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on September 11, 2012
Picked this rig up for taking on backpacking trips after reading all the reviews on here. After a few trips into the wilderness with this little thing of beauty, I am definitely in love with it. The pole assembles in a matter of seconds and feels both sturdy and sensitive at the same time. The reel does feel a little cheesy to me, but seems more than adequate for backwoods travel. The feel of the pole grip took some getting used to - the lower end of the grip is necessarily short and the overall feel of holding the rod seemed sort of wrong at first (compared to most other poles I've used), but after spending some time with it, it became quite comfortable. The metal ring that slides up and holds the reel in place has a tendency to get stuck and I've had to smack it with the edge of my knife to get it to pop free in order to take the reel back off after use - not really a major problem so far, but noted for posterity. The tip section seemed VERY tight on first assembly and I thought it was going to be a problem, but after a few uses, it settled in to a very nice fit - the pole stays together perfectly. Tried with both 6 and 4 lb monofilament, and as others have mentioned it seems the 4 lb is definitely the better choice for this rig. The case is sort of a funky shape for fitting into - or onto - the backpack - am still working on the best place to attach it, but after breaking the tips off of a couple of regular poles that were lashed the side of my backpack while going through thick brush or crawling under downed trees, this sturdy case is perfectly awesome and I'm happy to deal with it. The latches are obviously going to be the first thing to go, but will deal with that when it happens - bungee strap or something. Was able to cram about a dozen lures, a couple of floats, hooks, weights, swivels, and several little crack-baggies stuffed full of various baits (e.g. salmon eggs, garlic marshmallows, etc.) into the various nooks and crannies molded into the case and completely left my soft-sided tackle box at home - which freed up a lot of space in my backpack all by itself. For those wondering how much this thing actually weighs (was wondering myself but couldn't find the info elsewhere) the digital scale I tossed it onto said 626 grams or about 22 ounces (without any extra gear in the box of course). Not exactly "ultralight" in the backpacking sense (yes, different meaning than "ultralight" in fishing pole jargon) but worth every single gram as far as my personal backpack is concerned. All in all, a well built, well thought out unit that has helped me to enjoy a couple dozen delicious alpine lakes rainbows over the last few weeks, and expect to enjoy many more. Will update if anything unusual happens.

UPDATE 7/9/2014: Going into my third season with this setup and am still 100% happy with it for use as a backpacking pole. My main reason for posting this update was to report that the issue mentioned above where the tip section was VERY tight upon first assembly has recurred at the beginning of each season. Both last year and this year it got stuck so tightly the first time it was put together that I was absolutely certain it was going to break before it could be separated again. Obviously a tight fit is necessary as the last thing you want is for the tip to go flying off during a cast - and maybe some of these are made looser than mine was - but based on my experience, I would absolutely suggest putting a very light coat of petroleum jelly on that last joint before inserting it for the first time (and again at the beginning of each season). The tip section joint is just raw fiberglass and seems to depend more on friction to stay put so I wouldn't use anything lighter or slipperier than petroleum jelly to lube it as it might make the joint more prone to come apart. All the other sections have a different type of joint and they have worked flawlessly every time.

Also, when breaking it out for the first time this season, I noticed that the reel felt a little stiff, so broke it part way down and squirted a little WD-40 into it and it instantly worked like brand new again. As with any machinery, I suppose a little lube now and then would be a good idea.

At any rate, am still extremely happy with this little beauty - definitely money well spent.
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on April 1, 2012
I am an avid Fly-Fisherman although not a purist, a backcountry guide, an outdoor writer ( You think?) as well and I simply LOVE this Ultra Light Combo! I spend an average of about 150-200 days a year on the water so the gear I choose must be the best. If too many fish are taken on flies or they in turn are not taking what I have to offer, I love the flexibility of having a great spin-cast reel on my pack. I bought mine from the Cherry Creek Orvis Store just about six years ago and it still functions like the day I purchased it. Unlike the review from "Ultralight-Hiker" on Amazon who "couldn't determine" what the weight class of "ultra-light" pole is and stated:

"I would never buy any product that advertises its self as ultralight and then does not list its weight. I have searched at least 20 sites trying to find the weight of the rod, the reel, and the case. If your going to advertise a product as ultralight it seems very poor judgement to have no information of the actual weight anywhere. Obviously shipping weight is not a useful number. As an avid ultralight camper, fisher, hiker, and rafter, I would not trust any company who does not list the weight of gear advertised as ultralight".

