Gear Review

Equipment Review: Daiwa Proteus WN saltwater rod series

BY PAUL LEBOWITZ/WON Staff WriterPublished: Dec 18, 2018

Rods are premium High Volume Graphite (HVG) sticks

daiwaproteuswnrodDAIWA’S PROTEUS WN saltwater rod series is a looker, with eye-catching shades of blue and black, but what really matters is utility. There’s a rod for virtually every SoCal saltwater species. The distinctive D-VEC WINN GRIP tape is comfortable and confident even when wet.

daiwaheresacloseHERE’S A CLOSE-UP of a Daiwa Proteus WN saltwater stick outfitted with a Lexa WN 400 low profile saltwater reel. It’s a fine match. WON PHOTO PAUL LEBOWITZ

The Daiwa Proteus WN saltwater rod series features eye-catching shades of blue and black. There’s no question this versatile series that covers the gamut of popular West Coast fisheries is a looker, but there’s more than meets the eye to this quiver.

The WN designation denotes the Proteus WN rod series is outfitted with D-VEC WINN GRIP tape on the fore- and butt-grips. The tape resembles leather or suede, is undeniably comfortable in the hand and confidently non-slip when wet. Golfers will recognize it instantly from the wrappings on their favorite clubs.

These rods are premium High Volume Graphite (HVG) sticks featuring Braiding X Technology, a cross-weave of carbon fibers that creates a higher strength blank, allowing Daiwa to make these rods thinner and lighter than the standard Proteus series. The guides are Fuji FazLite rings, more corrosion resistant than stainless and angled at 70 degrees to prevent catching line when casting a bait or a jig.

Daiwa Proteus WN rods are available in 7 models with lengths from 7-6 to 8-10, all fast-action, in powers from medium heavy to extra heavy and line classes as low as 15 pounds (40-pound braid) and as high as 60-pound (120-pound braid). There are two spinning models, 7-6 and 8, both rated heavy-fast action. Daiwa offers a limited lifetime warranty that covers breakage during normal usage.

Use: The WON staff tested the Daiwa Proteus WN rod series on personal trips and also on many of our popular charters where they were available to anyone who wanted to fish these sticks. Crowd-sourcing the review gave us a multitude of opinions. Most anglers liked the WINN GRIP tape, particularly on the 8-10 jig sticks, but a few noted the tacky material hangs onto bait scales like no other. That’s a minor quibble.

Cost: $229.99-$279.99


Bottom line: The Daiwa Proteus WN rod series looks great, but what really matters is utility. There they pass the test on everything from schoolie bluefin, yellows, dorado, rockfish and bass — pretty much anything that swims in our eastern Pacific waters. Most testers found the D-VEC WINN GRIP tape very comfortable and sure in the hand even when wet. A few preferred other grip types, but that’s a matter of personal taste. If you like WINN GRIPS, it’s hard to see how you could do much better in a modern factory saltwater rod.

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