TESTED: Daiwa TMX-G 601H & Z2020H baitcaster combo

UNTIL recently, the only thing I knew about baitcast gear was that rookies like me can make really big bird nests when casting them…

That was until I got the invite to go to PNG to chase Papuan black bass. (See report here).

Since then, I’ve learnt a thing or two! Fishing for black bass has to have been the ultimate experience of my short fishing career; there’s line 10x heavier than 12lb, they make trebles bigger than a size 12, and the “H” in the model number of the TMX-G 601H stands for “Heavy”.  Oh, and I can cast a baitcast outfit without bird nests.

As a barra rod, matched to the Daiwa Z2020H or Pluton reel, the TMX-G 601H is lightweight and its handle and reel seat comfortable to cast for long hours on the water.  In fact, over six consecutive days fishing from 6am to 6pm, casting lures to 50g, I surprisingly wasn’t overly fatigued.

Although brawn is probably more appropriate when choosing a rod to chase black bass, the sensitivity of the blank was really noticeable when targeting barramundi. The fast action of the 5-9kg blank loaded quickly, into a powerful butt section that easily accounted for barra up to 99cm, and landed Chris a very healthy 22lb black bass (that would easily pull a barra three times its size backwards) out of the snags. Stay tuned for the video…

The Z2020H reel was a pleasure to use.  Lightweight and comfortable in the hand, the advanced braking system of the reel was perfect for a couple of novice baitcast users like us. Neither Chris nor myself had used a baitcast reel previously, and the multi-stage controls of the reel, allowed us to make wholesale, and fine tuned adjustments to accommodate improvements in our casting abilities, variations in lure weight, and also changes in the conditions.

The 6kg of drag was more than adequate to handle the big barra, yet smooth enough when tussling with a rampaging bass.

Though I’m not sure how this outfit would cope with a 40-pounder in the sticks, as a lightweight, casting combo for chasing barramundi for long hours on the water, it was all class.

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