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Two Days In Nirvana With A New Rod

by Herb S.
(Southwest Michigan)

I bought a Suntech GM Keiryu Special 27 last year just before the Tenkarabum Traveler 27 was introduced, and finally got to try it out July 1 and 3. Wow! Double wow! If the Traveler is “better” than the Special it’s marvelous indeed. I fished the same stretch of river both days in 90 degree heat and high humidity. The water was clear and the level is back down to normal after months of flooding and record levels.

July 1 was a several fish day following my friend and former fly fishing student, Xiaogang, down behind him. This was the first time he’s been able to fish in almost 2 months. The air and water were full of brown #14 caddis, but there were few rises. I went through several fly changes and finally connected with a #12 Cooper Bug on 2 ½’ of 6X attached to the #3 tenkara level line. My fish were all small bluegills with a baby smallmouth. I let Xiaogang cast the rod and believe he might be hooked, too.

July 3 I went alone and it was a quite a lot day. I began with a very small copper beadhead nymph tied on a curved caddis hook. After losing all the larger fish, including a nice smallmouth, I realized that that bead was probably interfering with hookups and switched to a #12 beadhead Black Killer Bugger. That did it and I lost no more. The lunker of the day was an 8 ½” bluegill with a few more in the 7-8” range and many smaller. Some small smallmouth gave tremendous fights, and a highlight was spotting a pod of 6” smallies upstream, casting to ‘em and having one whirl around, follow the fly downstream and nail it. Sight fishing at its best.

I absolutely love this rod! It weighs nothing, and casts like a dream. At first I thought it would be too short for a fairly large stream, but at 9’ with line and leader the same length it has plenty of reach. Most of the sunfish were tight to the bank and I think the short range of the rod and line helped to judge the distances and stay out of the bushes. Catching the little fish was great fun but the surprise came with the larger specimens; this rod has guts! I was afraid of it breaking with some of the violent fights and singing line, but the Special 27 came through like a champ. I bought it for fishing Shenandoah National Park but it’s going to get a lot more use around Michigan. Another Chris Stewart winner for
Happy fishing,

Comments for Two Days In Nirvana With A New Rod

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Jul 04, 2018
Nice to hear you got out!
by: Les Albjerg

Herb - I leave tomorrow morning to my favorite valley up in the mountains for several days of fishing. It is an interesting place to fish. The largest creek in the valley is hammered by fisherman in it's lower stretch, but nobody fishes above one of the major tributaries where I like to fish. In the four years I have been fishing up there, I have only seen one other fisherman (unless you count fish eating ducks!).

I will be taking two of my smaller rods, the Shimotsuke 24 and the Kurenai 30. I debated hard and long about the TB Traveler 27 or the Kurenai 30. Chris gives us so many great options!

There are 3 feeder creeks to the main creek that are begging to be fished "Tom Davis" style thus the need for the shorter rods in the woods. The main creek would make Chris laugh I am sure. The meadow I love to fish allows as long a rod as you would like. I fish the Sawanobori 63 most of the time. The nearest tree to the West is a good 3 miles and the nearest tree to the East is about a half mile! Talk about casting room! Talk about the need for stealth!

Jul 04, 2018
Keiryu Special 27 (Now Traveler) Is Special
by: John Evans

I also purchased a Keiryu Special 27 (which is now the Traveler 27) and have fished it many times. It is THE best small stream rod I own. I use my Nissin Air Stage Hakubai 240 for micro-fishing--and it's a great rod--but the Special/Traveler is more versatile. As you said, it casts beautifully, has just enough backbone for a surprise "bigger" fish, and is an overall delight to use. The biggest compliment I can give it is to tell you that the next thing I did, after using the rod the first time, was to order a second one from Chris. I do that with very few rods. The second one is staying "NIB" (new in box) until the inevitable day when I need it. You have a winner.

Jul 04, 2018
Second Rods
by: Chris Stewart


You're not the only one to immediately order a second rod. More than a few times, I get an order for a second rod soon after the first, with the comment "I let my wife use it once and now it is her rod. I need one for myself."

Not one of my female customers has ever told me she lost a rod to her husband. I guess women are too smart to let anyone borrow a new rod!

Jul 04, 2018
The ultimate brookie rod
by: Jeff D

I love brook trout. Alas, I live quite some distance from anywhere that has the kind of brookie fishing I like, namely tiny intimate creeks where just getting the fly to the water can be a challenge. But when I do get to those places, it’s the Keiryu Special aka Traveler 27 that is my tool of choice. One such stream I’ve fished also has stocked rainbows, so the next fish could be a 6" brookie or a 15" rainbow. The 27 makes the 6"ers fun but has the ability to land the bigger fish. It also works really well as a close quarters nymphing rod as well. Dropping a size 16 Frenchie jig right into the head of a plunge pool is almost a sure thing. Use a single keiryu marker right at the main line/tippet junction and watch it like a hawk!

Jul 04, 2018
by: Hoppy D (SD)

Fly-fishing women..... They steal our fishing equipment and steal our hearts. Woe be onto us. The suffering is such sweet misery.

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"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

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