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Shimano Dialuna S96ML 9'6" 6-32g lure rod review - around £270

I am going to try my best to not sound like a scratched record about how frustrating it is to have a fishing tackle company like Shimano not bringing rods like this Shimano Dialuna S96ML 9'6" 6-32g into Europe, but it wouldn’t actually bother me if this particular lure fishing rod wasn’t much good - but it is. This rod is easily up there with the properly good 9’6’’ “regular casting weight” lure rods I have put into use for my bass fishing, and with how it so efficiently plays nice with so many different lures and techniques, I just know that a rod like this would suit so many UK and Irish anglers down to the ground……………

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Now of course there are a number of really good 9’6’’ lure rods out there now that are actually available off the shelf here in the UK, and whilst Shimano Europe in their mighty wisdom list four of this Dialuna “S” range from Shimano Japan, this particular Dialuna S96ML 9'6" 6-32g isn’t in there - but the JDMFishingTackle lot over in Ireland list this rod and can get it in for you if you contact them. I have fished with a number of 9’6’’ rods now and I know what I myself would go for at various price points. Bear in mind that these are what I keep referring to as “regular casting weight” lure rods, plus they are available here in the UK:

  • Up to £150 - HTO Nebula 9’6’’ (2.9m) 7-35g (review here)

  • Up to £200 - Major Craft Triple Cross EU Custom 9’6’’ 10-30g (review here)

  • Up to £300 - Tailwalk EGinn 96ML-R 9'6'' Max 35g (review here)

  • Over £300 - HTO Shore Game S962MLM 9'6'' 7-35g (review here)

JDMFishingTackle are listing this Shimano Dialuna S96ML 9'6" 6-32g rod at €299.95, and this works out at roughly £270 plus whatever the delivery charges are - which puts this rod up against the outstanding Tailwalk EGinn 96ML-R 9'6'' Max 35g in my “Up to £300” category above. It is somewhat easier to get hold of the Tailwalk rod here in the UK - and this rod seriously does it for me - but there is a subtle difference between these two rods. The new EGinn range from Tailwalk are very much in the finesse class of lure rod - plenty of power if required, depending on their casting weights of course, but I wouldn’t be going for them if all I did was some serious rough and tumble lure fishing. They will do a hell of a lot of good stuff, and I so love the tips on the three EGinn rods I have fished with now, but now grab this Shimano Dialuna S96ML 9'6" 6-32g and it’s a slightly different animal.

This is still a 9’6’’ lure rod that I am entirely comfortable fishing a 6’’ DoLive Stick on for example, but it’s also a rod that I think can cope with its 32g upper casting weight without breaking a sweat, whereas to me the Tailwalk EGinn 96ML-R 9'6'' Max 35g is happiest when you’re not pushing more than say 30g. This isn’t a criticism of the Tailwalk rod by the way, because I so love how subtle it is, but these two 9’6’’ rods sit at similar price points and they are a little different.

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It’s fast, it’s powerful, it’s as light as a lure rod needs to be, I love the handles on these Dialuna S rods, and it is so incredibly easy to get at the power and wind this thing up. It’s not a scaffold pole but you can feel the grunt in this thing, and I really like how its action sits so seamlessly between the lighter Shimano Dialuna S90L 9' 5-25g (review here) and what is now my go-to, next step up in power Shimano Dialuna S96M 9'6" 8-45g (review here). You can tell that these three rods are from the same family as such, but it seems to me that a lot of thought and design has gone into how they need to fish for their respective lengths and casting weights. These are some truly incredible lure fishing rods for what I happen to think are more than fair prices with how much performance you are getting for your money.

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What spinning reel you screw onto your lure rod is always going to be a matter of personal choice. What feels the best to you might not feel the best to me and so on, and my beloved little Shimano Twin Power XD C3000HG (still running 100% perfectly nearly two years down the line) feels just right on the delightful Tailwalk EGinn 96ML-R 9'6'' Max 35g - so I naturally put this reel on this 9’6’’ Dialuna. It obviously works just fine like this, and you may love this exact combination, but as with the more powerful Shimano Dialuna S96M 9'6" 8-45g, for some reason I also prefer how this Dialuna S96ML 9'6" 6-32g sits in my hands with a heavier spinning reel on it. I have fished this rod with both the Penn Spinfisher VI 3500 and the Penn Slammer III 3500 (review here), and with either of these reels on it the rod feels just about perfect to me. You need to bear in mind though that the more lure rods I put the heavier Penn Slammer III 3500 on, the more I am getting used to a bit of extra weight on a spinning reel actually feeling pretty damn good.

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Anyway, what we have here in my opinion is one hell of a lure fishing rod if you like fishing with a 9’6’’ length of carbon that has a casting rating which is covering so much of the lure fishing that so many of us routinely do. Any of the rods in my list above will suit a hell of a lot of lure anglers, and if you go into the right fishing tackle shops then you can at least pick them up and have a bit of a waggle and so on. If you went for this Shimano Dialuna S96ML 9'6" 6-32g via the JDMFishingTackle lot then you would be buying a fishing rod blind - which of course many lure anglers have to do because of where they live and perhaps not having access to more lure orientated tackle shops - so if the idea of this rod is floating your boat a bit then I hope you can trust me when I say that I would more than happily add this Shimano Dialuna S96ML 9'6" 6-32g to my arsenal. It’s awesome, end of.

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