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Kyogi 15 - Spoons - and Worms

by Les Albjerg
(Caldwell, Idaho)

All Four Kyogi Rods

All Four Kyogi Rods

On Thursday night the Kyogi 15 was waiting in the living room when I got home from work! My collection of Kyogi rods is complete! Chris was even able to get me a Yellow-Red-Yellow-Red set! I now have the Kyogi 12 (11 feet 11 inches long); the Kyogi 15 (14 feet 8 inches long); the Kyogi 18 (17 feet 9 inches long) and the Kyogi 21 (20 feet 8 inches long.) You might say, I like the Kyogi rods!

I headed over to Wilson Springs Ponds to test the new rod this morning. My first impression was, "Wow this rod isn't tip heavy at all!" It is a heavy rod. On both of my scales it weighs in at 5.4 ounces. Nissin doesn't just add sections to their rods. The base section of the rod is shorter than the 18, but the tip diameter of the handle section is the same. These are well engineered rods. This is the most balanced 450 centimeter rod that I own. It is a sweet two handed casting rod. That said, I had no problem casting it one handed as well.

I began fishing with a size 8 Keeper Kebari just to get a feel for the rod. I was using size 4 level line. I caught 1 fish in 20 minutes. This is not a Tenkara Rod! It fishes nothing like the Suntech Keriyu Special 44 at the 44 length. The flex with a fly just isn't there. Once you get used to it, the feel is there, it is just different. That said, a nice smooth back and forward cast drops the fly first every time.

I just finished reading Tenkara in Focus' lesson on mid-cast corrections. This isn't a rod for practicing that technique. This is a powerful rod like the other Kyogi rods, rated for 4x to 0x. The 10 to 14 inch planters I caught today gave a fun fight, so even with the power they are sensitive rods. I caught 2 trout on Red Wigglers and a split shot.

One of the reasons I bought this rod is my love of 450 cm rods. I also wanted a rod to fish spoons with a fixed line. I switched to a 14 foot size 3 level line with 18 inches of 4x tippet and a Crusader 2.5 gram spoon. This setup on the Kyogi 15 is amazingly balanced! On my first cast, I had a fish on! On the next several strikes, the fish were striking short. Chris reminded me of an old trick I had used when I lived in Minnesota. I put a Red Wiggler on the hook. It was six fish in six casts! Then the timer on my phone went off! My 45 minute fishing session was done for the day!

I really had a smile on when I was driving home. The Kyogi 15 is all that I thought it would be. I am hoping to get out next week and do some Czech nymphing with it on the Boise River. Like all of the Kyogi rods, it is very smooth casting as well as fighting fish. The 12 inch fish with the Kyogi gave me as much satisfaction as I have enjoyed with the TenkaraBum 40.

These rods have a very nice progression. I have caught an 8.5 pound carp with the Kyogi 12 in the trees in Lake Lowell, and felt I still had power to spare. I caught a 14 pound carp in Claytonia Pond sight fishing with a Keeper Kabari on the Kyogi 18. It is my only carp on a fly so far. It is my biggest carp to date. I have caught several 10-12 pound carp with a method feeder on the Kyogi 21. I have caught some nice small and largemouth bass on the 18 and 21 as well.

I couldn't be more happy with the Kyogi 15! It is balanced, powerful, and yet sensitive enough to enjoy the fight with a 12 inch trout. Thanks for special ordering it for me Chris. There is something amazing about having a trout slam a spoon on a fixed line rod!

When I got home, I thought it was time to give my Worm Ranch a little love. I am raising worms for fishing. According to my log, I have used close to 250 worms this month. I have spent less than an hour this month tending my worms.

I went to a double bin system. I dumped all of my worms from the small bin into the large bin. I then made a new bed of peat moss and sand in the small bin. I made up some food out of coffee grounds, chopped up bananas and my worm food that is mostly corn meal. The worms seem to love leaves, so I added more leaves to the mix. I also added some fresh peat moss in the large bin. I then transferred 200 worms to the small bin. I found plenty of baby worms, and eggs so I know the Ranch is doing well. I estimate that I have at least 2000 worms. Total time was less than a half hour. A small Red Wiggler Ranch is so easy, and they do catch fish! I have mine sitting in the corner of my shop, and they don't take up much room.

I highly recommend the Kyogi rods, and the Kyogi 15 is simply amazing! It can be fished two or one handed. Chris can special order one for you.

