Finesse-Fishing Blog

The Finesse-Fishing Blog will highlight new pages on the site and follow developments in ultralight spinfishing and ultralight baitcasting for trout.

Mar 08, 2019

The Reel Deal

I have all the parts now for making the Abu Ambassadeur 2500c into a Micro Finesse reel! In the first picture you will see my nice clean reel that came

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Mar 01, 2019

One Lure Challenge

I know that this is something one associates more with Tenkara, and to a lesser extent western fly fishing, but this year I am going to apply it to lure

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Feb 10, 2019

What season is this?

For the past couple of years, the area that I live in (Southeast US) has been experiencing a springtime warm up in February. It doesn’t actually last

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Feb 09, 2019

The Mighty Mite

I have a friend, Jose, who fishes at Wilson Springs a lot with a short rod. I've been very curious about the Tenyru RZ39LL, a 3 foot 9 inch spinning rod.

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Feb 08, 2019

Venturing into Baitcasting!

Up until now, I have resisted the temptation to get into fishing with an ultralight baitcasting set-up for stream fishing. One of the things holding

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Feb 02, 2019

The wisdom of Takahashi-san

Over the course of 3 seasons, I had the privilege of fishing with Takahashi-san, an engineer on contract from Tokyo with Toyota South Africa. He is pro

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Jan 20, 2019


I have always been told that the best time to go fishing is, well....when you can. For most of us, a bevy of life’s undertakings dictate the time available

Continue reading "TIMING"

Jan 14, 2019

Urban Exploration

I am a thin blue line guy at heart. However, sometimes it’s just not practical, or possible to get to these little mountain streams. It’s about a 45

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Dec 16, 2018

It was a gram day...

Rod: TenRyu Rayz Spectra 5’1” Reel: ‘18 Daiwa Exist Finesse Custom LT1000S-P Line: Sunline Small Game PE .4 Took a road trip to a place I haven’t been

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Dec 06, 2018

Sunline Troutist 4lb Wild spinning line - no tippet

I was reading how Chris adds tippet to his hi-vis spinning line. I had a record day today fishing Sunline's Troutist 4lb Wild line tied directly to Crusader

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Nov 20, 2018

Spooning for Trout

I must admit, I have been lazy. Just tie the spoon on and fish! Over the last few weeks I have been comparing doing it the lazy way, or putting on a

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Oct 28, 2018

Over The Moon with the Lunakia

A saltwater rod, for freshwater finesse fishing? Only Chris Stewart would think of that application. I went out for an hour today with the Tenryu Lunakia

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Oct 21, 2018

My day with the TenRyu Rayz Spectra

I’ve been after a new ultralight for years, though to be honest I’ve been out of fishing the better part of the last 3 years. I finally decided it was

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Oct 17, 2018

What's Your Line?

I've been having fun with ultra-light spin finesse fishing for almost a year now. It has been a fun journey, but picking a line is frustrating. I have

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Oct 13, 2018

Custom Build Testing

Went ahead and picked up some 4# nanofil to use with this rod. Took a Shimano Sedona 2000 reel and loaded it with 65 yards of 6# mono then the 150 yards

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Oct 13, 2018

Custom Build Pics

Here are the pics of my rod.

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Oct 13, 2018

Ajing Rod

My family purchased a Shimano Soare BB Ajing rod for my brother. After a few months of fishing this rod, it is now his absolute favorite! He has

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Oct 11, 2018

Custom Built Rod

I read the Extreme Ultralight Article in the June? 2005 In Fisherman magazine. This began my search for pushing the envelope of UL fishing. I went to Tenkara

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Oct 02, 2018

Perch Fest

If you are of the persuasion that every fish that is caught should be released, you may not want to read this article. Once or twice a year, I have the

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Sep 28, 2018

Fishing the San Juan

Spent a few days up on the San Juan with a friend and the wives. The girls went sight seeing in CO while we fished various spots. Went to the Texas Hole

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Sep 15, 2018

Rockfish Ultralight Finesse Rods

Anyone try the Rockfish Ultralight Finesse Rods? Got to handle one in England a couple of months ago. Looking for one here in US. Would seem way to

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Aug 26, 2018

Trip Report - 8-25-18

Several years ago I wrote a trip report for the TenkaraBum site entitled "Fish the Parks" about a trip to a Westchester county park. This is a slightly different look at fishing parks, in this case office parks.

Many office parks have ponds. I suppose that is because offices are stressful and ponds are calming. I suspect many, if not most office park ponds - at least those not actively managed as koi ponds, hold bass and bluegills. I suspect most are not actually stocked, but the water has to come from somewhere and I would bet that in most places it isn't municipal drinking water. Realistically, how the fish got there is not as important as the fact that they are there.

