Shimotsuke Kiyotaki rods - amazing for small stream trout

by Pete (UK)

The city of Sheffield (UK) was once famed for its steel industry. I'm very proud of my Sheffield heritage but, such was the scale of the pollution in those times, when I was growing up here in the 60's and 70's there was a 'joke' that if you fell into River Don (the major waterway through the city) you would die from poisoning before you drowned.

There have been enormous changes since then. Sure, morons still throw garbage and shopping trolleys off bridges into the River Don, but the water is now crystal clear and wildlife is thriving.

Today I fished one of the Don's tributaries, the River Sheaf (from which the city takes its name) using a Shimotsuke Kiyotaki Keiryu rod. In its upper reaches the Sheaf is no more than a brook but it's obviously a great nursery for little fish to grow up in before migrating down–river to mix with the bigger guys.

I have the Shimotsuke 2.4 metre (8 foot) model and it worked beautifully on this narrow, tree-shrouded stream, but I think I'll soon be adding the 1.8 for even tighter situations.

It took me a while to get used to the narrow grip and casting this almost weightless rod with a Nissan 2.5 level line but once I did I had a blast. Even 'micros' put a bend on these rods!

Comments for Shimotsuke Kiyotaki rods - amazing for small stream trout

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Apr 22, 2018
Beautiful Fish!
by: Les Albjerg

Pete - I have the same rod! I was hoping to fish the creek just below where we hunt bear yesterday, but it is blown out with runoff water. I bought a Shimotsuke Tenkara Gen 240 last week and was hoping to compare the rods. So, I went over the pass into Grimes Creek that flows into the Boise River looking for some water that could be fished.

This is a stream much like your home waters. However Grimes Creek was ruined at one time from irresponsible gold mining. There has been a lot of restoration work done in the last 20 years. Trout Unlimited has put over 1.5 million into the project. I wish I had turned right and gone even higher in the headwaters. It was a fishless day. However, it was a great day in the forest. I was close to elk, two wild turkeys, and butterflies. I had several rods with me. I ended up just fishing one, the Tenryu Rayz Spectra RZS51LL spinning rod with my Shimano reel. I fished spoons and spinners. It was a great day of practice with an amazing rod. I resisted the temptation of fishing several rods. The highlight of the day was working a beaver pond. I had one solid hit, but alas no fish to the net. About halfway down Grimes Creek, I was into heavy runoff. I had never explored this area before. I found several places where Tenkara fishing should be a blast once runoff season is over. A day of seeing new country is always exciting.

Seeing restoration of fish habitat always warms my soul. Thanks for sharing with us. The Shimotsuke Kiyotaki 24 makes a 6 incher a worthy adversary. Just getting out is soothing to the mind, body, and soul. Thanks for sharing your adventure!

Apr 23, 2018
Beautiful Stream!
by: Herb S.

Pete, I'd love to have that creek in my area. I have both the Kiyotaki 24 and 18 but they get neglected for lack of small enough creeks nearby. I found they cast better in wind with larger level lines, even #4.

Happy fishing,

Apr 23, 2018
Habitat Regeneration
by: Pete (UK)

Hi Les, Hi Herb,
Glad you liked the fish (and the stream!).
We fishermen are very lucky here in Sheffield. Although it's a pretty big city by UK terms (around 600,000 people) it's very green — more than three trees for every inhabitent (apparently) and you're never far from a stream or river.
The river regeneration work here has been monumental, not only cleaning up the water but also adding multiple fish passes to allow Trout to reach their spawning grounds in the tributeries.
One Sheffield district near the River Don is historically known as 'Salmon Pastures'. It was named after the huge numbers of Salmon that could be found here in the 17th and 18th centuries, so many that apprentice cutlers of the age had a clause inserted into their work contracts stipulating that they would not be forced to eat Salmon more than three times a week (and remember, we are basically talking about child labour under horrendous conditions here)!
By the 19th century the Salmon were long gone, but the fantastic news is that they are now coming back. They haven't quite reached 'Salmon Pastures' yet but it’s only a matter of time.

Apr 23, 2018
Sheffield Question
by: John Evans

Sheffield steel always stood for quality. Does there continue to be any kind of a steel industry there, and, if so, have they been able to figure out how to balance the industry with the need to maintain clean water? Your good write-up indicates that real progress is being made.

Apr 24, 2018
Sheffield is still the 'Steel City'
by: Pete (UK)

Hi John,
Yes, there is still a thriving steel industry in Sheffield and it is still rightly known as the 'Steel City'. These days, however, the area no longer produces raw steel, instead bringing it in from other parts of the UK and then converting it into high quality stainless steels and alloys for export all over the world.
There are also hundreds of small companies still involved in manufacturing machine parts, tools cutlery, etc. I'm not sure how they deal with their waste but I do know that it no longer enters the rivers! As well as brown trout in the faster-flowing pieces of water (other species, such as Perch, Chub, Roach, etc. can be found in the slower reaches) there are huge numbers of European Grayling — a fish renowned for the cleanliness of water it requires to succeed. These were introduced into the River Don a while ago and are really thriving. Not that I'd chance them on my Shimotsuke 24 — they can get pretty big and always put up a strong fight.

Apr 24, 2018
Favorite Turning tools
by: Les Albjerg


Several of my favorite gouges, scrappers and skews that I use for woodturning are made in Sheffield. If you ever get into fishing with Red Wiggler worms and get a bait box from Chris, you can tell folks it was made with tools from Sheffield.

Apr 24, 2018
That's great!
by: Pete (UK)

Hi Les,
Great story!
It just shows how expertise in an industry leaps across countries and generations.
As an afterthought to the Shimotsuke 24, I went back to the River Sheaf for a couple of hours this afternoon and landed a few more Brown Trout including one specimen around 12" (considerably bigger than any I've caught here before) and never felt like the rod was lacking. I might have to revaluate what these little rods are capable of...

Apr 24, 2018
Smooth as Butter
by: Les Albjerg

If you can afford it and have the room, the Suntech Kurenai HM 30R will really spoil you! My biggest fish to date has been a 12.5 inch cutthroat. It is the smoothest rod I have ever experienced! You really feel connected with the fish. If you are going to run into bigger fish, Chris doesn't recommend it. I enjoy fishing this rod for panfish. One of these days, a big bass is going to grab my Red Wiggler. Hopefully, it is the 7x tippet that will break and not the rod. I continue to be amazed at how much faster these fuller flex rods tire a fish than using other fishing methods.

Apr 26, 2018
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by: Chris Stewart

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