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Casting Practice: Getting To Know The Diawa Seiryu X 45

by Alan Luecke
(Kansas City, MO)

Seiryu X with big Striped Shiner

Seiryu X with big Striped Shiner

I bought my first fixed line rod four years ago (one of the last Soyokaze's). Since then my collection has expanded considerably, although with out much of a plan. This past year I've come to realize that my fishing style, rather than being inconsistent and unfocused, was in fact two (at least) styles developing in parallel.

The pattern was set in my second and third rods, a Diawa Kiyose 33SF and a Nissin Zerosum 360 6:4. The Zerosum is pure Tenkara; light, soft and elegant. The 33SF is everything else. But Tenkara and Keiryu aren't really the right words since I fish Tenkara with non Tenkara rods and I use Keiryu rods for all kinds of things besides Keiryu. I've found my self thinking Soft vs. Firm, Trout vs.Multispecies, Modern Tenkara vs. Get'er Done. Truth be told I spend most of my time on Get'er Done. Mainly Kiyose's in various lengths rigged as needed to catch what's in front of me.

This last year has been an intense mix. While the Streamer Challenge was my big project and great fun the high point of the year was spending pure Tenkara time with Masami Sakabari at the Oni School and then later with Tom Davis on Crane Creek.

My Tenkara/Soft/Trout rods start with the Zerosum 360 for unweighted flies and then the Tenkarabum 36 for heavier flies and heavier fish. I've got lot's of small rods but the Soyokaze is still the one to beat with the Kurenai HM30R it's own little piece of casting heaven. The Suntech GM Suikei Keiryu Special 39 (the rod with many names) is my all around take it to work and fish at lunch rod, but also a very nice casting rod for Tenkara. I first used it mainly at 39 but have recently been finding the 32 length with a short line to be very nice.

So, I'm fairly set from 27 to 39, but what about that 400 to 450 slot, the upper end of true one handed Tenkara. I wasn't in a hurry but figured at some point I would buy a nice long Tenkara rod, something from Suntech or Nissin, or perhaps a boutique Oni or Tanuki.

Enter the Diawa Seiryu X 45. This rod is sweet and a real surprise for the price. I can't say that it would be the best casting rod in a side by side test with a Zerosum or Kurenai, but my first impression is very positive.

The rod is light. There is no tip heaviness and it will roll out a pretty loop and drop a fly on the water with very little effort. At the Oni School the preferred cast began with a crisp back cast and stop followed by a forward motion that got it's power from dropping the elbow rather that snapping the forearm. This was followed by a clean but soft stop with light finger pressure at the end. This motion works perfectly with the Seiryu X. I do find myself consciously slowing down my cast compared to some of my stiffer rods.

I've yet to catch a trout on this rod but blue gill and big shiners are pure fun. I got the rod envisioning early mornings on St. Pete's beach in Florida catching whiting out of the surf line (oops, once again my pure Tenkara thoughts are wandering in to Get'er Done territory).

The Seiryu X has the same penny rating as the Zerosum but is better at casting bead head flies. A size 12 UKB with a 7/64 brass bead (my usual starting point for most fishing) is a little clunky on the Zerosum but does just fine on the Seiryu X.

My long Tenkara rod slot is nicely filled and for $145 I'm thrilled. It's not a big fish rod but does it's thing very well and if big fish are available I always bring a Kiyose.

Comments for Casting Practice: Getting To Know The Diawa Seiryu X 45

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Feb 20, 2017
Sounds great.
by: Dave

I would love a 45 rod in the seiryu department. Although when I started I could not imagine fishing with a rod longer than 12 feet. Now I find myself pining over 16 and 17 foot rods. Glad to hear your positive experience. I have the keiryu x45 which is a huge rod I picked up for when I go salt water fishing. I am also pretty impressed with the quality.

Feb 20, 2017
Great Review!
by: Les A.


