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Suntech Genryuko

The Suntech Genryuko is Suntech's headwaters rod (genryu = headwaters, ko = child). It makes an excellent rod for fishing weighted nymphs, with a sensitive tip and lots of backbone for good hooksets.

Very early on I realized that traditional tenkara rods were not well suited to fishing deep or fishing heavy nymphs. The force required to straighten and tighten the line when the nymph was 2-3' deep was more than the soft rods could generate. To a large extent, instead of producing a solid hookset, the rod just bent from the resistance of trying to pull the line through the water.

The Daiwa Kiyose SF series of rods became the "go to" rods for tenkara anglers wanting to fish heavy nymphs. The Suntech Genryuko is designed to fill the same niche. It is a rod designed for backpacking into the headwaters and collapses to a backpack friendly 15.375 inches. It is slightly more "tip action" than the Daiwa, but only slightly.

The Genryuko is ideal for Czech or Polish nymphing. The rod is stiff enough to keep you in constant contact with your nymph. You must be in contact with the nymph because the fish will spit it out almost immediately. The hard bead head and tension on the line are dead giveaways that something isn't right. If you don't react instantly, and if the hook doesn't catch on the way out, you'll feel the hit but miss the fish.

The slightly softer tip sections of the Suntech Genryuko will give a bit more than those of the Kiyose, so the there will not be quite as much tension on the line.  The softer tip sections also make casting an unweighted wet or dry a bit easier, but this is still first and foremost a nymphing rod - or a lantern fishing rod (very short line, headwaters bait fishing), which is how it is used in Japan).

Behind the slightly softer tip section, the very firm midsection and stiff butt make the Genryuko 36 stiffer overall than than the Kiyose 36SF.

If you will be fishing the Genryuko with a tenkara line, I would recommend the Nissin PALS SP Pro 3.6 for the Genryuko 36 and either the Nissin PALS SP Pro 3.6 or 4.0 for the Genryuko 39. They are stiff rods and you will appreciate the extra weight. The rods would also do quite nicely with a horsehair line made to the taper I have seen referenced for historical tenkara lines in Japan - a 5 section line tapered from 9 hairs at the rod end down to 5 hairs at the tippet end. If you will be fishing with a keiryu rig, I would go with a tenjo line of 4X and tippet of 5X. You could use 5X from rod tip to hook, but if you do that and have to break off a snag, the line is likely to break at the lillian rather than at the hook. Better to have a lighter tippet as the weak link.

I am confident that The Suntech Genryuko has the capability to handle larger trout than the average angler will ever catch. The only limitation I can see is the 5X tippet recommendation, but fish into the mid 20 inch range have been caught on keiryu rods with 6X tippet, so landing a real bruiser is not out of the question.

Suntech Genryuko 36

Weight with rod cap - 2.7 oz
Weight without cap - 2.3 oz
Length Extended - 11' 9"
Length Collapsed - 15 3/8"
Sections - 12
Tip Diameter - .65mm
Butt Diameter - 20.5mm
Tippet Recommendation - 7X-5X
Pennies - 39

Suntech Genryuko 39

Weight with rod cap - 3.1 oz
Weight without cap - 2.6 oz
Length Extended - 12' 7"
Length Collapsed - 15 3/8"
Sections - 13
Tip Diameter - .65mm
Butt Diameter - 21.5mm
Tippet Recommendation - 7X-5X
Pennies - 50

Suntech Genryuko Features

As with other keiyru rods, the grip is a widened out section of the rod blank. Although completely smooth to the touch, it has a very effective non-skid finish - wet or dry. "Genryuko" is written on the grip, although it is subtle and the above photo does not capture it well.

When collapsed, the Suntech Genryuko is short enough and thick enough that Fuji EZ Keepers do not work well. I would recommend the Tenkara Line Holders instead.

Unlike the Daiwa, Shimano or Nissin, the lillian is attached with a "lillian spin" (micro swivel), which is small enough to go through the second section for complete disassembly.

The tip cap is a standard Fuji KTC-16 for the Genryuko 36 and Fuji KTC-20 for the Genryuko 39, which is not only more secure than a tenkara-style tip plug, it is less likely to get lost and less expensive to replace if it does get lost.

The grip screw cap is knurled for easy removal and beveled for comfort (for those anglers who grip the rod at the very end). There is a foam insert so the rod is quiet when collapsed.

If you are looking for a rod that collapses to a short length, with a sensitive tip but outstanding backbone for short line nymphing, and want the quality you get with a Suntech rod, the Genryuko is just what you are looking for.

Suntech Genryuko 36 - $210

Suntech Genryuko 39 - $220

Rod made in Japan.
$10 from every sale will go to support fisheries conservation
(5% for the fish!)


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TenkaraBum Home > Tenkara Rods > Suntech Genryuko

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Tenkara has no strict rules. Enjoy tenkara in your own way.
- Eiji Yamakawa

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Recommended with the Genryuko

Nissin PALS SP Pro
(3.6m line recommended)

Tenkara Line Holders

Ebira K

Varivas 5X Tippet

I was fishing a deeper hole with a fairly heavy beadhead and it seemed to work well. I really like the rod and the way it feels.

Shu O, Washington

Caught a nice rainbow today with the Genryuko. That rod can really control fish.

Adam K, New York

Hybrid striper!!! At least 3-4 lbs I would guess! Awesome fight.

Love it. Still fun on smaller fish (something I love about these style rods in general), but handles larger fish great. Nymph Rod, yes. Bass Rod, yes. Large fish, yes. Get my drift? Lol. LMK when the 39's arrive please. BTW, love the compact light weight Suntech quality.

Jeff R, Texas

Perfect mountain stream rod, especially in high mountain streams when the wind picks up. Love it. Caught 5 native rainbows in a steam with a lot of downed logs and fast moving water.

John P, Oregon

The 2 best rods I have found are the Suntech Genryuko and the Daiwa Kiyose SF. My go to rod is the Suntech. I prefer that rod only because it's made in Japan and the tip is a little softer plus it has the lillian spin [swivel]. Some of the smaller trout will put a bend in the rod.

The small rivers and creeks I fish have lots of fast moving water and downed logs. The Suntech lets me get in and out of small holes and eddies fast. When I catch a fish they zoom for the logs, I can pull them out fast and release them back (great control).

John P, Oregon