Daiwa’s new Cronos Rods A Cut Above

img_1321One of the pieces of equipment that has seen an explosion of R&D over the last several decades is the rod. Yeah, I’m old enough to remember when you picked up a couple of rods that you threw every bait you had with.

 

Have things changed for the better in that regard? Unequivocally, yes! These days the materials used, the way they are used and how they are used are light years ahead of those old sticks.

Today, there are so many technique specific rods available that it’s almost too much. However, there are still many that are designed to cover a wide range of applications and bait weights. The Cronos rods by Daiwa are one such series.

Since we fish So-Cal a bunch, we employ a lot of finesse presentations, reaction baits, and of course topwater. More often than not, we are using an offering that weighs 1/2oz or less on relatively light line so we need a rod that doesn’t overpower these lures.

Daiwa introduced their new Cronos line this year which has six casting models, five spinning models.

Digging into the Specs

We got the 701MLRB. This is a 7’ medium light action rod that is built using Daiwa’s HVF Graphite blanks. Their X45 bias graphite fiber construction helps prevent the blank from twisting. As an added feature they further enhance the blank with Braiding-X carbon fiber from the butt up to about 2/3 of the blank which gives it more reinforcement and backbone while delivering a tip action that is smooth, flexible, sensitive and strong.

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The guide train consists of Fuji components, 8+tip, a Fuji SiC top guide. The reel seat is custom designed by Daiwa for comfort and increased feel. The handle is a split grip arrangement that uses high quality EVA with no fore-grip and an aluminum winding check.

In our opinion, Daiwa does the split grip better than most manufacturers because the lower portion is not so small that when you use a two-handed cast, only two fingers can grab it. It’s large enough so that all your fingers can fit comfortably on the butt section given that your hands aren’t the size of a baseball mitt.

The length of the handle is another feature that fits perfectly with this rod. It isn’t so long that it gets in the way when you’re working reaction baits while at the same time, it isn’t so short that you can’t tuck it against your forearm for additional leverage when you’re fighting a big fish.

The Cronos is a dark grey color with black and chrome highlights. The look is understated but sharp to the point that you’d be hard pressed to find a reel that wouldn’t look good on this stick. We don’t care too much about that but there are folks who fret about the rod and reel matching well.

Putting the Cronos to Work

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We’ve been fishing the Tatula CT Type-R on the Cronos using it for baits between approximately 1/8oz to 3/4oz which is beyond the upper rating of 5/8oz but hasn’t seemed to have overly stressed this rod. The vast majority of the time, our lures have fallen somewhere in the recommended range.

We spooled the CT with 10# copolymer for presentations of our favorite reaction style baits. Squarebills, medium diving cranks, unweighted soft plastics, poppers, smaller walk the dog style baits, jerkbaits, swimbaits, we’ve fished them all on this combo.

You hear a lot of talk about sensitivity. When you’re fishing reaction style baits, it’s very common for half your retrieve to involve slack line due to the fact that you’re imparting action to the lure. You need to be able to feel subtle changes in the tension on the line during these periods as you’ll get a lot of your bites then.

The Cronos is excellent in this regard, especially considering its price point. There are rods out there that are much more expensive that don’t provide you the ability to feel your line like this. It is impressive!

Furthermore, the feedback from things like structure, bottom composition or if your lure is running properly is top notch. Not to mention strikes which seem to get to your hands immediately. This translates to increased hook up ratios and we don’t know anyone who isn’t looking for that.

We’ve used this rod on trips where it was in our hands the entire day. The grip is comfortable, doesn’t get at all slippery when wet, doesn’t wear on one part of your hand or impede your fishing in any way, shape or form. It simply performs at the highest level all the time.

Performance Across a Wide Range

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The Cronos is also very well balanced across its recommended lure weight. Unlike some rods out there that change drastically when you make small adjustments in the bait you’re throwing, this stick has handled everything that we’ve used on it without the dynamics of the rod changing.

In other words, throwing an unweighted soft plastic or a 5/8oz plug doesn’t dampen the tip, decrease sensitivity or negatively influence the rod.

We’ve caught a lot of fish on this stick including some down right pigs! At no time have we thought that the fish just might be too much for the rod. The smooth transition from tip to backbone is powerful and seamless. No, the Cronos has left no question that we would handle and land the fish, every time.

With all this going for it, it’s a bit of a mystery to us that Daiwa chose not to put a hook keeper of any kind on the rod. Just a simple open ended version on the bottom of the blank would have been a nice touch. Maybe not necessary but certainly welcome.

Some people have a tendency to think of a rod with a medium light rating as just not strong enough to handle the everyday rigors of bass fishing. That may be true for some sticks but nothing could be further from the truth with the CN701MLRB. It’s definitely got your back!

In our opinion, this rod is absolutely underpriced for the performance that you recieve. If you haven’t looked at Daiwa recently, you haven’t seen Daiwa.

Daiwa Cronos
Overall ratingwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.com
Light, sensitive and powerful

See ya’ on the water …

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