The Kyogi 12 and 15

by Les Albjerg
(Caldwell, ID)

I am sorry for no pictures. My computer with the pictures is being repaired. I live near a lake (Lake Lowell) that has an estimated 5 million pounds of carp in it! Big fish less than a half mile away is too much to resist. On the south shore, the irrigation district floods the woods in spring and early summer. The carp school in the trees. Trying to fish the 21 in the trees was a disaster. Fishing the 18 wasn't much better. Out of desperation, I ordered a Kyogi 12 (11 feet 11 inches). Since I already owed three of the 4 Kyogi rods, I decided to get the 15. I also really like fishing with 4-4.5 meter rods.

The Kyogi 12 proved itself on the Lake Lowell carp. Stalking through the trees and sight fishing to schools of 4-8 fish was a blast! I fished a clear main line with a 1x tippet and a Gamakatsu Barbless Circle Hooks - size 6 with 3-6 red wigglers. Water depth determined the number and size of split shot used. The water was clear and the fish were wary. Fishing in close quarters resulted in the pod scurrying, and working on keeping the fish out of the trees added to the fun.

The Kyogi 15 was bought with two purposes in mind. There is a stream near my house with carp and smallmouth bass that is a little too big for the 12 and too small for the 18. The day after I got the Kyogi 15, I went out and on the 2nd cast I had a nice 6 pound carp on using a Keeper Kabari tied on a size 6 hook. About 10 minutes after catching that fish and moving into a little more current in that stream, I caught a very nice smallmouth bass. Two weeks ago, I fished one of my favorite runs on the Boise River using Czech nymphing and caught a couple of 15 inch plus browns.

I assumed that the 15 and 12 would be built on the same platform. After doing a careful examination, I think they have their own unique tapers. The butt of the 12 is 23.10mm and the butt of the 15 is 24.15mm. The tippet of the 12 is 1.15mm and the tippet of the 15 is 1.05mm. Closed length is the same, but when set side by side extended, they are not. I didn't measure each section. The 15 is almost as heavy as the 18. Both are well balanced.

If you pick up the say, Kyogi 15 and wiggle it next to the TenkaraBum Traveler 44, you would say the Kyogi 15 is a stiff rod. I fished both the Kyogi 12 and 15 this morning and caught one trout on each. It was like taking a gun to a knife fight, but the tip is sensitive enough that I enjoyed the battle. The Kyogi rods are full flex rods! Believe me, when you have an 8.5 pound carp on the end of the Kyogi 12 with trees all around, you feel the flex all the way into the butt of the rod! Actually casting both rods this morning, I had no problem feeling the flex, and knowing when to do my forward cast.

I have only caught one carp on the Kyogi 15, and the flex of the rod was smooth and progressive during that fight as well. The Kyogi 15 fishes one handed as well as a couple of my other lighter rods of the same length. It is a better Czech nymphing rod than the rod I bought for Czech nymphing. Again, the battles with trout in their teens has been fun.

I have only caught two carp so far on flies with the Kyogi rods. One on the 18 and one on the 15. One of my goals this year is to catch more carp on flies. Fishing with my friend Chaz on the Snake using flies, I saw the advantage of the Kyogi over his fly rod setup. I could drop the fly first almost every time. His fly line scared the fish, and my 20 pound mono line didn't. I caught my one fish and he was skunked.

The Kyogi rods are also strong enough to fish with a method feeder. I caught 5 carp with the Kyogi 12 and a method feeder setup as well.

The feature I like the most about all 4 Kyogi rods is their smoothness. Nissin has put a lot of thought and engineering into this series of rods. Be warned, however these are not wimpy rods. They are designed for catching big fish. They work great for fishing deep. I really wish they were not labeled as carp rods. I have thought about a couple of small streams I fished for steelhead in Wisconsin when I lived there. The Kyogi 12 would have been the perfect rod in those small streams.

After fishing both the 12 and 15 this morning, I am even more pleased that I have both. I really can't choose between the two, if you asked me to pick one. I am really looking forward to fishing my "no Tell'um" stream more with the 15 for carp and smallmouth bass. Chris can special order one of these rods for you. If you want to go after bigger fish, you can't go wrong with a Kyogi.

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