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4 Ponds - 4 Days - 45 Minutes - 96 Red Wigglers

by Les Albjerg
(Caldwell, Idaho)

First Pumpkinseed on Fixed Line

First Pumpkinseed on Fixed Line

I was bummed on Monday because I really wanted to go up in the Mountains and fish the whole day. Since besides my regular job, I have an internet business, I had too much work to do. So inspired by Tom Davis of Teton Tenkara who often fishes for about 90 minutes on his videos, I decided I would hit the 4 ponds that are around 15 minutes from my house, one pond each day. I also decided to go simple. I took two rods with me the Suntech Kurenai 30 and the Suntech TenkaraBum 40. The plan was to fish the Kurenai unless the fish proved to be too big for it. My self imposed limitation was to fish for either 45 minutes or use 24 red wiggler worms. Whichever ran out first would end the day. The hook used was the Gamakatsu R10-B size 14 with no weight. I fished a level line size 3. The first 3 days I fished with a 300 cm line with an 18 inch 6.5x tippet. Today I fished with a 400 cm line with an 18 inch 6.5x tippet. The goal was to keep it very simple. Fish all 4 ponds with the same bait, the same amount of bait, and the same time restriction. Two of the ponds were new to me.

I hadn't caught a fish on either the TenkraBum 40 or the Kurenai yet! It is always exciting to catch fish on a new rod!

Day one - I fished the Rotary Pond from 2 of the fishing docks. I now understand the "cult" following of the Kurenai! It casts like a dream! That said, the first wiggler was cast off the hook! The second one landed gently on the water and began a slow natural sinking motion. It had gone about 6 inches and then I had the thrill of seeing a sunfish dart up and hammer the worm! WOW instant connection with the 5 inch sunfish with the Kurenai. The bend profile when fighting a fish really makes you feel connected. I didn't count worms lost, but it was less than 5. I didn't count multiple hookups before losing the worm, but 35 minutes of fast action with 2 inch to 5 inch bluegills and I was out of worms! I went home with a smile and ready to get back at it in the shop.

Day two - Topper Lane Pond was new to me. They have a nice fishing dock. The water quality wasn't as good, so I didn't seen any fish taking the wigglers. I used the Kurenai again because it did so well on day one. I caught 3 small bass, one was an 11 incher that made the rod sing! Again I didn't run out of time, but ran out of red wigglers! Sometimes "de ja vu" is a good thing! The worms ran out at the 40 minute mark. I just couldn't get over how strong this less than one ounce rod is! I love the bend progression as you feel the take and fight the fish. Who needs monsters when you feel this connected!

Day three - Caldwell Pond, another new pond to me. There was a friendly family at the first dock, but the second was free. The first fish I caught was about a 3 inch bluegill. On this third day, my casting accuracy had really improved, so I put a wiggler between two clumps of weeds that had about a 4 inch opening and it looked like a school of Piranha going after that poor Red Wiggler! Talk about a feeding frenzy! I pulled nine fish out of that little spot! I had 12 hookups in a row fishing the shadow of the dock! That was fun seeing them dart out and nail the worm. I got to go home after only 38 minutes of fishing!

Day four - Red Top Pond. This is a pond I have fished and knew I would need to get my line out further, so I used a longer line. I also wanted to get a feel for how the Kurenai would handle a longer line. When I arrived there were a couple of spin casters trying to catch bass. They were curious about my "little pole." Red Top was the clearest off all the ponds. I began by fishing the shadow of the dock and several micro fish chased my worm. I am going to bring my micro kit next time! It took about 10 minutes to catch the first fish, but it was about a 3 inch Pumpkinseed! I was excited and it was my first Pumpkinseed of the year. It was steady fishing from that point on. Red Top was different than the other three. I had to let the bait sink out of sight before I had any takers. Again the Kurenai performed beautifully. I could feel the ever so slight tug on the line and set the hook. I had 4 fish slam the hook! This rod has no problem pulling fish out of the deep. It was my most enjoyable day with some bigger sunfish and much more fighting action from the fish. Today I ran out of time and had 5 red wigglers left over.

Thoughts - John Evans, I really wish I had had this rod in Texas! It was 10 times more fun than my Diawa 300cm rod. The Gamakatsu R10-B size 14 are a great worm hook. Most hookups were in the lip (see picture). They hold well, and because they are barbless releases are easy. Ultralight worm fishing isn't only for streams. The Kurenai can cast an unweighted worm well, just don't do a false cast and you will be just fine! Going out for a short time can be a very simple, fun, rewarding and pleasurable experience. I had a blast, and got my other obligations taken care of as well. I love this less complicated style of fishing.

