2021 Daiwa Presso LT 1000S-P…

I couldn’t resist!

I like the specifications on this reel, but I like the aesthetics the most. To me it is a good looking reel which creates a well-rounded package. I can’t really find anything I don’t like about this reel other than using chrome colored accents as opposed to the gun metal grey on the previous version. Horses for courses I suppose. The gear ratio is 4.9:1 which I prefer since a lower gear ratio allows for slower presentations.

I was absolutely stunned when the FedEx driver rolled down my driveway Friday afternoon. I had no idea what the boxes could be. I placed the order with Digitaka on Tuesday mid-morning, I had received shipping confirmation Thursday morning, yet here it was…my reel from Digitaka. And free shipping to boot! Those guys never cease to amaze me.

I plan on spooling it up with Varivas Super Trout Advance Bush Trail VEP nylon line. Besides, the reel kind of screams “fill me with orange line.” But seriously, I have been impressed with Varivas fishing line over the past few years so I figured I’d try one of their offerings for 2022.

Now for my next project… training Zip to stop waking me up at 3am to eat!

It’s way too early dog…

Unfortunately, I’m one of those people that once awakened from a deep sleep, I simply cannot go back to bed. So the coffee gets poured and I start my day, getting a blog post or two out for the day while the pup is curled up at my feet sound asleep. All complaints aside, he is coming along nicely and is a very intelligent dog. Come Spring, I plan on introducing him to the streams and creeks hoping he will become a good fishing companion. Time will tell…

The DUO Tetra Works React 50, 55 & 65 Spinning Rod…

I was surfing the web this evening and ran across this rod. What caught my attention was its weight! It comes in 3 iterations…the React 50 weighs 36 grams!!!! The React 55 weighs 38 grams and the React 65 weighs 44 grams. To me that is incredibly light and it started the gears in my head turning.

It’s pricey but opens up quite a few possibilities in regards to my type of fishing. I definitely like the minimalist handle and the 0.6mm tip diameter is “uber thin” and tends to make me think that this is a specialists rod, possibly targeted towards Ajing fishers.

The gears are definitely turning and I will have to mull this rod over…

Fishing Gear That I’m Interested In for the 2022 Season…

Right out of the gate I will state that I don’t NEED any new rods or reels. These are purely WANTS/WISHES…(this statement WILL come back to haunt me!) And I am not saying that I will purchase any of these items, I’m just curious about them. I’m sure my wife is biting her fingernails and worrying because she knows I tend to “gear up” during the winter months in preparation for the upcoming season. But these are a few items that have piqued my curiosity…

Daiwa 2021 Presso LT reel

First up is the new Daiwa Presso LT reel. This is the “update” to the Daiwa 2017 Presso LTD series. Unfortunately this reel is no longer made in Japan but has been outsourced to China. I like the idea of the monocoque body and I really like the color scheme of this reel. It seems to be a bit more muted compared to the Presso LTD 1025 that I own. Bearing count (12+1) is the same so it should be smooth. The 2021 Presso LT 1000S-P weighs 145grams(5.1oz) while the Presso LTD 1025 weighs in at 155grams(5.47oz). A 10gram difference. Probably too minor to really notice.

Tenryu Rayz Integral RZI50UL-4

I have a “thing” for multi-piece rods since it suits our style of fishing. I was curious about the next level of these style rods and looked to Tenryu for an option. I own a Tenryu Lunakia 610 and know that they make high quality rods. This Rayz Integral is definitely a contender.

Timon TCC-S62L

I know nothing about Timon rods but this one interested me especially at this price point. I have yet to buy a bad JDM rod. A rod worth considering.

Smith Multiyouse TRMK-504UL

I hear great things about Smith rods so I thought I’d take a look at their offerings. Again, this is obviously a multi-piece rod and seems quite interesting.

NOTE: This is where my wife needs to stop reading this blog post!

If I win the lottery or if money were no object…I would seriously entertain buying this rod. I like the looks. I really like the components, especially the rod guides.

Daiwa Presso LTD SGA SMT 62L. Pie In The Sky!

As I’ve said MANY times before, I am curious by nature. And after owning several mid-tier JDM rods, I am wondering what the next level up would be like. But it’s really hard to justify an expenditure of that size. Safer to just drool…

Replacement Rod Sections On Order!!!

I sent an email to JDM Tackle Heaven and they responded quickly. These guys are phenomenal to deal with and are very helpful. JDMTH is my preferred business to order my fishing rods from in regards to Japan Domestic Market fishing rods.

