Nissin Fine Mode 330
by John W
The right way to buy a rod to is to tell Chris what you hope to do with it, and also be very honest with yourself about what conditions you fish in most often. I wanted something lighter than my 7ft Wt4 flyrod and asked about the Kiyotaki. Since the bulk of my fishing these days is from a dock or kayak on a freshwater pond, he suggested I consider the Nissin Fine Mode 330.
Wise advice, very wise advice.
Although I had small fish in mind, he pointed out that I had room and would probably want the longer casting distance. To play it safe, I rigged the rod with 10ft #3 level line and a 3ft 6X tippet. Caught a bluegill on my second cast, and many more in the next hour. I have used #14 soft hackle flies, wooly buggers, and small streamers. They all seem to work well.
Something that I had not noticed before is that pumpkinseeds are significantly stronger than bluegills. A six inch example of either will bend this rod nearly in half. Not as true of crappie, the largest fish I have caught with it so far. The other day, I thought I had a smallmouth on the line, and it turned out to be a six inch white perch. This species is often overlooked, but it is THE fighter. If these are the sort of fish you catch most often (be honest), you will really enjoy this rod.
Don't use anything heavier than a 6X or 2lb tippet. I've had to break off on snags, and this is not a cheap rod.
I've found myself wanting more distance, so I am learning to cast a 20ft line. My first attempts with a 4ft leader resulted in hideous tangles, so right now I have an 18 inch leader and intend to go to 3ft when I get better.
This is based on a whole two days of long line experience, but I can tell you, yes it can be done, and no it isn't easy.
What I've learned so far is to let the 330 do the work for you. What the Tenkara masters advise about cutting your muscle to 1/4 power is true. This is a matter of momentum, not raw force. I've done false casts (western dry fly habit, can't break it) until the rod and line feel very smooth.The cast is fairly slow, and again, it is the rod that is loading and transferring the work for me. If I have it just right, everything lays out straight. If not the line falls in a curve, and I have too much slack to hook a fish if it decides to strike just then. But practice will make progress.
I wanna land a legal sized smallmouth with this thing. That's why I now want the distance. I know they hang around picking off the small bluegills.
I'll let you know what happens.
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