Thank you for your great review, and talking about your rods and fishing style. I guess you would say, I am a "getter done" fisherman. Right now I am trying to figure out a good "Wind Rod". I love my Suntech GM Suikei Keiryu Special 44 but find the wind really moves the tip around at times. I bought a Diawa Kiyose 30 SF when they were on sale, and found it does well in the wind, but is a little short for pond fishing. When I got out my 6 meter Kyogi it handles the wind, but is a bit of overkill for 10-14 inch pond trout and sunfish. I keep trying to disprove Chris, but he is right, 6 meters is just too long for wind. I am looking hard at the Daiwa Keiryu-X 42 or 45, However, Chris calls them two handed rods, and I want my mid 40 rod to be a one handed rod. I love fishing my Suikei Keiryu Special 44 at 44. The other day the wind came up and I dropped my rod down to the 36 length, and then put it away and grabbed the Diawa Kiyose and enjoyed catching two more fish. I am also considering the Suntech Fieldmaster as a wind rod. Western Idaho differs a lot from Eastern Idaho where Tom Davis lives. We have some awesome high desert streams, and several great smallmouth rivers like the Weiser that experience a lot of wind. It is so helpful when people share their experiences as Chris simply offers a multitude of fine rods instead of telling us what we should fish with. That said, I do value his opinion and insights when asked questions. Because of his advice I am enjoying my favorite rod ever the Suntech Keiryu Sawanobori 63. If there is little or no wind this is the rod I fish if at all possible. I am glad I started with a long rod. This rod is so balanced and silky smooth I am spoiled! If you think you get stares with a 3 meter rod, you ought to see the gawking when you fish a 6 meter rod!

Feb 20, 2017
One handed 40 somethings
by: Chris Stewart

The Seiryu X 45 is a one hander but the tip will get blown around even more than the Suntech Keiryu Special 44 tip. The Daiwa Kyose 43M is a one hander that is quite a bit firmer, and is modestly firmer than the Field Master 44.

The Suntech Genryu Sawanobori 45 is stiff enough that the wind won't bother it (although it will still blow the line all over!). It is stiffer than the Daiwa Keiryu X 45 but it is lighter, so one handing it is a possibility. On the other hand, it is stiff enough that it is not a smooth casting rod. It has the same build quality as your Keiryu Sawanobori. For keiryu fishing where you are not trying to get a delicate fly-first cast, though it will be fine.

Feb 20, 2017
Just Sink It
by: Alan Luecke

I was going to suggest the Kiyose 43MF. I've had great luck with mine in all sorts of conditions. With enough wind the tip doesn't matter. I'm going back to Mexico in a couple of weeks and the tradewinds never stop. Basically you cast down wind (or just hold the rod in the air). When the line straightens out put the tip just above the surface and pull side ways. Fluorocarbon sinks, let it. Keep tension on the line and the lure can be drifted or pulsed as needed. "Target Towing" is the ultimate in crude American Get'r Done-ness but is very effective in the wind. It's become standard procedure for stocked trout on the windy local lakes.

Feb 20, 2017
Daiwa Kiyose 43M
by: Herb S.

Good wind beating technique, Alan, and I'm with you on the 43M, a great rod. It throws a #3.5 tenkara line with authority. I've found shortening the rod to 12'7" makes it a bit stiffer and side or Belgian casting helps to get under the wind. So far in Michigan I haven't had to let the line blow downwind, but it's good to know!

Feb 20, 2017
Target towing!
by: Les A.


Interesting topic 'Target towing', as this was my first experience doing Tenkara. I was fishing on Stanley Creek in central Idaho and it was very windy. Lucky for me the wind was blowing upstream, and I was able to lower the rod tip with a Kabari fly into the pockets. The wind gave me the wiggle action that I read about a few weeks after my first experience fishing with my Tenkara rod. It was a 'many' fish day and I was hooked on fixed line fishing.

Thanks for sharing your technique! By the way, Chris came through and I am ordering another Sawanobori. Once you fish one, you are spoiled. I am planning on fishing it using bait or larger heavier flies anyway. I have been talking to my steelhead fishing buddies, and they said the wind can howl next month when we are going up on the upper Salmon. This will be my first time up there. They also said it can be 20 below zero in the morning. Stanley is the cold spot in Idaho. The Genryu Sawanobori may get tested on steelhead. Nice thing it has a one year warranty!

Feb 20, 2017
Gone with the wind
by: Dave

Ok so I have the field master 44 as well as the keiryu x 45. The x 45 certainly has a place in my line up but to me it is not the most pleasant casting rod and can as Chris mentioned comfortably one handed. However, my field master 44 does perfect in the wind and is a dream to cast. If you like the keiryu special 44 you will love the field master. It is the perfect all around rod for just about any fishing experience.

Feb 21, 2017
It was fun
by: Tom Davis

Alan, it was fun fishing with you at Crane Creek. I'm sure I'll get back out your way this year and I'll let you know. Maybe we could fish it again.

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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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