Suntech Keiryu Special 27

The Suntech Keiryu Special 27 is a new rod intended for tenkara fishing in small overgrown streams. You could use it for keiryu fishing in extremely small streams, or for micro fishing, but the basic idea from the very beginning was to create the best possible rod for small stream tenkara.

This rod has been a long time coming. Ever since Daiwa discontinued the Soyokaze years ago, I have looked for a 270-length rod that would be a good replacement. The Kiyotaki 27 was just too stiff. The Kosansui 270 was better, but still a bit stiffer through the mid section than I wanted.

My goal was a rod that was light weight, could cast a very light line, and would be well suited to the size fish people are going to catch in small streams. That might mean 7" brookies in the Appalachians or Adirondacks, but fish twice that size in the small streams Tom Davis fishes in the northern Rockies.

That's not the easiest goal to accomplish. To get it done I went to Suntech - and as expected, Suntech came through! The Suntech Keiryu Special 27 is a light (1 ounce) rod that will cast a size 2.5 line nicely. If there's a bit of a breeze, though, the rod won't be overburdened with a size 3.5 line or a furled line. The tip sections are light enough that it is a fun rod with 7" brookies but there is enough muscle lower down in the rod to handle larger fish.

How large?  I don't really know yet. I just received the rods and have only fished with one once. It was not a "many" day (just two fish, and the one pictured above probably could have eaten the other one) so I can only go by other rods with similar penny ratings.

The Suntech Keiryu Special 27 measures 13.5 pennies.

By way of comparison, the Suntech Kurenai HM30R measures 7.5 pennies, so the new Keiryu Special 27 is significantly more capable. The Kurenai HM39R, Coach's "go to" rod, measures 12 pennies and he has caught fish to the mid teens with it. The Nissin Pocket Mini 270 measures 14 pennies, and I have taken trout to 13" with it. The Fine Mode Kosansui, which I felt was stiffer than I wanted, measures 19 pennies.

The Suntech Keiryu Special 27 is not the rod I would choose to go looking for 16" fish. I intended it to be a small stream rod, not a big fish rod. That said, it would be nice to know that if you happened to hook the king of the stream, you could actually land it.

Similarly, the rod can handle modest bead head nymphs. I wouldn't fish a size 8 double tungsten stone fly nymph with it, but I wouldn't fish one in a small stream anyway. I think you'll find that you can fish the flies you want to fish, using the line you want to use, and have fun catching the fish that live in the small streams you want to fish.

The rod is capable enough and versatile enough that it will be the rod included in the TenkaraBum Small Stream Tenkara Kit.

Suntech Keiryu Special 27 Features

The rod has a keiryu/seiryu style grip, basically just a widened out section of the blank itself, coated with a smooth but effective non-skid covering. The grip is narrow, as you might expect on a one ounce rod, but not as narrow as on either the Kurenai HM30R or HM33R.

The tip plug is smaller than on the Kurenai rods, and is knurled rather than smooth sided. The lillian is attached with Suntech's signature "Lillian Spin" swivel. The tip section easily passes through the second section.

The grip screw cap is also knurled for easy tightening or removal. The cap is rounded, making it quite comfortable to hold the very end of the rod. There is no ventilation hole - which exists on some rods not so they can dry out but rather so you do not have to fight back pressure when collapsing the rod. On a small rod like this, there isn't enough back pressure to notice.)

Suntech Keiryu Special 27 Weight
Length (extended)
Length (collapsed)
Tip Diameter
Butt Diameter

1 oz
9' 1/2"
21 5/16"

Suntech Keiryu Special 27 - $180


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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


The rod casts really nicely with a #2.5-3 line. I used a 7 foot line with 2.5 feet of tippet. Standard overhead casts, as well as side arm casts were easily executed. Specialty casts like air roll cast, slingshot cast and steeple casts also were done easily, even with a weighted fly. Just a flick of the wrist was all that was needed to get the fly to it's intended target. I love this rod! For my streams, and the type of fishing I do in them, if I needed a 270 cm rod, I'd buy this one. What a great little rod!

Tom D, Idaho
Teton Tenkara blog