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8 meters of Red Wiggler fun!

by Les Albjerg
(Caldwell, Idaho)

Suntech Fieldmaster 81

Suntech Fieldmaster 81

I just had to have a long rod. I was able to buy a special order 8 meter Suntech Fieldmaster from Chris a number of months ago. I have plans for this rod on some of our bigger rivers. Today I was able to give it it's maiden voyage. I also split my red wiggler worm farm today as the herd has multiplied greatly!

I was able to go out to Gilbert Lake (Picture 2) and fish for bass. Gilbert is a private lake. My autistic son's caregiver manages the fish in the lake. So I am one of the privileged few who get to fish there. It was a many fish day!

The evening began with the Kyogi 18(5 meter). Catching bass on it was really fun! I was pleased that I could fish red wiggler worms with 6x tippet, and the rod protected the light tippet with my largest bass of the night, about a 4 pound bass that was released. My reason for starting with the Kyogi was I wanted a rod to compare the Suntech Fieldmaster 81 to. Up front, there wasn't as much difference in fighting the fish as I thought there would be. The sensitive tip made it almost as fun as with the Suntech.

Switching to the Fieldmaster 81 was a drastic change! My first 3 casts were a disaster! Eight meters casts way different than 5 or 6 meters. I wasn't getting the wigglers out any further with the Fieldmaster than with the Kyogi! I stopped for a minute and did some thinking. I realized that I was rushing things. You can almost eat a snack on the back cast as you wait for things to load before you cast! I also discovered that with a line the length of the rod and my 14 inch tippet, I could get the whole line out with a two handed roll cast much easier. I also had a lot more control with the roll cast. After about 20 minutes, I began feeling comfortable with the long rod!

I really like having a long rod! I gained 6 meters more length with this rod over the Kyogi (3 meters in rod and 3 in line length). With that extra length, I was catching way more fish. Geoff, who I was fishing with, thought the rod was really cool! He was fly fishing with a black woolly bugger. At the end of the evening he came over and I put on a woolly bugger, and on the first cast, I caught a nice bass! I may have a convert in the making!

Like all Suntech rods I have fished, this rod has an amazingly smooth progression as you fight the fish! One thing Geoff noticed is how much control I had over the fish even when they jumped. I was dancing with the fish! Like all of these rods, bait or fly manipulation is accurate and precise. It really turned the fish on being able to give the worms some additional manipulation. After about an hour of fishing, I didn't notice the extra weight of the rod as balance points had been figured out. I had some other things I wanted to try out, but I was having too much fun with the red wiggler worms.

I kept 7 fish as we are trying to keep the fish from becoming stunted. The 14-17 inch fish are the best eating, and they are in overabundance again this year.(picture 3) I caught a couple of 5 inchers and 2 bass that were in the four to five pound range. We really want to get some big bass, and Geoff continues to work on developing the lake. The fish are getting bigger every year.

The Fieldmaster 81 passed with flying colors. The biggest surprise of the night almost made me drop the rod! Luke, my autistic son, was fishing with me. I turned around to talk to him as I put on another red wiggler, and I felt a strong hit on my rod. My head snapped around to see a bass taking my lillian that had dipped into the water! Being 8 meters out, it was fair game! It is red too! I don't usually laugh much when I am fishing, but I burst out cause I couldn't help it! Maybe I should put a hook on the lillian next time.

Don't be afraid of the long rods. I was making long casts, 16 meters, and hammering the fish this evening. The Fieldmaster 81 is a well balanced rod, and it made catching 2-4 pound bass a blast!

Comments for 8 meters of Red Wiggler fun!

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May 26, 2017
Further thoughts on going long
by: Les A.

Chris encourages throughout this site to fish as long a rod as you can. I agree. I would like to share some of my experiences with the longer rods. I define a long rod as any rod over 4.5 meters.

My first rod from TenkaraBum was a Suntech Keiryu Sawanobori 63. This rod was bought on the recommendation of Chris after sharing my fishing environment on the South Fork of the Boise River. Upfront, this is my favorite rod. It is light and responsive, well balanced and has backbone to handle large trout. It fishes flies with a level 3 line very well, and red wigglers on a Keiryu line.

I have a Kyogi 21 (6 meter) that I use for Steelhead. I will use it for carp this summer as well. It is a specialized rod in my opinion. I also have a Kyogi 18 (5 meter). Both rods are rated for 4X - 0X. Monday I fished the 18 with 6x to see if it would protect a lighter tippet. It did an amazing job of protecting 6x when the 4-5 pound bass jumped 4 times as I fought it. If you don't mind a fast action rod, I would highly recommend the Kyogi 18 as an all around option. This is a very smooth rod.

I am really enjoying my new Fieldmaster 8 meter, but I wouldn't start that long! The inertia that you generate with a rod this long needs some experience with a shorter long rod.

My friend and duck hunting partner, Monte, actually asked me if he could try one of my rods when we were out fishing yesterday. I let him try my second favorite rod, The Suntech GM Suikei Keiryu Special 44. He did well as we fished Wilson Creek. He asked for a recommendation as he is seriously thinking of buying a rod. I didn't hesitate and recommended a The Suntech GM Suikei Keiryu Special 53. He fished my 44 at the 44 length most of the time, and Monte fishes the Boise River 90% of the time perfect for the zoom range of the 53. He laughed as we talked about the flooding of the Boise, and that all of the great holes he was going to take me to this summer may be gone or changed due to the extreme flooding.

Based on my limited experience, I would advice anyone who wants to go long to start with a 5 meter rod. I suspect that the Suntech Keiryu Sawanobori 53 is a dream to cast and fish. The Kyogi 18 is very smooth but a very fast action. I fished it yesterday and caught six 11-14 inch rainbow trout on a black woolly bugger and 6x tippet. Wilson Creek is fly fishing only. If you want versatility you can't go wrong with the Suntech GM Suikei Keiryu 53. If in doubt, I am sure Chris will advise you. His wisdom lead me to a six meter rod that has not disappointed once, and is a joy to fish. Oh, six meters is just too long for Wilson Creek. That is why I didn't fish it. I really wanted to fish the Suntech GM Suikei Keiryu 44, but when you want to get a convert sometimes you have to sacrifice! I also wanted to test the Kyogi on a stream with lighter tippet. Tight Lines and have Fun!

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

"Be sure in casting, that your fly fall first into the water, for if the line fall first, it scares or frightens the fish..." -
Col. Robert Venables 1662

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