Office Park Bluegill

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Aug 11, 2018

Eastern European Lures

Has anybody used lures from Taps or Microbait or other Eastern European manufacturers with their UL and XUL rods? I just ordered some to try here on creeks

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Aug 10, 2018

Sinking Minnow Lures

Sinking minnow lures are the most most popular lures used by Japanese anglers when fishing for wild trout. Yogi Berra once said you can observe a lot just by watching. I watched Toshiki Uwamori of Tenryu's Fishing Tackle Division fish a sinking minnow lure on the Toyama and Kamimura rivers in Japan’s Southern Alps, and I observed a lot.

At one point we were taking turns casting as we fished our way back downstream on the Kamimura River. The stream was narrow and the current was swift. The fish, all native Iwana, were hiding under the large concrete blocks placed in the stream to slow the current.

Toshiki would cast downstream and his sinking minnow would track near the bottom, right alongside the concrete blocks and in the small pools that existed between or beside the “rapids” where the blocks had been placed. I was fishing a three-gram spoon but when fishing downstream where the current was fast the spoon just didn’t work.

WooDream Arbor 40S Sinking Minnow

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Jul 23, 2018

I'll be away for two weeks ...

... from Monday, July 30 through Friday August 10.

Nothing will get shipped from Monday, July 30 through Monday, August 13. If you will need any gear before mid-August, please order it NOW. Anything that is out of stock now will remain out of stock until mid-August.

I *think* I will have some internet access at least occasionally, so I may be able to answer some urgent emails (eventually). For routine stuff I will try to respond when I return. Please don't send "Did you get my order?" emails. If you got a receipt from PayPal, I got your order.

If you wait until I return to place an order, you will have two weeks worth of orders ahead of yours, and it will still take me almost two weeks to get to it.

Jul 20, 2018

Lots of hookups but few landed

I was out yesterday with a UL (not XUL) rod fishing a local river. Tried spoons and #1 french spinners with no luck. Finally switched to Berkley Floating

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Jul 19, 2018

Spoon and Spinner Fishing

I have been trying to settle in my mind, which is better spinners or spoons? So far, my conclusions have lead me to the answer, It depends on conditions.

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Jul 18, 2018

Part Two of Southern Appalachians

The rod is the Tenryu RZI50UL-4. I absolutely love this rod. The five foot length is a great middle of the road size to handle the larger open pools,

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Jul 18, 2018

Part one of Southern Appalachians

I thought I might share some photos of some of the beautiful places that the pursuit of trout have taken me. My hope is that it may inspire others to

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Jul 09, 2018

The thrill is back!

I grew up fishing with my father, great grandfather, and occasionally my great uncle. It was primarily done on the lakes in the midlands and upstate

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Jul 04, 2018

What a surprise

Let me just start by saying I have been a die hard fly fisherman for most of my life. I started out with a spinning rod when I was younger but was convinced

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Jul 02, 2018

Spoon Fishing and Spinner Fishing

One of my fishing and hunting buddies manages a private Bass Pond. Once or twice a year, I get the privilege of helping cull the middle class of fish.

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Jun 24, 2018

Shimano Trout One Rods

The Shimano Trout One rods are really very nice rods that in some ways I like better than the comparably priced Daiwas. The Trout One Native Special rods come in spinning and baitcasting versions. The Trout One Area Special rods are all spinning rods.

The Shimano Trout One NS (Native Special) S53UL is very nice, very light, very capable rod designed for stream trout. Shimano designed the Trout One NS with a fast taper, giving the rod a firm midsection and a relatively soft tip. The firm midsection gives you the ability to work lures up to 7 grams (1/4 ounce) and the relatively soft tip will allow the rod to cast a 1 gram lure (1/32 oz).

The Shimano Trout One Area Special 66XUL-F was designed specifically for fishing lakes, where you do not have to fight the current as well as the fish. The Area Special was designed for trout, but it is a versatile rod. Softer and longer than the NS (native special) the Area Special 66XUL-F and would be an ideal rod for panfish. It will handle modest smallmouth bass, particularly in clear lakes free from wood and weeds.

Shimano Trout One NS S53UL

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Jun 19, 2018

At the vise

Ever since Chris led me to the dark side I've been devouring everything I can find concerning ultralight spin fishing. Notable finds were Erne St. Clare's

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May 27, 2018


After carefully reviewing the requirements of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), I have reluctantly concluded that I can no longer offer any goods or services to residents of the European Union or the European Economic Area.

