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The “Native” is a new-model baitcasting rod that joins the already extensive Shimano Raider family of spin and baitcasting rods. Power-wise it sits between the evergreen Barra Raider and the excellent, lightweight Bass Raider. At 1.88m or 6 foot in imperial terms, it is rated for 4-8kg line and casting weights of 7-28g.

The Toray graphite shaft has an attractive satin copper appearance and is fitted with full length cork grips and Fuji aluminium oxide guides. For those who prefer a slightly softer action rod to the “Barra” version, the Native fills that niche nicely. The Shimano Caenan baitcaster is a good, mid-entry-level offering with plenty of the features found on higher-grade reels: a 6.3:1 gear ratio, high-efficiency gearing, VBS centrifugal cast control and 4 plus 1 stainless steel ball bearings. I teamed the Native with the new Shimano Caenan 150A spooled with 30 pound Power Pro braid for this evaluation.

This combo represents a good value for money outfit that you could comfortably take use on any of our native freshwater fish and is also suitable for tossing lures for barra and the like. Personally, I liked the Native; it cast well and handled the barra I caught nicely indeed. Interestingly, there was no external adjustment for the centrifugal cast control (accessed by opening the palming side-plate) on the Caenan. However, once set, I really didn’t see the need to alter it again. One of my fishing mates grabbed it to have a few casts and I think he quite liked the combo as I had to wrestle it back from his sweaty grasp at the end of the session.

For those with a budget who desire a quality baitcasting outfit, you could do no better than to take a close look at this combo which should retail under the $300.00 mark.


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