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Daiwa Kiyose 30SF as a tool for tight line (Czech or Polish) nymphing

by Peter
(Denver, Colorado)

I wrote a story previously about using the Daiwa Kiyose 30SF for small stream dry fly fishing.

This story is about using the Daiwa Kiyose 30SF as an in close, tight line nymphing tool—sometimes called Czech nymphing or Polish nymphing. I want to say that I am by no means an expert at Czech nymphing. I have done it a few times with western equipment. I was intrigued reading that the Daiwa Kiyose 30SF was well suited for Czech nymphing and so decided to try it out.

Simply stated, the Daiwa Kiyose 30SF is a wonderful tool for Czech nymphing.

I recently was fishing on the Eleven Mile Canyon tailwater section of the South Platte River in Colorado. On a slow fishing day, I caught five fish Czech nymphing with the Daiwa Kiyose 30SF in about two hours. (I was also using my western rod to do some dry fly fishing and some suspension nymphing). I was able to target the fast, roily water I (and other anglers) usually avoid. The biggest fish I caught was 13 inches.

Line and Tippet.

As far as line was concerned, I decided to save my tapered fluorocarbon lines from Tenkara Bum for dry fly fishing where casting is more important. Instead, I used a single 8 foot section of yellow hi-vis mono—10 lb. test. Below this, I used a tippet ring to attach four feet of 6X tippet with a double nymph rig (two size 14 tungsten bead head nymphs).


In Czech nymphing, there is little if any real casting since all the fishing is done close to the angler. The angler “lobs” the heavily weighted nymphs upstream and then leads them through the target water trying to maintain tension throughout the entire drift. I found I can lob the nymphs with my Daiwa Kiyose 30SF just as easily as with my western rod. If anything, the additional length of the Daiwa Kiyose 30SF makes the lobbing easier.

I do enjoy the simplicity of using the Daiwa Kiyose 30SF. With a fixed line and line length, I no longer worry about how much fly line to have outside the guides or worry about managing a line and reel. I just focus on fly placement. The lighter weight of the Daiwa Kiyose 30SF is also a plus as it helps prevent arm fatigue.

Presentation and Strike Detection.

The length and amazing sensitivity of the Daiwa Kiyose 30SF really helped me work on my presentation. I could reach more water more easily with the longer Daiwa Kiyose 30SF. Once the heavy nymphs are in the water, the idea is to “feel” when they are “seated” on the bottom and then “lead” them downstream while maintaining tension. For me, this was much easier using my Daiwa Kiyose 30SF as opposed to my western fly rod. When I did it right, I could feel the nymphs ticking along the bottom. Strike detection was very easy—I felt the takes through the rod --as opposed to relying on watching the colored line or “sighter” for twitches or pauses.

Fighting and landing fish.

My fishing buddy remains skeptical that I can land a 17-18 inch fish on my “toy” fly rod. Unfortunately, I have yet to hook and land the fish that will prove him wrong—I’ll keep working on it.

Based on the fish I have caught so far (in heavy current), I have no doubt the rod can handle larger fish. The Daiwa Kiyose 30SF simply has a lot of backbone. The rod’s flexibility easily handles the initial head shakes. When a fish runs, the rods flexes a great deal and “automatically” fights the fish with the stronger butt part of the rod (as opposed to an angler with a western rod consciously adding pressure to fight a fish with the stronger butt of the rod). In my experience with the Daiwa Kiyose 30SF, fish run in one direction, feel the butt of the rod, run in another direction, feel the butt of the rod, and quickly get tired.

If a large fish were to make a sustained downstream run in heavy current, I could see where I would have to move downstream with the fish to prevent breaking it off. However, I would do the same thing if I were using a western rod. I hope I will soon get many chances to practice this maneuver.

Convenience and versatility.

The Daiwa Kiyose 30SF is an amazing way to easily carry another rod. I now have my western rod rigged for suspension nymphing and my collapsed Daiwa Kiyose 30SF stored in the back of my vest for tight line nymphing. In this way I can easily change tactics as dictated by the type of water without the hassle of rigging and re-rigging. I may get another Daiwa Kiyose 30SF and carry it rigged for dry fly fishing so I have everything covered!

Comments for Daiwa Kiyose 30SF as a tool for tight line (Czech or Polish) nymphing

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Jul 31, 2012
Great report
by: Morgan

Peter, sooner or later -- probably sooner -- you'll have the chance to show your buddy you can land large trout. In fact, you'll probably bring the fish in more quickly, with less wear and tear.

Aug 02, 2012
by: Peter


Thanks for the kind words!

I think you are right about the Daiwa Kiyose 30SF landing fish more quickly with less wear and tear. That has been my experience so far.

The rod is excellent fly fishing tool. I didn't mention on my first post that, as Chris has written, it is stout enough to be effective on hook sets with heavy nymphs in deeper water--a scenerio that could damage a traditional Tenkara rod.

Jan 06, 2013
Bigger fish caught on the Daiwa Kiyose 30SF
by: Peter

I at last caught a bigger fish on the Daiwa Kiyose 30 SF.

I was again on the 11 mile canyon tailwater section of the South Platte river in Colorado. I was dry fly fishing--not nymphing. The rainbow I landed measured at 16"--not a giant, but a nice fish. The 30SF handled the fish with ease even in a fast current (on 6X tippet). I am sure the rod could handle an 18" fish. I'll keep trying to get one.

The day was also special for some other reasons. I was with my Dad (which always is special!) who was trying out his Iwana tenkara rod for the first time--I helped him rig it up the night before. There was very little wind and there was a BWO hatch.

The physical situation was made for tenkara style rods. Fish were rising in a nearly still water eddy on the far side of the main current. We couldn't wade into the eddy or land western fly line on the eddy without either spooking the fish or having instant drag from the current bordering the eddy.

Happily, with our tenkara style rods, we could cast and reach over the current and put only the fly and a few inches of tippet on the water in the eddy. Since there was no wind, we could place our fly gently in any and all parts of the eddy.

Before the hatch subsided, my Dad caught 6 rainbows in about 45 minutes and is now a total tenkara convert. I caught 5 fish in the same time period. Except for my one "larger" rainbow, the fish were 12-14 inches long.

It was one of our best ever fishing days!

Oct 28, 2013
Daiwa Kiyose 30SF
by: Carton

Love this rod. Finally got the chance to use it this weekend
Very sensitive with great hook setting ability. Used it Saturday morning to bash some stockie rainbows in the 15"-17"range and then for small wild Brookies in the afternoon. The only problem I had was the handle is narrower than the hole in the line holder spool and is slides right over and through the rod but that's an easy fix.

Oct 28, 2013
Very easy fix
by: TenkaraBum

The line spool sliding past the bottom of the rod is a very easy fix. As you wrap the line on the line holder, leave less than a foot of line between the line holder and the lillian when you catch the line in one of the notches. When you insert the end of the collapsed rod through the hole in the center of the spool, make sure it is inserted though the side that has the notches. That way, the line goes from the notch through the center of the line holder and then up to the lillian. It won't unwind by itself, and it will hold the line holder above the bottom of the rod. See the photo on my Tenkara Line Holder page.

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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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