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Nissin Kiyogi 21 and Flying Dragon Carp Rods, good for catfish too!

by Jeff D

There is a city park a few blocks from my house with a sizable lake. I've been fishing it all summer for bluegill and bass, but I've discovered the lake also contains a sizable population of koi, some of which are quite large. I'd estimate the largest in the 20lb range. Needless to say, I decided I was going to catch the koi on a fixed line rod.

I started out using flies, but even with the best presentation, they just weren't interested. I tied up and tried a wide variety of carp flies, and I even tried the old trusty Utah Killer Bug, but they just ignored every fly.

So I switched to bait. At first, I tried my old tried and true carp fishing tactic of chumming and fishing with sweet corn flavored with strawberry jello. It turned out that sunfish and bluegill in this very shallow lake really enjoyed the corn buffet, so much so that as soon as your baited hook hit the bottom it was attacked by sunfish.

So I decided to get serious about carping. I made strawberry flavored boilies and hair rigs. These cast very well with the carp rods with no added weight. My first cast hadn't been in the water for 5 minutes before I had a strong fish on. YES, finally a koi! The Kiyogi was singing as I fought the fish. Then when it came to the surface I saw that it was a channel catfish. I baited back up and cast back out. Again, a fish hit hard and this time I was sure I had a koi. Nope, just another catfish, even bigger this time.

The next day my son and I went back to the lake to continue Koi Quest. He was using the Nissin Flying Dragon 53 and sure enough, as soon as his bait hit the water he had a decent catfish on. Then I hooked up with a really nice channel cat on the Kiyogi 21.

Now, most folks who fish for catfish in this lake use heavy rods and cast halfway across the lake. All these fish were caught within about 30 feet of the bank in water that couldn't be more than 5-6 ft deep. People were very interested in our "crappie poles" and we spread the word that no, these aren't crappie poles, they're Japanese bait fishing rods.

I'm still fixated on the koi, so I'm going to have to figure out a bait that is appealing to carp and not catfish. I don't mind catching nice cats, but given the water quality in this lake (waterfowl feces and suburban runoff) I wouldn't eat anything I caught here. Still, the hair rigs and quick hooksets resulted in lip hooked cats so if you want to do some catch and release catfishing, try a hair rig.

Comments for Nissin Kiyogi 21 and Flying Dragon Carp Rods, good for catfish too!

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Sep 18, 2017
Nice Cats!
by: John Evans

Nice cats! They do put a bend in the rod, don't they? Channel catfish are my wife's favorite fish to catch on her Suntech Field Master 39. Keep it up!

Sep 19, 2017
Hair Rigs
by: Herb S.

Good report, Jeff; sounds like a blast! I've used hair rigs with canned corn for years to catch carp on bait casting rods using a sliding sinker set up in moving water. Hair rigs are amazing for carp but I didn't realize they'd work for catfish.

How are you rigging with the fixed line carp rods? Do you use a sliding sinker or just split shot? The idea of the sliding sinker is to minimize the carp feeling any resistance, but it might not be needed in still water. I don't have one of those carp rods -yet, but just in case I break down and bust the piggy bank it'd be nice to know.

Happy fishing,

Sep 19, 2017
fixed line rig
by: Jeff D

When I was just fishing corn on a hook, I was using a small slip sinker (1/8 oz) on the main line (#4 fluorocarbon LL) to a barrel swivel and then a 0X leader to a #6 hook on the Kiyogi. On the Flying Dragon, it was the same except I used #3 fluorocarbon level line and 3x leader.

Once I started using hair rigs and boilies, I took the weights out of the system as the boilies themselves provided enough weight for casting.

Also, it turns out the #6 TMC 2457 fly hooks I bought for tying carp flies make ideal hooks for hair rigs, and a fly tying vise makes for much easier rigging. To save money, I'm now tying the rigs with 12 lb Berkley fluorocarbon for the Kiyogi and 6 lb Berkley fluorocarbon for the Flying Dragon. It's a bit softer and much more affordable than fluoro tippet!

Sep 19, 2017
Hair Rigs and Method Feeders.
by: Les A.

Jeff - I have two friends that are dedicated carp fishermen. They seem to always catch catfish too. I called Daniel last night, and he said that fishing shallower leads to more carp, less catfish. He also said, that if they are both present, you are going to catch both. He likes boilies. His advice is to keep trying!

Herb - I have been using hair rigs with method feeders (35gr) with my Kyogi. The length of the line to the method feeder can't be much longer than the rod. I have found that the rig isn't too heavy for the Kyogi 21, 18, or 12. The weight of the method feeder hooks the carp or catfish. I have not written about the method feeder method. They are hard to get in the United States. I bought mine from a tackle shop in England. I have not written about my carp adventures because I am still experimenting. I also seem to write too much here anyway. I have also been holding out for some larger carp. So far, the biggest carp is an 8 pound 4 ounce. I am sure this method of fishing really brands me as a heretic! The English continue to perfect carp fishing. My friend Luke was able to go and fish carp in England. The 5 acre private pond that he fished in was stocked by the owner for carp fishing. The owner spent over $150,000. stocking his pond. He spent another $100,000 cleaning up the pond and preparing it for trophy fishing. The carp that weighed over 15 pounds cost him $10,000 - $12,000 each! After hearing all of that, Luke didn't mind paying the $250.00 fishing fee for one day of fishing. He caught and released 3 nice ones! No wonder they baby their fish over there! Check out some of the YouTube videos on the Method Feeder method in England.

