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Tsurinoya Dragon Light Game Spinning Rods

From: $74.99 $59.99

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(1 customer review)
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Quick Specs:
Fuji “O” Guides
Custom Reel Seat
Spiral X Core Blank
Includes Padded Cloth Rod Bag

Tsurinoya’s lineup of the top-rated Dragon series of finesse rods has grown with the addition of the all-new Dragon Light Game Spinning Rods. Designed for ultra-light and light-line fishing, the Dragon Light Game series offers a refined entry-level rod for the avid multi-species angler.

Built using TSU’s Spiral X Core design, the new blanks of the Dragon Light Game are lighter and more sensitive than the original Dragon series. Featuring a responsive and fast action blank, the Dragon Light Game rod series has enough power through the mid-section and into the butt end to fight aggressive fish in the flowing currents of mountain streams and rivers. The crisp action allows for precise lure control and movements and the ability to place your lure with pinpoint accuracy using various casting techniques.

The Dragon Light Game series features a custom reel seat designed to balance comfort and sensitivity. An upgraded guide train of premium Fuji components is utilized to provide increased durability, smooth casting performance, and heat dissipation. Finished with a high-quality cork handle that allows for excellent grip even when wet and stylish looks. The light power 6’6″ model features a split grip design, while the ultra-light models have a shortened full grip that provides excellent one-handed operability.

1 review for Tsurinoya Dragon Light Game Spinning Rods

  1. ivk.shopping (verified owner)

    This is a review for Tsurinoya Dragon 2, both S532UL and S602UL models. Let me start with the summary: if you want a spinning rod for fishing 40-50mm class sinking minnows – you would not find a better rod for less then $130. I like S602UL so much, that I bought three of them from Bait Finesse Empire – one for me, one for my fishing partner, and one to have spare… S602UL is my “flagship” trout fishing rod now, and I have decent rod collection…

    What catched my attention in these rods – they scream SHIMANO. Shimano has the Trout One NS and Shimano Cardiff NX series, both series having S53UL and S60UL models. Tsurinoya SpiralXCore sounds like Shimano technology… After close inspection I do not think Tsurinoya copied Shimano rods, but there are similarities.

    Both S602UL and S532UL are built on the exactly the same blank (S532UL has cut blank). Rings/guides on S602UL and S532UL are exactly the same. Tip ring ID is 2.0mm (small!), biggest ring ID is 11.6mm (also small – not for 2500+ size reel). Rings are more massive than Fuji SIC-S. Guides are stainless steel, and they are durable (better than Kuing Teton rod guides). Tip guide is an anti-tangle guide (similar to Fuji K-series tip). My rods do not have any epoxy finish problems common for Chinese rods. Blank tip is relatively lively (Shimano has some “sensitive tubular” tips, it is somewhat in that direction). Tip oscillation dumpening is good on both rods. Reel seat is actually excellent. I can not say it is unique (I have the same seat on one of my five year old bass rods), but it is better for my hands that JDM “wooden” seats for trout rods, and reel tightening nut does not become loose (like for some JDM rods). If you fish with bare hands in hot weather, there may be issues with plastic becoming slick because palm sweat, I recommend using gloves to prevent it. The cork part of the handle is a good quality without much filler (I put U40 on it). Rods are well built, it leaves the impression to be reasonably durable. It is worth mentioning the quality rod sleeve coming with Dragon rod – two sections, neoprene on the outside, just right size… Would not protect if you step on it, but would protect from impact and from catching the rod tip by tree brunch. Good rod sleeve is a great value if you are going to hike with the rod strapped to a backpack.

    I’ve tested rods with Shimano Complex XR C2000 reel. S602UL balances perfectly – the center of balance is on the top of the tightening nut. It is very comfortable to cast. S532UL balance is unusual – the center of balance is on the bottom of the tightening nut. I believe this is done intentionally to make flip and underhand casts more comfortable. So S532UL is the rod for limited space – to do casts from “tip down” position / hit targets under hanging tree branches. I’m performing snap cast as my main cast (and I do it quick/sharp) – and I think precision would be lacking with S532UL. S532UL is a good rod, but with my reel it does not ballances as I like (it may be different for other reels and other people). I own Major Craft Finetail Glass FSG-462UL (it is ballanced in usual way), and I’m not entirely satisfied with it’s casting accuracy. I was thinking to replace FSG-462UL with S532UL, but I finaly desided against it. I like FSG-462UL better then S532UL (FSG-462UL is about twice the cost, not exactly fair competition).