Whereas the goals of the GDPR are laudable, I have concluded that it will be absolutely impossible for a small, one-man company in the US to be fully compliant. The penalties for noncompliance are horrendous.

Apr 13, 2018

Smith Edge Diamond Spoons Give you the "Edge"

I never thought I would be enthused about Spin fishing. I have come to the Dark Side from the TenkaraBum site. It is Walter's fault that I bought the

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Mar 06, 2018

Troutist and Daiwa are a great pair!

Went fishing today on the Salt River in Arizona and had an amazing day! Just received my Troutist Darkness 4lb test line and my Daiwa Crusader gold and

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Mar 01, 2018

Daiwa Dr. Minnow jointed

The Daiwa Dr. Minnow jointed is now my favourite must have trout lure. Fantastic for small stream trouting and will attract other species as well. Here

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Feb 24, 2018

Nearly "Finessed" a Steelhead!

I went steelhead fishing a few days ago (2/21) and upon arrival at the creek, it was totally blown out due to the recent snow melt. I decided to head

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Feb 21, 2018

Daiwa BFS Combo

Hi all . With the warm weather on the eastern shore I was out fishing. I am really getting to like my Alphas Air 7.2L and Purelist 52ULB . When I first

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Jan 04, 2018

Nice day with the Crusaders

Went to a C&R pond today for some trout action. Ended up with 9 on the gold tiger 2.5 Crusader and one on the Yozuri Pins minnow. Nice fish most were 14-16.

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Dec 02, 2017

Daiwa Gekkabijin 70-ULS Mebaru rod.

I have found the Daiwa Gekkabijin 70-ULS Mebaru rod to be excellent for panfish in farm ponds and small streams. It casts very light lures easily and is

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Nov 26, 2017

Trip Report - 11-25-17

With all the concentration on the Daiwa Spoons recently, it is easy to forget about the C'ultiva ajing jigs and plastics. Word to the wise: "Don't!"

Sometimes the fish want fast and flashy. Sometimes they want slow and subtle. Saturday turned out to be a slow and subtle day.

C'ultiva Ring Kick Tail and JH-85

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Nov 23, 2017

Black Friday Sale

The Black Friday Sale will start at 11 AM Eastern Time on Friday, November 24. That may sound unreasonably late to someone in NY, but it is 8 AM for anglers on the West Coast.

For some things that will be on sale, only one item is available. People all across the country deserve an equal chance.

Nov 07, 2017

Single Hook Lures for Trout

Single hook lures for trout just make sense. Most trout anglers release their catch but releasing a fish doesn't guarantee its survival. Scientific studies have shown that spin fishing causes greater post-release mortality than fly fishing. I am sure the type of rod and reel have nothing to do with it. It's the treble hooks that are the problem. Treble hooks cause more damage and take longer to remove than single hooks. The longer a trout is out of water the greater the chance it will die after release - even if it looks fine swimming away. Single hook lures save trout.

Daiwa Presso Step Dart

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Nov 03, 2017

Ditching Treble Hooks

Since I started using my new finesse spinning rod, I wanted to carry over my catch and release ethics from tenkara/fly fishing to my spin fishing. Part

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Oct 24, 2017

It’s all about the pursuit......

I love fishing! I have been fishing since I was a child and the love affair continues. As I have grown older, fishing is as much about the entire experience

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Oct 23, 2017

Daiwa Ajing X 68L-S

Hey all. I got my Ajing X 68L-S a few days ago. The quick and professional service that Chris provides. It is the only L rated JDM rod I have. All the

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Oct 16, 2017

Trip Report - 10-14-17

Very recently I received two Area Bum rods from Daiwa, the 4-piece 60XUL-4 and the extra, extra ultralight 56XXUL-S. On Sunday I took the 60XUL-4 out for a spin.

We don't have many pay-to-fish lakes in the US, but we have lots of lakes and untold miles of streams that are stocked with trout - as are the "Areas" in Japan. Most probably aren't stocked as heavily, or with fish that are quite as large, but then most aren't quite as pressured either.

Although the Area Bum rods are relatively soft, full flex rods designed for light lines (3lb max), they are quite capable of landing very nice fish as long as you don't have to battle the current as well as the fish (and as long as you have a reel with a nice drag, like the Daiwa Luvias 1003).

Sunday was also my fist chance to use the Yo-Zuri Pins Minnow (single hook) - which are just 2" long and weigh just 2 grams (about 1/16 oz).

Daiwa Area Bum 60XUL-4

Continue reading "Trip Report - 10-14-17"


The hooks are sharp.
The coffee's hot.
The fish are slippery when wet.