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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

I'm in a market for another PE8 stick bait rod as a back-up. I thought having a 3-pc configuration that I can hand carry into the aircraft cabin would be advantages just in case the checked in rod tube don't show up in time. Some of the options I am considering are :
1. Zenaq Expedition 83-6 GT
2. Temple Reef Ronin 83-8 EXP
3. Ripple Fisher GTXpedition 81MH

Can anyone share your PERSONAL experience on any of the the above rods please? My primary rod is a Carpenter EP 82/38 so I am looking for a backup with similar action.

Any other recommendations on alternatives with similar rod specifications will also be appreciated.

Thanks in advance!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi Boston Tangler, Thanks for your comments. You also mentioned Yamaga 79/3, but I could not find any 3-piece expedition models on their on-line catalog, confirm you were referring to the Aquila 79/3?
 

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Here's my thoughts. I was in a similar boat as you last year, although looking for a 3 piece PE 6 travel stickbait rod rather than PE 8 (and my budget seems to be a bit less than yours). Ultimately, I settled for the Daiwa Saltiga AirPortable PE 4-6. While the rod is not perfect, it is quality for the ~$350 I paid. Downsides from the numerous different 3 piece rods I've used and owned was durability and balance. Most were tip heavy and were much less forgiving to any high-sticking due to stress concentrations in the ferrule joints (St Croix travel rods were a nightmare even if their customer service were willing to replace the rods…reel seats coming loose, handle wraps coming loose, unable to use any drag pressure, etc).

The Daiwa Saltiga AP rods can be found at a significant discount to the rods you listed through some European retailers occasionally. The Daiwa is extremely durable compared to all my previous travel rods, but heavier than the equivalent Zenaq expedition that I also tested out. I'd argue the zenaq is less durable than the Daiwa after the abuse Cavy put on the Saltiga APs and my experiences with it and Daiwa's Ardito travel rod line..but I don't know the composite prepreg layup angles on the Zenaq or data points of that zenaq breaking. Components are top of the line quality Fuji titanium K like the RF GTX. Zenaq and Daiwa both have a very nice action for stickbaits in the lure weight range listed. Ultimately, i did not think any other travel rod was worth the ~$300 premium to the Daiwa travel rod, which also offered a lifetime warranty (not sure what the warranty process is like with Daiwa rods though) and don't expect them to be in the same ballpark as a Carpenter.
Note, the USDM Dawia Saltiga rods are far inferior to the JDM and Euro Daiwa Saltiga AirPortable travel rods.

On the other hand, I've had trouble carrying the 3-piece travel rod on numerous airlines internationally, particularly through Qatar, Taiwan, Philippines, and occasions in Indonesia. I have had no issues domestically in the USA + Hawaii, the Caribbean, and I *think* Malaysia. Consequently, I wish Daiwa rods had a hardshell case rather than semi rigid.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hi eatmorelionfish, Thanks for your detail review of the Daiwa Saltiga AP. I was not aware of this line of rod until reading your post, but will certainly look into it! Best Regards.
 

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Hi,

I'm in a market for another PE8 stick bait rod as a back-up. I thought having a 3-pc configuration that I can hand carry into the aircraft cabin would be advantages just in case the checked in rod tube don't show up in time. Some of the options I am considering are :
1. Zenaq Expedition 83-6 GT
2. Temple Reef Ronin 83-8 EXP
3. Ripple Fisher GTXpedition 81MH

Can anyone share your PERSONAL experience on any of the the above rods please? My primary rod is a Carpenter EP 82/38 so I am looking for a backup with similar action.

Any other recommendations on alternatives with similar rod specifications will also be appreciated.

Thanks in advance!
I settled for the RF GTX without trying them....the price from Boston Tangler is a good price. I have not received the rods yet so no first hand experience. I put out a similar information post request on the RF GTX and Fisherman 3 piece...and got nothing. It is definitely not mainstream. My RF GTX decision was based on having confidently used other RF rods (in my past post), light weight in grams compared to Zenaq and Fisherman, and youtube videos showing the RF GTX in action. I didn't see any flat spots on the bending in the fight. I bought these rods to move towards reducing my rod case down to a 4 foot (from 6') length for easier handling when traveling. As a transition for the first couple of trips, I intend to bring my regular 8' rods as backup for emergency use only and use the GTX M PE6, MH PE8 as my primary go-to GT rods until I'm confident they won't break on me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hi Curtis, Thanks for your input on the GTX. Having owned an Ultimo Ocean Ridge, I would have to agree with your line of thoughts.

Incidentally, I just came across another option for a 3-piece PE8 GT rod in addition to the 3 that I had originally mentioned plus the Daiwa Saltiga Air Portable that eatmorelionfish recommended. It's the Tenryu Spike Travel SK803S-HH.
Very attractive made in Japan JDM rod at a very reasonable price point.

