Daiwa has been selling fishing gear in the States for 50 years, but this line represents the newest, most advanced technology that a leading equipment manufacturer has to offer. These rods are strong and fast, designed with the inshore and offshore fishing scene of southern California in mind, although they are growing in popularity on the East Coast, in the Gulf of Mexico, and beyond. Think of a light, powerful saltwater rod that is perfectly made to get calico, yellow tail and small tuna using a range of offerings from surface irons to live bait such as sardines or anchovies. That is what the Proteus line delivers on, but in making the ideal rod for those conditions they have made an affordable, strong product for a very wide range of saltwater fishing scenarios.
Below, I will walk you through the general features of the Proteus rods and then I will spell out some of the distinctive attractions of the individual products.
General Characteristics of the Rods
Carbon Composite Blank Construction
For the price range of Daiwa Proteus rods, (median price would be about $200), you would normally be buying a fiberglass rod, which is not a bad thing. They are durable and strong. Graphite rods are lighter and more sensitive, but they are also more expensive and thought to be less durable. The composite rod that Daiwa has produced is an attempt to create a moderately priced rod that is lighter than the fiberglass rod, but equally durable while matching the graphite rod in sensitivity and still coming in at a lower price. They combine graphite and other carbon products in a way to produce what they label “high volume fiber” (HVF) while minimizing the resin. The bottom line? It is as strong as a fiberglass rod, but lighter and more sensitive to fish action.
An added factor that makes the rod strong is that the blank (that actual pole that that is the main piece of rod) goes through the attached handle. This makes the whole rod function as one solid piece, with fewer points of stress. This is the “blank-through-handle” construction that you will see presented as a common feature.
Braiding X Technology
Another Daiwa technological innovation that contributes to the lightness and strength of the rod is the Braiding X Technology. In the process of manufacturing the blank, carbon fibers are braided to make a rod that is less susceptible to twists and breaks. Innovations in lines and reels have allowed anglers to fish with smaller gear that has greater drag capacity than before. Daiwa has moved with the trend with innovations like Braiding X to produce rods that have a smaller diameter and less weight than their predecessors.
Daiwa, like other major manufacturers, uses Fuji to manufacture the guides (the rings that run the length of the rod to guide the line in release and retrieval). The Proteus rods feature guides made of Alconite, which is actually a type of ceramic. Fuji was famous for its aluminum oxide guides and then topped its own standard with a patented innovation in Alconite, which is 80% stronger and 20% lighter than its aluminum oxide rings. As these rods are designed for saltwater fishing and primarily braid line, the design of the rings are made to be “Tangle Fee,” which means that the angle and positioning of the guides are constructed to prevent knots and tangles forming upon release of line.
Here also Daiwa turns to Fuji, which makes the stainless steel hood reel seat. True to the rod, its components make it light and durable. Although these rods are fairly new and do not have a long track record, I have not detected one customer complaint about incompatibility between reels and Proteus rods. This stands to reason, as the rods have a fairly specific purpose and therefore the size of the reel seats takes into account all the likely reel sizes and shapes.
There are several nice features of the handles on these rods. They are split, with very good grips above and below the reel seat. You get high leverage from the bottom of the pole and stronger control from the higher grip. They have the X Tube Grip. This is a shrink tube plastic that has three advantages over cork handles. It gives you a stronger grip, it doesn’t wear out, and it looks much better.
All of the Proteus rods are labeled, “fast,” meaning the tips move quickly when there is action. They are designed to flex near the tip.
Another standard feature for all the Proteus rods is that they are one piece, which is what you want for saltwater fishing.
Special Features of the brand new (just released in March 2018) WN Proteus Rods
These have all the standard features, but even the two spinning rod options are class rated for monofilament lines. They have an updated D-Vec Winn Grip Tape, which is a Daiwa exclusive innovation to make the handle grip top-of-the-line. They have upgraded Fuji guides as well.
