Daiwa Kiyose 30SF - Wow!

by Wray

The rod arrived here Thursday as I was leaving for a 3 day back country weekend. Thanks for such prompt shipping!


I am an extremely accomplished 40+ year fly fishing veteran. I have fished the world over from salt water species to Salmon on both coasts and Steelhead in the Northwest. I have used rods and rigs of all sizes. My passion has always been back country trout fishing. WA, OR, ID, MT, WY and CO have been my primary fishing grounds.

I bought an expensive 12ft tenkara rod last year. It collapsed to something like 22-24 inches. It was too long for overgrown streams, couldn't cast far enough for mountain lake rises, and was too long collapsed for me to feel comfortable taking without a case, which would have meant more pack weight. Moreover, it was sold with a line that, I believe now, was too heavy. It could turn over a weighted nymph but only with a short leader and the touchdown was thus more agressive than a well placed western fly rod would have given me. Disgusted, I sold the rod last Fall on eBay.

My 2wt 6 ft Orvis Trout Bum has long been the staple of my wooded stream kit. But I think it may just have met its match. The Kiyose 30SF was highly packable, weighs almost nothing, appears very well made, and is a great length for 8-16" trout in small but rough water. With your hand tied 10ft medium line I was able to fish nearly every pool from several angles. I used a 2ft 6x leader with #12 bead head salmon fly nymphs deep, and #12 Stimulators with #16 Hare's Ear droppers up near the surface. I know those are traditional western rigs, but they rocked. I adjusted my casting technique, and worked on a new style for natural drift. I have never caught so many fish per hour, and all within 18 ft of me.

Even the lake fish were right there and only occasionally scared from the banks by the casts. And, I could get the flies right in under the brush.

Being a dry fly lover, my life's pursuit has been about the perfect cast and touchdown. But it appears the drift and initial floating action of the fly may be even more important than the landings. The fish I used to reach 20+ yards for in streams were right at my feet all the time. And, without all of the rough water drag I felt the bites right away.

I was impressed that the rod was plenty strong for the 14-16 inchers even in the rough water.

I tried a Cabela's 12 foot tapered leader but it was too supple. I also used a Tenkara USA hand woven line. I came back to your hand tied line as the best combination of stiffness, visibility, and soft landing. It was also versatile in the sense of fishing wet or dry.

An interesting note: I have large hands and did not miss the cork grip at all. I'll be buying another Kiyose 30SF to keep at the cabin.

My kids were on the trip as well. My daughter really loves the small wooded stream fishing. At age 11 managing the 10 footer and back cast is a bit much with tree cover. I would like to try her on one of your "tanago" rods, maybe about 8ft. Any idea when you may have some in stock? Maybe ones shorter than 21 inches collapsed?

Thanks for the gear, prompt shipping and extra items.


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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.

Beware of the Dogma

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