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Long BFS "travel" rods
Post 14 Mar 2022, 20:54 • #1 
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I've been practicing with baitcasting reels, experimenting with different kinds of lines, rods, etc.

From what I can tell, finding longer rods (say, longer than 6'6") oriented towards BFS is fairly difficult, and even more so in 3-4 piece configurations for hiking destinations. I'm thinking about launching 2-3g lures on small lakes in the Sierra.

I did manage to pick up a Tsurinoya Partner 6'3" 4 section UL casting rod on aliexpress (Bait Finesse Empire also apparently has them sometimes). That length seems to work well for me, in terms of feeling the rod load and giving a good wrist snap. I believe the hollow tip is rated for 2-7g.

I can manage about 50-70', depending on the line, reel and how good I (and my thumb) are feeling... playing around with replacing stock bearings, adding magnets, etc. Also discovered that the Daiwa '20 Alphas Air TW is selling for a bit less now, perhaps because newer models are out, so I just picked up one of those.

I'm starting to like the Daiwa J-Braid 8 strand Grand braid in 6lb. I'm finding that there is a limit to how small some lines can be before working out bird's nests requires scissors :) For the 4 strand braid that seemed to be about 6 lbs, but the Grand stuff is slicker. I actually tried a 4 strand 4lb PE braid from Tsurinoya; casts far, but frays really easily and once it bird's nests, it seemed impossible to clear without cutting into.

I've seen the 7' Kuying Freestyle Walker 4 section L action rod, and plan to give it a try. I suppose more sections leads to more stiffness. Probably it will do better for 1/8 oz stuff...

I was also thinking of getting a custom rod built, and wondering if UL spinning blanks would work for BFS. I have a 7' Daiwa Presso 4 section spinning rod that does well for this kind of thing when used that way (the guides are pretty large). Has anyone ever built a 7' s-glass UL baitcaster ?

Down the rabbit hole ... :)


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Post 14 Mar 2022, 23:02 • #2 
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built a 7' e-glass UL, but it's one-piece.. I haven't found much for s-glass spinning blanks in UL unfortunately. I'm going to try out a Fenwick SF75-5 this year with assorted reels. The rod is rated for 3-6lb line, 1/8oz. For me it throws 1/16 happily with a spin reel.

The other thing on my mind is to build on a glass flyrod blank, something like this Proof blank - 7' 3-piece 3wt.


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Post 15 Mar 2022, 09:23 • #3 
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You're on the cutting edge of this stuff.
Long BFS (UL Rockfish bait) rods have only been around a few years, and most haven't made the move to travel versions.




I would still watch both Daiwa and Shimano for multipiece offerings first.
as Doug mentioned, you could do very well making your own from a 3- or 4-wt flyrod blank
What gives these rods extreme wide and light lure range is progressive taper.
BTW, searching multipiece rods in Japan, the operative word is "mobile"

I fished 2-pc fly rods (Fullflex A) in RMNP trails using the plastic rod tube as my hiking staff.
There's a thought - hunt down a rod like my Y/B and build yourself a tube/staff around the rod.


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Post 15 Mar 2022, 10:39 • #4 
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I just jumped down the BFS rabbit hole last week with the purchase of an Aldebaran BFS XG reel . The search for the right rod is turning into the real challenge. Looking for one that will play well on central Texas rivers (1/16 oz lures) and handle the salt for some speck fishing on the coast. I'm not new to bait casters as I fish them a lot on the coast, but I am new to the JDM/BFS game. Any ideas or suggestions for rods (1 or 2 piece) would be much appreciated.


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Post 15 Mar 2022, 11:01 • #5 
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St. Gabe, Yamaga Blanks offers B version in 5'3", 6'10", and my 8'2".
The trick is finding stock. Best approach is either contact them directly, contact, or simply watch New Rod listings on plat.co.jp/

You won't find a better rod on planet Earth.

Personally, i would (and did) separate the limestone creek endemic bass and salt into two functions.
My Y/B is the salt tool.


For the endemic bass - Texas Brook Trout - you can go to Japanese UL to ML stream trout rods, which are available from 3'8" to 6'
Tailwalk Troutia 55LC is a very good buy.

Not so cost effective, but extreme portable, Smith telescoping, which you can bike-fish from crossing to crossing with a rigged rod.


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Post 15 Mar 2022, 18:38 • #6 
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You can look at some of the ajing rods also. I am still liking the 7-3” 2 piece I picked up. There was also an 8-2 at the empire place.
It has been too windy lately to fish, so a 19” red is sadly its biggest. I keep looking at the new NFC all purpose fast glass blanks, but haven’t pulled the trigger yet


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Post 15 Mar 2022, 21:09 • #7 
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I agree with Bulldog, I need 2 different rods. On the freshwater front I was really locked in on the Dobsyn Sierra ultra finese series, but availability is next to zero. When looking at the JDM rods, not sure on the route to market, JDM websites or Ebay.


