Daiwa Wilderness 703 MFS travel rod

NOT that long ago, most multi-piece travel rods were, on the whole, cheap junk. However, recent developments in rod blank technology has meant that modern travel rods are now pretty much indistinguishable in performance and functionality from single or two-piece sticks. This, combined with the easy storage and transport offered by the multi-piece format, means that quality travel rods are becoming increasingly popular. 

Daiwa’s new Wilderness series is a prime example of modern, high-performance multi-piece travel rods. Fisho has tested one of these cool Aussie-designed sticks over the past six months and found it an outstanding and very handy performer.

Anyone who’s done much air travel will know that rod tubes are a pain in the proverbial. Some airlines now refuse to take tubes over 2.1m in length. So a rod like the Wilderness 703MF, which packs down into three pieces and fits into a sturdy custom tube of about a metre long, is a boon for Aussie anglers who like to explore new waters.

This particular rod is 7’ long and is rated to lines of between four and eight kilos. We tested it with a Certate 2500-R threadline loaded with 20lb braid and found that an ideal combo. Like most of Daiwa’s rods, the 703 MFS is responsive, light and far more powerful than  it looks. The rod was used initially during a snapper session at SA’s Arno bay, where it subdued multiple snapper in excess of 20lbs. It’s an ideal soft plastic rod, being stiff enough to enable solid hook sets but responsive enough to cast light jigheads and feel sometimes delicate bites. It would be an ideal rod for casting softies, jigging vibes and working small to medium stickbaits and divers for various species ranging from snapper to barra, jewies and big flathead.

Typical of Daiwa, the 703 MFS features more “bling” that most other travel rods on the market. However, it’s not overdone. The blank itself is an attractive metallic purplish colour with red and black bindings on the single-footed Fuji Alconite guides. It features a split butt with black Airfoam grips and a stylish yet minimalist screwdown reel seat. 

The rod is nicely balanced and, unless you knew otherwise, would be very hard to pick as a multi-piece rod. There are no obvious “joins” or “stiff spots” in the ferrules when the rod is loaded up – it is completely seamless, in fact. Performance as a casting and fish fighting tool is, as far as I can tell, identical to that of a single or two-piece rod. When you consider that, and also consider the fact that a rod like this can easily be stored in its tube under the bed or in a cupboard, you wonder why all your rods aren’t multi-piece!

The Daiwa Wilderness travel rod series are available at all good tackle shops. For more info, check out
By Jim Harnwell

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