Now for my rant! Why is American tackle so poorly made. I was at Sportsman's Warehouse yesterday picking up gear for my elk hunt and spent a little time in the fishing section. The hair rig hooks I bought from England are wickedly sharp and come packed individually. The Japanese gear I have bought from Chris as well as a couple of other sources have been excellent too. Yes, I know if you go to a specialty shop you can find quality gear. I was so disappointed in what is offered to the masses.

Sep 20, 2017
recommended method feeder?
by: Jeff D


What brand/model of method feeder are you using? There are some available on Amazon, but reviews are mixed.

Sep 20, 2017
Method Feeder
by: Les A

Jeff- After experimenting with a lot of different feeders and weights, my favorite so far is the "GURU 24g Method Feeder X-Safe System." I discovered that over 35g it is too heavy for the Kyogi. If they are 20g or under, it is too light to get a good hook set. I personally think the 24g is just about right for the Kyogi. This Method Feeder has an elastic (the X-Safe System). I really like having the elastic connected to the hook. It really dampens the initial run of the carp or catfish, and protects your rod tip from that initial shock. In my experience, I don't feel that it has hurt the quality of the fight with the fish. I also believe that the elastic helps with the initial hookup as I have had a lot less bits that break off right away. In fact, I can only think of one and that was my fault for setting the hook too soon and too hard. You don't really need to set the hook, with the Method Feeder it is self setting. Old habits die hard. With the standard feeders, it is a real jolt when they suck in the bait blow it out and get hooked by the hair rig. I have not had a subtle take yet with a method feeder. It has been "hold on for your life" battles. With the Guru X-Safe System it is a smoother transition, and I do believe it protects the rod.

Hope that helps.

Sep 20, 2017
Rip Off Alert!
by: Les A.

I just checked Amazon to see if they had the Guru Method Feeders that I really like. They do, but the price is an outrageous $11.72. I paid $3.36 for mine, and with the other stuff I bought the shipping was reasonable from England. I'm at work, so I can't remember the exact shop I bought them from, but I had a new one in my car and brought it into my office so I could be precise in my above post. The price sticker was on the back, 2.49 pounds. I knew I had paid less than five bucks for mine.

Sep 22, 2017
Old School
by: Herb S.

Thanks for the info, guys! Wow, guess I’m old school; had to google method feeder and once again am amazed at the technology and sophistication that our cousins across the waves have developed to catch fish. It’s been a while since I looked at their methods, and feel rather crude.

Here’s my rig: 15# Power Pro left over from filling a reel. This is snelled onto a #8 up-eye salmon hook and tied to a crane swivel tied to the line. Above the swivel is a bead and then a snap swivel I make up with a crane swivel and duo-lock snap. The snap allows quick change of bell sinkers from ¼ to 1 oz. (a bit heavy for fixed line, but not for a bait casting outfit). The bait is canned sweet corn, the cheapest has larger and firmer kernels. I impale 3 or 4 kernels onto a 1.10 mm crochet needle and use this to hook the loop behind the hook and slide on the corn. I use a short length of plant stem (cut on site) as a stop to hold the corn on. An 18" wooden spoon works well to sling corn out for chum.

I have several bait casting outfits, each reel with a line out alarm (clicker). It’s a great way to take kids fishing and catch really strong and good sized fish. Carp are fun! Last time was with a gang of second cousins. They all caught fish and the girl in the bunch caught a smallmouth bass – on corn! Who’d have thunk it.

Those Kiyogi rods are no doubt even more fun and the piggy bank is starting to squeal.

Happy fishing,

Sep 23, 2017
More catfish!
by: Jeff D

I went out yesterday and took my parents along. We started out using my home-brewed strawberry banana boilies and sure enough, here come the catfish. They were using heavy spinning tackle, and I was using the Kiyogi. It didn't take long for the cats to show up.

At some point, they switched over to using dip bait and that REALLY got the catfish worked up! They were hitting the bait as soon as it hit bottom. I tried fishing in very shallow water, probably 3 ft deep, thinking that no self-respecting catfish would be in water that shallow in the middle of the day, but since the water is so murky due to over-fertilization I guess they feel perfectly comfortable in that depth.

All in all, we caught 20+ channel cats over a couple hours. I'm beginning to think that I'm going to have to start sight fishing with bait to the carp if I want to have any chance of catching them!

Sep 23, 2017
Guru method feeders US vendor
by: Jeff D

Hey Les, I found via the California Ghetto Carping Club (check them out, they're doing great things getting kids fishing in the city!) that there is a vendor in the US for the Guru method feeders at reasonable prices ($3.25). It's Big Carp Tackle.

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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 hooks are sharp.
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The fish are slippery when wet.

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