First Outing With The 390 Ex-Stiff Nissin Air Stage Rod

by Karl
(Fresno, California)

Well I got the EX-Stiff Nissin Air Stage rod out for a couple of hours last evening, and a dozen or so nice bluegill were caught and released. I also had a couple of wet releases on some better sized bass, and I landed one somewhat better than the bluegill sized crappie, as well. Although this rod is described as "Super Hard" in its rod action, it is a Seiryu rod after all, so how hard can it really be? Hook sets were positive enough to hook the fish and the rod had enough backbone to guide the fish in the desired direction most of the time with out over powering them. Weighing in at 1.5 ounces for a 3.9 meter rod, it was a total delight to fish with.

The line I used on the rod was a 12 foot long length of Sage 000 tapered fly line, with a hand-tied tapered leader made up of: 24" of 12# test Amnesia; 18" of 10# Stren Nylon; 12" of 8# test FC fishing line; 9" of 6# FC line, and a 3.5 foot long tippet of 5# FC tippet material. The rod cast this line and leader combination more than well enough, even in the at times pretty strong breeze that was blowing over the pond that night.

The fishing was pretty slow. The only fly pattern I fished with was an experimental Floating Sparkle Yarn Damselfly Nymph, with a mono loop tied in at the back of the hook to (hopefully) keep the yarn tail from fouling the hook, which proved to not be worth the effort it took to tie the loop on to the fly. I first tried this pattern last summer tied on a TMC 212Y hook. The trout I fished it to really responded well to it but I was only hooking about 50% of the fish that took it, so this time I tied up 2 using the TMC 900 BL (barbless) hook, which produced a much higher hooking average than the 212Y hook did.

John, my fishing partner, tried a different sinking damsel pattern, a Gurgler, and an ant pattern with no success. So I gave him my other Floating Damsel to try, and he was soon into the fish. So, sometimes at least, the fly pattern fished can make a big difference.

Return to Your Gear Reviews.

“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

Currently processing orders that were received June 20.

This Just In

Medium Rod Case

Suntech Kurenai II AR (Waiting list signup)