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.

Why I Don’t Do Rod and Reel Reviews…

I used to do reviews when I had my YouTube fishing channel. And invariably the “experts” would appear in the comment section to hold court with their superiority. It became tedious and annoying. Constructive criticism is fine, but everyone hates Trolls. Perhaps I just sucked at it?

I have a full-time job with accompanying commute, a family, commitments and everything else that goes with being an adult. And honestly, I don’t think I could do justice to the subject with the skills I have.

I am not the CEO or CTO of a Hollywood production company with the best and brightest graphic designers, visual artists and photographers on staff.

Have you ever tried to photograph a fishing rod??? It’s not easy!

Besides, there are plenty of YouTube channels who specialize in that sort of thing already. And fishing tackle is subjective to begin with. People may not like the same things that I do…the horror! All joking aside, we are all different and have varying needs and tastes. That’s OK.

Factor in budget restraints and the target audience shrinks drastically. Rods and reels marketed towards the Japanese fishermen/women are different. The Japanese admire quality over quantity. They have no qualms about buying a top tier rod or reel to enrich their fishing experience. They completely ignore cheaply made gear. They don’t mind fishing all day to catch one good fish as opposed to lots of little fish one after another. It’s about the entire experience…not just the catch.

Quality gear costs money. Sometimes a lot of money! If it’s within your budget then get it. If not, don’t. FACT: I fished the Cossatot River with a $15 rod. Sensitivity was almost non-existent and build quality left a lot to be desired. But I caught fish.

Fishing tackle built to a price point doesn’t do much for me anymore. I’m not looking down my nose at anyone…rather, I prefer quality gear. I’ve experienced “the Dark Side”…and I LIKE IT!

Also, with a little bit of effort and “Google-fu”, you can find out all of the information about a particular rod or reel. I don’t mind providing links and pointing the way.

Most importantly…I don’t want to be obligated to a production schedule or script. Or trying to stay trendy by buying every new fishing item that hits the market. Relevance only matters when on the water. Sure I could have done an “unboxing video” with my 2021 Daiwa Presso LT standing mid-stream. YAWN! But I’d rather put that time to use by actually fishing.

I don’t have a clue as to how many fishermen/women actually like JDM fishing tackle. I just enjoy fishing and using decent gear while being non-judgmental about it all. I just share what I’ve learned and if any of my images trip your trigger and starts you on the path…Great! If it doesn’t…that’s fine too. Believe me, I’ve read blog posts where guys are fishing with a $2000+ setup and I click out because I probably will never be able to afford something like that. Obviously I’m not in that target audience LOL.

Now…on a serious note…I know it is sometimes hard to find pictures of JDM fishing rods. You occasionally have to open multiple pages on your browser as well as language translation apps. But the best site I have found to view pictures of any rod that you might be interested in is:

https://fishing.asian-portal.shop/category/select/cid/39

I am amazed by two things on that site, the sheer quantity and the complete lack of inventory. In some respects, both could be construed as good things. With COVID, everything changed and perhaps more fishermen/women are on the water or getting into the sport. Maybe not, but I try to stay positive.

With all that being said…my blog is an enjoyable hobby for me. What you see and read is 100% ME. No script, no timetable, no commitments to sponsors or affiliates, everything purchased by me and for me. If one other person gets some enjoyment out of the content…THAT’S AWESOME!

P.S> You probably can’t tell…but I started writing on the Blog this morning at 0318. In regards to Zip(our puppy), I’m not sure about who is training who anymore.

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.

Epic Day Out 11JULY2021…

When I got home from work Friday, I was chatting with the wife trying to figure out what we were going to do this weekend. She wanted to go fishing on Saturday and I reminded her that it was going to be 95F and sunny. I mentioned that Sunday was supposed to be cooler with a high of 82F. We both decided to go fishing on Sunday! What we didn’t count on was a thunderstorm Saturday night. As we went to bed, I was checking the stream gauges and noticed the river was rising. Outside, thunder was booming and lightning was flashing. Rain was coming down in sheets. But it was moving fast so we called it a night. I decided to check in the morning to see if we could actually fish this river.

Upon hearing my alarm at 0430 I immediately grabbed my phone and checked the stream gauges. The water had risen but was dropping fast. Sunday was a GO! After a 2 hour drive we were standing on the riverbank by 0720. Temperature was at 69F with a slight fog. We were the only ones there.

