The first Major Craft rods I came across were some of the Crostage bass ones, and to be honest they didn't do it for me - save for the excellent wrasse fishing rod, the Major Craft Crostage CRS-726M/S. To be honest I kinda of forgot about Major Craft until that 9' Skyroad appeared on my front door last year and knocked my socks off - review here, and it was my best lure rod for of 2013 - check here. They are quite simply outstanding fishing rods as I believe more and more lure anglers are finding out for themselves........
Ever since I heard about the release of Major Craft's top of the range Truzer lure rods, I have wanted to see how they might compare to the Skyroads, and even more so after I got to waggle the 9'6' 10-30g and the 9'8'' 15-42g Truzers at the ICAST show I went to earlier in the summer. But it was the 9' 10-30g one that I really wanted to get hold of for testing. I suppose over time that I have found myself most drawn to lure rods around the 8'6'' to 9' length, and I wanted to see if the 9' Truzer could possibly be as good as a few waggles with the longer ones had led me to suspect. It's a big thanks to the rather decent Nice Fish people for getting me access to this 9' Truzer (and for feeding my issues with lure fishing rods especially).
I am lucky in that I get to play with a number of different lure rods, and whilst fishing rods are of course very personal things and there's no reason why a rod that I love should be the right one for you, I do think that there are an increasing number of really good lure fishing rods available to us these days. Give me around the £180 mark and I haven't found anything to beat the Major Craft Skyroad range yet, but spend a fair chunk more and I would reckon to be heading for an APIA or a Graphiteleader. I can't recall liking many higher end lure rods in the sort of 6-30g range as much as the APIA Foojin'AD Flow Hunt 89ML (review here), the APIA Foojin'X Grove Stream 93ML (review here), or the Graphiteleader Argento Nuovo 902L/ML (review here) - and to be honest, the Skyroad's that good it's pretty much up there with these rods anyway.And then this Major Craft Truzer TZS-902ML 9' 10-30g comes along and essentially redefines what I believe is my "perfect" lure fishing rod. At a UK retail price I believe it would be around the £380 mark, so while it's not remotely cheap, for what you are getting and when you compare it to what else we can get our hands on, I will stick my neck out here and say that I think this Major Craft 9' Truzer is good value for money. If a lure fishing rod can ever be something perfect (for me), then this rod is it. Holy frigging cow it's off the sodding chart how good it is, and I kinda knew that the moment I took it out of its bag and gave it a waggle that it was something a bit special. I don't need this rod, but wow do I want it - so in some respects I do need it!!
Again I come to this word "steely" when describing some lure fishing rods, but from now on I am going to use this 9' Truzer as the yardstick by which I measure steeliness - because it's so bloody steely I can't believe how steely it actually is. Forget the rod being listed as "Regular" on this webpage here, because when compared to other lure rods I have fished with, it's very fast. I like fast action lure rods, but I don't like rods that are too stiff and cumbersome when you're trying to fish with lures in that all important say 7-25g range. OK, I know the rod's rated 10-30g, but give me slightly lighter lures and it's performing impeccably, and you know when you've got a high-end rod in your hand because it's not really trying with a bigger bass lure like the Patchinko. You can feel you're getting towards the top end of the rod's suggested casting range, but there's just no feeling that the rod is remotely being pushed hard if that makes sense - and it animalises the thing out there.
So the Truzer is very fast/steely, but for me it's not overpowering because of the casting range of the rod and how well it has been designed and put together. It's also very light, but then you would expect it to be at the price. I am liking these Fuji Torzite guides, I love the cork handles, and I also really like how the rubber parts of the foregrip where your reel hand clamps around the reel-foot and the underneath of the rod grip are of softish, grippy rubber that work just fine even when everything gets soaking wet. The handle length is perfect for me - a tiny bit over 12'' from reel foot to end of butt section if that helps. Everything feels about as perfectly balanced as I think a lure rod can be.
