Fishing the 45s
by Les Albjerg
The Nissin Air Stage Honryu 45 arrived earlier this week. Yesterday morning was a perfect day to get out and run it through its paces. I don't have that many Tenkara rods. I fish a lot of Keiryu rods like Tenkara. I have way more 4.5 meter rods than I realized! In my opinion, the conscious feeling of the rotational inertia on rods longer than 4 meters is just something that has to be acknowledged. It is a matter of physics.
I went through my rods and I have the following rods that can be fished at 4.5 meters or close to 4.5 meters: TenkaraBum Traveler 44, Nissin Kyogi 15, Suntech Genryu Sawanobori 45, Diawa Sagiri 45MC, and now the Nissin Air Stage Honryu 45.
Since I was treating myself to a nice session over at Wilson Springs yesterday morning, I thought to myself, "why not give them all a spin using the same line. The line I fished was the 8 meter Fujino Soft Tenkara Long Type, 12 inches of Fujino 6.5x tippet (that's what happens when you don't pack a spare spool of tippet) and a Keeper Kabari. I am fascinated by longer line Tenkara, and it was the driving force in getting the Air Stage Honryu 45.
First off, let me eliminate a couple of rods. The Genryu Sawanobori is just too stiff to cast the line well and the Diawa Sagiri is just too flexible. We are talking my casting skills. Others may be able to cast the line well. The TenkaraBum Traveler 44 has a bit too much tip flex to be considered "perfect", but it does cast the line fairly well, and fishing it accounted for one fish!
The two Nissin rods, cast the line very well! Catching an 11 inch rainbow on a Kyogi is overkill. It accounted for two fish.
I'm thrilled with the Nissin Air Stage Honryu 45! It is amazingly light and with the cork handle well balanced! The flex in the rod is smooth as silk, and the feel in the hand is so predictable. I do think this is a rod that could be fished for an extended period of time. The loops were tight and well controlled, and I was able to hit my targets well after just a few casts. The three 10-12 inch rainbows that I caught gave me a very nice battle!
Just to get some perspective, I put the 8 meter line on the TenkaraBum 40. That extra half meter made a world of difference in casting an 8 meter line! So, yes I do think that a 45 is worth it for longer lines.
Chris makes a big deal about the longer collapsed rods. The smoothness of my longer collapsed rods far outweigh the inconvenience. I have packed my longer rods into the high lakes. It is just a matter of putting them on the pack the right way!
So, in summary. Going up past 4 meters you are going to be dealing with inertia. The handle on the Air Stage Honryu is long enough that it makes a very nice "ultra light" two hander. Fishing a couple of 6 meter rods a lot helps me feel that 4.5 isn't that long! I really like the 4.5 meter rods. If you are serious, I would highly recommend the Nissin rods. However, for versatility, you just can't beat the TenkaraBum Traveler 44. Drop down to the 40 setting and you can truly experience the inerta difference that extra half meter makes!
“The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten” – Benjamin Franklin
"Study to be quiet." - Izaak Walton 1653
"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