Smith Troutin’ Spin Multiyouse TRMK-423UL Spinning Rod…

I have been looking at this rod for months and decided to just get it. I want a short rod for some of the creek fishing I have planned. What drove me towards this rod is that it’s fiberglass in the last section. This should allow more flexibility in the tip to make several different types of casts with really light lures.

Fiberglass tip section
Zippered nylon case with end pockets and velcro keepers for the tip sections.
Tip section ends in fiberglass where the rest are graphite.
Don’t ask me…I have no idea why. Youse-guys??
Specs of the rod
Shown with a 500 size reel
Shown with a 1000 size reel

This is the first 3-piece rod I have owned. Supposedly it is stronger than a 4-piece since it does not have an extra junction. Also, It should be lighter because of that. I think at some point we will be splitting hairs when it comes down to specs. Per the manufacturers website, it lists this rod at 74 grams. Although I will note that their spec sheet says it’s FULL GLASS but also states “with solid glass only in one tip section.” I will probably have to pony up for an Anglo&Co. G411 rod to get the full benefit of fiberglass. Maybe someday…

Also, something that I have been kicking around is doing pictures of bending curves for each of my rods. Not sure if there is any interest in that…if so then I will give it a shot. Take care out there and get out and fish.

Daiwa Iprimi 62UL…

My wife has been looking for an ultralight rod that isn’t too stiff. She ordered the Graphite Leader Bellezza RV which turned out to be a better stream rod than a perch/crappie rod. Upon researching the Daiwa Iprimi series, she decided to give one of those a shot. As mentioned previously, she liked my Major Craft ultralight rod but I couldn’t find one for her.

Upon receiving the Iprimi, she compared it to my rod and was happy with the action. It is whippy yet has a moderately stiff butt section. A more pronounced parabolic bend if you will. This should be perfect for targeting perch and smaller fish.

Simple, zippered nylon sleeve.
No internal divider.
Simple handle. The rod has 8 guides.
Daiwa Iprimi 62UL.
The X-wrap extends to the first guide.
Specs.

This rod should be a good setup when coupled with a 500 or 1000 size reel. We are still waiting on the Shimano Soare XR 500 to become available as that’s the reel that we plan on putting on this rod.

Once the weather is consistently warm and stable, we have a few small creeks we want to fish. This rod should be pretty good in that usage.

Thanks for reading and have a great day…

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…

First Rainbow Trout of 2022…

We have a winter storm approaching but the weather was going to be decent for the first half of the day, so I drove an hour and a half over to the Illinois River to try my hand at catching some trout.

We had scoped out the Simp and Helen Watts fishing area last year and I wanted to return so that’s where I went. Cloudy skies, 59F, windy and high humidity greeted me when I arrived. There was only one other car in the parking area so I was excited. I was flying solo since the wife had to work so I packed light.

I donned my waders and laced up my wading boots. My rod of choice for the day was the Apia Grandage Lite 61 with the 2021 Daiwa Presso LT 1000S-P reel. I wanted to use a fly rod but chickened out due to the wind. With this major front approaching, the wind was steadily building.

I started with a jighead and a B-vibe and didn’t get so much as a bump. I then switched to a trout spoon and received the same treatment. Next up was some inline spinners. No takers either. I dug out my swimbait box from the Yeti Panga and selected a Lucky Craft Humpback Minnow 45SP-Suspending and attached it to my swivel. First cast and I hooked up. I gave the trout too much slack and he slipped the hook.

The hero of the day!

Second cast and I hooked into another trout, only to lose it at the riverbank trying to get a picture. Third cast and I’m onto another one. I put the boots to this one, never letting up until it was in the net. That’s the little trout in the first picture. That’s when I realized how hard it is to get photos when you are fishing by yourself. From that point on I didn’t even try.

Next thing you know I have two guys up on me. Literally one standing almost next to me and one in the water wading and casting right in front of me. We exchanged words and I held my ground ready to square off. I can’t stand when fisherman do that! They moved off shortly after and I continued to fish. Damn near a mile of riverbank to fish and you have to try and wade and cast right in front of me. That’s a JACKASS move if there ever was one.

