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Fishing Makes the Fish

by John Evans
(San Antonio, TX)

Nissin Fine Mode Nagare

Nissin Fine Mode Nagare

I thought I’d share an experience I had on the river awhile back. With high water from September and October rains in Central Texas, it’s been hard to get out lately. Finally I had the opportunity to work one of my favorite stretches of the Blanco River and enjoyed a great morning catching several dozen red ear and red breast sunfish. It felt wonderful to be outside.

With work responsibilities, travel time is limited. The best I can usually do is hit some local creeks and rivers, but that’s okay. Hey, life is good.

Well, as I worked a peacock midge with the special order Nissin Fine Mode Nagare Chris Stewart sent me, I thought back to a conversation I had on a different river more than a year ago. I was as happy as a dead pig in the sunshine, catching panfish and enjoying the water, when a fellow angler sidled up to me.

“Is that all you’re catching?” he asked. “Those little-bitty guys?”

“Yep,” I replied, “that’s what I’m catching.”

He just smiled . . . or was it a self-satisfied smirk? “Well, maybe you can use them for bait.”

I wasn’t sure what to say to that, so I finally asked, “Have you ever caught a six-inch bluegill on a one-ounce rod?”

No, he admitted, that would be a new experience. I handed him the Suntech Kurenai. Now he had a new look on his face . . . an instantaneous, longing kind of smile. “Oh,” he said, managing only a single syllable. I saw his wrist flex, as he automatically started to cast the Kurenai.

Hey, if you’ve ever handled a fine Japanese tenkara rod, can you blame him?

You know what I was thinking? Fishing makes the fish . . . fishing with a good rod, in a fine place, on a nice day, with the water massaging your toes. Why explain?

Comments for Fishing Makes the Fish

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Oct 31, 2018
by: BKCooper

Good one!

Oct 31, 2018
Nailed it!
by: Mine Schelp

You got it right, it’s not the size of the fish, it’s the total of all the parts.

Oct 31, 2018
The rod with it's own soundtrack
by: Alan Luecke

Nice story and a confirmation of something I've seen many times. Between fishing with friends, meeting folks on the water and attending shows and giving presentations I have never seen
ANYONE not make a noise of some sort when they first hold a Kurenai HM30R.

Oct 31, 2018
You've Got to be Kidding!
by: Les Albjerg

Alan - That was my first response when I unpacked my Kuranai 30! I didn't think they could make a rod so light with such a great action! Twenty minutes later, with a 6 inch sunfish bending the rod down at the pond, I was all smiles! Even the 2 inchers brought on big smiles!

John has hit the nail on the head again. Matching the rod to the game really adds to the fun. John you have to tell us a little bit more about your special order rod! I know Chris does great things like ordering strange rods for some of us strange people!

Oct 31, 2018
Background info on Fine Mode Nagare 330
by: Chris Stewart

Until John sees this and gives his take on the rod, I'll provide a little background info.

The Nissin Fine Mode Nagare 330 硬調 is a rod I used to stock very early on. It is a softer rod than the Suntech Kurenai HM33R (7.5 pennies vs 9 pennies) and it has a very different bend profile. The Kurenai is very much a tip flex rod, while the Fine Mode Nagare is very nearly a full flex rod. It feels very soft. It is almost as light as the Kurenai, at 35 grams compared to 32 grams.

Over the years, I have carried a number of very soft, full flex rods. None of them have sold well. I'm not quite sure why that is. Some of the buyers absolutely loved the feel of the rod bending all the way down to the grip but not enough people bought them.

If anyone wants one I can order one, but I probably won't stock them again.

I should add that the Fine Mode Nagare is very, very different from the Fine Mode Kosansui. The Nagare is a very soft seiryu rod and the Kosansui is a slightly stiff keiryu rod. Apples and oranges.

Oct 31, 2018
Nissin Fine Mode Nagare 330
by: John Evans

The Nissin Fine Mode Nagare 330 is an extremely light, soft, full-flex rod. When I say soft, we're talking 7.5 pennies, which is very soft indeed, even for a seiryu rod. The Nissin Royal Stage Syunki is no longer available, so this is a pole that fills that niche.
By comparison, the Suntech Kurenai 30 is a tip-flex, quicker rod. The Nissin Nagare has a slower action. I think more people would prefer the Kurenai, but the Nagare gives you a little different experience.
I had never sent for a special-order rod through Chris before, but it all went fine. (I may have just made more work for Chris!)

Oct 31, 2018
by: Duwa

It's not the size of the wand,

It's the magic of the magician!

Oct 31, 2018
Many Choices!
by: Les Albjerg

John - I have ordered several special rods from Japan through Chris. He is always so gracious. However, as my collection of rods has filled out, there just aren't that many holes left to fill. I also know what works for me in my area.

Rather than ordering a Nissin like yours, my next rod that is close to your Nissin that I have on my "want" list is the Diawa Seiryu X 35.

I am grateful for Chris who goes the extra mile for us. I have all of the Nissin Kyogi rods, the 12 and 15 were special order rods. My 8 meter rod was a special order rod. My 8 meter is an awesome smallmouth rod on the Weiser and Snake Rivers. H'm, I have never blogged on my smallmouth fishing. I didn't carp fish as much this year with the Kyogi rods, poor water conditions. Thanks for so many choices Chris!

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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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