Covid-19 Announcement

INTERNATIONAL: Shipments to Europe and Canada are still slightly delayed but are getting back closer to normal. Shipments to Australia are still much slower than normal.

DOMESTIC: Many deliveries are taking about a day longer than normal. A few deliveries are taking a lot longer than normal. If you are planning a trip, please order well in advance.


by Les Albjerg
(Caldwell, ID)

Winter on the South Fork

Winter on the South Fork

It was a beautiful day on the South Fork of the Boise River yesterday. Since the South Fork is a well known stream, I have no qualms naming the stream. It is my closest blue ribbon stream and it is pressured. It is artificial lures, one hook, barbless. Catch and release this time of the year on Rainbows. Rainbows are the only trout in the South Fork plus Mountain Whitefish. It has prolific hatches.

The fish were lethargic yesterday. The water was too cold. The normal set-up for winter fishing is an egg dropper and a stonefly above that. As Geoff and I were talking as we drove to the stream the light bulb went off in my head, and I decided to do something different. I have been spin fishing with stuff over on the Finesse-Fishing site, and I had C'ultiva JH-85 .7 gram Ajing Jigs with me and Micro Finesse Anisoptera bodies. It wasn't quite a "one fly" day. I just had to fish the Diawa .4 gram Vega spoons as well. I fished them for a half hour with no success.

The rod used was the Suntech Fine Power NP 56. I had the Suntech Keiryu Sawanobori 63 with me and the Suntech TenkaraBum 40 with me as well. I never needed the extra length of the Sawanobori or the need to go shorter with the TenkaraBum 40. I have experienced the "Fine" of the Fine Power fishing the Ultralight Worm Fishing method. Today, I experienced the "Power" side.

As I was rigging up, I was putting on my favorite 6.5x tippet material and then remembered what Chris' friend Coach said about the Fine Power, with respect to the size of fish that can be caught, " Anything you can catch with 5X tippet." So, I put on 5x. Too bad I didn't think about the Ajing hooks. Ajing are a saltwater fish in Japan that may get to 15 inches if they are lucky! I have caught lots of trout and perch up to 17 inches with these jigs. However, there are big trout in the South Fork.

I was working the third seam and all of a sudden I had a very big fish on. There wasn't a "tap - tap". There was a massive tug of the Fine Power and it was singing right away! The battle was on. He ran toward the other bank and the Fine Power held him as I dropped it to the left to turn him. There was enough power to turn him. Then he went to the bottom behind a rock, and I was able to keep him from wrapping around it! About 10 minutes into the fight he was coming in. I had him close. He was the biggest trout I have ever caught on a fix line rod. He was beautiful, bright, colorful in the bright sunlight. I know he was well over 20 inches. I had a gut feeling there was one more run left and I was prepared. It came at about 3 feet, and he was off the hook! I didn't know whether to cry or laugh! I pulled in the jig, and the hook had straightened out. The Ajing hooks were not meant for big trout. The real bummer is I had tied up tungsten beadheads on size 8 heavy duty nymph hooks for using the Anisoptera bodies.

I moved to the next hole, and Geoff, my friend who enjoys watching me fish fixed line spotted a trout that he knew I could reach with my Fine Power. I dropped the new rig right in front of the trout, and caught the only fish of the day that the four of us in our group landed. It wasn't a great day of catching fish, but it was a great day of fishing being out in the fresh air. Seeing the wonders of nature - a time of renewal and fellowship with friends. I had 5 other fish on for a very short amount of time. They bit the tails off my anisoptera bodies!

Give the Ajing set-up a try if you don't have fish over 20 inches. If you want an awesome rod, give the Suntech Fine Power a good look! It is now my favorite rod. It has power and finesse. What more can you ask for? I fished it one handed 95 percent of the day, with total control. As a two hander, it is an ultra-light.

Comments for Heresy

Click here to add your own comments

Jan 28, 2019
Praise for the Fine Power 56
by: Les Albjerg

My above entry was done fairly quickly as I had to get to an appointment. I just finished doing a deep cleaning of my rod, and thought it would be nice to do a bit of a review.

My first fishing experience with the Fine Power was about 10 months ago. The day it arrived it was rainy, windy, and cold. I just had to give it a try. I went down to one of the local ponds just thinking a bit of casting would be fun. It took about 5 minutes to feel comfortable, and the progression of this rod is smooth and predicable. I wasn't catching any fish however! I went to a different pond, still no fish. I went to a third pond and found a school of sunfish. The only problem was the biggest one was about 4 inches. I'm sure I caught at least 50! It was a blast! The Fine Power has enough of a bend and is sensitive enough to make those little sunfish fun.

I have used it on several rivers and creeks and it is an amazing trout rod for fish between 8 and 15 inches. I have used it on the private pond that I get to fish 2-4 times a year. It handles bass from 2-4 pounds very well. It is easy to control and I really like the bend profile for both casting, and fighting a fish. It has sensitivity and backbone.

It will cast size 28 dry flies up to .8 gram nymphs. I normally fish it with a 3.5 level line, but have gone down to 2.5 and up to a 4. I also have a tapered line that it casts well.

You get two rods for the price of one. It is a zoom rod. When fished at 520 cm, the weight of the section nested in the butt really helps with the rotation moment of the rod, and makes it a very enjoyable one handed rod. You an often drift through a much larger area by extending the rod, then fishing coverage at 560 cm without having to move.

I really like the color of the rod. I know that isn't all that important, but it is nice to enjoy the aesthetics of your rod! When collapsed it is about the same length of the TenkaraBum 40, so when I put it on my backpack with my other rods, it doesn't stick out any further.

The only thing I don't like and this is a small thing. I wish the zoom sections were better marked. I like that each individual section is marked on the TenkaraBum Traveler 44. Yes, it isn't the least expensive rod Chris sells, but you can't beat the versatility of this rod. If I have the room to fish it, it is the one I grab.

Saturday Geoff told me that I couldn't reach the slack water behind this huge boulder. I waded out zoomed the rod to 56 as I usually fish it one handed at 52, and dropped the nymph 3 inches behind the rock right in the center of the slack pool! I did get a solid hit, but unfortunately he only grabbed the back of the Anisoptera and bit it off. That was no fault of the rod! As I said above, this is one awesome rod!

Jan 28, 2019
deep cleaning
by: bill piatek

So Les,
How do you deep clean your rods? I have a Nissin that isn't made anymore and I used it for salmon eggs. I've tried soaking in the tub with baby shampoo but there is still a bit of residual stick & stink.

Jan 29, 2019
Deep Cleaning Method
by: Les Albjerg

I use a diluted by 50% glass cleaner on a clean cotton rag on the outside. One the inside of the sections (I do this first.), I run some mild diluted dish soap through them followed by just plain water, followed by a gentle blow dry with my air compressor. A hair dryer set on no heat would work too. I then leave the whole rod in pieces on my workbench overnight just to make sure everything is dry.

Check to see if your rod container is stinky. It may need cleaning. If it is a sock, wash it on gentle in the washing machine.

Jan 29, 2019
by: bill piatek

I'll give that a shot. I use one of Chris's tubes and clean that also. Maybe a wallpaper tray would work for the soak.

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Your Tenkara Stories.

“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 Aug 14.

Back in Stock Notification

To be notified when a specific item is back in stock, please use the Back in Stock Notification form.

To be notified when new items are added to the shop and when any out-of-stock items are back in stock please use the
This Just In... Signup