Tested: Tairyo light spin sticks

THERE are numerous off-the-shelf rods available these days. Most, if not all, of the offerings from the reputable brands offer excellent performance and quality, often at very affordable prices. Occasionally, however, something a little different comes along. That’s the case with the Tairyo rods tested here.

Both rods feature “nano technology”. First discovered in 1991, nano particle molecules are relevant to rod building in that they are very light yet very strong.

Tariyo rods use three separate layers of high-modulus carbon wrapped around a high-density graphite core that is reinforced by woven fibre and bound together by nano infused resin.

Out on the water this results in a rod that’s light and responsive. I’ve been using both test Tairyos for the past few months lure casting for bass and estuary species such as bream, flathead and whiting.

Aside from being effective casting and fish-fighting tools, both rods feature quality Fuji components with obvious attention to detail in regards to build quality and design.

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Fisho editor Jim Harnwell with a couple of South Coast yellowfin bream lured up on a shallow Jackall Chubby using his Tairyo Speed Plus II rod and Shimano Rarenium reel.

My favourite of the two test rods is the Speed Plus II TNP702S-2. This 7’ two piece spin stick features a crisp yet sensitive action which makes it ideal for casting small hard-bodies, lightly weighted soft plastics and small vibes. I’ve matched the rod with a Shimano Rarenium 1000 reel loaded with 3lb Power Pro braid. I’d suggest the rod would be an efficient performer with three-pound fluoro as well.

The rod is rated at 2-4kg and is fast becoming one of my “go to” light estuary sticks. The sensitive tip action is ideal for working small divers around snags or across shallow weed flats and the length and responsive action allows for effortless casts.

The butt section features shaped hypalon grips, a Fuji reel seat with custom Tairyo branding and stylish cork inserts for extra “bling”. The rear grip is perhaps a little lengthy for my taste. but the overall design is stylish and user friendly. Classy dark binds with silver highlights team with the no tangle Fuji “K” guides to finish off what is a very attractive and functional rod.

I like the way the rod’s fairly subtle action provides plenty of backbone when fighting a decent fish yet also offers the “cushioning” needed when using small, sharp trebles, especially with braid. Keeping pressure on a fish is vital but you don’t want to cause those tiny hooks to pull free. It’s a fine line but I reckon the Speed Plus does a good job at combining power with finesse.

The second Tairyo I’ve been testing is a top-of-the-line Nano King TNK691S. This one-piece 2-4kg spin stick measures 6’9” and is noticeably “spikier” than the Speed Plus. This rod sports a very fast action and is ideal for jigging plastics for flatties. I’ve also been using it for surface presentations as the ultra crisp action makes manipulating larger walk-the-dog lures like the Bassday Sugapen extremely easy.

I’ve matched this rod with a Shimano Stradic 1000 spooled with 3lb Power Pro. I like the sensitivity offered by this rod – flick the rod tip and you can feel – or see – the lure move. I tend to think this rod is better as a plastic stick than it is for casting hard-bodies. As detailed above, I’m tending to go for softer action rods (like the Tairyo Speed Plus II) when casting small hard-bodied lures as the tiny trebles used on these lures just don’t seem to be able to handle too much direct pressure.

Like the Speed Plus, the Nano King features Fuji components complemented by stylish designs and trim patterns.


RRP for the Tairyo Speed Plus II is $450; the Nano King retails for $550. Contact for details on your closest Tairyo stockist and for information on the full range of Tairyo rods and other equipment available.

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