They quoted me a price of approximately $45.00 USD per section plus shipping. The only caveat so far was that they would contact the manufacturer and try to order the replacements directly from them. Needless to say, I am still on hold but I am hopeful that I will be able to replace these 2 sections. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. I figured it was worth a shot and will keep my fingers crossed. I will update the blog IF/WHEN the replacements arrive.

The Search Begins…

Some of you may remember that I broke the tip section on this rod (Abu Garcia Troutin Marquis Nano TMNS-575L MB) at the joint when we were fishing over in Arkansas back in July 2021.

Broken tip dangling from the line.

Needless to say, ordering replacement parts for JDM fishing tackle isn’t always easy.
I will fire off a bunch of emails and see what happens. I really like this rod and hope things work out in getting the two replacement sections. I will update the blog IF I am successful.

Very light and very compact! Perfect for throwing in a backpack.

Tailwalk Troutia 55L Spinning Rod…

I have been curious about this rod for quite awhile. I like the price ( $137 shipped ) and the hardware. The fact that it has a screw-down handle is a bonus.

Fit and Finish was nicely done.

We finally had the time to go fishing this morning so I took this rod along to test out. I paired it with the Shimano Stradic FL 1000 and I think they compliment each other quite well. It is a 2-piece rod with 6 eyelets and it casts as expected. The reel seat and handle consist of nice hardware and geometry.

The lake was calm and quiet.

We managed to catch 11 bass but didn’t bother taking pictures since they were only about a pound in weight. The rod performed well and I really liked using it. I am impressed with the Tailwalk quality and might look into some of their other offerings.

The rod and reel balanced well.
Sun starting to come up over the ridge.
The obligatory trash pickup that we always do.

A Casualty of the Trip…

I had wanted to try this pack rod to see how it compared to my MajorCraft pack rods. I had an Abu Garcia Revo MGX Theta 1000S spinning reel that I didn’t have a rod for so I decided to pick one of these up to try.

This is the Abu Garcia Troutin Marquis Nano TMNS-575L-MB spinning rod. It is a 5-piece and fits in the packs that I use currently.

Nylon zippered pouch with integrated sleeves.
5 pieces.

I broke it while catching my first smallmouth of the trip while using this rod. The fault lies solely with me. I lifted the fish and put too much bend in the tip section causing it to snap at the joint. I always advise not to high-stick or lift a fish with these JDM rods.

SNAP!

Upon opening the case shortly after receiving this rod, the wife commented that “it seemed thin and fragile.” I didn’t think anything of it but she proved to be right. I wouldn’t say that JDM rods are more fragile per se, but they are less forgiving to user errors. Again…the fault is mine alone.

I am going to see if I can fix it, if not, I might be able to order a new section. Time will tell and I learned my lesson…again.

Some of my JDM Spinning Rods and Reels.

Daiwa Presso LTD 1025 reel
MajorCraft Finetail Banshee FBA-602L rod
Shimano Vanford 1000 reel
MajorCraft Troutino TTS-562L rod
Shimano Stradic FL 1000S reel
MajorCraft Finetail Trekking and Traveler FTX-46/505UL rod
Shimano Soare Ci4+ 500S reel
MajorCraft Finetail Works Tune Area Spec FTA-582UL rod
Shimano TwinPower C2000S reel
TenRyu Lunakia LK6102S-MLT rod

Please don’t take this as me showing off…that’s not what I’m about. Rather, when researching JDM tackle, you run across names and numbers without pictures provided. I’m merely putting forth pictures to anyone interested in JDM tackle.

I have ZERO affiliation with MajorCraft but have found them to be good values in terms of quality and performance. There are LOTS of other brands out there and there are higher and lower priced rods and reels as well. As stated before…we are really happy with these rods in regards to price vs performance.

Two of the main places I purchase my JDM tackle from are Digitaka and JDMTackleHeaven. I have found them to be reasonably priced with fast/reliable shipping. Again, no affiliation. Also, Chris Stewart over at http://www.finesse-fishing.com has a selection of BFS rods, reels, lures etc. He’s based in NY so shipping might be faster on certain items.

I am by no means an expert on JDM tackle, rather I try to post stuff I have researched, purchased and used. I hope it might prove helpful to someone…Cheers!

