Limited Supply of T-Bum's Panfish Special Nissin Rods
If you enjoy catching bluegill and crappie as much as I do, then these may be just the rods you have been looking for. They have great length to give you a lot of reach out into ponds and lakes - 12' 11" and 14' 5" but are really light in weight for all of that length - 1.5 and 1.9 ounces respectively. They both have a slow action but are not wimpy rods because it takes a size 4 and a size 4.5 lines to properly load their actions. The supply is very limited - 30 of the shorter one and 10 of the longest one, so haste may be in your best interest here if you want to get one of these rods. Here is the link for more information on these rods and ordering them: http://www.tenkarabum.com/nissin-sp.html
Golden, perhaps my page was not clear. I was not talking about size 4 or 4.5 fluorocarbon line, which in my view would be much too heavy for these rods, but rather 4 meter and 4.5 meter tapered hi-vis nylon leaders that I recently received from Japan. For fluorocarbon, a size 3 line would be fine and on a still day size 2 might be sufficient. These are very soft rods.
Thank you Chris for correcting what was, clearly, My mistake. Once an angler experiences what it is like to Tenkara fly fish with a super light weight fixed line rod, his or her older, heavier T-fishing rods will mostly stay in the tackle closet or drawer. And I have been very pleasingly surprised at the size of the wind resistant fly patterns I have been able to cast accurately and amount of wind I have been able to cast into with a size 3 HiVis level line on a soft Seiryu rod that is much shorter than these two rods are, so I believe these rods would be much more than adequate for pan fish and very enjoyable to fish.
Danny, please give us a more in depth review of your rod and what you both like and dislike about it after you have had a chance to fish with it more.
Not to take away from Danny's coming in-depth report...I was able to take my SP390, with the Tenkara Mini tapered line, from Chris out today. I've lead a sheltered fly fishing life as far a rod actions go...never cared - if it helped me catch fish it was good with me. But for me, this rod was amazing. Once I slowed down and didn't over think the cast it got to the point that...the word "magic" came to mind but really it was like lift the rod, blink and blink again and with no arm effort the the fly was on the water where you wanted it. Fish on is like a dance in your hand...if my 27SR grew to 12' 11" this would be how it felt. So much reach, so much fun and all standing in one just spot.
I really look forward to reading Danny's report now.
I recently took delivery on a Nissin SP 390 and I am pretty impressed and very pleased with the rod. I will undoubtedly use it as a bluegill rod but I also intend to use it for high lake Tenkara trout fly fishing, as well. The rod has a glossy black finish throughout, with a tasteful fine gold stripe at the joints that gives this rod a very classy look. Weighing in at 1.5 ounces for a rod that is 12 feet and 11 inches long is pretty impressive in and of itself, but the rod still has a substantial feel to it in your hand that does not make it feel too light. One thing I really like is the fact that the rough texture on the grip is long enough that your whole hand is in contact with the gripping surface with your first finger extended as far as I can reach, and I have large hands. I would classify the SP 390 as a 5:5 action rod, with a pretty light 8 penny Common Cents rod power rating. I added a rubber stool foot to the back of the grip for butt protection and a hand filling grip swell enhancement to the rod, and the additional weight of the rubber foot moved the balance point a little farther back on the rod than the way the rod comes from the factory, which I find to be pleasing and worth the slight weight gain.
I cast the rod with a number of different lines in my back yard, including 12, 10, 8, and 6.5 feet long lengths of level FC lines, in sizes 2.5, 3, and size 3.5 in the shortest line length, and they all cast well on the rod. This rod makes it exceedingly easy to make gentle dry fly presentations with no extra effort required on your part to get the fly to parachute slowly to the surface. I also cast a 9 foot light weight, tapered, furled FC line that I made up myself, as well as a short, heavy, tapered FC furled line that I also made and they both cast like bullets and were better in the wind than Rigs HiVis Floating Tenkara Fly Line was on this rod, in the Rigs' 12 foot line length. I was pleasantly surprised that the rod would handle the Rigs line as well as it does. Rigs recommends their floating lines for 6:4 and faster rods, so the SP 390 did have a tendency to throw slightly tailing loops with the leader construction I have been using on the Rigs line in the past, but I believe I can modify the leader taper to eliminate that problem completely, and it really wasn't all that bad to begin with. A little casting stroke modification on my part may be all that's needed to correct the problem. Most of my present fixed line rods are considerably faster in action than the SP 390 rod is, so I have a little adjusting to do from my old muscle memory casting habits with this new to me rod to bring out its true potential.
A lot of the high lake fish that I am catching are not that much of a challenge on the Diawa 43 MF rod. The Nissin SP 390 weighs half as much as the 43 MF and should be a lot more fun to catch sub 12 inch fish on. I will take both rods with me on my high lake fishing trips as I don't think the SP 390 will handle wind nearly as well as the 43 MF rod does, so I will let the conditions encountered and the size of the fish I am catching determine which rod gets the nod in any particular situation. I will fish the SP 390 rod this week and see how things go, and let you know accoardingly....Golden.
As promised, I got up to do some high lake fishing with the Nissin SP 390 rod yesterday. And I have to say that I really found the experience quite enjoyable. When you are fishing with a rod that weighs half as much as the rod you are used to using, I can't really tell you how much it adds to your fishing enjoyment but, it is much more than a lot. The biggest brook trout I caught was probably in the 10 inch range, so these were not big fish to be sure. But even the smallest fish I caught put a deep bend into this very soft rod.
Much to my surprise the rod handled wind a lot better than I thought it would. I fished the whole time with Rigs PVC coated Floating Tenkara Line, of which the coated fly line style line makes up 9' 9" of what was a 12 foot long factory line. With the Rigs line HiVis section and my added leader construction, the leader length was about 8 feet long to begin with, including the 3 feet or so of tippet, making a total line length of about 17 feet. I could cast this whole length of line and turn over the fly and tippet into the wind most of the time quite well. Fly pattern sizes used were a #18, a 16, a 14, a 12, and a size 11. All of these were dry flies except for the size 14 Peacock Sheeps Creek pattern.
The fact that I had such an enjoyable day did not mean that there were no problems with the rod and its fishing abilities. The Sheeps Creek pattern is a subsurface fished fly pattern. It is cast out and allowed to sink for a while, and then typically given an inch at a time retrieve, so it is fished rather deep in the water. When you set the hook on a fish strike with a soft 5:5 action rod and the fly is deep in the water, the rod tip and mid sections just tend to bend and do not transmit much force to the point of the fly, causing missed fish and poor hookups. What you need to do is strike with enough power to get the butt sections of the rod into the strike. All of my other rods are considerably stiffer than this rod is, so I had a time period of adjustment to go through before I started hooking fish more consistently.
And even with the highly visible take of the fish to my dry flies, I was having trouble hooking fish in the beginning. But with the application of a more forceful striking technique, my hookup to strike ratio became much better. The first lake I fished is at 9,500 feet and it is only a one acre lake, and the second lake is at 9,800 feet and it is a 1.3 acre lake. Both lakes had recently been fished, so the fish were not as aggressive and easily fooled as they usually are. And yet this was a better than a 170 fish day for me. I believe I gave the Nissin SP 390 rod a good workout for its first outing, and I got in a lot of practice in hooking with this very soft rod. I really love this rod and I intend to fish with it much more in the future....Golden.