Happy 2nd Blog-versary…And Things I’ve Come to Learn.

I would like to sincerely thank each and every one who has visited the blog. It means a lot to me. And maybe by reading this blog it will help you pass the winter months!

It’s hard to believe that two years have gone by since I had the idea to try a blog as opposed to making videos on YouTube. It has been a lot of fun thus far and I will continue to interject information and humor as often as I can. It has been quite a learning experience, but I wouldn’t change a thing.

We started on the Japanese Domestic Market fishing tackle journey about 3 years ago. We were tired of the same old gear selection found in our area. I happened to stumble upon a couple of YouTube fishermen out of Japan and that was the impetus for me to do more research on their tackle. What an effort that turned out to be! With translation apps and some heavy-duty web searches, we managed to get the hang of it.

So I mention the backstory to bring us forward to where we are at now. As far as reels go, the 2022 Shimano Stella is an amazing reel (despite me having a couple of line issues) and is loved the world over. For my needs and our original intent of paring things down and going lighter, the 2019 Shimano Vanquish would have been the best option in a reel. Super light, felt drag washer and silky smooth…it suits our needs very well, and I could’ve saved money. Lesson learned. The 2022 Daiwa Exist is phenomenal and I feel it was worth the money spent but it isn’t necessary for our type of fishing. I’m not the type of person to bling out or swan around and I was genuinely curious if those reels were really that much better. Honest answer…NO. There! I paid the “stupid tax” for you. You’re welcome.

The rods have their own caveats. There is light, ultralight and then stupid light. A 44 gram rod requires too much protection and looking after to suit my taste. Lightweight comes at a cost in regards to durability. I ended up really settling on either the TenRyu Rayz Integral RZI 50L 4-piece or the TenRyu Rayz Spectra RZS 51 LL 2-piece rods. They are durable, extremely well made, sensitive and most important for me…they have larger rod guides than other rods in the same category. I tie my leaders on with an Alberto knot and some of the rods we used had 1-1.5mm eyes which always caused an issue, however minor. At 50+ years of age, threading those micro guides is a struggle!

Lures? I’m not going to bother with that one because everyone has their own favorites and their own style of fishing. Use what you are confident in. I will say that the Japanese market has a bewildering array of various lures.

Wading gear. It is what it is. Reviews are ALWAYS all over the map which makes it difficult to make an informed decision. With manufacturers warranties being what they are these days…just get what suits your taste and price range. I’m a middle of the road kind of guy and the Simms Freestones have worked well.

Boots? Ha! The same thing applies. 2 years is a standard warranty/longevity period. Get whatever fits and hope for the best.

I guess what I’m really trying to say is that for the past 2-3 years, I was blindly chasing “perfection” when I should have been focusing on “ENOUGH.” Close enough, good enough etc. Don’t misunderstand me here…we have found some really amazing gear that turned out to be worth the expense and I would not purchase a lesser/cheaper version for any reason. It’s that “grey area” where the real gems are found and that zone is where the fun lies and the real learning takes place. I used to fish just to relax and get outdoors, now it has become a “thinking mans” game which I really enjoy.

Live and learn. Some things are cheap and other things cost a lot of money so do all of the research you can and really sit down and think about it beforehand. If there is anything on this blog that you have a question about then feel free to get in contact with me and I will try my best to answer any questions and give you an honest opinion on it. There are ZERO sponsors here and I am not afraid to tell the truth despite what the marketing hype tells you.

Here’s to a great year of fishing and hopefully more years ahead for the blog. Cheers EVERYONE!

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