Graphite Leader Bellezza RV GLBRS-642UL TW spinning rod…

My wife was looking for an ultralight spinning rod for panfish and opted to try this rod since the price was really good. This was a pre-order rod and arrived in 2 weeks. Neither one of us are familiar with Graphite Leader rods and decided to try it.

I should’ve paid attention to the lure and line rating and noticed it wasn’t what we were looking for.
Very well-made rod.
Pairs nicely with a C2000S reel.
Balanced with the Shimano Twin Power C2000S perfectly. NOT what we’d use for small panfish.

Fit and finish was superb. It is listed as an Area Trout rod but to me seems more like an Ultralight Saltwater rod as it is pretty stiff. In fact, it is stiffer than what she was looking for. I wouldn’t hesitate to use it fishing in a stream or small river, but for small perch and such, I’d use something else.

She likes my Major Craft Ultralight rod, the FTA-582UL, but I can’t find one for her. I guess they quit making it. We might look at the Daiwa Iprimi line of rods for an ultralight rod for summer panfish. Lesson learned. Stay tuned to see what she decides…

The Bearings Arrived…

I decided to try and upgrade the Shimano Vanford 1000 with hybrid ceramic bearings. I ordered them individually from Plaig Bearings in Australia. They do offer complete kits for upgrading the reel.

I upgraded the bearing in the line roller, replaced the spool support bushing with a bearing and the rear worm gear bushing with a bearing. I wanted to start simple and see if that made a difference…and it does. Granted, it is minimal, but there is a difference.

I also did the same upgrades in my Stradic FL 1000 and noticed the biggest change in this reel as opposed to the Vanford.

For all intents and purposes, I am happy with the upgrades and will spend more time with the Vanford 1000 to give it a good test run.

The Rumors Weren’t True…

I had read various posts on the forums about Shimano discontinuing the Soare 500 size reel. I was over on http://www.jpfishingtacklenews.com and noticed that Shimano WILL release this reel in March 2022. UPDATE: The reel has been delayed until May.

I own the CI4+ version of this reel and it is a little beast. The new 2022 Shimano Soare XR 500SPG reel should be even better.

We spend time each year chasing perch for the fun of it and this size reel is perfect.

I just might have to order one of these when they become available. I know that the wife needs one!

Practice, Practice, Practice…

Today was gorgeous! After dealing with two appointments this morning and being out in the sunshine, I decided to go practice my flycasting.

The wind was up a bit, around 15mph, but it was 67F when I stopped at a local lake. I decided to practice with the Loop Opti Dryfly reel and the Loop XACT 5wt 9ft rod. I try to practice casting every chance I get and in conditions I will experience quite often…such as wind.

The Loop 5wt was definitely the way to go. I also brought along the Loop Evotec 3wt 9ft and the Hardy Ultraclick 4000 to practice with. I figured it was a suicide mission with the 3wt due to the wind but gave it a shot anyway. I must say, I didn’t do to bad. Never thought I’d use a lot of “Kentucky Windage” while flycasting!

Great rod!
I really like this Hardy Ultraclick 4000 reel

I will shamelessly admit that I really got into fly fishing after seeing the movie “A River Runs Through It.” I thought that this method would make a great addition to my fishing toolbox. It only took about 30 years before I managed to afford a halfway decent setup and decided to actually fly fish a lot.

The Apia Grandage Lite 61 Spinning Rod…

This is an Ajing (Horse Mackerel) rod and as such is relatively stiff. I ran across this rod while looking at UL Saltwater rods and decided to give it a shot. If you remember, my TenRyu Lunakia rod is also a similar rod. There are a couple of categories besides Trout that I look at such as Rockfish, Light Game and Ultralight Saltwater rods.

When it arrived and I removed it from its zippered case and put it together, I was concerned that it might be too stiff. After casting it for over an hour I can say that it is fine and casts a long ways. I’d put it right there with the TenRyu Lunakia as far as casting distance.

What drew me to this rod was the reel seat. As you know, I prefer minimalist style reel seats. The fact that it weighs 56.5 grams was another factor. It does have a solid tip for the last 3 rod guides and that tip is very thin.

