is a very sleek looking rod. At first glance it may appear to be solid black from head to toe, with the exception of one small red anodized part, but once you get closer you will see the blank is actually a deep red color. All versions of this particular rod retail for $80.
Starting at the handle side, we have a fairly basic design. The butt section is solid EVA foam. Moving up to the reel seat, we can see it had some grooves machined out with the Daiwa logo in the middle. They may have gone a little overkill on this area though considering the reel will cover it up. The handle nut is made of anodized stainless steel which gives it a sense of quality and next generation appeal. A little above that, we have easily one of the best hook keepers that a rod can possess, just a simple bent over, open design. This allows one to hook any lure they wish without trying to fish a hook point through or unrig a soft plastic. Just a simple slid it into place and tighten your line.
Daiwa uses a blank material on their lower end rods called HVF which stands for “high volume fiber.” HVF model rods contain more carbon which equates to more strength but less resin overall thus making it lighter. The guides are also a hybrid micro meaning they are smaller than regular but at the same time, not as small as micro guides. This helps to control your line a lot easier and is nice to see on a lot of rods nowadays. The actual ring inside of the frame is titanium oxide which is fairly common for this price range and certainly won’t have any issues running braid through it.
The specific model of rod I own is the 7’3″ Heavy with a fast action and it is honestly a little odd to use. Overall, the whole rod feels a lot more tip heavy than other brands, this can range from being due to the size of the reel (too light) to counteract the weight, the blank material, or even how much the guides weigh. The Fuego only weighs 4.8 ounces, but this is where the issue may lie. The balancing point on an empty rod is 22 inches away from the bottom of the butt section; a solid two inches farther down the blank than four other similarly spec’d rods. it may not seem like a lot but that just points to the tip being slightly heavier than others or the handle section is lighter. It is also advertised as a fast action but when applying a small tap to the butt section of the rod, roughly only the last 15 inches of the tip shows any action. Again, on similarly spec’d rods, you’re looking at nearly 18 inches of movement. Although that could easily be subjective, I believe those two little tests just show how much stiffer the rod tip is, thus making it feel heavier and a little awkward to use.
We also have the trigger which again, is almost sitting at 90 degrees. If you guys watch my videos or read my content, you will know I am not a fan of this type because it pushes more weight against your finger than a curved/contoured trigger style. When you fish all the time, often with one rod for hours on end, you want it to be comfortable. It’s not just me being a baby, it’s me being realistic. The lure you use, whether you use the rod in a more vertical or horizontal position and the overall weight play a role. Being as though I already claimed this rod has a slightly heavier tip, it certainly doesn’t help this issue. Everyone holds a rod/reel slightly different and has different ideals but in my opinion the 7’3″ H is a no go for me. No doubt a 6’6″ Medium rod will be different in every way but when buying rods for specific uses, I would like them to perform around the same level if they’re in the same price bracket.
BFA’s score: 7/10. The Daiwa Fuego is visually appealing and would be similar to my ideal rod but there are better choices out there for the money.
Check out one version of the Fuego here, they do not appear to be sold on Amazon as much as other rods:
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