September 28, 2012

Micro-fishing Idaho Style

A few weeks ago I fished a small stream that runs through my boyhood hometown. The stream is small and very tight and I had trouble fishing it with even a 9 ft rod. After that outing I ordered a Shimotsuke Kiyotaki 24 from Chris at Tenkara Bum.  I have been dying to try it out ever since receiving it.

The Kiyotaki 24 is a very short rod coming in at 7' 10". Even at that, Chris carries one that is even shorter! When I took the Kiyotaki 24 out of its case my 17 year old daughter said, "look, it's Harry Potter's wand". It sort of looks like a wand when compared to the other rods I have.

(Tippet cassette for size comparison)

The rod itself comes in a plastic carton, like a lot of Japanese rods. It is amazingly light. The carton says it weighs 29 g, but mine actually weigh 31.9 g (oh, horror!) without the tip cap. The lilian is attached with a micro swivel, just like some of my Daiwa rods, and the handle has stripes of anti-slip gripping. For a more detailed description of the rod please see Chris's website.

As for the Kiyotaki 24's action, I'd call it about a 7:3. It is fairly brisk, especially when compared to the other micro rod I have -- Soyokaze 9'.  This made me wonder how the Kiyotaki 24's on the water performance would be.

To test the rod out I headed to my local trout stream so see if I could catch a few of the little resident cutthroats. After driving 15 minutes I pulled over and walked down into canyon to find a suitable spot. The stream is small, 3 feet wide at most, and this time of year it is very low. There are not a lot of trees causing a canopy, but there are willows everywhere making casting a challenge. Most of the open spots are less than 10 feet wide, so using a long rod to cast in under the branches is almost impossible. I thought this would be a great place to catch some small fishes.

A fairly open section of stream

The local environ

I started with a #3, 8 foot line with 16 inches of tippet. At first I tried a sakasa kebari-type fly but the water was just too shallow to even drift the fly! So, after a few tries, I changed to a #12 parachute Royal Wulff. I added an extra foot of 5X tippet (Chris recommends 6X but I didn't have any on me) and started casting to the little pools under the willows. After a few minutes a trout rose and took the fly -- Bam!! I raised the rods and set the hook. Suddenly I realized that I had not hook a fingerling or minnow but a descent sized trout! The fight was on! The fish shot back under the willow branches, but I am happy to say that the little rod had plenty of power to carefully horse him out and into my hands! It was not a micro fish but a 11 inch cutthroat!

My first "micro-fish" with the Kiyotaki 24

Most of the next hour was similar. I had a great time trying to keep the fish off my fly. It seemed that at almost every likely spot I hooked and landed a fish. Most were 6-7 inches, but another one came in just under 12"!

Almost 12" cutthroat on a micro-rod!
My assessment of this little rod is this: It is fun!! It casts well. It fits in your pocket. It weighs next to nothing. It has plenty of backbone for little (and sometimes not so little) fish. I definitely like it and will use it where my other rods can't go! Maybe I better use 6X tippet like Chris recommends since Idaho micro-fishing is not always so micro!!


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks. It's a fun little rod that has its own niche.


  2. Tom, thank you for the review. I think your last comment sums up the rod pretty neatly. Use it where your other rods can't go.

  3. The 1.8 is like a chopstick, the 2.1 is a harry potter wand: both are magical for up to 12 inchers, and can be used for larger fish, but it's a challenge. The 2.4 and 2.7 are tools for the grown over creeks where longer rods just won't let you raise a rod to land a fish. These are the same area in which you'd use a 6' 1-2 wt western fly twig rod. If you are a serious twig stalker, these are tools that fill the gap.

    1. I haven't seen the shorter rods but "chopsticks" sounds about right!


  4. That's a really awesome looking little rod. My question is, how big of a fish could you catch with that little rod without it breaking? Does it feel pretty strong? Hard to believe you can have such a nice rod come in a small cardboard box like that. Would it fit in a normal truck glove box?


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