With such foolishness abound from one who is "Ultra-light" in all things including common sense, allow The Great White to educate you:

First of all my "ultra-light" friend, the term "Ultra Light" as used here has nothing to do with the actual weight of the product but what it's design is for. Ultra-light fishing rods are best for catching small bait fish like pan-fish. Extra-Heavy rods are used for heavy fish in surf fishing, deep sea fishing. Any fish can be caught with any rod, but catching pan-fish on a heavy rod offers no fun at all, and successfully landing a large fish on an ultra-light rod requires highest rod handling skills at best, and a fun you got is the best fun you can have but more frequently it ends in broken tackle and a lost fish. The best if rods are matched to the type of fishing they are intended for. The smaller the fish you target, the lighter the rod you will need. Pan-fish should be fished with either an Ultra Light or a Light rod, while you better use Heavy or Extra Heavy rod to cast large lures and fight some powerful and heavy fish like big musky.

The following list details the types of rod power, and the corresponding line and lure weight they would be best matched up with.

Power:

Ultra Light
Light
Medium
Medium Heavy
Heavy
Extra HeavyLine Weight:

1 to 4lb Test
4 to 8lb Test
4 to 12lb Test
8 to 14lb Test
15 - 25lb Test
25lb Test and AboveLure Weight:

1/64 - 1/16oz
1/32 - 1/8oz
1/8 - 3/8oz
3/16 - 1/2 oz
up to 1 1/2 oz
1 1/2 oz and Above

The lure weights and line sizes that a rod can handle determine its power. Ultra-light rods are designed for 2-6 pound line and lures weighing from 1/32-ounce. Rod blank power is simply a rating based upon the design characteristics of a particular blank model.

Power categories are as follows:
*· UL - Ultra-Light
*· L - Light
*· ML - Med/Lights
*· M - Medium
*· MH - Medium Heavy
*· H - Heavy
*· XH - Extra Heavy
*· UH - Ultra Heavy

I am never one to buy cheap gear on any level and this is no exception. Daiwa has been an industry leader in spincast tackle for years and I would expect that to continue as long as they turn out products of this quality. To the frustrated "Ultra-light" gent from Amazon, I would suggest that simply taking the time to research such information in the future will keep you from misplacing your trust and sounding like a "Nimrod" while attempting to review any product, no pun intended!

The Great White Has Spoken.....

See some of my work @ Thescoop303.com!!
1212 comments|326 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on June 12, 2013
As other reviewers have pointed out, this is a tiny rod, reel, and case. I bought this and the Okuma Voyager for a vacation trip. The main drawback of both is the need to load the spool with line (I used Sufix Elite 6 lb Fishing Line (Clear, Size- 330 YD Spool)). They are similar quality materials and reels, at least as far as I can tell, no-where near my Shimano gear, but they do the job. And it is great to have my own rods vs dealing with renting abused gear by the hour, so I'm a fan of both.

Basically the Daiwa is a 2/3 size version of the Okuma, but with a foam handle instead of a cork one. Personally I prefer the cork and the extra casting reach on the beach of the Okuma.

The Daiwa is great for my kids (7 and 9) to use, easier to handle and hold for a while, and lighter weight.

Also the Daiwa case has a tiny built in tackle box, maybe enough for a few sinkers/lures, whereas the Okuma includes a removable tackle box and has space for a lot more, and the foam cutouts give further flexibility.

Overall the Daiwa would be best if you are really tight on space, or need a hard case, otherwise the Okuma would be my choice for a nice portable rod/reel combo.
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on September 26, 2010
I have had one of these for over thirty years. I bought this one for my son. The MiniSpin is still an excellent way to take a high quality fishing combo wherever you go. It is not the rig for chasing huge fish, but I have caught pike on mine, and my son caught a four pound bass with his the first weekend he used it. This is a serious light spinning outfit. I recommend getting a second spool and filling one spool with four pound line and one with six. The four pound line works great with this rod and reel for things like crappies and smallmouth bass. Much more fun than just hauling them out of the water with a stiff rod and ten or twelve pound line. Six pound gives better results where there are weeds or bottom obstructions - you don't lose so much terminal tackle. The plastic latches on the case will wear with time, so I use a large elastic band to hold them closed. I highly recommend this package.
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on September 20, 2013
I'm a pretty frugal guy, but I can announce with absolute certainty that this purchase was worth every cent. In that vein, if you're debating whether to spend your hard earned cash on this rod, let me advise you: DO IT AND DO IT NOW.

