Daiwa Seiryu-X 64 as a keiryu rod
by Jeff D
(Overland Park, KS)
At some point in the nearish future, I'd like to start offering guide service for folks wanting to try keiryu fishing. After consulting with Chris, I came to the conclusion that the rods I'd like to use would be the Daiwa Seiryu-X seiryu rods. After receiving Seiryu-X rods in the 45 and 64 lengths, I couldn't wait to get to the water and try them out.
Luckily, Mother Nature cooperated with a nice day recently so my son and I made a speed run down to Bennett Spring State Park. This being the catch and release fly only winter season, I couldn't use bait. I figured we'd still pick up some fish on flies. In addition, we fished from the bank only. I wanted to see how effective a long keiryu rod could be for non-wading anglers.
I started with the 64 rigged keiryu style, and my son with the 45 rigged tenkara style. We started at the spring pool, which has very little current. After catching a few sculpins but no trout on "regular size" flies (size 14) I decided to switch to my now go-to winter trout park fly: the micro egg.
The micro egg is nothing more than a bit of bright dubbing on a size 26 Gamakatsu C12-BM hook, with a 1.5mm bead. I am very impressed with these hooks. I've had trouble keeping fish on with small hooks before, but these hooks have changed that!
Using the micro egg I caught two 10-12" scrawny trout in the slow water of the spring pool. This was fun, but I wanted to actually get a drift, so we moved downstream a bit to an area below a rock dam where there was actually a current. Here I hooked a chunky 14" rainbow, and the 64 handled it with no problem. My son had never keiryu fished before, so we stowed away the 45 and I put the 64 in his hands. After some coaching on where to cast and how to watch the markers, he caught two average rainbows in quick succession. Then we had to pack up and head home as my son had social activities planned for the evening.
My keiryu line set up for the 64 was 4' of 1.5 tenjo line, 10' of 4x tippet, and a terminal tippet of 6x fluorocarbon tippet. I used a single BB shot for weight. I use 3 markers on the main line, trimmed very short to prevent wind resistance. In the future I'll probably use 5x as the main line to avoid rod breakage if it gets tangled in a tree.
I had cut two tenkara lines for both rods from 3.5 Oni level line. This line cast wonderfully, but since the lines were relatively long, they sagged more than I'd prefer. In the future, I'll have to try 2.5 as a tenkara line for both rods.
As soon as the regular season opens, we'll be back with a variety of baits for the bait only zone. Wading will be necessary then as bank access to this zone is very limited.
“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