January 9, 2017

Suntech Suikei TenkaraBum 33 -- completion of the TenkaraBum troika

As you know, I have and fish both the TenkaraBum 36 and the TenkaraBum 40 tenkara rods. I really like both rods and I think that they have greatly expanded the rod choices for discriminating tenkara anglers worldwide. They are engineered with modern materials and are manufactured to Japanese perfection. They are really a breath of fresh air in the rapidly expanding world of tenkara fishing.

Well, now there's the TenkaraBum 33. This little rod completes the TenkaraBum series and is a great addition for those looking for a shorter rod for smaller streams. The TenkaraBum 33 has the good looks of its bigger brothers, but it's not just a shorter TB36. Here's what Chris says on his website:

"The TenkaraBum 33 shares a design philosophy with the TenkaraBum 36 but it is not just the 36 with one less section. It is a different rod constructed on a different blank with a slightly different design goal. The goal for the TenkaraBum 36 was for an all-around rod for how American tenkara anglers fish (with weighted nymphs and with dry flies in addition to the unweighted wets used in Japan)." 

The TB33 is a very capable rod for smaller streams. It has the ability to finesse cast a tight loop into those well protected spots (tightly protected under willow branches) so common in smaller streams, and yet it also has the stiffness and power to initiate a quick hook set and power the fish out away from the snags. This is exactly what is needed for my smaller streams. I find that softer or slower rods have the advantage that they load easily and can lay a fly down gently, but they have a very hard time setting the hook quickly and in powering the large trout away from underwater snags. In small waters, you have only milliseconds to act to keep the fish from diving under weed or snag and breaking off. With small trout it's no problem, but a 14 inch brown taken in a creek only a few feet wide is a challenge for any rod. The TB33 is up to the task.

I find that the TB33 answers best to a heavier level line, like a #3.5 -4. Small waters don't require lighter lines, because it's easy to keep a shorter line off the water, even a #4 line. The TB33 will cast unweighted flies and beadheads equally well. With a quick, powerful cast you can propel your fly to its intended target with conviction and accuracy.

Here are some measurements of the TenkaraBum 33:

Fully collapsed: 57 cm
Fully extended: 331 cm
Weight (without tip plug): 70.7 g
CCS rating: 23 pennies
RFI: 6.9

Conclusion: This rod completes the TenkaraBum series of tenkara rods and is an excellent rod for smaller waters and/or tighter canopies. It's fast and powerful and would be a welcome addition to any angler's quiver of rods!

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 and it was returned to Chris Stewart.

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