Specs
The knurled ring on the screw down reel seat is metal. Handle is very firm EVA foam.
My preferred style of handle.
Shot of the included protective cover for the tip.
Another shot of the tip protector.
Partitioned zippered rod sleeve.

I can definitely see myself using this rod a lot. I paired it with the Shimano Vanford 1000 and it balanced nicely. The Vanford is loaded with 6lb Daiwa J-braid which created a lot of noise throughout the rod. I will more than likely respool the Vanford with nylon line soon. Some Japanese rods are line specific…nylon, ester, fluorocarbon and braid. Something to be aware of when looking at JDM rods. This rod was an absolute joy to cast and even using a 2 gram trout spoon, I could feel the lure flutter as it was retrieved. To say I am impressed with this rod is an understatement!

Apia (Anglers Utopia) makes a wide range of rods in the Grandage series. I noticed they make the Grandage Lite in a 6ft 8in 5 piece rod too. Hmm…..

Finally! The Replacement Sections for the Rod Arrived…

They’re here and my rod is complete again. I’ve been waiting impatiently ever since I received shipping confirmation.

Shipped in an 18 inch PVC tube. Padding not shown!
2 Replacement sections.
Complete rod and case. For reference: the handle section is 14.75 inches.

Since I spent a large portion of today running errands and getting chores done, I plan on going fishing tomorrow. Supposedly the local trout pond was restocked this morning so I plan on heading there tomorrow morning.

If all goes well and the weather holds…I have a surprise for tomorrow. Thanks for reading.

Daiwa Presso ST 62ML Spinning Rod…

I had pre-ordered this rod back in December and it arrived today. I’ve been hearing good things about the Presso ST rods and decided to try one for 2022.

Specifications: Daiwa Presso ST 62ML

  • Length:6’2″
  • 2 piece rod
  • 97cm break-down length
  • Weight: 75grams
  • Line weight: 2-5lb
  • Lure weight:0.8g-5grams
  • 8 rod eyes
The wood reel seat is a nice touch.
The handle isn’t too long.

Fit and finish is decent and the rod feels good in hand. The accents were nicely done without being too over-the-top. The balance was excellent with the 2021 Daiwa Presso LT 1000S-P. The Daiwa Presso LTD 1025 balanced well also.

I believe the Daiwa Presso rods are designed for Area trout fishing in Japan. These types of rods are designed for light lines and have a more limber/parabolic action to them as opposed to the stiffer Native trout fishing rods that are designed for stream fishing. This was the reason I opted for the ML (Medium Light) action rod to increase the stiffness a bit. This rod has a good action for our type of fishing. I would say it has a Moderate Fast tip with a stiff butt section. That will help fight fish in current better.

Now I need to find time to test the rod out!

TenRyu Rayz Integral RZI50L…

This rod was a surprise Valentine’s gift for my wife. We were talking awhile back and she casually mentioned that she could use another rod for her pack. We both routinely carry a backup rod in our packs for various reasons.

This was the first rod that I have ever pulled out of our mailbox. Usually they are in a box and the postal carrier stashes them in the bushes behind our fence. I received delivery confirmation via text message and headed outside to get it. I searched the usual spots and didn’t see anything. But upon opening the mailbox…there it was. I was quite surprised.

Nicely trimmed,
Individual sleeves for each rod section.
I’ll never understand Japanese rod names.
“Learn A Lesson From The Past”
Very nice cork!
“A Thing Good Commonly”
Length was 18 inches, Width was 5.75 inches.

I apologize for the lackluster photos. It was late and “someone” really wanted to play with this rod. From what little time I held it…the action seemed pretty good with some whip in the tip sections and a nice parabolic bend into a stiff butt section. I think it will make a great stream rod. It should pair well with a 1000 to 2000 size reel. The deep blue rod blank was different, almost all of our rods are black/grey.

I can confirm that it fits inside her Patagonia Stormfront sling pack…as that’s the last place I saw it. I think it will be a good fit for her and that she will really enjoy fishing with it. And just so everyone knows…she is not the type to go fishing with me where she ends up reading a book or sunbathing. No, she’s wading rivers and streams, tying her own lures on and handling all of her own fish. She fishes hard and manages all of her own equipment. She is a valuable asset to this fishing team of two!

I am a lucky man!

