I have been playing around with a particular lure rod for a while now, and personally I reckon it's a sublime rod to use for bass fishing - but with a big caveat. What you need to do is to ignore the casting weight range that the rod has been given, because it's just plain wrong. Or at least it's wrong when it comes to the ways in which we would use it for our bass fishing. I will explain........
At the start of this year I had literally no idea that a large tackle company such as Daiwa was in any way involved in making what we might call "modern lure fishing gear", and lure rods especially. Not until I was literally dragged over to the Daiwa France stand at the Nantes bass show. What an eye opener. One of the range of rods that really stood out at me almost immediately was called the Daiwa Ardito Spinning, and I eventually managed to track a couple down for review purposes. Not easy considering that these rods are not "officially" on sale in the UK, but I do work in fishing, and I finally managed to track down the right people to speak to.
From the off I admit that I was looking for a "finesse" kind of modern lure rod, or something I guess that could compare with the Tenryu Injection. That's the problem with that particular rod - personally I think it's so outstanding that every single "finesse" rod I come across and I can't help but measure them up against the Injection. It might well be a "finesse" rod, but a number of the Irish lads I know and fish with are very successfully using their Injections to fish for bass with all manner of lures, and in all manner of ways - just ask somebody like Cian or James at Absolute Fishing. They are virtually welded to their Injections, and they have caught the fish to prove the rod can be used like this. Check this for starters !! Not that a part of me is forever going to want to live in Ireland or anything like that.
A quick waggle at the show with the 7' and 8' Ardito Spinning rods and I thought they had to be worth looking at, and especially considering that their stated casting weight was 7-28g - firmly in the "finesse" category in my mind. These are my own thoughts and conclusions, so please bear that in mind. But as I am finding out more and more these days, a mere "waggle" with a modern lure rod is simply no substitute for getting it out fishing.
I do accept that we might be using the rod in a way that it was not initially designed for, but in my opinion, and the guys who have fished with it, the 7' Ardito is simply not a finesse rod at all. It might say 7-28g on the rod, but it is nowhere close when it comes to shore fishing. Just too powerful for the length if that makes sense. At 7' for fishing from the shore it just feels dead in the hands, and even when fishing with the far heavier lures that this rod can easily cope with. Could be a very good rod for some kinds of boat fishing I imagine (vertical jigging with heavier plastics ?), but I was somewhat disappointed from the off. Felt fine at the show, in fact it felt really interesting, but with those finesse like ratings the rod just felt lifeless when actually out fishing - proving again that a waggle is simply a waggle !! For some reason a 7' length rod that has no feel or finesse tends not to work in my own opinion. But go to 8' and it is often a completely different story.......
And the 8' version of the Daiwa Ardito Spinning is just outstanding. Every person who has fished with it around me has loved it. I think it's one of the best balanced and most easy to fish with lure rods I have come across in fact. But only if you can completely and utterly ignore that 7-28g rating that's on the blank and in the Daiwa France catalogue. Personally I think the rod would be better rated at around say 12-40g, and if you treat it as this kind of lure rod then it is just sublime to fish with. The rod ratings suggest for example that it should work well say for bumping MegaBass XLayers on 7g jig heads, but it's hard to really feel what's going on - unlike with the Tenryu Injection for example where you can feel so much more. But put on a regular minnow type bass lure, get it out fishing, and the 8' Ardito is awesome. Perfect length, fantastic balance, one hell of a fast action, but with enough tip to translate loads to the angler. Just at a different rating - in my opinion of course. It's a rod that seems to just work well for all kinds of lures, and for all kinds of lure fishing, but in that roughly 12-40g rating.
I can't find a thing wrong with the 8' Ardito if you kind of apply your own ratings - as I said, around 12-40g in my mind. The build quality seems to be fantastic, the handle is particularly nice to fish with for long periods, and there is loads of power in the blank. Plus it is very light. I have easily blasted out 35g casting jigs on this rod, and it felt under no stress at all. Perhaps if I went and snapped the rod then the manufacturer could say that I was fishing with weights I should not have been, but I accept that. The 8' Ardito seems to be able to cope with a lot of stuff. Heavier soft plastics can be fished with a good degree of feel I reckon, especially say shads/paddletails on 10g plus jig heads. One hell of a rod.
But this 8' Ardito is obviously not on the shelves here in the UK. Might be in time, but I don't know enough about that kind of thing. I believe it would be in the £200-250 price range, and I am pretty sure the people at Veals Mail Order can order this one in if needs be. That price puts it up there, but personally I reckon it's seriously good value for money. I am really hoping that more and more rods like this start appearing in UK shops and on UK websites.
I have put a couple of new photo galleries up on my website - see here for a bunch of photos from my Irish trip the other day, and then click here for a load of the Tanzania tigerfish pictures. Enjoy. Fishing is just awesome !!