Some of my JDM Baitcast Rods and Reels…

Shimano Calcutta Conquest BFS reel
MajorCraft Finetail Area Stage FAX-B642UL rod
Shimano Calcutta Conquest BFS reel
MajorCraft Finetail Trekking and Traveler FTX-B46/505UL rod
Shimano Calcutta Conquest BFS reel
MajorCraft Finetail Stream FSX-B502L rod
Shimano Calcutta Conquest BFS reel
NOT JDM: Shakespeare BMG2SC 46/1 UL rod

I know it sounds weird but recently I have started to become proficient with baitcasting tackle. Late bloomer I suppose, but it has been an interesting new aspect to my fishing.

My Pack Rods of Choice…

I have tried several different makes and models of pack rods through the years and have settled on the MajorCraft Finetail Trekking and Traveler series of rods.

The species of fish I’m chasing (Micropterus dolomieu velox…Neosho-strain Smallmouth Bass) do not require heavy tackle so these rods are more than adequate. I wanted something compact that I could stow in one of my packs and these are perfect for my needs.

I chose the MajorCraft Finetail Trekking and Traveler Switch Style FTX-46/505UL and the baitcast version, the FTX-B46/505UL. MajorCraft does make shorter or longer versions of these rods.

As you can see, they come in a heavy duty zippered pouch which thoroughly protects the rods. However, that comes at a significant weight- 12.1 ounces for the spinning rod and 13.1 ounces for the baitcast rod. So I opted to ditch the zippered cases and just stow the rods in the cloth sleeves they come in thereby reducing the weight to 3.6 ounces for the spinning rod and 4.1 ounces for the baitcast rods.

How I stow them in my pack. Currently I am using the Yeti Panga 28 or the Patagonia Stormfront Sling pack. They fit inside both without issues.
The reels are a Shimano Calcutta Conquest BFS and a Shimano Stradic FL-1000.

I find this setup suits most of my needs for the small streams I have been fishing lately. As of yet I haven’t felt underpowered and have all the leverage I need and my casting distance is on par with other JDM rods I have. As a bonus, all of my gear fits inside my pack during transport so I rarely worry about the rods being broken.

FTX-46/505UL spinning rod.
FTX-B46/505UL baitcast rod.

For open stretches of a river I prefer the spinning rod but when things get tricky with overhanging trees and such, I prefer the baitcast rod since I find it to be more accurate. Plus, it also depends on what type of lures I’m using at any given time. Since these are 5-piece rods, I have the option to remove the 6 inch insert section and go with a shorter rod if necessary. I have yet to have one of these rods come apart while fishing, but I do check the sections periodically to make sure they are still in place.

I’ve caught quite a few fish on these and have been very pleased with their performance.

Cossatot River State Park, Arkansas…

Before we got to the actual river we stopped in Mena Arkansas at an old Walmart. I perused through the meager fishing section there and ended up finding a rod. It was a Shakespeare Micro Series Blue BMG2SC 4’6″ single piece rod that had the action I was looking for. So, $25 and 2 bags of ice and we were on our way.

We drove through Wickes Arkansas until we found the forest road that would take is to the Cossatot River State Park ( South End ) and had a “fun” drive to the river. When we arrived, we instantly bailed out of the vehicle and started scouting out the river before deciding to grab a campsite.

DCIM100GOPROGOPR0172.JPG

The tent sites were nice and spacious. They are built on an elevated platform with a railing on the front and steps leading up.

If you go, remember that there are no other amenities. No water and they only have pit toilets. Fees were $15 per night. We carry a 6 gallon water jug and have a pump filter to resupply our water as needed. During summer, A LOT of people show up to the swimming holes during the day. We only encountered one other fisherman during our entire trip. The rest of the people we met were trying to escape the heat.

Staying in a place like this during summer is a trade-off. We had lots of shade to get out of the direct sun, but there wasn’t much of a breeze to speak of. I rarely use insect repellant but the biting flies were a nuisance so I applied some. We encountered a few mosquitoes and never saw a tick on our entire trip.

J W Young & Sons LTD Beaudex 3.5inch Fly Reel…

Just thought I’d share a few pics of this vintage fly reel. Very impressed with the shape of this reel considering its age. I especially like that it is simple, has a full cage and even has line guides. Very well thought out and build quality is great. Sometimes simple is better!

Full cage with line guides

Simple design with minimal parts
Pairs well with the Hardy Palakona “Halford Knockabout”

Thanks for reading and hope you enjoyed the pictures…