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PRODUCT FOCUS: Black Label Bassin’ – Simon Goldsmith

Having that special rod that you look for and reach for every time you go fishing is a highly sort after thing. It’s even more special when you have a quiver of such rods, a collection of rods that fit seamlessly in the hand and make fishing that much easier and that much more rewarding.

For my bass fishing it’s my quiver of Black Labels that I look for when I’m loading the rod locker with rods for a day out on the water.

While it use to be my beloved Steezes that I reached for, today it’s my Black Label V2s that I reach for ahead of anything else.

But before we run through what my super six Black Labels are let’s take a look at the run sheet of features and technologies that feature in the Black Label V2 range.

  • HVF graphite blanks- HVF (High Volume Fibre) blanks combine precise resin control with unidirectional graphite fiber to produce a rod that has maximum graphite density, while keeping weight and fat to absolute minimum. The result is a blank that is light, intensively responsive and crisp in action.
  • X45/Bias Wrap Construction- Daiwa’s blank creation technology that eliminates blank twist and distortion. The elimination of which increases rod strength, function, and sensitivity, and allows a lighter, smaller diametre blank to be used.
  • 3DX- an advanced three-dimensional woven process that adds support to the lower power section of the rod that allows power to be distributed evenly in all directions in the blank, in-turn allowing the blank to maintain its form when under load.
  • Fuji SIC Guides- Fuji’s famous K Series ensure tangle free guides, optimum line management, while their SIC inserts maximise casting distance, feel, and sensitivity.
  • Daiwa Surround Hold Reel Seats- sleek and contemporary in style and looks the Black Label’s reel seats ensure a vice-like connection between rod and reel and provide ultimate comfort, control and feel.
  • Cork /Airfoam Grips- the final piece to the reel seat/grip set up Black Label’s cork and Airfoam grips get a tick both for ergonomics and looks.

So that’s the run down on features in the Black Label range, let’s take a look at the rods in the range that feature when it comes to my bass fishing.

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641ULXS- this short finesse wonder stick is my must-have for fishing lightly weighted soft plastics on the edges. Soft in the tip, sensitive through the mid section, yet with just enough grunt at the back end to control fish when needed this a rod that is an absolute pleasure to fish with.

Hyper-sensitive cork grips, and a short rear grip provide the feel and maneuverability for close quarters fishing, while its ultra light rating make it ideal for small crankbaits or lightweight creature surface baits. The 641ULXS is also one of my favourites for putting small jerkbaits such as the Double Clutch IZM 60SP in under overhangs and punching and twitching it through small gaps in trees, brush, lilies, and weed.

I’ll match this to a 2004 sized reel if fishing soft plastics or crankbaits and a 2506 reel for everything else due to the greater line retrieval rate.

661 LXS– my all-rounder of the spin models in the Black Label range, at 6’6” I find this the perfect rod for throwing topwaters, heavier plastics on the edge, and larger jerkbaits. To be honest the only time I won’t reach for this rod is when I need to make ultra long casts, or I need to go finesse.

A great rod for fishing tight cover fish due to its sub 7’ length and heavier rating allowing you to muscle and extract fish from cover when needed.

I’ll match a 2500 sized reel to this rod regardless of what I’m throwing.

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701ULXS/701LXS– the long finesse model in my line-up is tailor made for unweighted and lightly weighed jigheads. Light, crisp and a dream to use all day long. Also makes a great finesse cranking rod when throwing small sub 7gram hard baits.

For those times when the 701ULXS isn’t quite heavy enough the 701LXS gets subbed in. Hard baits such as the Megabass Baby Griffon, Daiwa Tournament Baby Vib, and Lucky Craft CB Mighty are ideal for throwing with this rod.

With these two rods all my light to medium weight soft plastic/jighead/and small hardbait needs are covered. A 2000 or 2004 reel is the go with these two rods.

641MLFB– a stunning finesse baitcaster option for fishing small to mid sized crankbaits, topwaters, spinnerbaits and jerkbaits. The perfect length for delicate underhand and subtle roll casts into gaps and under over hangs the 641MLFB is a dream to use, especially when matched to a lightweight low profile baitcaster such as the new Alphas SV or the king of lightweight baitcasters the Steez.

A soft forgiving tip combined with ample power in the mid to lower section delivers the enviable combination of finesse and muscle in this impressive little finesse baitcaster.

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681LFB– if I could only have one crankbait rod in the range it would be this one. Not too long for close quarter work (e.g. close distance casting lures tight to cover in small creeks and rivers), yet long enough for making longer casts when needed (e.g. throwing baits along way along open banks and weed beds) this rod is primed for throwing mid sized hardbaits (e.g. Jackall TN60, Megabass Griffon, and OSP High Pitchers) with effortless ease.

A dream to use and a great all-rounder to have in your rod line-up. I like this rod so much that I always have two rigged on my deck.

I’ll match this rod to either a low profile reel like a Steez or and Alphas or a larger reel like a Tatula when throwing heavier lures.

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641MHFB– my go-to spinnerbait rod for heavy cover has the length for pinpoint accuracy and the muscle to control fish when needed. 1/2oz to 3/4oz spinnerbaits are the domain of this rod.

The full length rear Air Foam grip provides you with plenty of rod to grab hold of when power casting with heavy spinnerbaits while its minimalist reel seat and fore grip allow for maximum reel palm-ability and finger contact with the blank on the retrieve and when cranking.

While one of my preferred spinnerbait rods the 641MHFB is equally suited for power casting and cranking deep crankbaits such as the Daiwa RPM Crank, Imakatsu IK 250 or Megabass Deep X 300.

Larger sized reels such as a Tatula, Zillion, or Lexa are the domain of this rod.

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