Daiwa New Era SLR 9ft 6in #6 fly rod

This is an initial review of my shiny new Daiwa New Era SLR 9ft 6in rod in a 6 weight.

Having broken two rods in less than 6 months I needed a new one to use primarily for boat fishing on stillwaters, but also for bank use. Most of my previous rods have been 9ft and while that’s absolutely fine, I fancied one a tad longer as it gives you a bit more control when boat fishing, so I set my sights on a 9ft 6in rod his time. I do like a fast actioned rod, I loved my Scierra HM3 so needed a suitable replacement. Having had a look round the tackle shops I was particularly impressed with the lightness of the Daiwa 6# in a 9ft and 9ft 6″. Back to back with a number of others I held it felt very light and impressively stiff, the tip recovers very quickly.

So time to have a cast with it. I managed to get a shot of it and the new Daiwa Lexa at the recent Glasgow Angling Centre open day. My initial impressions were so so to be honest, but I think the problem was I was maybe a tad “afraid ” of it. Or was I afraid of having Hywel Morgan studying my casting while I tested? lol who knows. I moved onto the Lexa and it was a bit softer but I have to say very nice and I was soon putting out a good length of dead straight line. Worth mentioning at this point I was trying the #6 rods with #7 lines as most of my existing lines are 7’s and while rated as 6’s these rods are meant to be able to deal with a weight up and down from the rating. No problems on this front. I then tried the SLR again. With a bit more “intent” in my casting. What a revelation. My first cast nearly exited the far end of the casting pool ( careful- there were other people trialling rods there with Scott McKenzie!)

I have to say I loved it. The only problem for me was while the 9ft rod comes with a half wells handle, the 9ft 6″ is a full wells. Obviously this is for sound engineering and ergonomic reasons but for me with my arthritic hands its a problem We have done something about that though.

Daiwa New Era SLR

Daiwa New Era SLR in a 9ft 6″ 6#

So whats it like to fish with? Initial impressions are very impressive. When double hauling it puts out the longest length of line I have ever managed, and with nice tight loops. while a little lighter than my previous 7 weights it has plenty of back bone for dragging big flies on sinking lines up from the depths, and being 9 ft 6″ the extra leverage is a help here too.

The rod has titanium lined stripping  guides and one feature you may not notice but is apparent when you go to take it down is the unique joint system holding the 4 sections together. It makes for a very smooth transition of taper through the blank. I like the understated black finish in the offset weave carbon. They call this  X45  and is supposed to reduce twist in the blank. I don’t know if I stress the rod enough to be able to tell how well this works but the range suggests it does.

It comes in the heaviest rod tube I have ever encountered with a rod bag. It has a cork/composite fighting butt and double uplocking threaded nuts on the reel seat.

So far I am delighted with the rod and will update this page once I have had a few more outings to try it out on.

The only criticism I have at this point in time is the lack of alignment marks on the sections. I feel this is a bit of an oversight, not major but I find it useful on rods that have it.

A year (or so) in review

Having had a season or so with the rod a few observations. This is BY FAR the best rod I have ever owned. I have never been able to cast so far with a rod before. I have on a couple of occasions delivered all but the last 2 metres of my fly line  off my reel. A better caster would do this and some backing I am totally sure. While distance isn’t everything, when the fish are well out there is no substitute for being able to reach them than a rod like this. I find it a very forgiving rod, I have rarely had a tailing loop since I got it.

It bends when fighting fish a ridiculous amount. I had a rather large Tiger trout right under the tip on a stalking bug recently and it wasn’t for coming quietly, I thought I would break the rod with the 4lb fish almost at my feet and pulling like crazy- the rod was totally hooped over, it was fine.

It comes to bits easy peasy due to the V section inter connections between the sections. Alignment marks are a little over sight but a tip is the keeper ring is lined up with the main axis of the rod, align your rings to this and you will have no issues.

Only problem I have encountered is with the real seat which has quite a fine thread and two rings, one to lock against the other with a rubber washer between. Care needs to be taken when loosening them that the two rings separate as otherwise if you force it- like I did, you might strip the reel seat thread. It was my own cack-handedness to blame but now I understand the right way to do it I won’t make that mistake again!

Would I have another? In a second! I fancy the 5 weight, 9foot for larger rivers and if I am feeling flush some time in the future will get one.

