TESTED: Long-term tackle test: Daiwa Catalina jigging outfit

When I first started jigging many years back I couldn’t justify the expense of a quality jig outfit. I thought I could get by with a cheaper setup.

Every sub $400 threadline reel I used in those first few years failed in some way and none lasted a season without a problem of some description. I soon learnt that you had to pay a premium if you wanted to avoid disappointment.

There has been little in the way of modestly priced threadline outfits that can deal with the rigours of deep water jigging on a regular basis so I was interested to see what the Daiwa Catalina series of rods and reels could offer.

I’ve put the Daiwa Catalina CT 59S-4/5 rod and 4500H reel through its paces for a full and long season now – an outfit like this needs a long test period because problems typically manifest themselves over time.

This is my “light” jigging outfit which I’ve loaded with PE4 line and fish up to 200 gram jigs with. The rod on test has a nice action and presents well. I like the parabolic action of the rod and the fact that it bends to the foregrip giving the angler greater mechanical advantage when fighting.

The EVA butt section means I can use the rod without a rod bucket, which would be difficult to do if it had a gimbal. That said, I’m unsure of the longevity of the EVA butt cap; it’s primarily an issue on some of the plate boats I fish out of where the gimbal pins in the rod holders are sharp pieces of square bar that tend to scuff butt caps and chew out
soft aluminium gimbals. Being EVA however, the cap is comfortable to use and I’ve enjoyed not needing to wear a gimbal belt so there’s always a trade-off. I like that the rear grip covers the butt section; split grips look great but in some of the rougher boats that I fish on the exposed blank gets scraped, especially where there isn’t a gimbal and
the rod moves around in the holder. We travel an average of 40 miles in a jigging session so the gear gets a good workout in the rod racks! The rod is rated to180g jigs but fishes 200g slim profile jigs quite well. I have the reel spooled with PE4 and the drag set at about 4.5kg with my best king to date on the outfit coming in at a touch over 8kgs.

The Catalina 4500 Reel has been a solid performer with no issues after a season of hard jigging. The drag is smooth when screwed down tight and the reel is robustly built, remaining easy to wind when under pressure. Apart from greasing the line roller bearing when I first acquired the reel and every few months there after, I haven’t touched the reel and it’s still smooth and issue free.

This is a neat outfit. Aesthetically, the red highlights on the reel match the bindings nicely and the outfit feels appropriately balanced. Overall the Daiwa Catalina combo is a nice light outfit that’s easy to jig with all day and is attractively priced. It’s one of the few outfits at this price point that has withstood the rigours of a hard season’s jigging without any issues or failure to date.

By Sami Omari

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