I bought this rod for a backpacking trip through the Sierras on the High Sierra Trail. Having fished for trout basically since early childhood (thanks, Dad), I couldn't miss the opportunity to fish in the backcountry, but my pack was already weighing in at 40 pounds, and I didn't want to add a bunch more weight or bulk to that. In short: it worked perfectly, and I spent 6 days hooking trout by the lip. Since then, I've brought the rod to several other bodies of water, and have hooked trout up to 3.5 lbs on this rod. Of course, it's held up and works just as well as the day it was delivered.

I'll trust that all the other reviewers (who are probably much better fisherman than I) have convinced you that this is a good rod in terms of functionality, weight, and size. Let me, instead, steer you towards buying this rod if you're considering this particular setup versus a fly rod setup costing 3-8 times what this does. Heading to the Sierras, my first choice was, of course, a fly rod. But 1) I'm not a very good fly fisherman and 2) a good lightweight 7-piece fly rod will cost AT LEAST $150, and probably 2-3 times that. Like I said, I'm a frugal dude.

It's not widely reported, but you don't actually need a fly rod to fly fish. Here's how I killed it fly fishing with this rod in the Sierras (where only barbless flies are allowed in most of the backcountry lakes and streams):

1. On the lake. If you're fishing on a lake, take a clear plastic "bobber" and secure it to the end of the line with a swivel. From the swivel, lead a 2-4 foot section of line tied to whichever dry fly you prefer. The dry fly should be coated liberally with floatant or, believe it or not, WD-40 to keep it dry and floating. Cast the line out where you want it, and retrieve it at a glacial pace. On this rod's inaugural backpacking trip, this technique landed me a brook trout at Hamilton Lake on my first cast, and I pulled out three more trout in the next 10-15 mins.

2. In a river/stream. If you're fishing on a river or stream, follow a similar technique to 1, above, but use wet flies or nymphs. Tie the fly at the end of your line, and place 1 or 2 tiny "split-shot" lead weights about 18-24" from the fly. Another 18-24" from the weights, slip on one of those sleek balsa-wood style floats and just cast your line out, into the middle of the stream. As the float causes your setup to drift downstream, the lead weights will maneuver your fly between rocks and right in front of the trout. Again, on this backpacking trip, I caught and released a dozen golden and brook trout in about 40 minutes in the upper Kern near Kern Hot Springs. If you're somewhere where you aren't relegated to barbless flies, use a salmon egg instead, and you're golden.

So, despite the fact that I'm not a particularly good fisherman, this rod easily substituted for a much more expensive setup and landed me fistfuls of fish. Going forward I'll use it widely...not just for backpacking.
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on September 24, 2012
I am not an avid fisherman. That being said, I wanted something I could goof around with when car camping and on 4x4 trips near water. This little pole is well made and everything fits in a nice tight hardcase. Perfect for my needs.
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on December 16, 2009
I've had one of Daiwa's pack rods for many years. At that time it came in a rectangular carrying case and the guides were thread wrapped - rather than taped. As a friend has had one with the "T" shaped case for 25 years, it must be somewhat older than that. Because it can be broken down to such a small size - it is an excellent rod for canoe portage fishing trips and for hiking in through the brush to the best trout streams. I have caught everything from 12 pound northern pike to brook trout and pan fish with this rod. In recent years my wife has purchased one as well. While it will never have the natural feel of a one piece rod, it does surprisingly well for coming in five pieces. My wife says it is my lucky rod, and after many years of "borrowing" it from me - I bought her one of her own. She loves to fish for bronze-backs and has already put fillets in the frying pan numerous times.
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on October 5, 2011
this is a very good and sturdy fishing pole i love and i use it all the time reccomend it to all. It is easy to cast and put togeter and do not lisen to the 2 star guy he did not have his reel on tight enough.
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on July 8, 2012
I've owned this system for about 4yrs. I have used it trout fishing in Utah and crappie fishing in San Diego. The system works really good. If you want something that fits into your backpack and then can land a 5lb fish. This will do it!
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on August 9, 2013
I bought this little baby with the intention of sticking it in a bug out bag, but like everything else that goes into it I like to know it is going to work. With that in mind I have been using it every time I go fishing and it is a blast. I have caught every imaginable freshwater fish with it from Bream to Channel Cat and every thing in between. There is nothing like hooking a fish you know is too large for the tackle and working him in to test the skill of any angler. I have caught 6 and 7 pound cats on this thing and brought them to the boat.

I did use the reel it came with, but I have also replaced it with a Zebco trigger, which with a little modification will fit into the case, and I use the open face for a backup.

I have to say I was pleasantly surprised with this kit, and I will have to buy another for the bag since this one is staying in my canoe!
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