The 3 personalities of the Suntech TenkaraBum Traveler 44
by Dean Price
I took the Suntech TenkaraBum Traveler 44 to Tasmania on a 10 day cycling/fishing trip. I had a couple of shorter rods for backup and for scrubby creeks. I mostly fished the rod at 44 length but also fished it at both shorter lengths. I only fly fished with the rod and here is a brief review.
I actually snagged a large twig on the river and pulled it in easy before I had hooked fish. I could feel the power of the rod when I pulled the snag from the river. I knew that the rod could handle a good size fish but probably not enormous. This gave me confidence in the rods ability.
I started catching small fish casting with a level line at the 44 length. At 44 it has a lot of character and good flex. It feels like a really nice keiryu rod which casts nice and accurately. I like the 44 length as it helps keep the line off the water and gives a little more distance when wading up or downstream. Also 44 is a nice length for keeping the line off low shrubs and grasses when stalking feeders at the rivers edge.
The 40 length is the sensible one of the family. It actually feels like the most common sense rod I have used for trout anyway. The action just seems to be just right and the length at 40 seems to be the right all round length and action for a general medium sized trout stream.
I did hook a really nice fish at the 36 length. At 36 it has a very fast action and feels very much like a quick action tenkara rod. The fish caught was quite close and as I sight casted to it, it took the fly and then went berserk. "I thought brown trout didn't fight hard" I said to myself as it swan under a nearby bridge and tried every trick to loosen the fly from it mouth. After hooking it at 36 I extended the rod to 44 for a bit more run and had the fish soon at the bank after pulling it out of several snags.
The 44 Traveler is a great rod with plenty of power and versatility. It has a lovely finish and I recommend for intermediate to experienced fixed line fishers. The rod length changes are locked in with a firm push and slight twist and hold nicely.
I like the 44 length because I like the character of that length with the whip & flex but can imagine a lot of fly fishers would prefer the 40 length for the sensible more perfect action at this length.
Thanks Chris for making this rod available. It will catch a lot more fish. This will be my new go to rod for general tenkara fly fishing.
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The hooks are sharp.
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The fish are slippery when wet.
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