I’m going to diverge a bit here and try to explain this river. The last time we were here we noticed that everything was different. Looking back over my notes I noticed that on May 28th, 2021 the water level in this river was almost 18ft high. That amount of water and flow drastically changed the riverbed. I mentioned that in a previous post. So I had the wife take a photo to give you an idea of what occurred.

I’m 5ft 9in and my rod is 5ft long…so lets call it 11 feet. The water level was at 7.3 feet when this picture was taken. No wonder everything changed.

We stepped into the river and began casting and trying to locate some fish to develop a pattern. It didn’t take long and we had 5 fish to hand. They were in their summer pattern so would be hanging out in pocket water amongst current. If there are stretches of slow water you might catch some little ones, but generally, only perch and gar are hanging out there so we skip those sections.

Slow water…
Any obstruction or seam in the river is a top spot for us to cast to.
All of the fish we caught today were healthy and feisty.
This one put up a great fight!
Last Spring this gravel bar had 3 branches flowing through it.
This Cottonwood didn’t stand a chance.
Best fishing partner EVER!
Beautiful coloration.
We covered 3 miles of new water on this river.
82F with a breeze and good cloud cover. Perfect day to be on the river.

We fished for 5 hours and covered 3 miles of new water. Last Spring we did a reconnaissance trip to this area and realized we would be swimming a lot to cross several sections. This time, we were able to wade across everything so it was a lot more enjoyable.

All told we caught 101 Neosho-strain smallmouth bass on this trip which is a new record for us (We are 100% Catch and Release and use barbless hooks) I would estimate that about 40% were dinks, 40% were decent and the remaining 20% were above average. We were very happy and had a great time. The only downside was that we noticed the Owner Cultiva JH-85 and JH-86 2.2 and 2.0 gram jig heads didn’t seem to be as sharp as we prefer and we ended up losing quite a few fish. Definitely considering switching to the Gamakatsu Round 211 3/32oz jig heads.

She was trying to get a picture of a big Velox but he had other ideas and escaped. The look says it all!

Thanks for reading!

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.

Area Trout Baitcasting Rod

I wanted to try an “Area Trout” baitcasting rod since I already have a “Native Trout” baitcasting rod. The difference is that “Area” designated rods tend to be a bit more limber. They are whippier and have more of a parabolic bend in the blank. In theory, it should be easier to use the rods inertia to assist in casting a light lure.

I have a cheap BPS Sensilite fiberglass rod that I practice with and kind of liked the action…hence getting this rod. As soon as I can get some free time I will definitely give this rod a shot.

Major Craft Finetail Area Stage Rod FAX-B642UL specs…

-6ft 4in- 2 piece rod

-lure weight 1.0-5.0 grams

-line weight 1.5-5 lbs or 0.2-0.6#PE

-action FAST

I definitely like the low profile and minimalist rod handle. I am excited to try this one out…

MEIHO Tackle Boxes Fr0m Japan…

I stumbled across a guy on YouTube who has a channel named TSURINAN; and that is where he introduced his viewers to these boxes. I immediately decided to track these boxes down as I really liked the compact layout and functionality. I also shamelessly copied his idea to put magnet tape in each compartment to secure the contents from accidental opening of the box. The tape is a great idea from the standpoint of an angler standing in a stream and not having to worry about dropping things into the water.

The bigger box is a MEIHO VERSUS VS-388SD. If I had a chance to get another one, I would opt for the clear lids instead of the smoked lids. The smaller box is the MEIHO VERSUS VS-355SS with clear lids. Both have a clam-shell design and a beefy hinge to keep them closed. I am very impressed with MEIHO boxes and haven’t found one I didn’t like.

For those interested, I found them on Amazon.jp

Shipping was reasonable (I bought several items) and they arrived in 6 days. And did I mention that they were A LOT cheaper than using Amazon in the US!

Velox Seeker

So why did I start this blog?

To begin with, I enjoy fishing and would like to share some of my adventures. Secondly, I am by no means a social media expert and have always enjoyed blogs rather than videos and so forth.

I am not a tech-whiz when it comes to video editing or high-end professional photography, and as such, would rather spend my time fishing as to getting the perfect photo op. I figured that a blog might be an easier format for me to share the adventures with you.

I have been fascinated by our Neosho-strain Smallmouth Bass for several years. Their uniqueness as well as their habitat and fighting ability was enough to sway me to seek them out almost exclusively these past few years.

Along the way I will share some of the gear I use as well as techniques.