Daiwa Tatula Elite Spinning Rod Review

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I’ve fished all over the country throughout my time competing on the Auburn University Bass Fishing Team. Over the course of my travels I found a love for chasing northern smallmouth on lakes such as St. Clair, Saginaw Bay and other famed fisheries. Since graduating I’ve made it a point to travel north every summer in search of these magnificent creatures. This summer I traveled to Lake St. Clair for a Bassmaster Open event, and before I left I decided to stock up on some fresh spinning rods. I got a wealth of spinning rods before leaving, however the one I’m most excited about is the Daiwa Tatula Elite Chris Johnston spinning rod. This rod was designed specifically for targeting northern smallmouth and has quickly become one of my favorite spin pieces. 

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 The Daiwa Tatula Elite Chris Johnston spinning rod is crafted for precision and versatility in finesse fishing techniques. This rod was designed in collaboration with Bassmaster Elite Series angler and smallmouth guru Chris Johnston. It measures 7 foot, 6 inches and comes in a medium-light power, perfect for tackling big smallmouth on light tackle. The Tatula Elite Spinning Rod blends sensitivity with strength making it ideal for delicate presentations like hair jigs and Neko rigs. It features a lightweight yet durable construction, ensuring optimal balance and responsiveness for accurate casts and smooth retrieves. Whether targeting finicky bass in shallow waters or deep cover, this rod excels in delivering the sensitivity needed to detect subtle bites while maintaining the power to handle unexpected fights.


I’ve been fishing with the Daiwa Tatula Elite Chris Johnston spinning rod for the last several weeks, and let me tell you it’s seen some action. Using this rod for both northern smallmouth and southern spotted bass, I’ve found a few features I really enjoy. Likely my favorite feature of the Daiwa Tatula Elite Chris Johnston Spinning Rod is the weight. This rod is super balanced and light as a feather, which is something I really look for in a spinning rod. This allows me to throw this rod all day without getting fatigued or having sore wrists. 

The next feature I have been really impressed with is the grip and reel seat. This rod features a cork grip and sturdy reel seat that allows for a super comfy and sensitive grip. I’ve locked this rod in my hands for upwards of five hours straight, and I can confidently say it is both comfortable and and capable of detecting subtle bites. I also prefer the overall look and feel of an all-cork handle, not only is it pleasant in the hand but it gives off the look of a high dollar fishing rod.


Like I stated previously, I’ve used this rod for chasing both smallmouth and spotted bass. Throughout my time testing this rod I’ve found that it truly excels when targeting fish in ultra clear water. Lakes like St. Clair and Lake Martin are full of both bass and crystal clear water. While this can be great for fishing, it often causes bass to spook easy and see you from greater distances. The extra long length of the Daiwa Tatula Elite Chris Johnston spinning rod is perfect for making long casts at wary bass. Some of my favorite lures to throw on this rod include a hair jig, Ned rig and Neko rig. 

Another application where this rod has really shines is chasing schooling fish. A common summertime pattern throughout the southern part of the United States is chasing large groups of bass that blow up on the surface. These fish are constantly moving chasing bait, so their location is often unpredictable. Having this longer rod is key to reaching fish that often come up schooling far from the boat. I typically throw a fluke, popper and other light weight schooling baits whenever I’m using the Daiwa Tatula Elite Chris Johnston spinning rod.

Over the last several years I’ve really grown to love using a spinning rod. Throughout this time I’ve had the opportunity to test hundreds of different models, and I can safely say this rod checks all the boxes for me. If your looking for a lightweight, sensitive spinning rod that is perfect for a wide range of finesse applications, I highly recommend giving the Daiwa Tatula Elite Chris Johnston spinning rod a try. 

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