 

10 Comments

  1. Scott Ferguson
    May 14, 2014 @ 22:28

    I purchased the 9.6ft 7wt at the recent GAC open day. It’s a total joy to cast. I absolutely love this rod. It throws the line like no rod I’ve ever used. However I fear I may have to insist on asking to be reimbursed. It’s been my go to rod for about 6 weeks and not once but twice the third blank has snapped on me. The first time I was dismantling to pack up and it simply snapped in my hand – a clear, straight across break. Diawa replaced the blank. Then two weeks later I’d pulled a fish in and lifted the rod high to guide the fish into the landing net and it snapped again. Third blank again but a stepped break. It’s with Diawa now and I’ll give it another chance but suspect this is going to become a known product fault. They just might have made the blank a little too thin to save weight etc. I’m really gutted.

    Reply

    • unfamous
      May 15, 2014 @ 07:38

      Thats a shame. Mines has been OK so far touch wood. And not heard anything in the general angling press about issues, they have been out a wee while now. I am really pleased with mine and the casting action is great. Would be interested to hear how you get on

      Reply

  2. Scott Ferguson
    August 25, 2014 @ 20:57

    I feel I have done the rod an injustice. I wholeheartedly apologise to Daiwa if my review put anyone off. Since getting the blank replaced again (thanks Daiwa) Ive had no further issues. On reflection I think it may have been due to overloading with too heavy a line. Im in the habit of using a weight heavier line than the rod specifies, however in this instance it was also a distance line with a really heavy front taper. I suspect that was causing far too much flex and stressed the blank.Since dropping to the correct line weight its been fine. Im not losing any distance and theres still a great feel through the length of the rod – its a canon. I LOVE THIS ROD.

    Reply

  3. Richard Taylor
    July 30, 2015 @ 14:28

    Very helpful reviews as I’m just about to have a look at the SLR, having tried a Lexa yesterday and been very impressed. I have a few Daiwas including several Tournament Ospreys and found the Lexa a revelation. If the SLR is so much better, it’s probably worth the difference.

    Reply

    • unfamous
      July 30, 2015 @ 18:45

      I have to say I love the New Era, been massively impressed by it. The Lexa is a good rod but I do reckon, if you can stretch to it, the New Era is worth the difference. Only issue I have had with mine is the reel seat. I don’t know if I was particularly cack handed with it but I think at some point I might have cross threaded one of the lock nuts and I have to take care to make sure its properly tightened to the reel. It is quite a fine thread on the reel seat. But I wouldn’t hesitate to have another. Best rod I have eer owned.

      Reply

  4. Richard Taylor
    November 20, 2015 @ 14:58

    Well I did stretch to the SLR and decided to go for the switch version, so it’s 11ft 3in #7/8 and though it’s had little use so far, it’s a joy to use. I also splashed out on the New Era reel with spare spools, which is very nicely engineered. A slight disappointment was that, when I removed the extension butt, it removed the female threaded section which is meant to stay in the butt section. Given the overall standard of workmanship, which is of the highest, not to mention the cost of the rod, I was rather unhappy. Luckily the factory is in Wishaw, only 25 minutes away, so I returned it and after profuse apologies, they returned it repaired 24 hours later via the Newmill fishery outside Lanark (Fishing Mad on eBay). I also asked them about a rod bag for the 13ft Tournament Osprey I’d bought a couple of years ago with a non-Daiwa bag. They weren’t hopeful of having one, but lo and behold, when I collected the SLR, there was also a high quality rod bag and a Cordura rod tube, both Daiwa branded, sent free of charge! Outstanding cutomer service from Daiwa.

    Reply

    • unfamous
      November 20, 2015 @ 15:06

      Can I ask how you contacted Daiwa’s customer service- I have damaged the thread on my reel seat and it needs replacing. While it’s no ton my doorstep their place isn’t that far from me. ( Not that I know exactly where it is)

      Reply

      • Richard Taylor
        November 20, 2015 @ 15:25

        Service Direct Line 01698 357512 or 0845 0603 603. Located at Netherton Ind Est, Wishaw, ML2 0EY. Enormous shed on the corner of Netherton Road(?) and the road from the Gen Hospital IIRC. Entrance is off the main road and turn right into their premises, keep going right past the main entrance, then left around the building. Service door at far corner. Can’t remember opening hours but something like 0800-1600. Lovely lady who dealt with me, nothing was too much trouble. Good luck.

        Reply

        • unfamous
          November 20, 2015 @ 15:43

          Brilliant- I really appreciate that

          Reply

  5. unfamous
    January 11, 2016 @ 13:30

    Took my rod in last week to be repaired. I understood as it was my fault I fully expected to pay for the damaged reel seat, as it was me that stripped the thread! They took it in and called me today to say it’s been sorted, but not only that free of charge. I was gobsmacked. Brilliant customer service. Chuffed to bits!

    Reply

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