One of the new featured products from Daiwa in 2018 is an update to the VIP saltwater rod. For the time being, old style VIP rods are still on the market. Updates to the new series include a slight name change to the Daiwa VIPA or Daiwa V.I.P. A Saltwater Rod. Nearly identical in appearance, the Daiwa VIPA Saltwater Rod uses a powerful E-Glass blank with quality components. Personal experience with the older versions leads right into a top recommendation on the new series.
The Daiwa VIPA Saltwater Rod
Product: Daiwa VIPA Saltwater Conventional, Jig Stick, Stand Up, & Spinning Boat Rods.
Overall Ranking: 89 out of 100.
Owner: Globeride, Inc.
Intro To The Daiwa VIPA Saltwater Rod
Daiwa offers the VIPA rod in 4 different styles depending on your preferred fishing technique. Each rod style offers a few different choices in length and power, also depending on your needs. The four styles in question are the VIPA Conventional Rods, the VIPA JIG Stick (which there is only one of), the VIPA Stand Up Rods, and the VIPA Spinning Boat Rods. All models feature a blank with E-Glass construction and quality components.
Models, Specifications, & Features Of Daiwa VIPA Rods
Daiwa VIPA Conventional Rod Models
• VIPA196 • VIPA270 • VIPA870
• VIPA6460M • VIPA865H
The Daiwa VIPA Jig Stick
Daiwa VIPA Stand Up Rod Models
• VIPA655XH • VIPA6455XXH
• VIPA660XH • VIPA6460XXH-AR
Daiwa VIPA Spinning Boat Rod Models
• VIPA270S • VIPA870S
Specs Of Daiwa VIPA Conventional Rods
Anglers choose from five different models to fish within the VIPA Conventional Rod lineup. These are all fast action rods that range in length from 6′ up to 8. Anglers have a couple 7′ models and a 6’6″ model to look at as well. Power ratings are either medium, medium-heavy, or heavy, depending on the rod. Conventional VIPA rods do feature the Powerlift foregrips.
Daiwa VIPA Conventional Rods are all one-piece sticks that rate for monofilament line. You’ll find a range from 10-pounds at the lightest up to 60-pound test on the most powerful model. The longest 8′ model uses 10 line guides and the shortest has 8. The middle models all use 9 line guides. Note that the rods with line ratings over 40-pounds feature an aluminum gimbal while rods under that amount use a nylon gimbal.
Jig Stick Specifications
Daiwa only makes one VIPA Jig Stick model. It stands at 7’10” in length and is a fast action rod with heavy power. Line ratings are again for mono and range between 30 and 60-pound test. The VIPA Jig Stick is a one-piece rod and uses 10 Fuji FazLite guides along its length. Cork tape wraps around the handle in the style of deckhand rods and there is a fixed rubber cap for protection on the end of the butt.
Daiwa VIPA Stand Up Rod Specs
If you’re looking for a shorter stick with the power to handle tuna and troll fish, the VIPA presents four different models. These are the Daiwa VIPA Stand Up Rods. Again they feature a fast action and power ratings of either extra-heavy or double extra-heavy. Choose from rod lengths of 5’6″ or 6′.
Line ratings on the Daiwa Stand Up Rods all begin at 40 pounds and go up to either 100 or 130. The shorter rods employ the use of 7 line guides while the 6-foot model uses 8. Note that the model with the -AR at the end uses 7 Aftco Roller Guides. Perfect for that trolling setup.
Specs Of The Spinning Boat Rods
Daiwa doesn’t leave out options for anglers whose affection tends toward the spinning reel. You’ll find two fast action rods in the series, both with a power rating of medium-light. Daiwa VIPA Spinning Boat Rods are both 7-feet in length and use 7 Fuji line guides. Their line ratings are the only real difference, with one that rates for 12-30 and the other 15-40.
Features Of Daiwa VIPA Saltwater Rods
E-Glass Blank Construction
The basic fiberglass sheet that manufacturers use in the crafting of saltwater rod blanks is E-Glass. This type of fiberglass was used in early circuit boards and for other electrical applications. E-Glass blanks are not quite as strong as blanks using S-Glass, but they offer plenty of strength and durability for offshore needs.
Powerlift Triangle Foregrip
The foregrip of the rod is where you really want a firm and comfortable grasp while pulling on a fresh one. It was a little strange wrapping my hand around the triangle grip at first, but I didn’t notice it much after a while. The foam offers good padding for your palm; not too soft and sweat free. Does the special grip help any more than a normal design? I can’t say I could tell, but it is effective.
