Not that many years ago nearly all top-end Daiwa rods were aimed exclusively at match anglers. Thankfully, that kind of pigeonholing no longer exists, and he company has made impressive inroads into the massive carp rod market.
A prime reason for the success of the operation is that Daiwa uses its own highly skilled and mainly Japanese technicians and CAD designers to create rods, which are then assembled at the massive Scottish manufacturing plant in Wishaw. Daiwa is one of the very few tackle companies with the knowledge and resources to design and build carbon products from start to finish.
That knowledge is the partly the result of some serious input from the likes of big-carp deity Danny Fairbrass and his Korda team. The end product is unfailingly impressive, and clearly seen in the casting power, fish playing actions and furnishings that accompany the latest top-end Daiwa Basia DF (Danny Fairbrass) Carp Signature models. But what of the other Daiwa carp rods? Is there the same attention to detail?
Happily, yes. All that Japanese creativity and UK angler know-how has been put to very good use on even the most affordable models, including the entry-level Black Widow Carp on test this week.
This collection in 2.75lb, 3lb and 3.25lb test curves also includes a new 4.5lb Spod model. Between them they offer a good choice of casting distances and fish-playing actions, but all have been constructed around the same fast taper mandrel as used on many top-end Daiwa rods.
The Black Widow may not have quite the same expensive steely carbon feel, or super quick tip recovery speed as its more illustrious stable mates, but it is well capable of throwing a 2oz-3oz lead a very respectable distance. That’s especially true of the 3.25lb model.
For all-round fishing fun, though, the 2.75lb Black WIdow takes some beating. Its progressive fish-playing action kicks in to form a seamless fighting curve with lots of feel and transmission. A particularly good cushioning effect spreads evenly through the rod’s top section, helping it to eliminate hook-pulls when dealing with big fish under the tip.
Good looks abound on the slim two-piece matt black blank, furnished with six correctly spaced ultra-low-friction aluminium guides that will cope equally well with braid and mono. Other features include low profile, soft touch casting grips on the end of the abbreviated handle and below the reel seat, and a retro-style hooded graphite reel seat that fits larger reel sizes.