Saturday, June 9, 2012

The Little Rod That Could

Bluegill caught with 7'8" Soyokaze
I generally will not write reviews for books or equipment such as rods, lines, and things of that nature.  I leave that sort of thing to people who are more qualified.  However, in this post, I wanted to tout the capabilities of one of my newest rods.  A number of weeks back I purchased a 7'8" Soyokaze rod from Chris Stewart at Tenkara Bum (/Tanago Bum) with several purposes in mind.  I have been following talk on several forums regarding a niche type of fishing known as microfishing.  Many anglers are only interested in bigger is better.  I fall into that category sometimes but I also like a challenge.  Sometimes catching a 5 inch brookie in a tiny mountain stream can be more challenging than trying to catch many other types of fish (don't knock it till you have tried it).  I love anything about Nature and trying to catch a number of other tiny fish that are generally ignored I find to be an interesting challenge.  Even the smallest life in the stream or pond leads to a better understanding of the entire picture.  This was my main reason for purchasing this rod.  But there are others as well.  The Soyokaze will be a great rod to introduce my kids to fly fishing without worrying about too much line with a hook flying back and forth to catch another kids eye.  I also figured it would make a great small stream brookie rod.  Microfishing for saltwater fish in my local tidal creek also came to mind.  The bottom line is that this another rod in my arsenal for specific purposes.

Pumpkin seed sunfish caught on my new rod
I have given the rod several "test drives" at the local millpond.  Regrettably, I didn't have my camera or lost the pictures on my first few trips.  I was sight fishing with a #16 Royal Sakasa Kebari to a number of small sunfish on my first trip and the rod preformed exactly as advertised.  I caught a number of pumpkin seed sunfish in the 3-4" range and they are put a nice little bend in the rod.  However, during my third trip I was surprised by a pair of 9" bluegills.  With the first one I thought that the Soyokaze was done for sure but it did  an outstanding job.  Tenkara fishing has given me the ability to enjoy catching panfish again. But using the Soyokaze tenkara style has brought a whole new level of excitement and challenge to catching these fish.  The fight lasted a little longer than normal and I had to work at it.  The bottom line is that these rods can handle fish far larger than they were intended for.  I find it nice to know that if I'm carrying only this rod and I decide I need more of a challenge or want to switch to catch larger fish, I will have tool that can handle it.  For this guy though....I'll probably have to use something a little tougher....

These guys are always trying to swipe my catches.


  1. I own the 7'8" Soyokaze rod too, and it had more than enough backbone to catch a 12" trout in a super tiny creek where the fish could have easily owned me.
    I agree with you that it's a rod to have to increase your fishing opportunities in new places.
    Thanks for the story

  2. lifeflies....Thanks for stopping by. I also own 2 tenkara rods and a 15 ft hera rod. From the soyokaze to the hera I have a huge range of fishing possibilities. The best part is the overlap between rods. I don't know what, if any others, of tenkara or tenkara-like rods you may have but I would suggest getting more.

    1. I have both the 11' and 12' Tenkara USA Iwana rods and the handle that makes it 9'. I also own the Yamame rod and of course my last rod is the 7'8' Daiwa rod. I try to imagine another rod, but I think that I’m well suited for most of my fishing needs.

  3. I'm glad the new rod worked well. Sunfish not only fight great, they are also very colorful.

  4. Thanks Brk Trt....If I had to pick the next most beautiful fish that I regularly catch after brookies I would say pumpkin seed sunfish and rainbows run neck and neck. Panfish are underappreciated sometimes.

  5. nice, next I have to try the 7'8" model....

  6. Thanks Karel...I'm sure you won't be disappointed with this rod.