Comments for 4 Ponds - 4 Days - 45 Minutes - 96 Red Wigglers

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Aug 04, 2017
Great Rod
by: John Evans

The Kurenai is a great rod and is one of my "go-to" poles for many situations. I always make sure to use light tippet just to protect the rod should something too big come along, but it's a pure pleasure to cast and use. The direct connection you feel to the fish really adds excitement to angling. The Nissin Air Stage Hakubai 240 that I've written about is even lighter and more sensitive, but the Kurenai is more capable on slightly bigger fish. I like pairing these two rods together on "small-fish" days. Well, it's a great way to have fun!

Aug 04, 2017
Great Report!
by: Herb S.

Les, what a setup - four ponds with fishing docks and each only fifteen minutes away! No need for waders. No hassle. Sweet!

It's hard to put down a rod when it becomes a favorite. Those seiryu rods quickly become favorites and catching small fish becomes an addiction. Then you feel guilty about neglecting your other favorite rods, LOL! I have a bundle of favorites and I bet you do too.

Happy fishing,

Aug 08, 2017
TenkaraBum 40's Maiden Voyage
by: Les A.

I have continued with my theme of 45 minute sessions, but changed rods and fish. I had to go over to the Idaho Fish and Game office to apply for a second change on an antelope tag, so I brought the TenkaraBum 40 along because the office is by Wilson Springs and Creek. Since it is a Tenkara Rod, I felt it would be a good idea to fish it as intended the first time. I had tied up a fly from a "no vise" kit Chris had put in my last order. I caught 7 rainbow trout in 45 minutes from the Creek.

One of the main places I fished yesterday was at the intersection of 3 paths, I had 2 guys really interested in Tenkara. One guy asked if he could watch until I caught a fish. I said, "sure." On the first cast, I made a perfect Tenkara cast, fly hitting the water first very gently, and WHAM, trout on! It couldn't have been choreographed any better! The real kicker was on the next cast I had the same presentation, but the fly drifted about 3 feet and then WHAM another trout on! He actually took out a pen and paper and wrote down the TenkaraBum website. I warned him about the cheap rods that are all show and no go out there on the internet. I had several other people stop and watch me fish.

This morning I went back for another 45 minute session armed with Red Wigglers. I fish Tenkara with a Keiryu Rod, so why not Keiryu with a Tenkara Rod? I used the Ultralight method and caught 12 nice rainbows in 45 minutes. I found that the 4.5 level line worked better for worms than the 3.0 line. I could cast the line slower and retain the worm on the hook better. All the fish were 12 to 15 inches. I had a nice holdover fish of 17 to 18 inches follow the worm a couple of times.

I have chided Chris several times that he needs to promote his line of rods more! After two fishing sessions, this has become one of my favorite rods. It is silky smooth in both directions. It is a dream to cast, both flies and bait. The progression in the bend fighting fish gives you an awesome connection with the fish as well as control to lead the fish into calmer waters. The balance of the rod makes it seem almost weightless in your hand! It seems like every time I am fishing and people are around they ask questions about Tenkara and what the best rod is. I will be recommending the TenkaraBum series from now on!
For $25.00 more than the Discover Tenkara Karasu, I can own both the TenkaraBum 36 and TenkaraBum 40. John's and Paul's rods can't be twice as good as these awesome rods. I think the TB 40 is going to be my new "go to" rod unless I need to go long or short or stout for big trout and carp.

Aug 08, 2017
TenkaraBum 40 -- Discover Tenkara Karasu 40 shootout!
by: Les A.

If you go to Tom Davis' Blog "Teton Tenkara" he did a comparison of the two rods on August 5th. You can draw your own conclusions, but I now understand why Paul and John are upset with Tom's review.

I doubt Chris will toot his horn, so I am blasting away! The TB40 is tough to beat!

By the way, it was through "Teton Tenkara" that I discovered the TenkaraBum website and all of the awesome products here. So a personal thanks to Tom and his good work. His blog is a great place to learn this awesome way of fishing. I am years ahead on my learning curve thanks to his videos.

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“The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten” - Benjamin Franklin

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Col. Robert Venables 1662

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