I really enjoy messing about with different lure rods and then reviewing some of them on this blog here. Some I like more than others, some don’t float my boat much from the off and I am not inclined to spend my own precious fishing time thrashing them any further, some go back from whence they came and I really miss them, and some go back and I don’t miss them that much. The odd rod though really, really gets to me, and this not remotely cheap Tailwalk Hi-Tide TZ S90ML 9’ 7-24g (£439.99 UK RRP) is one of those rods - sure, I don’t need it, but much like the sublime Shimano Twin Power XD C3000HG spinning reel, holy hell do I want it. That’s my first problem.
My second problem is that my mate Mark who manages the Art of Fishing tackle shop in Wadebridge now owns and fishes with this utterly sublime Tailwalk Hi-Tide TZ S90ML 9’ 7-24g rod - which means that although I am successfully holding out on buying one so far, most times I go out fishing with Mark and he’s waving this wand around like a frigging magnet for my debit card. Yep, damn right £439.99 is a lot of money to spend on a fishing rod, but so what? You either have the money or you don’t, and you either would spend that sort of money on a lure fishing rod or you wouldn’t. Once again it’s personal choice and I am not about to apologise for reviewing a lure fishing rod that costs this much money. I have fished with it, I have an opinion about it, and I am telling you about it.
First off though, and let’s get this out of the way so you can stop reading if needs be - this Tailwalk Hi-Tide TZ S90ML 9’ 7-24g lure rod is not for you if you’re after a rod for blasting out the Xorus Patchinko or fishing rougher conditions with something like the IMA Hound 125F Glide. Same for bumping fast runs of current with heavier soft plastics - don’t go for a rod like this, but then it’s surely fairly obvious that a lure rod rated 7-24g is not going to be for this kind of bass lure fishing anyway. But if you want a seriously high end lure fishing rod that’s a smidgen lighter than your standard say 7-30g range of lure rods because you are fishing various locations that warrant the use of soft plastics such as the DoLive Stick, plus “regular” surface and hard lures and so on - and you are prepared to spend north of £400 on it - then I implore you to take a long, hard look at this utterly sublime Tailwalk Hi-Tide TZ S90ML 9’ 7-24g rod. Holy frigging cow this rod is something very special indeed…….
It will come as no surprise to you if you read my blog that I am fishing more and more with soft plastics rigged weedless and weightless especially - and yes, the 6’’ OSP DoLive Stick is top of the tree for me. It is only natural therefore that I am going to keep an eye out for lure rods which I think might fish lures like this really well, plus of course surface lures like my beloved IMA Salt Skimmer, and ultra-shallow diving hard lures like the killer little IMA iBorn 98F etc. And then of course we’ve got the white senkos at night, plus smaller needlefish like the lovely little 17g Spofford’s Lures needlefish, the Albie Snax, and so on. A lot of my bass fishing takes place in locations and situations where I can quite happily use a lure rod that’s rated “only” 7-24g.
I really like the 9’ length with this Tailwalk, and I love how it feels with a Shimano 3000 size spinning reel on it - please bear in mind here that I have only fished with these reels on this rod, but I would hope it’s fairly obvious that you don’t want to be sticking a much bigger and/or heavier spinning reel on it. The rod handle I guess might be a Marmite thing, but it floats my boat in a big way. I like how my reel hand can feel the actual blank, and I also like how the bit that tightens down to the reel and sits under my reel hand when I am casting and fishing has a really nice bit of grippy material on it. This Tailwalk rod is rung with Fuji Torzite guides and it just smacks of serious quality - which indeed it should at the price, but seriously, it’s as if a proper angler who actually goes out fishing designed this thing because it looks and feels so good.
You would not expect or want a rod like this to be some scaffold pole of a lure rod, but then I also don’t want some floppy stick just because it’s a bit of a lighter rod. I would suggest that Tailwalk have got this TZ S90ML spot on - it’s delightfully light and sensitive, but it’s also got plenty of power and guts if you do need to push the 24g top end. I have watched Mark fish some surprisingly lively conditions with this rod and he never had any worries, bearing in mind of course that he wasn’t having to push the kinda next step up bigger, heavier lures out there. The rod can easily cope around the 24g top end of its casting rating, indeed it’s quite something how well it pushes a lure like the 23g sinking version of the new Savage Gear Sandeel Surf Walker surface lure out there - holy cow it flies! What I am trying to say here is that with this Tailwalk Hi-Tide TZ S90ML 9’ 7-24g rod, you’ve got a lighter rod that can actually cope with things that say another lighter again lure rod like the rather lovely Favorite Skyline SKY-862M 8’6’’ 6-21g would not be enjoying that much. That 24g tip on the Tailwalk does make a difference here.
And for me I can’t stop smiling when I am fishing a the various sizes of OSP DoLive Stick rigged weedless and weightless on this rod. I know essentially squat about fishing rod design, and considering that the DoLive Stick is very much a freshwater lure on the Japanese OSP website, I seriously doubt that this is the case - but for me it’s as if Tailwalk have designed the perfect bass fishing rod for fishing these lures (and other lures like them of course). It’s just an absolute joy to wind this rod up, let these lures fly, and work them back - and when you get that delicious jolt of a bass hit run down the rod and into your arm, I defy any angler not to smile like a kid in a candy store. There’s oodles of power to deal with decent bass if needs be, and I can’t get enough of how intensely pleasurable it is to fish with this rod.
Now can you understand why I said at the start of this review that it’s bloody hard when you go out fishing and your mate is using and loving and cooing over this exact rod that I am doing my utmost to resist buying? This is going to be a long term test of my will power…………….
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