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Post 15 Mar 2022, 21:37 • #8 
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The ajing rods look quite interesting -- long and made for light lures. But I haven't seen any in less than 2 pieces. Hiking with a 3.5' tube is possible, but I'd prefer three or four sections. I should look into the NFC blanks... thanks all for the other suggestions. Have to do some shopping :)

I only noticed this morning that the 2022 Aldebaran BFS was available now, sweet ! Light rotor, micro bearings, under 5 oz. I'm very interested in how it works out for you.


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Post 16 Mar 2022, 07:55 • #9 
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SanGabe wrote:
I agree with Bulldog, I need 2 different rods. On the freshwater front I was really locked in on the Dobsyn Sierra ultra finese series, but availability is next to zero. When looking at the JDM rods, not sure on the route to market, JDM websites or Ebay.

The trick is always finding stock - when the good rods show up, they sell out quickly.
If you find what you want is on ebay, and can't beat the price at a Japan vendor website, snag it.

The Dobyns is a good buy in bass finesse (lake and boat), but if stream BFS where you'd otherwise use a fly rod is your goal. the BFS stream trout rods might be a better choice.
I bought my Tailwalk Troutia on ebay, and it was a better deal than ordering from Asian Portal.

Putting together my glass Smith Super Strike (MM) bass, handle and blade, was half-price buying from one from Amazon.jp and the other from Asian Portal, than buying from an ebay scalper. (The point of the Super Strike is a round baitcast reel - Ambassadeur).

Buying in Japan well requires shopping around, and knowing to recognize and grab what you want. Plat is the place for Yamaga Blanks, always with free shipping on their ($200-300) rods, but they may also offer discounted shipping on brands like Major Craft.
Not that Valleyhill offers the right rod for you, but fishingshop.kiwi seems to have a line on Valleyhill with good stock, very good discount and reasonable shipping - they make my go-to rods for wide-range inshore MH for kayak fishing.

Because of the batch manufacturing thing, rod models may disappear before they get restocked, so you kind of have to keep up what's new, and especially know the spec you want to match for your niche.
_________________________________________________________________

For you guys who may not have found their English website, here's the spec on the Y/B BCIII 69/B.
This is one rod that could fish both specs and light freshwater.

Med-length UL, 1/4 oz max lure weight - the light end is less than a g, that is, 1/32 oz jighead.
77 g is freakishly light in hand.
https://www.plat.co.jp/shop/catalog/pro ... pping.html
The list price at Plat (free shipping) is $207 at today's exchange rate.
Again, the trick is finding stock. If you place an order at Plat, you'd be in the queue for the next time Mr. Yamaga is building these.
btw, if you check the video at the bottom of the Plat link, he's fishing the rod on Aldebaran BFS XG with miniscule PE#0.4 braid and 4-lb fluoro leader. Also like all his videos, he saves the shoulder-fish for the end, beginning about 8:00, though it looks like he didn't land this one.

My 82/B is more of an all-range BFS, able to cast up to 5/8 oz, though I never use it for that, because I have ML and MH to go to in the salt, and reserve it for 3-5-g plugs.
Of course, I don't fish the light rod from the kayak, and reserve it for shoal wading and long casts on UL plugs.


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Post 11 Apr 2022, 10:47 • #10 
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Bulldog PM'd me some suggestions, and they finally arrived in the mail. I've gotten one out to the casting pools, and have to pick up the other one from my mailbox.

In the meantime, the Kuying Freestyle Walker 7' 4-piece L action seems to work pretty well. The 2-10g rating is not so different from my Daiwa Presso spinning rod (1/16-3/8 oz), and they make some nice rods, all Fuji components. I fished it last weekend on a Sierra foothills river with my Alphas Air (changed out the handle to a Daiwa SLP 80mm carbon fiber model).

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I was playing around with Varivas Super Trout Advance Bait Finesse x4 in PE 0.5 / 8.5 # with a 6# flouro leader. Seemed to work well.

Additionally, I'd never had any luck with Thomas Bouyant spoons in the higher Sierra, but apparently river browns really like them ...


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Post 11 Apr 2022, 10:49 • #11 
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Nice report and great photos - looking forward to hearing about the new new tackle.


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Post 11 Apr 2022, 17:20 • #12 
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Location: urban Colorado
excellent !
Thomas Buoyant 1/6oz used to be my favorite trout spoon, now replaced by Shimano Slim Swimmer 1.5g. The Thomas casts much further though..

so far I'm really liking the Yamatoyo Resin Sheller 12lb on my Abu 4600C4, it's very thin but handles very well and no signs of fraying/wearing after quite a few trips.
Strong cold winds and successive cold fronts have produced multiple skunks recently for me, finally gave up and went to a recently-stocked pond to get some miniature trouts..





