Suntech Aoi ZPRO 53 First Fishing

by Herb S.
(Southwest Michigan)

Spring has sprung and the fish have begun their annual migration back into the small warm water streams from their winter hideouts in deep pools and connecting lakes and rivers. I finally got out for the first fishing with my new Suntech Aoi ZPRO53. Yes, another winner! At 17’ the rod is the lightest long rod rated for 6X that Chris carries, just right for the old age/bad shoulder set.

It casts beautifully, in spite of a strong, gusty wind, with 15’ of #2.5 level fluorocarbon line and 3’ to 4’ of 6X tippet. When reflected sun on the water obscured the line, the rod’s sensitivity transmitted the lightest bites; a pleasant surprise and something I didn’t expect due to its length. By now I should be used to pleasant surprises with the rods Chris carries.

The fishing: The stream is still fairly high and fast. The weeds are just starting to grow and the fish are not in their usual spots. But there’s a backwater downstream and that’s where the bluegills were hiding. It’s a deep cut guarded by mud and the fish are too far back in for my other keiryu rods. The 17’ ZPRO 53 could reach ‘em, and it was a many day with upwards of a dozen 8-inchers and lots of smaller ones. There were even several small perch.

After casting cross-stream to the large pocket I headed back up and waded up a narrow channel next to an island. Casting upstream I was rewarded with two big river chubs in spawning colors and a gorgeous golden shiner. The fish liked a #12 Utah Killer Bug and a #14 Gold Bead Head Fox Squirrel Nymph. My fishing buddy went upstream with a spinning rod to deeper water and ran into a lot of smallmouth bass. This could be the start of a good season!

So, if you’re looking for a long, but light rod and won’t be disappointed if Mr. Big busts the 6X, the ZPRO 53 is outstanding. Actually, 6X is plenty strong, as Chris points out, for the fish most of us catch and this rod is both delicate and beefy at the same time. Great rod! I highly recommend it.

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