The super popular high end TD Commander rods by Daiwa are back, with the second versions sporting some new Daiwa technology, great looks, and some new models to the 14 rod lineup.
I managed to get myself the estuary all-rounder, the “SnowFinch” recently, and now that Ive had a few good trips using this rod, I thought I’d share my thoughts about how it performs.
|203cm / 6’8”
- Fuji Titanium framed SiC Guides – Stripper guides
- AGS carbon fibre guides – top half of rod
- New Daiwa Air sensor reel seats
- HVF nanoplus graphite
- x45 cobra carbon weave on exterior of blank
- 3DX carbon fibre cross wrap on lower portion of rod
- Cork split grips
When I first opened the rod sleeve and pulled out the SnowFinch, I was struck by two things, the lightness of the rod, and the beautiful classic dark green, black and silver colour scheme of the rod.
I may be a bit biased, as green is my favourite colour, but the New TD commander would now have to be my favourite looking rods in the whole Daiwa stable.
Upon giving the rod that first obligatory wiggle, I found the Snow finch to be crisp, but not overly so. The shorter length may have made it feel a bit stiffer than similar fast taper 7ft rods I have.
The guides have changed since the last model with Fuji titanium framed Silicon carbide guides now adorning the lower half of the rod and AGS carbon fiber guides only on the top half.
I was very curious how the newer TD Commander rod was going to feel on the cast. I remember the first time I used an AGS guided rod a few years ago, and it took me quite a while to get used to the rod. The lightness of the AGS guides definitely made the rods feel and act differently compared to standard guide rods. Not a bad difference, but just, well, different.
The new TD Commander is slightly different to the older versions in a few ways, and one of them is in the guide train. The older rods were full AGS guides, while the new rods are Fuji Titanium SiC on the bottom end, and only AGS on the top half of the rod. I think they have done this to slightly change the feel of the rod, keeping that amazing sensitivity that the AGS guides give in the tip of the rod and having the slightly more cost effective and casting friendly Fuji K guides on the bottom end. Whatever the reason, it works really well.
This has definitely given the SnowFinch a more traditional feel, which I enjoyed, and within 20 mins of fishing, I was casting as accurately as if I’d owned the rod for years.
The 6’8″ length of the SnowFinch makes the rod deadly for accuracy, but not for distance. Any of my 7′ rods will beat the SnowFinch hands down in distance, but if distance is really really important to you, then i’d be worried if you bought a 6’8″ rod. There is the 742XLS Ocelot which is another 2-4kg rod in the new TD Commander lineup, which would be an amazing flats rod and give much greater casting distance.
The rod loads up nicely and is well suited for casting a wide range of weights from hidden weight plastics right through to medium hardbodies of around 8-10g. Guide wraps have been non existent so far with the anti-tangle design of the AGS guides doing their job properly.
Given the length, action and line rating of this rod it has been really suited to a few different techniques so far for myself. The shorter length gives the rod awesome accuracy. I’ve used it casting really light hardbody lures for bream around timber, and while it wouldn’t cast the lure a country mile, it was very usable from closer range, and more importantly it was deadly accurate. The lighter tip also allowed for some really good action being able to be imparted to the lure.
Ive also used it for close quarters lightly weighted plastics fishing, and even as a decent crab rod. It really is a very good estuary all-rounder, the fast taper and light action will allow it to be used in lots of different scenarios.
As with all the Daiwa rods I’ve ever reviewed, construction and finish have never been an issue, so I wasn’t surprised with all the extra little detailing that the TD Commander has. Start with the cork grip, they have added some really nice different cork end pieces to each grip, then the angled ends and flat edges of the grips also add to the style and look of the rod, topped off with the “TD Commander” name burnt into the lower section of the split grip. Talk about Style!
The Rod has touches of Silver trim along its length, Silver bands on the butt cap, silver thread on the guides, this compliments the overall classic green and black colour scheme of the rod. It really is a damn good looking rod!
Essentially if your in the market for a high end Daiwa rid, I’d definitely recommend the Commander range, with features and style to boot, these rods are really impressive and a joy to use on the water.