On the one hand I want to jump for joy that Shimano UK are finally making a few Shimano Japan (sea) bass products available here in the UK, and on the other hand I want to cry with how hard I tried to get Shimano UK to at least explore this possibility when I was doing some work with them a few years ago - I think the phrase banging your head against a brick wall describes my efforts pretty damn well! Anyway, it seems that things are slowly changing, although if I was Shimano I’d be shouting from the rooftops about this stuff, and especially when their JDM bass gear is as awesome as this particular rod……….
If you go looking at Shimano Japan, you will find that they do a big range of bass fishing tackle that I can’t help but assume is going to work well for the way we tend to go about our own fishing. Same with Daiwa Japan. OK, so it’s not as if Shimano Europe or UK are exactly flooding our markets with lots of lovely bass related goodies, but at least it’s a start, and that start from what I can tell is the introduction of four of these Dialuna XR rods in the Shimano UK catalogue, four slightly cheaper Moonshot lure rods, plus two models of the stunning looking Exsence C14+ spinning reels - and I have the 4000 size here which I have been fishing with for a bit now, review to come in due course. I kiss the handle as it turns. Sorry!
Anyway, so I have the £249.99 RRP Shimano Dialuna XR 900ML lure rod here, and it’s 9’ long and rated to cast 6-28g. First off, and I know this is nothing to do with how the rod fishes, but I absolutely love the handle and grip design because it works perfectly for me and there is duplon over the screw-lock bit with then sits under my rod hand when casting and retrieving. Happy days! Whoever is responsible for the design of these rods has obviously gone out, fished in the real world, got wet hands, and then come up with that handle/grip. Seems pretty simple to me.
Casting sequence at 11 frames per second
I first picked this rod up when I was in the Art of Fishing tackle shop, and from the first waggle I was really keen to get my hands on it and get it out fishing. A waggle is but a waggle (or wiggle?), but from the off this Shimano Dialuna XR 900ML felt like my kind of lure rod - and yes, I am drawn more to faster, “steely” lure rods. I am not saying lure rods like this are better or worse, just that I do like a “steely” feeling of precision, and this rod is in that category for sure. I feel very comfortable fishing with 9’ lure rods. OK, so some of the better 9’6’’ rods I have fished with can do a damn good all round job as well - Major Craft Skyroad Surf 9’6’’ especially, HTO Shore Game 9’6’’, Truzer 9’6’’, X-Ride 9’6’’ etc. - and whilst I am more than happy to use any of those rods, there is just something about the way a really good 9’ rod sits in my hands when I am fishing soft plastics rigged weedless/weightless especially. These lures are an increasingly important part of my bass fishing and as such I can’t help but be drawn to rods which I think fish a good variety of lures really well.
And this Shimano Dialuna XR 900ML is a seriously good lure fishing rod, to the point that whilst this is my first experience with a Shimano Japan (sea) bass rod, I am now left wondering how much other seriously good stuff that company has over there that I’d love to see - the more expensive Lunamis and Exsence lure rods for example, plus a whole heap of their hard lures etc. So is this lure rod worth around £250 or just below?
Well I happen to think it is, but you need to know what kind of lure rod it is - it’s very fast, erring towards powerful for its casting rating and wonderfully steely. Something like the outstanding 10-30g 9’ Major Craft Skyroad I would suggest will fish lighter lures more comfortably, and whilst both rods have casting weights which are roughly the same, this Dialuna XR excels a little higher up it’s casting rating. As I said, I like steely rods so I feel very comfortable fishing the 14g 6’’ OSP DoLive Stick on it for example, and it’s incredibly adept at blasting out hard lures such as the IMA Hound 125F Glide. Working surface lures like my beloved IMA Salt Skimmer or the bigger and heavier Xorus Patchinko on a rod this fast and precise is a dream. It just sits in my hand and works for me, and you can see how quickly the thing recovers in the short casting video I put together above - and thanks as always Mark for helping me out.
I haven’t cast them side by side, but I can’t help but be reminded of the outstanding but considerably more expensive Major Craft Truzer 9’ 10-30g when I am lure fishing with this Shimano Dialuna XR 900ML, and I mean that as a big time complement. I reckon there’s a small degree more precision on the Truzer, but both rods are so how I like a regular casting weight sort of 9’ lure rod to be. I also can’t help but like how much cheaper this Shimano Dialuna is. I have blogged about how much the 9’ Truzer floats my boat and I am also aware that there are anglers out there who have suffered breakages with it - mine continues to do brilliantly, but if it were ever to snap on me for whatever reason, I’d go straight for a rod like this Shimano Dialuna. It’s that impressive.
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