In many respects fishing reels are much easier to develop than rods and accessories. Assuming the engineering and design is of the highest quality, as is the case with all Shimano reels, the quality of the finished product is easy to assess. Smoothness, advanced features and build quality are all tangible areas that are immediately obvious . . . but what about rods?
Rods are completely different. The quality of the materials used in the construction may be of the highest specification, but if the rod doesn’t feel right to you, the angler, it’s of little use. Rods have to have the correct playing action. Some have to have excellent casting performance, other’s need to be immensely strong to cope with the demands of a certain style of fishing. Rods are a very personal thing which is one of the reasons why Shimano have a world wide team of hand picked angling consultants and some of the best rod designers in the world.
Shimano rod designers are first and foremost excellent fishermen who understand what is required from a new rod design. They consult with specific Shimano angling consultants, who have been chosen for their outstanding angling ability, and work closely together to achieve the correct result. Once a new rod has been produced in its prototype form it is tested by the consultant and modifications are made until both the designer and consultant are happy with the performance. It is then ‘field tested’ over an extended period by the consultants to ensure that it meets all expectations.
Once the testing is finished and the designers and consultants are satisfied, it is then ready for production. During the manufacturing process, quality control checks are constantly made to ensure that the finished result meets the highest standards. Samples of the new rod are then sent back to the designer and consultants for final checking.
The Shimano rod design process has been developed over many years to ensure that when you pick up a new Shimano rod it not only feels correct, but will never let you down when you are fishing.