Anyway, I ended up losing 4 and catching 5 before the bite turned off. One of them went 16 inches. I released them all, not even taking them out of the water. I decided to call it a day and head home before anything happened or got out of hand.

I took my time getting out of my wading gear as there were several Bald Eagles flying over the river hoping for an easy meal. They tend to over-winter in this part of the state and it is always good to see them.

The Apia Grandage Lite 61 rod allowed me to cast to the other bank.
Relatively peaceful.

For the record…I’m not really into “Hero Shots” when the trout are stockers. Seems kind of lame in my mind, but that’s just me.

I took the scenic route home so I could relax and enjoy the outing. I did miss fishing with my wife and felt guilty about going, but she assured me she was fine with it since she had a pile of work to do and couldn’t get away. Believe me, I tried talking her into going!

Until next time…

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.

Chasing Perfection…

So many rods and reels…so little money. Being a curious person by nature isn’t helpful at times. With the multitude of technological advancements happening in the fishing industry, it is difficult to choose that ONE rod that does it all. It doesn’t exist and never will. I know this and yet I keep fighting it and keep searching for the perfect setup.

Honestly, I could spend weeks just doing research and refining my needs and wants…but that doesn’t catch fish. But with all of the “Graphite Wizardry” coming out of Japan, It’s hard to settle on one rod anyway. In a land of specialization and variety, the choices are endless. And that doesn’t help my cause. The concept of “perfection” is very subjective anyway.

And as I learn more about JDM fishing rods, the wider and deeper the “rabbit hole” gets. Area Trout, Native Trout, Ajing, Mebaru, Rockfish, Light Game etc etc equals more options, more decisions. Factor in lanquage translation and videos, for an outsider, it appears to be an obsession.

I plan on doing a group photo of all all the JDM rods we have, which might be a bit disconcerting once we actually have them layed out. The plus side is that we do use every single one of them. And we haven’t bought a bad rod yet, which is nice. How’s that for rationalization?

And I will state emphatically that this gear has definitely made our fishing better both in catch-rate and fun. And I haven’t even started looking at Japanese made fly rods! Hmm…Beware the Rabbit Hole!

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!

JDM Fishing Gear One Year Later…

I did a blog post about using JDM (Japanese Domestic Market) fishing tackle about a year ago and I thought I’d do a follow up post.

I find the Japanese fishing industry very interesting. The gear, the specialization and the sheer mass of tackle at their disposal is fascinating. The cutting edge equipment and ever-evolving techniques is something to keep an eye on.

So when the wife and I made the plunge into JDM gear, we were clueless and taking big risks. Sure we had done some preliminary research, but there wasn’t a whole lot out there on our specific fishing style. Not saying that we are unique in any way, but that there appeared to be a gap between Trout fishing and Bass fishing, our style tended to blur the lines between the two.

The emphasis out there seemed to be on SUL, XUL and UL rods and then over to M,MH and H rods. We were looking at L (light) to ML (medium light) rods. Our plans were to fish rivers and streams with current yet the fish would generally be 3 pounds or less. We would just have to buy and try and hope for the best.

If you’ve read my blog then you have seen all of the rods and reels we have purchased so I won’t go into depth in regards to those.

What I will tell you is that these rods and reels took our fishing to the next level. Sensitivity was better, construction quality was better, they were lighter and smoother as well. The main thing was that they increased our enjoyment of fishing and it is hard to put a price on that.

I am NOT badmouthing any of the rods and reels you can purchase locally. I’ve fished with them for years and years. I just wanted something a bit more…a bit better.

And we found them! The Major Craft brand has been excellent in price vs performance. The TenRyu rods are true Japanese made rods and are outstanding, yet pricey. Tailwalk rods have great aesthetics and functionality. None of our rods are classified as high-end JDM rods by a long shot.

The pure joy of using these rods has made fishing truly fun again for us. Even the wife noticed and commented that she hadn’t seen me smile that much in a long time. Keep in mind that we are not wealthy by any means. I was forced to work overtime for months and we opted to use some of that income to purchase the items you see on the blog. But in hindsight, I would have no qualms about buying any of the rods we have with whatever money we had available. To me, they were worth the expenditure.

It was never about “snobbery” or being trendy. It was about finding joy and filling a niche in our style of fishing. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED.

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.

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…