Last summer Daiwa revamped their budget friendly Tatula XT lineup of rods. With simplified aesthetics and expanded SKUS. This $100 price point lineup of fishing rods has an option for every bass angler.
Perhaps what’s most intriguing about a major angling OEM like Daiwa is their ability to slowly port down higher end feature sets into lower end product. This happens not only with rods but reels as well. The updated Tatula XT is a leaner, more modern aesthetic rod vs its bulky predecessor. The midline HVF blank is definitely not the most sensitive blank on the market but is certainly more than adequate for applications where sensitivity isn’t the number one priority.
The Tatula XT model that I’ve been using the past few months is a favorite action of mine whose pedigree has held up well over the years. The 7’4″ Light and Tough Frog Rod was a popular Daiwa rod over 15 years ago. I fell in love with the ultra-premium “Ferrari” implementation of this blank action in the now defunct Steez XBD line. I have seen it come to fruition across multiple Daiwa rod product lines including Steez AGS, Tatula Elite AGS, and even Tackle Warehouses in-house custom-built DX Type LT Frog Rod. It’s a versatile taper that lends itself well to casting medium to heavy weighted baits far and executing strong hooksets at a distance with ease.
The updated Tatula XTs blank captures this essence while coming in lighter than previous HVF builds I’ve handled in the past. The low-profile carbon foregrip is a much nicer touch than the previous generations rather chunky looking one. The serviceable Fuji Aluminum oxide guides are rather low profile which is a noticeable weight reducing touch.
Rated for 55-80lb braid this rod can certainly double as a punching stick. While I don’t think it quite has the intrinsic power as the old Steez XBD slinging 1.5 oz weights, I think pitching 1 oz jigs with 65lb test is probably more of its sweet spot for contact fishing. With a Spro popping frog 60 this rod feels right at home in addition to typical grass chuck and wind offerings like a Reaction Innovations Trixie shark or Gamber Big EZ.
The split grip handles are prototypical for todays market, and the Braiding-X looks cosmetically on point as well as being functional in eliminating blank twist. Perhaps the best cut in was Daiwa’s own in-house reel seat design vs the polarizing ACS version on the previous generation.
I remember a time when the $100 price point niche was void of any real competition. As bass fishing has grown by leaps and bounds over the last decade, this certainly is no longer the case. While it remains to be seen who the top dog is in the $100 marketplace. The newly revamped Tatula XT is a strong value contender and certainly a modern arsenal builder for the budget conscious bass angler.