Casting Practice: Getting To Know The Diawa Seiryu X 45
by Alan Luecke
(Kansas City, MO)
Seiryu X with big Striped Shiner
I bought my first fixed line rod four years ago (one of the last Soyokaze's). Since then my collection has expanded considerably, although with out much of a plan. This past year I've come to realize that my fishing style, rather than being inconsistent and unfocused, was in fact two (at least) styles developing in parallel.
The pattern was set in my second and third rods, a Diawa Kiyose 33SF and a Nissin Zerosum 360 6:4. The Zerosum is pure Tenkara; light, soft and elegant. The 33SF is everything else. But Tenkara and Keiryu aren't really the right words since I fish Tenkara with non Tenkara rods and I use Keiryu rods for all kinds of things besides Keiryu. I've found my self thinking Soft vs. Firm, Trout vs.Multispecies, Modern Tenkara vs. Get'er Done. Truth be told I spend most of my time on Get'er Done. Mainly Kiyose's in various lengths rigged as needed to catch what's in front of me.
This last year has been an intense mix. While the Streamer Challenge was my big project and great fun the high point of the year was spending pure Tenkara time with Masami Sakabari at the Oni School and then later with Tom Davis on Crane Creek.
My Tenkara/Soft/Trout rods start with the Zerosum 360 for unweighted flies and then the Tenkarabum 36 for heavier flies and heavier fish. I've got lot's of small rods but the Soyokaze is still the one to beat with the Kurenai HM30R it's own little piece of casting heaven. The Suntech GM Suikei Keiryu Special 39 (the rod with many names) is my all around take it to work and fish at lunch rod, but also a very nice casting rod for Tenkara. I first used it mainly at 39 but have recently been finding the 32 length with a short line to be very nice.
So, I'm fairly set from 27 to 39, but what about that 400 to 450 slot, the upper end of true one handed Tenkara. I wasn't in a hurry but figured at some point I would buy a nice long Tenkara rod, something from Suntech or Nissin, or perhaps a boutique Oni or Tanuki.
Enter the Diawa Seiryu X 45. This rod is sweet and a real surprise for the price. I can't say that it would be the best casting rod in a side by side test with a Zerosum or Kurenai, but my first impression is very positive.
The rod is light. There is no tip heaviness and it will roll out a pretty loop and drop a fly on the water with very little effort. At the Oni School the preferred cast began with a crisp back cast and stop followed by a forward motion that got it's power from dropping the elbow rather that snapping the forearm. This was followed by a clean but soft stop with light finger pressure at the end. This motion works perfectly with the Seiryu X. I do find myself consciously slowing down my cast compared to some of my stiffer rods.
I've yet to catch a trout on this rod but blue gill and big shiners are pure fun. I got the rod envisioning early mornings on St. Pete's beach in Florida catching whiting out of the surf line (oops, once again my pure Tenkara thoughts are wandering in to Get'er Done territory).
The Seiryu X has the same penny rating as the Zerosum but is better at casting bead head flies. A size 12 UKB with a 7/64 brass bead (my usual starting point for most fishing) is a little clunky on the Zerosum but does just fine on the Seiryu X.
My long Tenkara rod slot is nicely filled and for $145 I'm thrilled. It's not a big fish rod but does it's thing very well and if big fish are available I always bring a Kiyose.
Walk softly and carry a long stick. - Teddy Roosevelt (almost)
Tenkara has no strict rules. Enjoy tenkara in your own way.
- Eiji Yamakawa
“The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten” – Benjamin Franklin