It Was So Good The 1st Time, I Just Had To Do It Again!
May 15, 2013
I wanted a couple of small --yet muscular-- spinning rods to keep on my 20' Whaler CC for multi-purpose use in the general area of Frying Pan shoals (offshore of Southport NC).
Mostly, I needed the rods to toss poppers, sliders, and jerk baits for King/Spanish mackerel, small cobia, dolphin(fish), barracuda, and maybe an occasional blackfin tuna or two while drifting or anchored up in 65'-90' of water. I also wanted to be able to use the rods for jigging, employed in both traditional (bucktails and jigging spoons like Hopkins and Gators) and "speed jigging" styles.
Another criteria was cost: I had just spent a substantial amount of money on 6 Avet conventional reels (2 SX's, 1 MXL, and 3 LX's) and 2 Shimano TLD-20's, along with matching Penn Torque rods for all of the Avet's and a couple of Penn Mariner's for the Shimano's.
Cheaper was better.
I was kind of torn between this combo and two slightly cheaper options: one that combined the same FRC4000 and a Penn Fierce rod, and a Shimano SOC4000FC/VTSS66MH combo.
Once I pulled the Tsunami TSTBS-J601M rod out of the shipping tube I knew I had made the right choice. It is quite beautiful, has (I'm pretty sure, according to several reviews I found online) a better set of guides than the Penn Fierce rod, and it matches the FRC4000 reel perfectly. And, as I found out when I received the combo, the Tsunami rod has a 5 year warranty. If I have one gripe it's that the rod is a little short at 6', but that is a very minor complaint. And, since the rod is listed as being targeted primarily for jigging applications the length is quite appropriate for its intended purpose.
As far as the reel goes, it is --in my estimation-- quite a work of design and craftsmanship. It features an all metal body, a slick and powerful drag (up to 13lbs), and one of the smoothest and most unobtrusive ant-reverse systems I have ever felt in a reel.
It is equipped with SS ball-bearings, and I am fairly confident that if I take care of the reel and don't abuse it I can get many, many, years of fishing out of it.
And, as a bonus, the reel only weighs 12.5oz so the entire combo --complete with line-- comes in at something like 24oz. That will save a lot of wear and tear on my already worn & torn shoulders (which have been operated on a total of 5 times, and most of those surgeries have subsequently failed).
In conclusion, this combo turned out to be almost exactly what I needed, and the quality of both the rod and the reel appear to be first rate, especially considering the bargain price TackleDirect has attached to the product.
And to put my money where my mouth is, so to speak, I just placed an order for the 2nd of these combos.
I can't wait to get the pair of them loaded up with ~250 yards of 20lb Tuf-Line Duracast braid and begin duking it out with some offshore pelagics!
Pros:Reel: Light weight, line capacity, drag system, anti-reverse, all-metal construction. Rod: Guides, light weight, grips and aluminum gimbal (w/protector), warranty.
Cons:If the rod was 6'6" there would be absolutely nothing for me to complain about!