    Now to the blank power and action… I’ve actually measured it. S532UL is true UL power (CCS is 44 penny) moderate-fast action (not fast!). Blank stiffness is the same as in FSG-462UL (29 RFI vs 28 RFI). S602UL is closer to light power (56 penny), it is fast action. RFI is 31. For details about CCS and RFI I suggest reading Tom Davis (teton tenkara) article. Here is spec comparison with some other rods I own:

    Length Lure Line Wt. CCS RFI Act ALen Clen
    MajorCraft FSG-462UL 4’6″/2 1-8g 2-6lb 75 40 29 MF 138 72
    Kuying TTS-642UL 6’4″/2 1-4g 2-4lb 66 41 22 MF 192 99
    Tsurinoya S532UL 5’3″/2 1-7g 2-6lb 70 44 28 MF 160 83
    MajorCraft FAX-642L/G 6’4″/2 1-7g 1.5-5lb 78 45 23 F 194 99
    Tsurinoya S602UL 6’0″/2 1-7g 2-6lb 78 56 31 F 181 93
    Tailwalk S51L-P4 5’1″/4 1-7g 2-6lb 80 58 37 M 156 42
    Daiwa SMD664ULFS 6’6″/4 1-7g 2-6lb 110 58 29 M 199 55
    MajorCraft CRX-T762L 7’6″/2 0.5-7g 1-6lb 82 75 33 F 230 118
    MajorCraft BIS-644UL 6’4″/4 1-7g 3-7lb 90 82 43 MF 191 51

    Length is length specificatin / number of sections. Wt. is weight in grams. Act is action (actual observed, moderate/moderate-fast/fast), Alen is measured full length (cm), Clen is measured disassembled length (cm). Review format does not allow proper table insertion, please copy table to some text editor and apply fixed width font to view comfortably.

    I’ll be focusing on S602UL below (I did not fish or perform proper casting tests with S532UL).

    Rigging the rod. I believe the S602UL is designed with a braided line in mind. I’ve tried 2lb TroutMagnet SOS line 0.16mm and 4lb #1 0.165mm fluorocarbon (Daiwa JDM) – and I did not like both for these rods. SOS works fine, but casting distance is not great. Fluorocarbon line make noise during cast and the distance is more “not great”. These line options would be OK for creeks, but even there I would pick braided line because of better visibility and sensitivity… I think the best line option for these rods are .6PE braid line (I used Shimano G5) with 3′ of 5lb fluorocarbon leader, connected with Alberto knot. I was afraid the knot may hit rings during cast, but it never does for me (I did more than one hundred casts paying close attention to it, line offset between rod tip and a lure was about 6″). I see S602UL has unusually big rings number 3 and 4 (tip is 1), it may be intentional to let the knot pass freely. Japanese .6PE braid is marketed in the US as “6lb”, for instance Daiwa Jbraid 6lb is .6PE. US/Chinese 6lb braid is usually thicker than .6PE. 5lb fluorocarbon is .185mm, 4lb also works fine. Just be aware that weak spots would be knots, and for a 4lb leader it would be actually 3lb or less breaking strength. For the longest casting distance I suggest making the line offset more than 3′ long – so the entire leader is outside the rings… Two handed cast with long offset and 1/8oz kastmaster goes as far as I ever wanted to cast in a lake.

    Lure selection and sensitivity. I’ll say S602UL is great for casting, but it is not very sensitive. It does cast trout magnet surprisingly far (about 40′ with SOS 2lb line, 5′ further than Kuying TTS-642UL), but for me sensitivity is not sufficient (I can feel TM when I twitch it, but I can not say is it on the bottom or not and what exactly it is doing). I do not like S602UL for 2g or less lure class, I suggest Kuying TTS-642UL for it if you shop for cheap rods (better sensitivity). I’ve tried 2.5g/3.5g/4g/7g spoons with it, and I’ll say the sweet spot is 3.5/4g (1/8oz). The best casting distance with braid is Kastmaster 1/8oz. 1/4oz (7g) casts comfortably, but flies about the same distance as Kastmaster 1/8. 2.5g is about 1/3 closer then Kastmaster (I suggest MajorCraft CRX-T762L for 2.5g spoons if long cast distance is needed). For a 2.5g spoon I have trouble understanding is spoon “working” or not on slow retrieval looking at the rod tip. I’ve tested 45-48mm JDM minnows (both slow sinking and heavy sinking, 3.5-4.5g). I think it is the perfect lures for the rod – rod cast it far (not Kastmaster far of course – about 2.5g spoon far or closer). Rod is just the right sensitivity to feel the lure but to not have your hands ringing after fishing it. It is the right stiffness to control the lure. Yo Zuri L-minnow 44mm (5g) also works great, but it is close to the top border of rod stiffness because of significant resistance. 60mm JDM minnow (6g) works, but I think stiffer rod would be better (too much lure resistance). I’ve tried casting 8-9g jigs carefully just to test rod ability – it casts it actually well if you do long line offset.

    Fighting the fish… No fish yet for me (too much snow in the mountains this year), so nothing to report yet. I do not expect problems based on static testing results. I’ll update the review if I find any.

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