Sunday, March 25, 2012

New Gear, Warmer Weather!

Each year I spend part of my spring break backpacking and fly fishing. And guess what? It just so happens that’s exactly what this blog is all about! This year I’ll be stepping off into the wild with several pieces of tenkara gear and backpacking equipment to test. Some of them are never before seen prototypes. Some of them are items that have been around, but are things I haven’t yet wrung out.

Here’s one such item. Chris Stewart, over at Tenkara Bum, recently sent me the Daiwa Kiyose 30 SF rod for backcountry testing. This rod is designed with the backpacker (that’s me) in mind. I’ll be fishing this rod and testing a few new lines in the process. Stay tuned! I’d like to see if it can keep up with the now-discontinued Backpacking Light/Tenkara USA Hane that I have…a rod that’s caught an awful lot of backcountry trout the past two years.

Daiwa Kiyose 30 SF tenkara rod...a backpacker's special

Also during the next few days I’ll be taking the Fishin’ Buddy chest pack out for a spin. My good friend, Eric Lynn, owns a Colorado company, Mountain Ridge Gear. MRG produces American-made packs, pouches, tactical gear, and now a chest pack specifically designed for the backpacking and day-tripping angler. Eric and I have knocked around this idea for over a year, and it’s great to now have the first Fishin’ Buddy for a field test.

Eric Lynn, owner of Mountain Ridge Gear, and I (Mt. Evans Wilderness, Colorado)
(note my Backpacking Light/Tenkara USA Hane rod stashed on the front of my Kifaru Koala)

I plan to continue to burn my Emberlit stove for trailside lunches or tea. That stove is so handy and light!

Lastly I’ll take my best friend Patrick Smith along to see if I can teach an old dog some new tricks. You see, Patrick has yet to try tenkara after 45+ years of backcountry angling. He’s finally leaving his rod and reel at home, and taking my 11’ Iwana on this trip. I’ve tied him up a good selection of tenkara-specific flies, stashed both furled and level lines for him, and gotten plenty of SD card space freed up in my camera to record history taking place.

We're heading out in the morning.  I can’t wait!


  1. How are you liking the Daiwa rod?

  2. I have mixed feelings on the Daiwa Kioyse 30 SF rod. First of all, it's not technically a tenkara rod in the pure sense of the word. There's quite a bit of curent debate on what exactly a tenkara rod "is", but in my opinion the 30 SF is "not". Be that as it may, it casts very closely to how my Tenkara USA/Backpacking Light Hane does (The Hane is a 7:3 rod), and it was effective on tiny streams. With its short length, it was very well suited to backpacking. I used the Daiwa for about two months and then sent it back to Chis Stewart at Tenkara Bum. There were two things I really did not like about the Daiwa: first, the absence of a defined, cork handle (a tenkara rod would have had one) and the design of the top plug. The Daiwa's top plug is designed so that it catches on things and it's MUCH easier to lose it while backpacking. Second, the lillian fell off, probably as a result of the loss of the top plug.