The Daiwa Iprimi 56XXUL-S is an extra, extra ultralight spinning rod that is rated for lures as light as .4g (1/70th oz). It is the best micro fishing spinning rod I have found (and most micro fishermen use spinning rods, not fixed line rods). Even if you are not specifically fishing for micros, it is a fun rod for catching just about any small to medium sized fish.
And if you want have fun catching the fish that are in the town park (even if they aren't trophies), boy, do I have the rod for you!
Similarly, if you go to any of hundreds of eastern trout streams, and if you are not disappointed when the fish you hook turns out to be a fallfish or a common shiner instead of a brown trout. This is the rod you want.
The designers intended the Daiwa Iprimi 56XXUL-S to be a trout rod, not a shiner rod. It is a rod designed for fishing what are called "Areas," which are managed, pay-to-fish lakes stocked with trout. Some of the trout are quite large but there is no current and there are no snags to worry about, and if you have a reel with a good drag even an extra, extra ultralight rod is sufficient.
We don't have many pay-to-fish areas in the US, but we have thousands (probably many thousands) of bodies of water that have fish in them - not big fish perhaps, but fish that are there and that you can catch. With an extra, extra ultralight rod like the Daiwa 56XXUL-S, the fish don't have to be big to be fun.
Seriously, any rod that is rated to cast a 1/70th ounce lure is going to be fun with very modest fish!
A couple summers ago, Coach and I had a species contest, trying to see how many species of fish we could catch in a day. We caught 14 species (which was less than he had projected but still isn't at all bad). The redbreast sunfish shown above was one that I had caught.
The only thing remarkable about it is that it was caught with a fly - a bead head hare's ear nymph. Actually, catching a sunfish with a bead head nymph is not very remarkable, the remarkable part is I could cast that bead head nymph with the spinning rod! No casting bubble, no float, no added split shot - just the bead head nymph. The nymph had a fairly large bead head, as you can see, but still! Truthfully, I couldn't cast it all that far, but it was clearly far enough to catch fish!
It probably isn't a coincidence that the low end of the recommended lure weight range for the Daiwa Iprimi 56XXUL-S is .4 grams - exactly the weight of the lightest Daiwa Presso Vega spoons!
To be sure, the .4 gram Daiwa Presso Vega spoons do not cast very far, even with 2 lb line, but they do cast far enough that you can catch fish (particularly the small sunnies that are near shore in a town park, or the common shiners that are in a small stream). For that matter, I have caught more than a few trout with a 2.7m fixed line rod, and you can cast a .4g Vega spoon further with the 56XXUL-S than you can cast a fly with a 2.7m rod!
I have to admit, though, that even though the Daiwa Iprimi 56XXUL-S can cast the .4g Daiwa Presso Vega spoons, it casts the .8g Vega spoons much, much better. The two spoons are exactly the same size, with the heavier one just stamped out of thicker metal.
The upper end of the recommended lure weight range is 2.5 grams - exactly the weight of the Daiwa Crusader spoons. How about that? That also puts all of the C'ultiva JH-85 jig heads and plastics in play also.
When I first wrote about the Daiwa Iprimi 56XXUL-S I lamented that I had wanted to catch a brookie with the rod - as I thought it would prove to be a great little brookie rod. Well, I couldn't get a good photo that day. I finally did get a good photo of a brook trout caught with a Daiwa Presso Vega spoon, though. The little lures do work, and surprisingly well.
Overall, the rod is just a fun little rod. It is short for a lake rod at 5'6", but that is a good length for small streams or for fishing ponds. You don't have a huge casting range with a rod that short, but if there's one thing tenkara anglers have learned, it is that you don't have to cast very far to catch fish.
Because it is a particularly soft rod, it is a lot of fun with even very modest fish. Sunfish, shiners, creek chubs, they'll all put a bend in the rod and a smile on your face.
But if you happen to hook a larger than expected fish, and if you don't have to muscle it away from a brush pile or downed tree, the rod will do just fine. That said, the rod is rated for no more than 3 lb test line, so you aren't going to muscle much of anything!
I should mention that the "S" at the end of Daiwa Iprimi 56 XXUL-S stands for solid tip. Most spinning rods have hollow tip sections. The last 6" of the 56XXUL-S tip section is solid - just like the solid tip of most tenkara rods. That makes for a very sensitive tip.
Of course, it's not just a rod for micros! In Japan it is a trout rod and it will do just fine with trout here also - modest trout in streams and larger trout in lakes.
Truly, this is a finesse rod. If you can keep that in mind and if you can be happy catching modest fish with tiny lures, you can have an awful lot of fun with it.
1.5 - 3 lb
1/70 - 1/11 oz (.4-2.5g)
$145(plus $10 S/H)
Made in Vietnam
I would pair the rod with either the Daiwa Iprimi 1003 reel (shown in the photos above) which is certainly the reel the designers had in mind, or the new Shimano Soare CI4+ 500S reel. The Shimano reel is a lot lighter, but it is also a lot more expensive.
Model - Daiwa Iprimi 1003
Gear ratio - 4.8
Retrieve per turn - 60 cm (24 in)
Drag (maximum) - 2.0 kg (4.4 lb)
Weight -210 g (7.4 oz)
Nylon 2 lb - 150 m (164 yds)
3 lb - 100 m (109 yds)
Braid (Japanese line size)
.3 - 120 m (131 yds)
.4 - 100 m (109 yds)
Handle length - 45 mm (1.8 in)
Bearings - 6/1
Made in Vietnam
Daiwa Iprimi 1003 - $180
Model - Shimano Soare CI4+ 500S
Gear ratio - 5.6
Retrieve per turn - 69 cm 27 in)
Drag (maximum) - 3.0 kg (6.6 lb)
Weight - 140 g (4.9 oz)
Nylon 2 lb - 115 m 126 yds)
2.5 lb - 100 m (109 yds)
3 lb - 70 m (76.5 yds)
2 lb - 90 m (98.5 yds)
2.5 lb - 80 m (87.5 yds)
3 lb - 65 m (71 yds)
Braid (Japanese line size)
.3 - 140 m (164 yds)
.4 - 100 m (109 yds)
.6 - 80 m (87.5 yds)
Bearings - 8/1
Made in Malaysia
Shimano Soare CI4+ 500S - $300
Domestic US - shipping for the rod alone is $10. Shipping for reel alone is $10. Shipping both together is $16 (requires a larger, heavier box).
International - Please request a quote before ordering.
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