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A Little Light Fishing

by Herb S.
(Southwest Michigan)

August 6,'17 - a very pleasant day on a small river with the Nissin Air Stage Hakubai 390. It was a bit breezy so the line du jour was #3 level tenkara. The tippet for this rod was the usual 7X. The variegated green wool bodied/brown hackled fly was tied on a #14 1XS curved caddis hook. What a lovely, light, sensitive rod! It's perfect for the prey of the day, lots and lots of golden shiners and river chubs with a couple of baby largemouth bass, 2 perch and a rock bass.

The rod performed beautifully as always and the fish fought valiantly with one trophy 9" chub diving into the weeds which caused me to wade down to it and extract it by hand. Large weed beds give the river a spring creek-like character and make 5X tippets mandatory when going after larger fish, but today was a fun day for little fish. It began overcast and cool, rapidly warming up to 72º. Great sport with a great rod!

August 9,'17 - A change of pace on a big river, the St. Joseph below a dam with a long, light rod, the Suntech Aoi ZPRO 53. The line was #3 level tenkara with the required 6X tippet. By the way, I can squeal on this river since it's known to only a couple of million close friends ;-) and it gets heavily fished. Today it was deserted, a rare thing, but I got lucky. I avoid weekends like the plague; to say it gets crowded is an understatement. Anyhow, today was a warm, breezy smallmouth fishing day and the Aoi ZPRO 53 was perfect for it. There are no weeds to snag the line and the water is fast with a gravel/rock/sand bottom. In a dry summer like this one it's mostly fairly shallow so there's room to maneuver when fighting the fish. A #8 Bead Head Olive Woolly Bugger was all that was needed. Following Chris's example I seldom count fish, but today I did and landed 15 smallies, a chub and a bluegill (first ever here). Although I was prepared and carried a net for the first time in years, it wasn't needed. The smallmouth were mostly between 8" and 10". In the past I've caught larger fish, but the river does get pounded and size and keep limits don't bother some fish hogs. Nevertheless, it was a great day with a great rod! The Aoi ZPRO 53 is a wonderful caster, is sensitive in the extreme and has the remarkable ability to protect 6X tippets.

A note to John Evans and Les A.: Both beautiful rods, the green Hakubai and blue ZPRO, attract dragonflies very well! And yes, I've felt the bugs land on them. Amazing.

Comments for A Little Light Fishing

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Aug 13, 2017
Long Rods
by: Les A.

Herb - It is nice to see you out with your long rod! I have looked seriously at the Suntech Aoi ZPRO 53. It is tough when the Suntech Keiryu Sawanobori 63 works so well for me. The Sawanobori is a little more beefy than the Aoi. I do believe that it would pass John's Dragonfly test as well. I think if folks would learn the long rods they would find a whole new world of fixed line fishing! My first premium rod was the Sawanobori.

I have been doing some light fishing down at Wilson Springs. This is a high traffic area. There are nature trails, people walk their dogs, jog, and fish. The plus is that it is close to the house and there are nice planter rainbow trout. I have been fishing with the TenkaraBum 40 down there. Everyone thinks it is a long rod. I keep saying to myself, I should bring the Sawanobori if you want to see a long rod, or possibly the Fieldmaster 81! The Snake River is still running too high for me to fish the bars for smallmouth bass with the 81. I went and checked it out yesterday. One irony is the last time out at my friend's private lake, I was out casting him with the 81 vs his flyrod. I won the two hour fishing session contest too using wooly buggers only. I almost have him converted.

Smallmouth bass in rivers are really underrated in my opinion. They are awesome fighters. Thanks for the great report.

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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

As age slows my pace, I will become more like the heron.


The hooks are sharp.
The coffee's hot.
The fish are slippery when wet.

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