Daiwa Kiyose 43M

The Daiwa Kiyose 43M is this year's model (black and mauve), which is a minor makeover of the popular 43MF (black and blue). The rod really shows Daiwa's commitment to quality. It is not a heavy rod, yet it feels substantial. You can tell right away that it is a rod with which you can battle very nice fish and expect to win.

For me the rod was a very pleasant surprise. It was not at all what I was looking for when I imported the first one for evaluation. Looking at the specs in the Daiwa catalog, I thought it might be the "stiffer Ito" that more than a few tenkara anglers had said that they wanted. It's not. It is roughly the same length as the Ito, it does zoom, and it is stiffer, but it and the Ito are apples and oranges. The Ito is long and whippy. The 43M is long and beefy.

Instead of replacing the Ito, what the Daiwa Kiyose 43M really does is give you a rod that is light in hand, can be fished at either 12.5' or 14' and will handle a wide range of fish sizes.

Photo copyright Teton Tenkara. Used with permission.

The soft tip sections allow you to cast a light line and to get a very delicate presentation. Although most US anglers use a heavier line, the 43M will cast a size 3 line very nicely. The top few sections bend easily enough that 8-10" fish are fun, but if your delicate presentation yields a hog of a fish, the rod will be able to handle it. The Daiwa designers managed to create a sensitive rod that is remarkably beefy and doesn't feel like a club.

Chris - The Daiwa Kiyose 43M treated me real well on the Green! It can handle big fish...unbelievable! Got a lot of strange looks and comments, but I did not care. I was hooking and landing many trout on BWO's, dries, nymphs an the Ut. Killer Bugs!

Larry F, Colorado

Do not think that this is just a trout rod. I have fished with it quite a bit in Maine on my smallmouth bass trips and I would have to say it is a very nice bass rod. It can easily handle the heavier line you might want to fish with bigger flies. I fished big kebari and big streamers, and the rod performed admirably. I am absolutely certain that it could handle bass much larger than the one shown below. John Vetterli, of the Tenkara Guides in Salt Lake City has caught "lots of carp with the 43MF."

Rods of 4.3-4.5 meters are about as long as you can cast one handed. With the Daiwa Kiyose 43M's light weight and good balance, you can easily cast it one handed and have the other hand free for your wading staff. However, if you've had a shoulder injury or for whatever reason need to take it a little easier, consider using both hands to cast.

Fred Krowchenko of Spey Casting North East demonstrating the two handed cast

I spent a day with Fred Krowchenko and Jerry Jahn of Spey Casting North East a couple years ago. I had a few 5.3 and 6.2 meter rods I wanted to try out but I also had my Daiwa Kiyose 43MF in my rod bag. They both raved about the 43MF as an insanely light two handed rod. I kept telling them it was a one handed rod. They kept telling me to try it. Casting with two hands it really is insanely light! I think spey-kara has real potential for larger rivers.

If you are thinking about exploring the longer keiryu rods, whether for tenkara fishing or for keiryu fishing as practiced in Japan, the Daiwa Kiyose 43M is an excellent rod with which to start. You can practice two handed techniques without being committed to a rod that can only be fished two handed. In a sense, it is the tenkara or keiryu equivalent of a switch rod - one which can be used either one handed or two handed. This is one extremely versatile rod.

Daiwa Kiyose 43M Features

Perhaps the most noticeable feature of the Kiyose 43M is the fairly wide blank that transitions into the grip with no steps or flare. The grip section is wide enough, the non-skid is effective enough, and the rod is light enough that I don't think you'll miss the cork.

There's a lot to be said for not having cork. Keiryu rod grips are just a nonskid coating right on the blank. That gives you the benefit of a non skid grip, but it also gives you unmatched sensitivity. You can feel what the rod is doing. You can feel what the fly is doing. And you can certainly feel what the fish is doing.

Plus, all the money that doesn't go into expensive cork either goes into the blank or stays in your pocket, and neither of those things is bad.

