at the Dublin fishing show in February. I can’t believe how light this Morethan AGS 93ML rod is, and without a doubt it’s a bit tippier than I am used to when I gave it a few waggles as we always do - I know what kind of lure rods I tend to go for, but I would hope that I am open minded enough to also give stuff a go that at first might not feel like it’s meant for me. Waggling and fishing are two very different things.

Now there must be a reason why Daiwa Japan have made this Morethan AGS 93ML rod they way they have, just as say Major Craft have made the 9’6’’ Truzer the way they have chosen to. I would be interested to know the various manufacturers’ reasons behind different rod actions, but as I said earlier, it’s up to us to use what we like and who says it can be right or wrong if we are catching fish? I tend to like a certain rod action for certain ways of fishing, but then I take this tippier than I would usually go for Daiwa Morethan AGS 93ML out fishing and it absolutely blows me away how frigging effortless it is, and how easy it is to wind it up and put some lures out a country mile if needs be. I said in my review of the 9’ Truzer that whilst the rod action works almost perfectly for me (check here), you need to be on your timing to get the best out of the rod - very forgiving it is not. This Morethan AGS 93ML is in my mind hugely forgiving and so easy to fish with, but then I don’t quite get the same feeling of out and out “precision” that I get with these Major Craft Truzer rods for example.

I can’t help but think that this Morethan AGS 93ML would work for almost anybody with any kind of lure casting style. There is a huge amount of power and rigidity that feels like it blends from the butt into the midsection, and then you’ve got this easier tip that I know feels “tippy” when you waggle it, but then comes to life when you fish with it. It’s the kind of rod I reckon that I could put into most hands, ask you to close your eyes and give you no waggles with it, and then get you to cast and fish with a number of different lures - and my guess is that you’d start smiling, just as I did. How can you not like a rod that is so light and powerful yet so utterly effortless to fish with?

But what of these AGS (Air Guide System) carbon framed rod guides/rings? I believe the point of them is that they are meant to be so incredibly light that they are having very little effect on the action of a fishing rod, and whilst there’s no getting away from how light this Daiwa Morethan AGS 93ML feels, I have no idea whether the guides are actually doing that. If Daiwa Japan says that these AGS guides are the business then I see no reason to disagree, but it would be remiss of me to say to you that I am noticing a difference. Give me the same rod ringed with say Fuji Torzite guides and fish them side by side and then perhaps I could give you an opinion, but for now I can’t do anything but say that my lures are going out there just fine and the rod feels very light and manageable in the hand.

My head tells me that bumping a Fiiish Black Minnow in current and at range better suits a rod with a stiffer tip for example, but then I try the technique on this Morethan AGS 93ML, and whilst there’s no doubting how the tip does bend more into the lure when you draw it up, in truth it feels great. Same with surface lures, indeed it’s the same with any lures I try on this rod - the tip bends round a bit more than I am used to, but it just works, and it’s just so efficient at getting them out there. At the end of the day it has to come down to what you like fishing with, and this Morethan AGS 93ML is one easy bit of kit to like. From what I have heard, every rod in the Morethan range is different, and this ties in with how different the other two Morethan rods in the Daiwa UK catalogue felt from a few waggles (the AGS85MLM 7-30g and the AGS88M 7-40g).

Now I am perfectly happy to concede that the rod designers at Daiwa Japan know more about putting together lure rods than I will ever come close to knowing, but for the life of me I will never understand that shiny gold bit on the reelseat where the back of your hand sits. If it’s because most anglers in Japan wear gloves for their fishing - and I don’t know if they do or do not - then I understand that this bit doesn’t need to be grippy, but when you don’t wear gloves and your hands and the reelseat get wet, well it might just be me, but the back of my hand keeps losing traction on the back of the reelseat. I love how the front part of the reelseat works with my thumb and forefingers if that makes sense, but I can’t pretend that I love that gold shiny bit where the back of my hand sits. As I said though, this could just be me, because I had the same problem on that discontinued, French designed Daiwa Morethan Branzino 80ML. If this Morethan AGS 93ML was mine to keep then I would be taping over that little gold shiny bit with something grippy.

This is a class bit of kit and I will be interested to hear how well it sells, because in my mind it is one of those rods that really needs to be taken out fishing rather than simply waggled in a tackle shop. I accept completely that this is not easy to do, hence I must hope that this review of mine might help a few of you out if this particular rod has popped up on your radar. My first experience of a Daiwa Japan Morethan rod is proving rather interesting, and I can’t help but wonder what other rod actions and styles there might be within the range.

You all have a good Easter weekend, and here’s to hoping that some of you might latch into a few bass, wrasse etc. from the shore. I notice with serious interest that John Quinlan’s first clients of the year have started catching some bass, indeed I am struggling to breathe properly with my excitement at heading over there in a few weeks to do some guiding work with him (check here). I hope you are enjoying the new website and a big thanks for all your feedback. I will continue to make a few tweaks here and there as I live with the new site for longer, but I am very happy with how it’s helping my photos to speak and the way the the blog is looking and running in the background for me.

Ireland guiding 2014