Sometimes it can be a problem when you have too many options. But then with all the COVID travel restrictions in place now, there is no hurry to rush into a decision too. :)

Best Regards
 

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I've heard that Fisherman build their 3 piece rod ($1000-$1200 expensive rods!) off of the Tenryu blank. I also heard Tenryu on the positive side uses some aspect of fiberglass which gives the rod a lot of strength on the bend but the compromise is that it's heavier. Hopefully, I'll be able to use the RF GTX travel rods Oct-Dec 2021 for many species other than GTs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hi Curtis, Interesting observation. Indeed the Tenryu has about 11% fibreglass for durability. I had a chance to wiggle a Tenryu at a local tackle shop yesterday, indeed the tip feels softer as compared to the other models listed, but the mid and butt sections has tremendous power.

I put together some numbers for the 5 rod models for a quick comparison as follow, was surprised to find that the Temple Reef Expedition is the lightest of them all, while the Zenaq is among the heaviest, assuming their website info is accurate.

1. Zenaq Expedition 83-6 GT. rod weighs 423g, Lure ~180g, PE#5-#8
2. Temple Reef Ronin 83-8 EXP rod weighs 368g, Lure ~180g, PE#6-#8
3. Ripple Fisher GTXpedition 81MH. rod weighs 386g, Lure Max 180g, PE Max#8
4. Daiwa Saltiga Air Portable SGAPC85XXHS-AF. rod weighs 440g, Lure 50-160g, PE#4-#8
5. Tenryu Spike Travel SK803S-HH rod weighs 394g, Lure Max 200g, PE Max#8

But my experience also tells me that how light and crispy a rod feels while casting depends on how the weight is distributed from the butt to the tip. The rod's "swing weight", or moment of inertial to be technically accurate, is more important than the nett weight of the entire rod. So the rod weight alone is probably just an indication, but may not tell the full story.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
The 2020 Daiwa Saltiga AirPortable PE 8 160g SGAPC808R is 360g fyi.
Hi eatmorelionfish, Can you point me to the website that has more info on the Saltiga AP please? Those that I can find are listing the PE8 rod at 440g. Confirm the 360g SGAPC808R is also rated for PE8? Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·

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Hi All,

I read this thread six months ago and decided to get the Daiwa Saltiga Airportable 7810 from Pechextreme (no affiliation) at €580, equivalent to $660. The rod is 7 fot 8 inches, 384g and rated as a PE10 with max casting weight up to 180g. All I can say is that it is a fabulous rod! The rod is light, casts a mile and has a nice feel to it. Most of my friends didn't notice it is a travel rod until I pointed this out to them!

The rod got some bend from a week's halibut fishing in Northern Norway, as well as one week's torture when chasing GTs in Southern Oman. The biggest halibut in Norway was some 30kg and best GT was 45kg - the rod handled them beautifully. The rod is still a bit over-rated in my mind. Maybe closer to PE8 than PE10. The rod feels quite delicate and the action is medium-fast. The rod is a real all-rounder, eg. too sloppy for big poppers and too stiff for precise floating stickbait manipulation. Still a great pick if you can only afford one rod and is ideal for mid-sized poppers and any sinking stickbaits. Floating stickbaits is easiest retreived by working the rod from 2pm to 5pm, rather than the traditional 1pm to 4pm swing. The aforementioned retrieve gives enough flex in the rod to get the floating stickbait sub-surface and swimming instead of skipping along the surface. However, hook-ups decrease when having the rod at such a big angle towards the line.

I paired the rod with a Shimano Saragosa SW 10000 and 100lb Tasline. The rod balanced well with this set up and I was able to churn out 65-75 meter casts day after day. The longest cast in moderate downwind measured 83 metres with a 120g 27cm Fisherman Longpen. The rod will comfortably cast 200g lures and I was constantly chugging 200-300g jigs in Norway. I even casted a 350g jig for a few hours and it was quite pleasant, even though I had to aim a bit higher than usual as not to stress the rod too much.

I have only done some limited comparisons against other non-travel rods. It is obviously not fair to compare against 1- and 2-piece rods but here goes as a reference:
  • ASWB GT Tamer PE6-8 8'3'' -180g. The GT Tamer is quite similar to the Airportable but a bit crisper with a slightly better fell. This would be my pick if it was offered as a travel rod with the characteristics of the 2-piece rod.
  • Old version of Temple Reef Ronin 80-10. The Ronin was a much heavier, stiffer and a worse rod in all regards, except maybe for having a stronger backbone to bring in the bigger fish and pop the biggest chuggers.
  • Westin W6 Popping PE10 7' 5'' -180g. The Westin rod was heavier, stiffer and quite a nightmare to cast. Only advantage is it is 200 bucks cheaper.

Hope this review helps anyone of you out there for a PE8-10 travel rod.

Tom
Helsinki, Finland
 

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