The grip cap is either a plastic or a composite, and comes with a slot so that it can be tightened with a coin, a hole for ventilation and a rubber "O" ring to keep it from loosening when you are on the stream.

Instead of the tip plug found on most tenkara rods, the 43M comes with an external tenkara rod cap that is quite similar to the Fuji KTC-16. It provides a very secure closure and allow you to keep your line attached when you are using the cap.

The rod comes with a nylon rod sock which, while not at all fancy, is more than adequate to protect the finish from scrapes and scratches. As with all the other Japanese rods, it comes packaged in a plastic display case and neither has nor needs a hard travel case.

Keep last section collapsed for 3.8m length

Extend last section for 4.3m length

The Daiwa Kiyose 43M weighs 3.2 ounces with the tip cap and 2.9 ounces without it. The collapsed length is 21 1/2". To the nearest inch, the extended lengths are 12'7" and 14'1". There are 9 sections. The penny measurements are 28 at the 12.5' length at 31 at 14'.

All in all, this is a wonderful rod for someone who wants a beefy 7:3 rod for big fish or big flies (or both) and is still remarkably light in hand.

Please note: Fuji EZ Keepers will fit on the Daiwa Kiyose 43M but only if you replace the "O" rings with larger ones from a hardware store. I would recommend a pair of the Small Tenkara Line Holders instead.



Daiwa Kiyose 43M - $160

Rod made in China.


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Hooking fish was easy since this rod is definitely not a 5:5 rod. And fighting power? Oh yes, this rod has power! I am sure this rod could handle a larger fish without much issue. The rod is fun with smaller fish too. I caught many fish in the 8-12 inch range. The rod never felt too over gunned for these guys since the tip has excellent sensitivity.

Tom D, Idaho
Teton Tenkara blog

I set up the Daiwa Kiyose 43 and boy is that a powerhouse. Having all that reach is just fantastic. I think this rod can handle about any fish (sans Steelhead) I am likely to tangle with on big water. Of course it is not really like the lightweight rods but I think it may be just the ticket for hopper droppers later this year. You can really tell that you are fishing with a big beefy rod but it still feels very light in the hand.

Roger H, West Virginia

I finally landed a carp today. 26" from nose to the v of the tail. It took 20 minutes with the Kiyose 43MF and a home tied crayfish fly (no it wasn't blue, damn) on 5x tippet. I was at a small city lake with a mowed bank that let me move freely with the fish. The stamina of a big carp is amazing. It was almost at my feet six or eight times only to turn and make a deep run nearly as strong as its first.

The rod spent the entire time bent nearly double but never felt out of control.

Alan L, Missouri

Really nice rod for big water big fish.

John V, Utah

I just fished the Blue River in Dillon, CO that is running at 800 cfs (normally 100 cfs). The Kiyose 43MF handled 18-22" bows with ease, yet was able to cast the thingamabobber, 3 lead split shot and a 3 fly rig. Casts to a seam in the middle of the river were accurate and easy to make. I don't think I would have landed as many fish had I used a Western fly rod with a reel.

Mike W, Colorado

These 20 inch plus beauties were all caught (and safely released) on the Madison River, Montana. The football sized rainbow took a black killer bugger. The 43M is a phenomenal rod - has the muscle to handle big fish, but it's softer tip can cast size 18 dry flies or weighted streamers with ease. Never had a rod that can do so much. Your help and advice getting this rod in my hands (and the Suntech Fieldmaster 39 as well) are so appreciated. You are one-of-a-kind Chris. Thank you.

Roger H, Ohio

Here's a nice carp I caught on a green butt skunk steelhead fly (I guess carp do eat flies) with my Kiyose 43MF. I was using 5x tippet and to my surprise I was able to control the fish with no issues. What a great rod!

Nob L, California

I was purposely trying to catch the gar with the killer bugger. I let it pass after it didn't take hoping not to scare it, then on my backcast accidentally hooked it in the back. Pretty good fight but the Diawa handled it perfectly!

Jeff R, Texas

Dolores River 19 incher.

Bill L, Colorado

Small Tenkara Line Holder