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First Impressions of the Suntech GM Suikei Keiryu 44

by Les A.
(Caldwell, Idaho)

I went down to the Snake River this afternoon to give my first zoom rod a workout. The Snake where I fished isn't a "mountain stream", it is a half mile wide river! I chose this spot because it is a big eddy with variable currents. Perfect test water for a new rod. Three months ago, I caught 20 smallmouth bass in less than 30 casts in this eddy. With it being so cold and a storm coming I didn't expect to catch any fish, but I was hopeful. I caught one chub. No line in the water no fish for sure. My main purpose was to feel out the new rod. This is my second Suntech Rod. I am very impressed with their quality. They are in my opinion a cut above the rest. (Maybe that is why the TenkaraBum rods are Suntech rods.)

The first thing I noticed was how thin and flexible the tip was. I was a little concerned with how much power I could cast with. I cast both a tapered furled line and a 3.5 level line. Both were 12 feet long, and I used a 4 foot 6x leader with a Utah Killer bug. At the 36 setting, I could power the fly into the 10-15 mph wind that was blowing down stream. I was astonished how well I could pierce the wind. I preferred the level line because the wind didn't bother it as much. I put the rod through the paces at the 36 setting, and it fished well with the wind, against the wind, and in a cross wind. I felt well connected with the fly. I could feel when I was on the bottom of the river. Control was excellent. When I zoomed to the 40 setting, I was astonished at the different feel. My first 3 casts into the wind were bad! I then cast cross wind and with the wind and got a feeling for my "new" rod. I then cast into the wind with no problem. I learned when you zoom you get a new profile. I zoomed again to 44. This time I anticipated that it would be different. I had a ball, and on my 4th cast connected with the chub. I was amazed at the feel of the take and the fish! I was connected.

I love this rod. You get three rods for the price of one. It is sensitive, but also has backbone. It has a great grip and feels nice in the hand. I was not expecting the wind. I was not expecting this rod to cut into the wind like it can. I loved the way I could control my line through the various currents in my favorite eddy. The only thing I didn't like is there isn't a vent hole in the grip plug You get some back pressure when you try to make it shorter. It is going to be perfect on the Boise, Rapid, and Deadwood Rivers, where I trout fish. Why didn't I go to one of these rivers today?

Twenty yards from where I was fishing, Frankie my Britney pointed a covey of 20 quail, and it was a wonderful afternoon to have a "cast and blast." I have plenty of fly tying material now. I would highly recommend the GM Suikei Keiryu rods.

Comments for First Impressions of the Suntech GM Suikei Keiryu 44

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Nov 23, 2016
by: Chris Stewart

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Nov 23, 2016
Snake river
by: Doug

Nice review. Hey, I'm curious about the Snake out there. I was at the park in Glen's Ferry one evening and the water just exploded with surface action with the evening hatch. No rod. What sort of fish do you suppose they were?

Nov 23, 2016
My "Go to" rod!!!
by: Bruce Wagner

It's nice to hear someone else having a great opinion of my favorite rod! I'm excited to hear how you learn the benefits of the "long rod short line" technique Chris talks about here on Tenkarabum. One of the benefits I've realized with this rod is the ability to nearly reach to opposite bank of one of my "local" rivers, I discovered the "current seam" while using this rod, honestly I've never thought of this as a means of cover for trout, but I certainly do now! Congratulations on the purchase of your potential "new favorite". It really is a super high quality tool.

Nov 23, 2016
by: Dave

I have had the same experience with the field master, which seems to have added a bottom hole in the recent generation, or at least since Tom reviewed it. Sounds like a great rod!!!

Nov 24, 2016
Snake River
by: Les A.

The fish were probably carp or smallmouth bass.

Nov 24, 2016
See you in September
by: Rob R.

I'll be on the opposite side of the state in September, Idaho Falls. I'm bringing the smaller version of your rod along. Should be a blast. I used the 39 nearly everyday I was in Montana back in September 2016, that is until I broke the swivel tip off. I fixed it when I arrived back home. Suntech make some great rods.

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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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