A proper Eging rod makes a huge difference.
I have an Daiwa E-*** but I'm planning on both a Tenyru Brigade and a Yamashita Feeling Shaft along with a super long Auto King net/gaff system. My net is ok close to the water but useless at any height.
After you have used an Eging rod there is no going back. They really are that much better at not pulling the Egi's out under the powerful lunges of a big Ika.
Remember, they get to over 3 kg and so do the Sepia. They are a serious weight to hold and most rods are great for the initial part of the fight until the very light holds get tested. If the rods don't give and recover quickly (but smoothly), you lose alot.