Comments for Kyogi 15 - Spoons - and Worms

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Nov 12, 2017
by: Herb S.

Thanks for another excellent, detailed report, Les. It's just the kind of information needed to evaluate that rod without being able to actually handle it. The Kiyogi 15 sounds really tempting! Now to brood all winter. The worm farm is also tempting.

For the first time in memory we don't have a bait shop in town or in this half of the county. At one time we had four here and at least one in each of the surrounding villages. The only bait available are crawlers, wax worms and red worms (sometimes) in the two big box stores in town. Some of the gas stations sell Walt's Crawlers. So that means no minnows, wigglers (Hexagenia mayfly nymphs), mousies (drone fly larvae), spikes (maggots) or anything exotic for ice fishing. For an area with as much water around this is a calamity! Good thing I've kept your worm farm instruction post. Thanks again!

Happy fishing,

Nov 13, 2017
Worms - Red Wigglers
by: Les Albjerg

Herb - I am sorry about your lack of resources for bait.

As I have researched Red Wigglers. I have discovered very little is written on raising them for "home fishing use." I have a garden, and yes, I do use the "Black Gold" for my plants. I could care less about maximizing production of fertilizer. One of my life-long friends, Larry, used to raise Red Wigglers (8 - 100 yard by 2 yard
beds) and processed them for protein that he sold to the Asian market. He also did well selling the fertilizer. (I still won't forgive him for beating to my secret hole on my secret creek that I took him to and catching an 18 inch cutthroat on the first cast!) My goal is to have a reasonable reproduction rate, with minimum work and fuss. I started my Worm Ranch, (I don't like calling it a farm because I am raising animals.) with 500 worms. I have gone through slightly over 3,000 worms this year (my son and buddies get them free from me), and estimate well over 2,000 in the Ranch right now.

Our local bait shop sells them for 2 dollars a dozen when he has them. So, I have gone through about $500.00 worth of worms. My total investment in my Worm Ranch to date is less than $50.00 and that includes buying true Red Wigglers. I have simplified my system for fishing. That is why I have gone to two bins. The small bin is now where I am raising my "next generations." I will harvest from the larger one through the fall and winter. When it is time for a bed change, I will simply dump one into the other, make a fresh bed and start over by moving about 10% of the worms to the new bin. The biggest pain in the butt is separating the worms from the "Black Gold." So by depleting the "older" bin for fishing, I am forestalling the need to clean and sift the "Black Gold" fertilizer. When I move worms to the new bin, I look for eggs and babies to transfer as well. I am not super meticulous about the process as I don't really mind reproduction in the bin that I am depleting for fishing. It sounds more complicated than it really is.

I am experimenting right now with a super simple system for raising Red Wigglers for the fisherman. Stay tuned, as I am not sure how good it is going to work. If it works like I am hoping, there will be no need for anyone who likes to fish with Red Wigglers to have to go out and buy them. Part of my research has shown that there are plenty of gardeners around that do raise them for composting. Three of the five I contacted were a little upset that I am using them for fishing. I found them through the Master Gardener Program. Full disclosure is not necessary. The other two offered me a starter of 100 worms for free. So stay tuned! I am hoping to write another article on "Worm Ranching" in February for TenkaraBum if my simplified experiment works out.

By the way, I am the guy who makes the "Traditional Japanese Bait Boxes" for TenkaraBum. Full disclosure here! I am fishing with a prototype and I love the traditional design. It keeps the worms nice and lively, and they are readily available when you are fishing. I have used and abused my for about a year now, and it still looks good! So if you fish worms and are frustrated with the paper containers, or dead worms in a plastic container, consider a "Traditional Japanese Wood" bait box.

Nov 13, 2017
On-line resources
by: Chris Stewart


There are a couple active Facebook groups on vermiculture:

Both have thousands of members. Based on their facebook posts, many of the participants regard their worms as pets.

There is one forum (I know of, there may be others) on raising worms for bait. It covers minnows and other live bait in addition to worms.

All of the participants seem to view their worms as fishbait, not as pets.

Nov 15, 2017
Thanks, Les and Chris!
by: Herb S.

Your bait information for possible future use is greatly appreciated. So were your well wishes to my wife, Judy, who, after breaking her foot in August has, after 3 splints, 2 casts and a walking boot been declared healed. A long haul!
Happy fishing,

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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

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The fish are slippery when wet.

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