Options Within the Proteus Line
Spinning Rods or Casting Rods
This line gives you a good choice either way. In deference to saltwater fishermen in general and Californians in particular, the line was originally skewed toward the casting rods, but new spinning rods have been added every year to the point where through most of the range of rod length and power, you have your choice. For the highest peaks of length and strength though, you would need to go with the casting rods.
How to Read the Model Numbers
There are currently 9 different spinning rods in the Proteus line and there are 12 different casting rods. I will list the different options within the line below, but first a brief word on how to read the model numbers. “PRT” means it is a Proteus. The letter “B” that follows refers to the only color they come in, which is black. Then there is a number of either two or three digits. This tells you the length of the rod. “70,” for example, tells you the rod is exactly 7 feet long. “76” tells you that the rod is 7 feet, six inches, etc. The letters that follow tell you the power of the rod. The rods are made at different levels of thickness to provide different levels of torque in hauling in the fish. They range from medium-light (ML) to extra, extra-heavy (XXH). These letters are followed by “F” which stands for “fast” since every rod in the line has the same fast action. All of the spinning reels have an “S” at the very end.
Options Within the Proteus Spinning Rods
With this word on the model numbers, here are the options for spinning reels
LINE WEIGHT (LB)
|PRTB70MLFS||ML||F||7’||(20 – 40 BRAID)||8|
|PRTB70MFS||M||F||7’||(30 – 55 BRAID)||8|
|PRTB70HFS||H||F||7’||(55 – 80 BRAID)||7|
|PRTB74XHFS||XH||F||7’4”||(70 – 100 BRAID)||7|
|PRTB76HFS||H||F||7’6”||(55 – 80 BRAID)||7|
|PRTB80MFS||M||F||8’||(30 – 55 BRAID)||8|
|PRTB80HFS||H||F||8’||(55 – 80 BRAID)||7|
|PRTB80HXHFS||H-XH||F||8’||(55 – 80 BRAID)||7|
|PRTB80XHFS||XH||F||8’||(70 – 100 BRAID)||7|
Options Within the Proteus Casting Rods
Here are the options for the casting reels with a word of explanation on the last item. That rod has a “J” at the end of the model number for “jigging.” It does not have a reel seat. You have to use an old-fashioned clamp to put your mega-reel on it to do your jigging. Also, you notice that for the casting reels, they give the corresponding test weight of the line in monofilament as well as braid. With those additions, here are the casting reels
|MODEL #||POWER||ACTION||LENGTH||LINE WEIGHT (LB)||# GUIDES|
|PRTB70XHF||XH||F||7’||30 – 60 (70 – 120 BRAID)||9|
|PRTB70XXHF||XXH||F||7’||40 – 60 (80 – 120 BRAID)||9|
|PRTB76MF||M||F||7’6”||10 – 25 (20 – 55 BRAID)||10|
|PRTB76MHF||MH||F||7’6”||15 – 30 (40 – 80 BRAID)||10|
|PRTB76HF||H||F||7’6”||20 – 50 (55 – 100 BRAID)||10|
|PRTB80MF||M||F||8’||10 – 25 (20 – 55 BRAID)||11|
|PRTB76XHF||XH||F||7’6”||30 – 60 (70 – 120 BRAID)||11|
|PRTB80MHF||MH||F||8’||15 – 30 (40 – 80 BRAID)||11|
|PRTB80HF||H||F||8’||20 – 50 (55 – 100 BRAID)||11|
|PRTB80XHF||XH||F||8’||30 – 60 (70 – 120 BRAID)||11|
|PRTB810HF||H||F||8’10’||30 – 50 (55 – 100 BRAID)||12|
|PRTB810HFJ||H||F||8’10’||30 – 50 (55 – 100 BRAID)||12|
The Bottom Line
These lines were built for success in one locale and have proved more broadly successful than anticipated. They are affordable, light and durable saltwater rods. The drawbacks are minor. You are limited in options with regard to action and color. Not all the spinning rods can take monofilament line. There is only one jigging option in the rods. Not much to complain about. These rods are fairly new and do not have a long track record so far, but all initial signs are positive.