After around a 20-year absence, Daiwa’s iconic Powermesh rods are back with seven new Specialist models for the big-fish angler.
The full collection includes a bespoke two-piece barbel rod; 13ft, 14ft and 15ft float rods; and 11ft 6ins, 12ft 6ins and 13ft 6ins feeder rods with graded 1.5oz, 2oz and 3oz quivertips.
All are constructed from an identical high grade of reinforced carbon, the weave of which gives them that powerful, steely backbone we associate with the Powermesh name.
The rods are furnished to a very high standard, incorporating original Fuji reel seats, full-length cork handles and hard-wearing stainless steel frame guides with lightweight LS ceramic-lined rings.
To that little lot you can add a folding keeper ring, aluminium butt cap and a padded sleeve large enough to house a reel, so rods can be taken to the bank ready made-up.
With ‘demanding situations’ high on my live test objective sheet, a trip to a tackle-devouring stretch of the Trent was in order.
The river here is very shallow and clear, running fast over clean strips of gravel interspersed with waving fronds of streamer weed. You might just catch a glimpse of a pristine golden flank as a big barbel momentarily reveals itself.
As they say, ‘other methods are available’, but nothing beats presenting a bait beneath a float fixed top and bottom. From matching the weight of the float to the river’s flow, to slowing the travel of your bait at just the right moment, or mending the line before running your float through at the same pace as your loosefeed, trotting is an art form. Get it right and at some point your landing net will be graced with a truly stunning wild-born fish.
The rod on test, the 13ft Daiwa Powermesh Specialist Float, allows the use of heavy lines without feeling heavy or cumbersome in the hand, and will cast a waggler or stick float as the situation demands. There’s enough cushioning in the blank to permit the use of sensibly sized hooks and hooklengths.
A rod with all these qualities is a rare beast indeed, and on a day when the river had extra flow after recent rain it cast a hefty 6g alloy-stemmed balsa float without a hitch. At just 6.7oz, the rod caused me hardly any wrist fatigue while I waded the stream.
But it’s when a big fish is hooked that this Powermesh shows its true mettle. It boasts loads of mid-section persuasive power, but the sweet parabolic action cushions sudden lunges when needed, and it transmits plenty of feel through the blank.
In fact, it’s nothing like the broom handles that are often passed off as specialist rods.
As well as being a river rod, Daiwa’s new 13ft Specialist Powermesh Float is ideal for big tench and bream on the float.
It will cast a big slider or bodied waggler a very long way when needed. It can also be used for big carp in the margins.
The rod is built to stand a bit of abuse, and with all that versatility it’s sure to find its way into the rod holdalls of a host of big-fish specialists.