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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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Jul 07, 2017
Nice Review--Plus "Thread & Hen" Follow-Up
by: John Evans

Nice review. I enjoy all of my Suntech rods, though I don't have the one you're reviewing. Suntech is a fine company. By the way, I tied up a few of your "Thread-and-Hen" micro-flies and had excellent luck! Nice pattern! The only changes I made were to add a few turns of .015 wire to sink the fly a little, plus I added a little "collar" of red floss behind the hackle to brighten the fly for our dark-stained warm waters. Again, very effective. Thanks!

Jul 07, 2017
Great Review
by: Les A.

I almost bought the FMX Keiryu Stiff 45 for my wind rod. It is nice to hear how well it handles in the wind. After a lot of debate with myself and searching the various options, I ended up buying the Suntech Genryu Sawanobori 45. It is an excellent wind rod. It is rated between your Keiryu Stiff and the extra Stiff. Now that our rivers are settling down, I want to try some Czech nymphing fishing with it. I totally agree that the 45 length is really nice for reaching out without spooking the fish. It is nice to see you out fishing Herb. Let us know how your experiments turn out.

Jul 08, 2017
Back Atcha, John
by: Herb S.

Thanks for your fly report, and I'm glad it works for you out in the wild west. The bright spot idea is a good one and so is adding weight for your water conditions. It shows you are a thinking angler! Ain't fixed line fun?!
Happy fishing,

Jul 08, 2017
Quick Question on Black Thread-and-Hen
by: John Evans

I was thinking about doing a quick write-up and photos of your "black-thread-and-hen" for the tenkarabum blog, giving you the credit for the pattern, of course, but I wanted to make that was okay with you. Would that work? Thanks. Respectfully,John

Jul 08, 2017
Sure Thing, John
by: Herb S.

I regret not having a camera (except for old school film cameras and lenses, and developing know-how from a college class, etc.). Come to think about it I'm old school myself;-) So it is a good thing, and a compliment, that you want to do a write up and pics. The Black Thread and Hen is just something I threw together after a little thought. A lot of small insects are black or mostly so, and black shows up well from underneath against the sky. I'm looking forward to your report.
Thanks and Happy Fishing,

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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.


The hooks are sharp.
The coffee's hot.
The fish are slippery when wet.

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