A few weeks ago, I took delivery of a Daiwa UK, Lochmor X four piece 13’6" nine weight moderate-fast, progressive action, Euro style rod. This is a great "muscle" rod having the power to lift heavy tips or lots of lead. Casting is very light and easy, both overhead and spey. I’ve used it so far with a Rio WF-10-F Atlantic Salmon and Steelhead line, Rio 24’ 300 grain, and a 9/10/11 Windcutter. I’ve been using Airflo’s Super Extra Fast Sinking Polyleaders on the WF-10-F and found it to be ideal for turning them over. I’m very impressed with the rod’s overall power, it’s line lifting power, and it’s ability to shoot line off of a double spey or snap-T, both with and without tips.
The rod is quite inexpensive at £141.00 shipped and arrived very quickly (ordered from Scotland from www.reelsndeals.com on Monday, arrived in Canada on Friday.) Given the price of the rod, a tube is not supplied. The cork and reel seat are of average quality, as one would expect at this price point, however the rest of the rod is very well executed. It has a dark, matte grey finish with dark brown windings and except for the bright reel seat, the overall appearance of the rod is subdued. One interesting feature that I have not seen elsewhere; it is quite common to see extra wraps of graphite on the female ferrules, but this rod has extra wraps on the male ones as well. These wraps not only provide extra strength but also seem to make the ferrules more "grippy." I’ve not yet found it necessary to tape the ferrules. The male ferrules also have cork inserts for added strength.
A couple of things to consider, the tiptop is a Fuji SIC and it is very prone to plugging with ice. If you want to shoot line in below freezing conditions, I’d suggest replacing it with a large Hayfork tiptop. Given the rod’s power, tip strength, and backbone, it is very easy to pop flies off when fighting fish or snags. Go easy if you like to use light tippets. Other than that, it’s an excellent rod (I like it better than my formerly owned wimpy tipped Scott SAS and way better than my brutish Loomis GL4) and I’d recommend it strongly to anyone wanting an inexpensive spey rod. The quick delivery from www.reelsndeals.com couldn’t be beat either.