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Four Rods - Four Meters - Forty Fish
by Les Albjerg
It was a beautiful sunny windless morning. I needed to get out fishing! Rather than take just one rod, I took all of my rods that can be fished at 4 meters. The TenkaraBum 40; the Tenryu Furaibo TF39 Becchou; the TenkaraBum Traveler 44; and the Diawa Sigiri 45. I used the same line on all 4 rods. I used 4 meters of Sanyo Valcan 3.5 level line with a tippet ring. I used 18 inches of Fujino 6.5x fluorocarbon. I used one #10 Dinsmore split shot about 6 inches from the tippet ring. For a hook, I used the Gamakatsu R10B size 14 and a scoured red wiggler for bait. The goal was to catch 10 fish on each rod and do some objective as possible and subjective comparisons. Before I begin, all four of these rods are great rods. The time spent catching the 10 fish was about the same. All fish were in the 4-7 inch range. Typical for this pond.
The TenkaraBum 40 is a versatile rod. Casting is easy and accurate. The parabolic curve in the fight is great. I really enjoyed the battles with this rod, but they seemed to be over too soon. The TenkaraBum 40 almost has too much power for the sunfish in this pond. Now if a largemouth bass had nailed the wiggler, I would have been well gunned! If this was my only rod, I wouldn't be disappointed. The dampening qualities of this rod when casting are outstanding. The fish were almost too easy to control.
The Tenryu Furaibo TF39 Becchou was out on its third outing today. I wrote a friend last night that, "The jury was still out on this rod." While the jury is in today! This is not only a beautiful rod, but it really fishes well! At first I thought it was a little on the stiff side. It isn't. It just feels that way because of the graphite being woven. This rod has amazing dampening qualities. It has nice flex, but the tip just stops at the end of the cast. The parabolic curve of the rod during the battle with a fish makes you feel connected and in control. Because the handle is graphite, the fish's movement is clearly transmitted to your hand. Up until now, I have been pleased with this rod because of its uniqueness and craftsmanship. Today, I am amazed at its fishability. At the end of my testing, I took off the split shot and tied on a Royal Coachman Kebari and caught 4 sunfish. It fishes well as a pure Tenkara rod as well. For the past couple of months I have been trying to justify having this rod for its uniqueness and aesthetics. Today it came into its own as a great fishing instrument.
The TenkaraBum Traveler 44 fished at 40. I have not fished this rod in awhile. It continues to amaze every time I fish it. The tip is more sensitive that the first two rods. This helps with strike detection, and once a fish is on the midsection helps with the fight. Again a very sensitive rod with backbone. It doesn't have my favorite bend profile when fighting a fish, but it does a great job subduing them. For its ability to be 3 rods for the price of one, you can't go wrong with a TB Traveler 44. This winter I fished it at 36 a lot, and would have loved to have zoomed it out to 44 this morning. A great fight, and with the more sensitive tip, it gives a great feel of the fish during the battle.
The Diawa Sigiri 45. This rod was bought for sunfishing. It does not disappoint. Feeling the take of the fish is sensitive. The fight with the full bend nature of the rod is much different than with the other three rods. Because of the full bend of the rod, you don't get the crisp feel of shakes, and escape maneuvers of the fish. It is best described as a graceful battle. If laughing while fight the fish is the test, then the Diawa wins hands down. Again, I had 7 of the 10 fish just give up the battle after awhile and swim straight at me. It was like they were saying, "I have given you your fun, now let me go." It does fish better with 2.5 level line, but it is nice to know if the wind comes up, 3.5 will save the day.
So, in conclusion, you can't go wrong with any of these rods. As the British would say, I "am over the moon" now with the Tenryu Furaibo TF39 Becchou. All of the TenkraBum rods are simply amazing. When I go sunfishing again, I will be bringing two rods, the TenkaraBum Traveler 44 and the Diawa Sigiri 45. Depending on what kind of fight I am in the mood for, that is the rod I will pick. Today, I was fishing and being very mindful for this report. Taking a limited edition masterpiece like the Tenryu Furaibo TF39 Becchou for my normal free-for-all Sunfishing wouldn't be wise, but it would be fun.
“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