Apia Grandage Lite Spinning Rod…

I was looking at JDM rods today and ran across the Apia Grandage Lite series of spinning rods. I like minimalist rods for the type of fishing I do. Cork is classic, but it adds weight that in a lot of cases is unnecessary. And the rod I’m looking at is the Apia Grandage Lite 6ft 1in model. Coming in at 56.5grams, that is intriguing as to what it would fish like.

I like simple, lightweight designs.
The Apia Grandage Lite 61 rod.
Specifications on the rods that piqued my interest.

I am not familiar with Apia rods and haven’t found a lot of information on them. There are some YouTube videos from Russia showing them in use so I can at least see their bending curve. I like what I see so far. This 61 rod might be a contender. I’d put the 2021 Daiwa Presso LT 1000S-P on it and see how it balances.

Guess I need more rods to fill the “holes in my head” and I might just take a chance and see how it plays out.

2020 Shimano Vanford Maintenance Tip…

Most of you probably already know this, but for those who don’t…If you want to service your own reels, and in particular the 2020 Shimano Vanford 1000 as well as the 2019 Shimano Stradic FL 1000, you are going to need a 0.9mm Hex bit.

I used a Wera 118062 because I had one.
Hex screw that has to be removed for full disassembly.
For REF: Shimano Part# 17667
Spool support washer (Part#14867) still on the main shaft (Part#20133)
3 washers (Part#19748), bearing bushing (Part#18206), spool bushing (Part#16122), ratchet spring (Part#9833) still under bushing, and the drag click ratchet (Part#18207) removed.

It should be pretty self-explanatory but it is something to be aware of. By removing the hex screw it grants you easier access to the 12mm Rotor Nut (Part# 20999). The body is held together by Torx T6 and T8 screws.

Go slow and use a well lighted workspace and you should be fine. The only fiddly part I ran across was getting the rotor nut (Part#20999) and the rotor lock nut plate (Part#19926) into the correct position to reinstall the two screws (Part#19989). I did take a picture of the position of the rotor nut before I removed it and that helped. The reel comes with an exploded parts diagram which makes it easy to follow along. From what I could gather, the internals of the the Vanford and the Stradic FL were identical. Only the body was different.

Hope that helps!

Quick Outing With the Tailwalk Troutia 55L…

I managed to get out for about 2 hours today. I was using the Tailwalk Troutia 55L with the Shimano Stradic 1000S-L. For a “Light Action” rod, this one is pretty stiff and makes for a great stream rod. And I’m going to have to call it a DRAW! I hooked a bass and got it to the shore but upon grabbing the bottom lip, the fish whipped around and ended up embedding the hook in my thumb while making its escape. It’s only fair afterall. Well played my friend!!!

The temps were in the upper 40’s to low 50’s and partly cloudy. The wind was up and I could feel the chill.

Below are random shots I took:

Nice curves!
Shells…Then and Now.
Fossils everywhere.
Rusty Gig.
Lazy Pigs Were Here.
Ended up filling four by the end of the outing.

This is the last day to fish for a bit. We have another front coming through tonight and temps will drop. It is always good to get out and I definitely got my exercise in today. Thanks for reading…

The TenRyu Lunakia LK6102S-MLT spinning rod…

I went to a local lake this afternoon to fish with my Lunakia rod. I didn’t use it as much as I wanted to in 2021 but will try to rectify that in 2022.

I really enjoy fishing with this rod when it is coupled with the 2020 Shimano Twin Power C2000S reel. To me, it feels like perfection. The balance is just right, the rod feels like a wand and the reel is silky smooth.

The Nishijin weave on the handle is sexy…I don’t care what anyone else says!

The Lunakia is classified as a Rockfish/ultralight saltwater rod but it performs on our local smallmouth streams very well and has no issue casting a 2.2gram jighead. Worth every penny.

My catch total today was ZILCH, ZERO, NADA. Not even a nibble. That stormfront that recently passed through really messed things up. But it was 56F and sunny with a very light breeze. I could’ve sat on a rock for hours just soaking up the warmth from the sun. But I ended up picking up 3 more bags of trash and heading home.

On a lighter note…my wrap bandage came off today and the stitches were removed. YAY!!!!!!! It feels so much better now. Maybe my fishing luck will change tomorrow. Stay tuned….