Expert Review: Daiwa Presso Ultralight Spinning Rod

This review is my honest opinion of the spinning rod, which I purchased with my own money in April of 2022.

The Daiwa Presso Ultralight Spinning Rod .

All photos courtesy of Danny Palmquist

About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the spinning rod, which I purchased with my own money in April of 2022.

My take

The Daiwa Presso is an exceptional ultralight spinning rod for the money. It excels at making accurate casts with light line and light lures. It’s a versatile rod capable of performing techniques such as spinners, spoons, and float fishing.

Handle of the Daiwa Presso Ultralight Spinning Rod.

About the rod I own

  • Model: 2022
  • Rod Length: Five feet
  • Rod Power: Ultralight
  • Rod Action: Fast
  • Rod Pieces: 1
  • Rod Material: Graphite

About me

  • Preferred fishing styles: Topwater bass fishing, small stream trout fishing
  • Experience: 20+ years of fishing

Test conditions

  • When I bought this: April 2022
  • Reel Paired with Rod: Lew’s Carbon Fire
  • Line Paired Rod: Sunline Sniper Fluorocarbon, 2lb
  • Days tested: 60+
  • Waters I’ve used it on: Small streams
  • Species targeted with rod: Trout

How it performs

Casting Ease

What I was looking for

I have been doing a lot of fishing for trout in smaller streams. I wanted a short spinning rod that would allow me to make accurate casts in tight quarters around lots of rocks and overhanging trees. I also wanted a rod that I could use to fish lightweight flies with a float or split shot sinker.

Why I chose this gear

I was doing some research and I saw a lot of positive reviews of the rod. I was pretty firmly set on purchasing a rod that was five feet long. I was thinking about purchasing the Shimano Sensilite, but couldn’t find a model at that length. The Fenwick Eagle was another rod that I considered, but I couldn’t look past full grips and very much preferred the split grip on the Presson.

Side view of the Daiwa Presso Ultralight Spinning Rod handle.

What I love about it

  • Quality: The quality of the graphite rod blank is surprisingly lightweight and balanced, considering its price point. It makes the rod very sensitive to light bites from smaller fish. I am also impressed by the quality of the cork on the split grip. It is soft and smooth, and it feels great in my hand.
  • Versatility: I find the rod to be very versatile. It has a soft-enough tip that it allows me to cast 1/32oz lures, but it maintains enough of a backbone for easy hooksets. I am able to use it to catch fish on jigs, float rigs, spinners, and spoons.
  • Application: I enjoy fishing small streams with isolated pools of water where trout tend to hide. The shorter, five-foot length of the rod allows me to make short, accurate casts and ultimately catch more fish and lose fewer lures.
  • Performance:
    • Ease of casting: The graphite rod blank is very responsive, making it easy to cast lightweight lures.
    • Power: The power of the rod is what I’d consider a proper ultralight rod. To me, that means that while retrieving lightweight spinners at a moderate pace, there is a significant bend in the rod tip. It’s easy to maintain the proper line tension between the rod and the lure.
    • Action: The action of the rod is listed as fast, but I’d consider it to be more of a moderate fast—which is what I wanted. The slightly slower action makes it easy to fight aggressive wild brook trout.
    • Accuracy: I purchased the five-foot version of the rod to make short, accurate casts—which this does really well. With the slightly slower action of the tip, I was afraid that I’d lose some casting accuracy, but the graphite blank feels crisp, and it features a quick recovery which really helps with my ability to make precise casts to isolated pools of deep water in the small streams where I fish.

Issues I’ve encountered

  • Grip: While I love the quality of the cork on the grip, the placement of the up-locking reel seat feels a little awkward to hold onto.
  • Build: The finish on the rod blank is a bit rough. Especially with a light line, if it becomes wrapped around the rod, it could potentially nick or damage the line. I haven’t personally had that problem, but I can see that it could possibly become an issue.
Close up of the Daiwa Presso Ultralight Spinning Rod.

Favorite moment with this gear

From the moment** that **I held the rod in my hand, I knew that I was going to have a lot of fun with it. I was impressed by the quality of the cork; it was smoother and denser than I expected from a rod at its price point. It works really well with my two-pound fluorocarbon line, and I have been able to use it to catch everything from small brook trout to bluegill, and even some smaller bass.

Value for the money vs. other options

For the money, this is a really impressive ultralight rod. The quality is on par with that of my Temple Fork Outfitters Trout - Panfish Rod, which sits at a higher price point. I wanted something shorter and with a softer, slower tip; and that’s the biggest difference between the two rods.

Final verdict

I am thoroughly pleased with this rod. It has allowed me to catch multiple species of fish with a wide range of different techniques. When fishing with spinners, I could feel the difference between the turning of the blades and when the lures were ticking along rocks on the bottom. The soft tip allowed me to easily work spoons through current, and I was even able to cast flies along with a float or a split shot sinker. All in all, this is an excellent ultralight spinning rod for anglers of all skill levels who are looking to catch trout and panfish.

Selling Daiwa on
Daiwa Presso Ultralight Spinning Rod - PSO802ULFS
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Written By
As a lifelong angler, I have experience fishing a wide variety of techniques. My passion is fishing for bass. I put a lot of time and effort putting together technique specific combos and optimizing them so I can land more fish and improve my overall experience. I am also a writer and photographer,...

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