Cork Tape Handle (Jig Stick Only)
The Daiwa VIPA Saltwater Rod offers 1 jig stick model in the deckhand style. It resembles the deckhand style by having the cork tape grip, but it doesn’t finish with a Turk’s head. There’s a sealed rubber ring up top that holds the cork tape in place. Down at the bottom, a fixed rubber pommel butt cap secures the cork tape to end the rod.
Fuji Reel Seats
All Daiwa VIPA Saltwater Rod models use a proven Fuji Reel Seat with the exception of the jig stick. By nature, Deckhand style jig sticks don’t use a reel seat at all. Fuji is a leader in the realm of rod components and brings durability to the Daiwa collection.
Fuji FazLite Guides
Again you see the name Fuji for rod components, this time supplying the line guides. Rest assured that Fuji FazLite guides deliver the performance and durability that an offshore rod requires. While they do the job, I personally prefer the old style non-insert guides. In fact, this is the only real difference I’m able to see between the new Daiwa VIPA Saltwater Rod models and the older versions.
Aftco Roller Guides
Take a look at the model number on the Daiwa 6460 XXH. Notice how it ends with a dash and the letters AR? That signifies the use of Aftco Roller Guides for extreme trolling encounters. Frictionless and sturdy, Aftco guides allow your line to peel off the rod without garnering extra heat.
Nylon Or Aluminum Gimbals
Daiwa VIPA Saltwater Rods with a line rating less than 40-pounds use a hard nylon gimbal. Those models with line ratings over 40-pounds feature a sturdier aluminum gimbal. The nylon gimbal performs just fine but isn’t as durable as aluminum. Nylon could stress to a breaking point with too much pressure.
Pros & Cons Of Daiwa VIPA Saltwater Rods
Being that I own and fish with two different model Daiwa VIP rods (the older versions), I have to recommend them all. Two main factors go into my recommendation; price and performance. You could definitely go for a higher performance rod with an S-Glass, graphite, or composite blank. Don’t think for a second, however, that Daiwa VIPA rods won’t perform. The combination of quality components and a forceful E-Glass blank put a ton of pressure on gamefish.
I’m not crazy about the switch to Fuji FazLite guides nor the nylon gimbals. Not all anglers will agree about the guides, with some preferring the change. I have heard of breaks in the welding of the guide rings on older models, though my rods have held up fine.
Using nylon gimbals on less powerful models seems like a money saver, but doesn’t help with durability. I would love to see Daiwa add a few more length options (longer), instead of only 1 Jig Stick.
The Jig Stick is a fantastic fish fighting rod, but E-Glass blanks aren’t the best for casting accuracy and distance.
Best Application Of Daiwa VIPA Saltwater Rods
It wholly depends, of course, on which Daiwa VIPA Saltwater Rod style you fish with. There are the Spinning Boat Rods to pair with spinning reels, which work for either casting or vertical jigging. Fly line a live bait with the Conventional Rod or troll for fast moving schools with the Stand Up Rod. Finally, add that Jig Stick. It also works for fly lining, or quickly tie on a jig and cast that iron away from the vessel.
Keep your overall cost down by paring your Daiwa VIPA Rod with the Daiwa Saltist or Sealine Reels. I personally use a Sealine 50 with the 6′ Daiwa VIP Conventional Rod and a Penn Fathom Star Drag 40 with the Jig Stick. There’s an old Newell Reel on my second Jig Stick.
Customer Support For Daiwa Rods
The Daiwa Manufacturer’s warranty on VIPA Rods is one of the best in the industry. It does limit replacement to manufacturing defects, but most companies don’t offer 5 years from the point of sale. Daiwa VIPA Saltwater Rods do. Make sure you stop by the Daiwa website for more details on customer support and availability of service centers.
Gaffing The Final Thoughts
Overall Ranking: 89 out of 100 anglers approve of Daiwa VIPA Saltwater Rods.
My biggest complaint is the casting ability of the Jig Stick, but the expectation may be unreasonable. E-Glass provides plenty of power for the fight, but it does suffer in other areas. The overall performance an angler gets from a Daiwa VIPA Saltwater Rod far outweighs the price tag. Although I don’t make much mention of rod durability, my rods are holding up fine after 4 seasons of use. I carry two of the Jig Sticks and the 6′ Conventional Rod in my line up.