December 3, 2016

Suntech GM Seikei Keiryu Special 27 -- on the water

In my last post I mentioned that I didn't want to fish with the GM27, since it was on loan from Chris. However, shortly after posting that comment, Chris contacted me and said it was OK to fish with it. So, with his permission, I took the GM27 to a nearby small stream to test it out.

The conditions were less than perfect, mainly that the temperatures have dropped over the past week and the water temperature of smaller streams is getting to the point that affects trout activity. The air was 25° F and the water was down to 36° F. Still, I caught a few browns and rainbows.

The rod casts really nicely with a a #2.5-3 line. I used a 7 foot line with 2.5 feet of tippet. Standard overhead casts, as well as side arm casts were easily executed. Specialty casts like air roll cast, slingshot cast and steeple casts also were done easily, even with a weighted fly. Just a flick of the wrist was all that was needed to get the fly to it's intended target.

The 8 inch trout that I hooked didn't tax the rod in any way, and I was able to easily keep them out of the numerous underwater snags of the creek I fished.  Hook sets were quick and sharp.

I love this rod! For my streams, and the type of fishing I do in them, if I needed a 270 cm rod, I'd buy this one. What a great little rod!

November 29, 2016

Two New Suntech Rods from TenkaraBum -- rod #1

I really like the GM Suikei Kieryu Special rods from Suntech. I bought my first one in April of 2013, just after they were brought to the US by TenkaraBum. It was the GM39 and I have found that rod to be the best "all-arounder" for the streams I fish and the fish I catch. It casts a light line really well, but it doesn't bat an eye at a tungsten beadhead nymph. If I'm fishing new water that's fast flowing, or has the rumor of larger trout, I take the GM39.

Because I like the GM39 so much, a few years later I purchased a GM44. It too is a triple zoom rod like the GM39, but it starts at 360 cm, then to 400 cm, and finally finishes at 440 cm. I have found it to be just as versatile as the GM39, albeit a little heavier. I have also found that once a rod goes over 400 cm I pretty much have to use two hands to cast it (unless its crazy light and balanced like the Gamakatsu Ryokei 45 or Dawia Sagiri 45MC). With the GM44 I can cast the rod nicely at 440 cm, but I much prefer the shorter lengths. I really like this rod for wide open rivers that have faster current.

One of my favorite streams in Oregon, where I always use the GM44.

Now, TenkaraBum has the new Suntech GM Suikei Keiryu Special 27! Yes, that's right, a 270 cm rod in the same family. However, unlike it's longer siblings, the GM27 is a fixed length rod. I would die and go to heaven if Suntech released a zoom rod for small streams, like 240-270-300 cm, but I don't think that would ever happen. That rod is not part of their marketing strategy. But the good news is that the GM27 is a really excellent rod!

I'm not going to give a detailed description of the GM27 because it looks very similar to its sibling rods. That said, it is a sharp looking rod, like all of Suntech's rods. The butt cap is smaller and does not have a zoom post and the tip plug is just that, a plug -- not a Fuji FTC-12 universal cap.

Tip plug (left) and butt cap (right)

The rod is very lightweight, coming in at 28.4 g without the tip plug. It is perfectly balanced and casts a light level line, oh, so wonderfully. Because the rod is on loan I did not fish with it (as a don't want to damage my trust with Chris) but I did cast the rod for quite some time in the front yard. I used a #2 level fluorocarbon line and the rod fairly flicks the fly to its destination. It's a very nice casting rod!

Fully nested, the rod is 54 cm. Fully extended it's 274 cm. I measure it at 13.5 pennies, giving it an RFI of 4.9. That's pretty close to perfect, if not dead on!  It's a gem of a small rod and would be really a great choice if your small streams don't have really fast currents or 14+ inch fishing them.

So there you go. Another outstanding rod option for those of you (like me) who relish small streams and the fish that inhabit them.  You can get a Suntech GM Suikei Keiryu Special 27 from Chris at TenkaraBum. Hurry, I bet they'll go fast!

Addendum: Chris wrote and gave me permission to fish the rod, so I'll see if I can get it on the water soon. It has snowed recently and a lot of my smaller streams may be hard to get to now. But I'll give it a go and keep you updated.

Disclaimer: My opinion regarding this rod is just that, my opinion. Your opinion may differ.  Also, your rod may not have the same length, issues, or functionality as my rod. There are variations between rods, even in the same production run. No description can fully tell you how a rod feels or fishes. For this, you must personally hold, cast, and fish the rod then make up your own mind. 
I receive advertising revenue from TenkaraBum, but this does not imply a favorable review of their products. I was loaned the rod for review and it was returned to Chris.

November 24, 2016

Small Stream Rainbows

Recently, before the snow started to fly, I fished a small stream that I find very challenging. It runs near a campground, so I don't go there in the summer, when it is frequented by campers.

I usually start my fishing near an irrigation diversion and work my way upstream. This stream is very fun in the spring, and it usually has more water than than it does this time of year. The water is very clear and the trout can be seen in the shallower reaches, making site fishing possible. This time I even caught a rainbow with just my net, as I snuck up on him and scooped him up!

I used the modified Zen Suzume with a 6 foot line and 2.5 feet of tippet. This makes for some very close fishing, so stealth is of prime importance. This is my favorite type of fishing.

I don't know if anyone else fishes this stream but I find it very productive, if I can get all the things right -- right stealth, rod length, line length, tippet length and fly. Also, if the light is low it is better as well.

Here is the video of my trip, with some of the fish. The largest is a little longer than 13 inches. That's really nice for this size of stream!

Happy Thanksgiving!

November 20, 2016


I we finally received some snow. Eastern Idaho, like much of the country, has been experiencing a delayed winter. However, we finally received some snow this week and the temperatures have dropped.

Despite this, I decided to do a little fishing. I drove into one of the canyons and walked down to the stream bottom. The air temperature was 42°F (a high for the day) and the water was 38°F. I fished for only an hour; the cutthroats were a little off due to the sudden change in weather.

The fish I did take were bright and beautiful. The largest was 12 inches and put up a respectable fight on the Try 360.  The trout took beadheads, despite the water being low. I couldn't induce any interest in wool bodies kebari and I wasn't willing to get skunked, so beadheads saved the day. I had to place the fly directly on the fish's nose to induce the take.

Anyway, I didn't fish long; didn't need to. It was fun, but it was cold. I've not acclimatized to the cold yet. Winter fishing is coming on! I can't wait!