Shimano Cardiff Native Special

The first time I fished the Shimano Cardiff Native Special S42UL-3 was on a stream running about 30 CFS. I spent the day fishing Smith AR-S 2g spinners and Daiwa Presso Eve 1.2g spoons. Although rod is rated for lures up to 7 grams (1/4 oz), I see the short 3-piece rod as one you would use on small headwaters streams. Where I fish, I just can't see fishing a 7 gram lure in a small stream.

Of course, if you've planned a fishing vacation and will fly to get there, the three-piece rod will fit in a carry-on. You may very well be fishing somewhere you will want larger lures, even for smaller streams.

Angler holding Shimano Cardiff Native Special rod and small brown trout.

I had a "many" day and got a pretty good feel for the rod (at least with light lures). The rod is light, accurate, convenient and flexible enough to have fun with the smaller fish you expect to catch in the smaller streams.

Small trout stream. Low clear water.

The second time I fished the rod, it was on a stream running at just 6 CFS, which is a lot closer to what I consider to be headwaters levels. On that day and on that stream, accuracy was paramount. You want to bring your lure past the fish; you don't want to drop it on its head! You also want to get under the low branches, not in the branches!

I spent that day, too, fishing lightweight lures, 1.5 and 2 gram spinners (Smith AR-S and Daiwa Silver Creek), plus 1.2 and 1.5 gram spoons (Daiwa Presso Eve and Shimano Slim Swimmer). On that particular day, the spinners outfished the spoons (they don't always).

To me, the best thing about a 4'2" rod is that you can do an underhand cast so easily. Not sure if "underhand cast" is an accepted term because there are so few rods short enough to actually do it that it can't be common and thus might not have a name. Basically, point your rod at your toes, do a quick flick of the wrist, back to load the rod and then forward to make the cast.

You can get a nice, low trajectory so you can cast under overhanging branches. One of the best things about a flexible, UL 4'2" rod is that a 2 gram lure will load it well enough to give you all the distance you'll need on a small stream.

Angler holding small brown trout caught with brown spinner

Another great thing about a flexible UL rod is that catching the small headwaters fish fun. I am very definitely of the opinion that your fishing will be more enjoyable if you match your equipment to the fish you expect to catch. On the same stream pictured above, I once saw a guy fishing with a salt water rod and reel better suited to bluefish than trout (and not snapper blues, either). I don't think he caught anything, but I can't imagine it would have been much fun even if he did.

Angler holding small brook trout

The Shimano Cardiff Native Special S42UL-3 is a fun rod and "Native Special" is the ideal name for it.

Shimano Cardiff Native Special Specs

Rod Weight
Line Weight
Lure Weight

Native (stream)

2.6 oz
2 - 6 lb
1-7g (1/32-1/4oz)
Made in Indonesia


Domestic shipping is $12.50 for three-piece or four-piece rods, via USPS Priority Mail. Domestic shipping for two-piece rods is $15.50, via UPS ground. The shipping charge will be added to your order automatically.

Please note: UPS will not deliver to a PO Box. If you order a two-piece rod please provide a street address rather than a PO Box address.

International shipping is by USPS First Class Mail International if the value of the order is under $400 AND the package is shorter than 24". If the value is over $400 OR the package is longer than 24", shipping is by USPS Priority Mail International. The shipping charge depends on the destination, weight, length and value of the package.

Import Duties and Taxes

International purchases may be subject to import duties and taxes. I cannot keep track of all import regulations in all countries written in all languages. Understanding and paying import duties and taxes is the responsibility of the buyer.

Russia no longer ships to Russia.

UK no longer ships to the UK.
The new VAT regulations are too onerous for a one-man shop that rarely ships anything to the UK anyway. I apologize.

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The hooks are sharp.
The coffee's hot.
The fish are slippery when wet.