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All about that blank, bout that blank.....

by Dave
(Baton Rouge)



Lately, I have been going a bit mental with all the rods, I am buying up. Oh well, considering I have a very stressful job, this is how I unwind. Recently I added a Field Master 44 to my arsenal, which is just a dream! Since this time, I realized that I have done what almost every American fisherman does..... Too much rod, not enough fish.

What I mean is, I have always purchased a bigger rod than needed for the fish I think I will catch....(and never actually catch). It is hard to admit (should be proud), but I mostly catch small bluegills and small bass. So the field master is great and will even sing and dance with a 4 inch fish on the line!! However, I could always tell that the rod was not even close to being tested. So I decided to crawl the pages of Tenkarabum and find my next purchases, which needed to be semi-long (I do a lot of lake fishing) and really really fun for small fish. After a long battle, I narrowed it down to the Suntech HM39R Kurani and the Nissin Airstage 390. Honestly, I think I prefer some of the features of Suntech rods over Nissin in general (such as the nonskid finish and the swivel tip).

Then the unthinkable happened....BLACK FRIDAY!!!!! The Airstage 390 was marked down so much, I could not resist and immediately purchased one. The finish of the rod is incredible, Nissin seems to put every penny into the quality of blanks they produce. At 1.5 oz and nearly 13' long this baby is exactly what I have been looking for. While the collapsed length is a little long for hiking, it is shorter than the three piece fly rod I used to hike with and a tenth the weight (including reel weight). However, this is also an advantage as the bend profile is incredibly smooth.

Today, I took the rod out in the rain to my little creek (which looked more like a river during the rain) to do a little fishing. I threw a Keriyu rig on there and started to go to town. If you have not cast a 1.5 oz rod, I implore you to try it as it is like nothing you have ever used. After not catching a thing, I moved over to what I have dubbed as the "dead lake" (lake is so overfished it is near impossible to catch anything.) With that said, I was able to hook a small bluegill and even though it was only 4 inches log, boy did it bend the rod. I highly recommend the Nissin Air Stage 390, and now I realize what a fight between you and a fish is supposed to be like. Now, the rod definitely had more backbone in reserve during this fight, but I could not just lift the fish out of the water like I can with the Field Master. The quality of this rod is amazing and I would recommend it to anyone. It is so sensitive, I am gonna do some micro fishing with it as well.

A year ago, I would have called you crazy for fishing a rod with no cork grip.... Now, I am of the mindset that every dollar into cork, is a dollar off the blank... I'm all about that blank. I'll gladly take any questions regarding the rod.

Comments for All about that blank, bout that blank.....

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Dec 05, 2016
Still on sale
by: Chris Stewart

As of today (12-5-16) the Nissin Air Stage 390 is still on sale but only two rods remain in stock.

Dec 06, 2016
Light is right
by: Phillip

Those light, short (less than 4.5m) rods sound so much fun. I bet they're surprisingly capable when you hook up with a lunker, too. I still rarely put my Sagiri to the test and I've landed 20" rainbows on it.

Dec 06, 2016
Great Deal on a GREAT Rod!
by: Herb S.

Dave, as we say in the hinterland, you done good. I bought a Fine Mode 390 at the end of the '15 season, Here are some snippets from my Fly Fishing File notes:

"...$190(well worth it! - read on). Talk w/Chris helped me decide on this rod. I wanted a very light rod to use with smallish flies for small-medium fish. Arrived 8/31. Test cast…WOW! Light & smooth!...September 1,’15: First fishing w/390 @ (location withheld) Hot Damn! Great caster and LIGHT! Caught a bunch of chubs, an 8" smallie and a small/med. ‘gill on various flies. Tremendous fun fighting ‘em! Small fish are great sport! Sep.2: Back to same spot & caught several small smallies, 2 ‘gills & a couple of shiners. LOVE this rod! Fished into the last part of September until the fish had mostly moved out, which ended the warmwater stream season. Excellent rod! Update 7/27/16: Handles #2.5 line very well,too! Played with scores of Golden Shiners today, many many 3.25" w/several up to 6". Lessons in strike detection. Great rod! Excellent for small fish and long range micros."

Another marvelous rod from Tenbum and a great report. Congrats and happy fishing.

Dec 06, 2016
Thanks Herb
by: Dave

I love the fine mode too herb! I have it in 270! Thanks for your snippet. Happy fishing.

Dec 07, 2016
More Rods!
by: Les A.

Like you I have a stressful job, and I have been adding rods faster than I should. I bit on one of the Daiwa Rods on "Black Friday.", now Chris is tempting us with two new great offers from Daiwa! I really need to explore the rods I have. I am still debating on whether or not to make my new rod a Christmas present to my son (John). OR MAYBE, I should make it a Christmas present to me from my son! My oldest son is disabled (non-verbal autistic) and my wife and I have the tradition to buy ourselves something special from Luke. Nobody can say they can't find a rod on TM that doesn't meet their needs or wants! Thanks Chris!

Dec 07, 2016
Diawa indeed...
by: Dave

Yeah.... Les I already bit on one of the new Diawa rods. I needed a saltwater rod so I got the Keiryu X in 45, which just arrived today!!!! Awesome!

Dec 08, 2016
Big Fish Rod!
by: Les A.

I have a Nissin Kyogi 21 for going after the big boys and girls! I like 6 meter rods. I had a 30 plus inch steelhead up to the boat about a month ago on the Salmon River, and the guide messed up with the landing net and it got away. I am really looking forward to March and April when we go after them in the upper Salmon River. I love the action of the Kyogi. For a 0x rated rod it is incredibly smooth and responsive. It let the steelhead know who was boss! With a fixed line rod the first two runs were quite the adrenaline rush! What kind of saltwater fish are you after?

Dec 09, 2016
Big Rods
by: Dave

Honestly I am starting to like longer and longer rods. The reason I went with Diawa is because I will be traveling by plane with only a carry-on, so the rod had to be small. I am going back to my parents place in a couple months to return to the grass flats where I grew up. We catch mostly reds, sea trout, snook, and channel cats there. So I went with the longest rod diawa had in the Keiryu X. If there wasnt a plane involved I probably would have gone with the Nissin Two way 540 Stiff or the Field Master 53 (already have the 44). The Diawa is great and seems like an amazin rod and I do which it was a bit longer. But you cannot beat the portability.

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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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