TD Commander – Electric Strawberry.
By Andrew Badullovich.
I’ll start by saying; that this is the sweetest little rod that I have used for cranking hard-bodied lures off river and lake edges for bream! I have found the Electric Strawberry to be the perfect compromise between a distance rod, and an accurate caster. At 6’8” in length; it is not too long for pin-point casts to wily black bream, whilst being just long enough to fire a cast to those targets that hold their distance. I predominately fish the southern estuaries of NSW, where I find myself typically targeting bream along the shallow bank-side edges. Some days these fish will hold tight to a timber snag or rock bar; then, some days they will be feeding in the open water where they become rather wary of your presence. The luxury of having rod to cover a range of situations is advantageous in so many ways. One main advantage is – you won’t need to change rods to cover a contrasting situation. Placing one rod down to pick another up can make unnecessary noise which could spook your target; not to mention, you could lose sight of your target during the rod-selection transition. There are technique specific rods within the TD Commander range that will serve you better for any given specific application; nonetheless, the ES is a pretty good all-rounder for cranking hard-bodied lures in most situations.
This rod conveys many great features, but my favourite is the AGS (Air Guide System) technology. The guides are constructed of carbon fibre, which not only reduces the weight of the rod…it also increases sensitivity. Given that I favour spinning with straight-through fluorocarbon lines, I really welcome the increased sensitivity provided by the AGS. You can lose a considerable amount of feeling with mono and fluoro line; however, the carbon guides on a graphite rod blank tends not to absorb the vibration, which allows the angler to feel the action of the lure as if you were using braided fishing line. Another great feature that the AGS enhances is “rod recovery” during a cast. This means that the rod tip quickly snaps back into position rather than constant wobbling after you have loaded the rod for a cast. This quick recovery allows you to cast light lures; such as, the Daiwa Gekkabijin Yogiri with ease.
The ES will bend in a parabolic fashion when loaded on a fish, which is great when using hard-bodied lures on either braided or mono’ lines. This soft-bending nature is quite forgiving when a fish powers off for cover. The “one and a half” piece design of the rod also ensures that the rod’s action is not hindered, providing smooth arcing and strength.
I have used this rod for chasing small stream trout, and found it to perform well on small leaping brownies. I have also dabbled in a spot of bait-fishing with the ES, and can’t praise it enough as an estuary bread ‘n’ butter species rod. I have matched my ES to a Caldia SHA 2000, and find this to be a well-balanced outfit. The ES is a sweet little performer, and well worth a look if you need a rod to cover a few differing situations.