I can't recall fishing with a lure rod that feels so incredibly precise if that makes sense. The outrageous steeliness but also deftness of the rod makes me feel that with every single cast I am putting my lure exactly where I intended - I'm obviously not, but it's just so ridiculously "crisp" yet without being too much rod for the subtle stuff. It's kind of a technical rod to fish with, as in the rod will bite back at you when your casting is a little bit off. Work well with the rod and it's like a completely natural extension of your arm that just flows so perfectly, but get your timing wrong and it's as if the rod is rebelling against you and telling you to do better. As much as this sounds like I am regaling you with my casting abilities, don't go for this rod if you are after something higher-end which won't bite back - something like the Graphiteleader Argento Nuovo 9' is an "easier" rod, albeit I am absolutely smitten with this Truzer's precision and I'll gladly take the odd admonishment from the rod when my casting falls below par - which it does, obviously.
I am sure there are lure rods out there which I haven't tried yet that might float my boat as much as this Truzer, but so far it's one of the best rods, and quite possibly the out and out best lure rod that I have lure fished with so far. If you want a more through action rod with an "easier" tip on it then go for something else, but I can't help being drawn to such steely rods like this that I think help to give me so much feedback. Why? They just work for me. I can happily fish with easier actioned rods if needs be, but give me something like the 9' Truzer and I just feel at one with it. The smallest movement on the rod tip gives all kind of life to so many different lures, indeed it seems as if I have found the perfect union between my perfect surface lure (IMA Salt Skimmer) and perfect lure rod (9' Truzer) - it's as if they were born to find each other!! (in the recesses of my strange head perhaps?) With softplastics this thing's a joke it's so good - or precise.
I am not sure how comfortable I feel calling a fishing rod "perfect", but you must bear in mind that I use the word only with regards to what works for me. And so I've really gone to town on this rod to see if I can find some way of tripping it up via any of the lures or methods I might currently use for my bass fishing. As I said earlier, you've got to get your casting right with the different weights and styles of lures, but if you get your head around this and don't simply employ exactly the same kind of cast and/or drop length for every size of lure then for the life of me I can't find any way of tripping this Truzer up. I admit that my obsession for lure rods that can cover all bases for me drives me towards certain models, and you may well look for different things than I do.
I was out the other night (blanking), and at one point I was whacking out a 120mm/12g Fiiish Black Minnow and then gently bumping back along the mainly sandy bottom. You've got no visual reference such as the rod tip to look at, but I swear to you it was as if the Truzer was talking to me with the amount of feedback I was getting. Lift the lure up at range and feel that tail kick into gear, then follow it back down on the drop and feel it gently land back on the sand. Sure, there was no wind to speak of that of course can make all this feel stuff much harder, but I don't remember a lure rod "speaking" to me as much as this. Put say an OSP DoLive stick out on a 6/0 weedless hook and it just feels so ridiculously "correct" for want of a better word, and the amount I need to move the rod tip to get a bit of action is just minimal. Precision - that's the word that jumps to mind whenever I fish with this Major Craft Truzer TZS-902ML 9' 10-30g lure rod.
But the final question has to be this - bearing in mind that this particular 9' Truzer retails at near to double the price of the equivalent 9' Skyroad here in the UK, does that then mean it's twice as good? Does double the money mean double the rod? Well of course it doesn't, as in I can't really see how a lure rod as good as the Skyroad could actually be made twice as awesome as it already is - but the Truzer is more rod. Do you need more rod? Well that's up to you, but the Truzer is another level of steely/precision again than the Skyroad - you can feel it when you cast them side by side, although this shows me yet again how special the Skyroad is to fish with. I could cheerfully fish with the outstanding 9' Skyroad and do all that I need to do in most conditions, but this 9' Truzer has got into my head.
But where can you see this rod ? Around £380 is a substantial amount of money to drop blind on a fishing rod, even if you do trust what I say here about how awesome I think it is. Well I know that the rather nice people at Chesil Bait 'n' Tackle are getting some of the Truzer range in very soon, and Absolute Fishing in Ireland may do so as well - give them a shout and drop in to have a look and at least multiple waggles with the rods. I'd happily put this Truzer up against anything I have ever fished with - I felt this almost from the moment I started fishing with it, but I wanted to wait a while and keep coming back to the rod to see how my opinion might change. Well it hasn't. This rod is ridiculously good.