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….

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.


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.