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Post 13 Apr 2022, 07:38 • #13 
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Location: Ancient City, Florida
Great photos and info!


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Post 23 May 2022, 15:08 • #14 
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I got out this weekend and used the Abu Garcia "Eradicator Bait Finesse Mobile Versatile" 7' 4-piece L that Bulldog pointed out to me a while back, and ordered from Japan. The rod has torzite guides and is made for saltwater fishing apparently. I bought it planning to wing lures on high lakes in the Sierra, but on the hike up I noticed a plunge pool and knew from experience that browns were in there.

Spring runoff
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Normally I just use my fly rod with a nymph, but in these conditions that is slightly "non-optimal" :)

Reel was a Daiwa Gekkabijin Air TW spooled with Varivas Avani Light Game x4 0.4 PE (8.5#), which was pretty well behaved. I used a 6# flouro leader.

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Changed out the handle for an 85mm carbon with some slightly blingy knobs. I may spring for the red drag star, too :)

The Roro VIB 2g in blue/silver seemed to work well.

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As did the Thomas Buoyant 1/6 oz minnow in cutthroat, oddly enough.

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The rod is light, sensitive, and rated for lures in the 1.5-15g range.

I spent a bit of time casting it on the lake I visited this weekend, and caught a rainbow near dusk on a black Roro VIB 2g (not enough light for pics, sorry).

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I mostly fly-fished, though. Probably going to spend some more time with this combo this summer.


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Post 23 May 2022, 16:34 • #15 
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Tanks!


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Post 24 May 2022, 06:23 • #16 
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that's a very useful rod, and some very nice photos.


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Post 07 Jun 2022, 17:55 • #17 
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thank you for the rod reports.. the Abu looks very nice indeed.


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Post 10 Jun 2022, 11:27 • #18 
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That reel was a good snag, mostly because they're discontinued now, along with the near-famous LX992Z large-frame BFS reel.
Revo mag brake and factory spools have always been great.
I noticed Plat no longer supports parts or sells Revo, JapanTackle is not stocking anything new, and fishingshop.kiwi is limited to a few models, though they still have stock of LX992Z (at a great price).


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Post 21 Jun 2022, 10:04 • #19 
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Got out for a long dayhike on Sunday, and did some BFS fishing in a warmwater pond a good long way from the trailhead.

BFE shimmy minnow (40mm, 3g)
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Managed to loose the shimmy minnow later in the day, and now they are out of stock ... (grumble). If it was a fly I would just tie a few more.

Kuying Freestyle Walker 7' L (4-piece) / Tsurinoya Dark Wolf Ultra (upgraded Roro bearings and brake magnets)
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Used 6# Hercules x4 braid on the Tsurinoya. Pictured is a Rapala UL pop (1/8 oz), which also worked well. The Dark Wolf Ultra is a Chinese copy of Shimano FTB-equipped reels. The spool is light, but tolerances are not as good as JDM reels, and the stock magnets are a bit weak (thus the aftermarket magnets).

Obligatory glass content -- also brought along my Redington Butter Stick II 6wt and caught some mongo 'gills on the way back, plus a few bass here and there.

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Post 22 Jun 2022, 07:42 • #20 
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Great report - sorry you lost your hen's tooth lure.
Also like your tackle and reel upgrades.
We're in the worst summer drought in 15 years.

Josh and I were planning a camping and kayaking summer to document obscure hill country stretches.
It's for bust now.


Last edited by bulldog1935 on 22 Jun 2022, 10:02, edited 1 time in total.

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Post 22 Jun 2022, 09:40 • #21 
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Sorry to hear about the drought Ron. We're having another dry year, too. Wildfire season has already started in parts of the state. I cringe at the thought of what late summer will be like.

The Tsurinoya was the second "practice" baitcaster I bought this winter, and a fun project for messing around with bearings and magnets. A budget Aldebaran, so to speak. I may pick up an actual Aldebaran at some point, though for most of what I do (open water) the Daiwa's probably suit me better.

I'm sure BFE will get more shimmy minnows in at some point, and there is probably a JDM lure which does what it does better, just a bit more spendy :)


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Post 29 Jun 2022, 14:59 • #22 
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I've found that annoying - the JDM minnows are limited run, you find one that works beautifully and then it's discontinued and never can be found..

for me it was the Major Craft 50SP suspending minnow, haven't found anything quite like it. One left, and I'll swim to fetch it if it gets snagged ;-)


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Post 29 Jun 2022, 17:35 • #23 
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For me it is when that duo 50 gets hung in a tree on 2lb test. Glinting at me in the sunlight, knowing my old arse can’t shinny on a skinny tree hanging over the water ;) it is the way


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Post 30 Jun 2022, 09:00 • #24 
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Ha. Turns out the BFE shimmy minnows are not so difficult to find -- a few aliexpress stores sell them. "BASSKING Mini Sinking Pencil 4cm 3g" will pull up some listings.


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