by Herb S.
(Southwest Michigan)

The first test of my new Suntech FMX Keiryu Stiff 45 was with an 11’ #3.5 tenkara level fluoro line. I had intended to make up a 12’ line but used the one from my beloved Daiwa 43M to test cast in the front yard. It cast very well so I kept it on and a couple of days later headed for the river.

In short, after test 2 on the water, I LOVE this rod! The wind was in the upper teens to 20 mph with gusts to 25. The rod laid out the tenkara line in all directions with authority and accuracy. It’s a marvelous caster with un-weighted and weighted flies.

Felt bite detection when shadows or reflection hid the line was outstanding. It was a many day with some bluegills and rock bass in the 9” range. The rod is very capable, as Chris says, when fighting the fish, but its lightness and action make even the smaller panfish fun.

Test 3 was with 12’ of 6# Stren Gold with two flies, a #10 Bead head Fox Squirrel Nymph and a #8 Bead head Olive Woolly Bugger. At first, with the nymph, it took some time and practice to get good casts. The timing is way different from the #3.5 level line. But I eventually got it figured out and by the time I got to the heavier Bugger it cast like a breeze.

Lots of fish cooperated with this test, too. Again, the sensitivity of the rod really helped when the line disappeared in shade or glare off the water. Little fish nibbling at the fly or the fly ticking weeds were probably why I’d sometimes set the hook and get nothing, but that’s a plus for the rod’s ability to transmit “something” at the end of the 5X tippet.

My next tests, experiments really, will be with clear fluorocarbon in 6# and 17# to see how fishing just by feel will work out. I’d probably catch more fish if I didn’t do this kind of thing, but it's an interesting challenge.

Before ordering I knew that this is a sensitive rod from talking with Chris and reading his description. It’s what I wanted and got. That it casts a level fluoro tenkara line so very well and so accurately, even in wind, is a great plus.

The 14’11” length is light enough and easy handling to cast for hours, long enough to keep from getting too close and spooking the fish, and short enough to side cast under the trees. I love it!

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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

As age slows my pace, I will become more like the heron.


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