Solid Rod Value
by John Evans
(San Antonio, TX)
Large, battle-scarred male cichlid and the Nissin Fine Mode Nagare 330
If you appreciate full-flex rods, and enjoy pursuing small fish in smaller waters, the Nissin Fine Mode Nagare 330 is hard to beat. Made by a Japanese company for Japanese anglers, this 11’4”, 1.1 oz. rod, represents solid value. It casts easily, is extremely sensitive, and is almost impossibly light.
In my hand, the Nagare feels like a slightly less-refined version of the Nissin Royal Stage Syunki, which has been discontinued. The Syunki was a premium rod; in fact, I own two of them, and neither is for sale. However, the price point on the Syunki was higher than many people were willing to pay, while the Nagare hits that sweet spot between price and value.
For comparison’s sake, the Suntech Kurenai 30, which many people are familiar with, is a faster, tip-flex rod. The Nissin Air Stage is a slower, mid-flex pole. The Nagare 330, at only 7.5 pennies, is slower yet, with a full-flex profile. Study the second photo above, and you’ll see what I mean. It’s a wonderful micro-fishing rod.
In a recent outing, I tried a variety of flies on the Nagare and found that it casts best with unweighted flies. Klinkhammer Specials and tenkara-style flies float beautifully from its tip. But, the Nagare also handles lightly-weighted Killer Bugs and Hare’s Ear Nymphs. In fact, the large male cichlid in the first photo was caught on a size 12 Hare’s Ear with a few wraps of lead-free wire underneath. Any fly heavier than that, however, would be too heavy and would unbalance the rod.
One thing I like about the Nagare is that it has a slightly wider handle blank than the Air Stage. Now, I really like the Nissin Air Stage, but the ultra-narrow handle is a little challenging for my oversize mitts. The Nagare fits comfortably in my hand and allows me to pinpoint my casts better.
I’m a big fan of most Nissin rods. The only thing I don’t like about them is the cloth pouches they come with. Instead, I carry all of mine in the Tenkarabum stretchy rod socks.
Do you enjoy small fish in smaller waters, casting light flies to pockets that most anglers overlook? If so, grab a Nagare, a mint tin of flies, and get after it. You won’t be disappointed.
“The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten” – Benjamin Franklin
"Study to be quiet." - Izaak Walton 1653
"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