It can be pretty tough to find a high-end spinning rod in the $150 price range. I always consider that particular price point to be the "sweet spot" for rod and reel manufacturers, but some of the budget-friendly finesse rods I've tested have felt like a pool cue; heavy, unbalanced and clunky.
But listen to (or read) this closely: The Daiwa Tatula Spinning Rod is one of the best finesse rods I own. It performs and feels better than many of the $300 rods I've tried. For $149.99, you'd be hard pressed to find a more well-rounded spinning rod. I'll quickly go through what I've enjoyed most about this rod.
To be quite honest, I've been blown away by the sensitivity of the Daiwa Tatula Spinning Rod. I tested it for the entire summer and it got downright hot in my neck of the woods. With water temperatures flirting with the 100-degree mark, bass fishing wasn't exactly good. When you finally got a bite, it would be extremely subtle and hard to detect.
This rod, however, made easy work of bite detection. After a while, I could feel when they'd nip at my wacky rig on the fall, before they actually got the hook. This sensitivity prevented a lot of premature hooksets which would have cost me opportunities at some nice fish.
When fishing bottom-contact presentations, I've been able to easily feel very slight transitions in bottom composition. This has allowed me to locate and dissect key areas.
The Tatula Spinning Rod features a Portuguese natural cork handle, which feels wonderful in your hands. This cork doesn't have those deep pits in it that cheaper cork does, which increases longevity as it won't crack or chip.
I have noticed, however, that this cork does get dirty fairly easily. It's not hard to clean, so it's certainly not something that would deter me from buying this rod.
Handles abuse well
Ask anyone who has ever fished with me, and they'll tell you that I'm not easy on my equipment. Add guide clients and frequent evening pond trips to the mix and I give my gear about all it can take. After six months, I can confidently say that the Tatula is a workhorse.
It's outfitted with Fuji Fazlite Tangle-Free K-Guides and they are darn near bulletproof. I've accidentally stepped on them, I've dropped the rod in my gravel driveway and transferred it from my boat to my truck countless times and the guides and the rod have held up beautifully.
I was pretty shocked by this rod's weightlessness. Again, it's hard to find a rod that feels this sleek and well balanced in the $150 price range. But I could blindfold you and put this rod in one hand and a $300 rod in the other and I'm willing to bet you couldn't tell the difference. Every friend or guide client who has picked this rod up has been thoroughly impressed.
If you're in the market for a spinning rod and are able to swing $150, I strongly suggest this rod. You can't find a negative customer review anywhere on the internet about it and after putting one in your hands, you'll quickly see why.