The good new days!

by Les Albjerg
(Caldwell, Idaho)

I bought an Ajing rod for perch fishing up at Lake Cascade. I discovered that these rods are amazingly versatile. A few weeks ago I fished my longer Ajing rod for trout up in the mountains. It was amazing! So, I was reading more on this website about the Ajing rods and found the following statement by Chris:

"One of the more amazing ajing rods is the Shimano Soare CI4+ Ajing S408UL-S. Most ajing rods are long, well over 6 feet. The Shimano Soare CI4+ Ajing S408UL-S is just 4'8". That's stream-rod length, and actually the rod makes a nice little trout rod for small streams. The most surprising thing, to me, is that a stiff rod - and the rod does feel surprisingly stiff - can cast a light lure so well. This rod will cast a .4g Daiwa Vega spoon better than Daiwa's XXUL area rods. There is just enough flex in the rod tip to propel the light lure well."

Mine came in the mail yesterday! Wow what a rod! I did some canal casting last night between thunderstorms and got a good feel for the rod. I'm not sure stiff is the right word for these rods. I like thinking it is more like it is full of power! I've named my rod the "Pocket Rocket." I fished Wilson Springs this morning for an hour and caught 4 fish. The last fish was on a 0.4 gram Vega spoon! I could cast it easily about 25 feet with 2.5 pound JDM line. Next time out, I will be spooled with some 1 pound line to see how far I can cast one of these light weights. The other three were caught on a Smith D-Contact 50S Chartreuse Black Yamame.

If you want a rod that gives you amazing feel of what your lure is doing underwater this is the rod for you. If you want a rod that transmits every head shake of the fish as well as change of direction, this is the rod for you. This rod is so light, it is a pleasure to cast, amazingly it is less than 2 ounces! I was amazed at how well I could feel it loading and unloading during the cast. If you want a rod that bends "to the cork", this isn't the rod for you! That said, the one trout that took me into the current this morning did give it a nice full bend. This rod makes me feel like a kid in the candy store again. Next week I will be up in the mountains again fishing.

So, why is this rod so expensive? One of the reasons is that it has Shimano's high tech technology in it. "Spiral X" and "Hi Power X" are two very complicated and complex graphite methods that are unique to Shimano. Last winter I read an article that talked about because of being such a big as well as innovative company, Shimano is hard to compete with. Yes this rod feels stiff, but when you put a lure on the end of the line, it comes alive! When you are fighting a fish, it provides the buffering to protect your line with minimal compromise from the ability to feel the fish!

This is simply one of the most amazing rods I have ever fished. Actually, I am finding the Ajing rods to be well suited for stream fishing for trout and smallmouth bass. I watched a lot of videos this winter from Japan to see what Ajing looked like as well as how these rods are fished in their natural environment. It reminded me of jetty and canal fishing as well as dock fish on the Oregon coast. Those waters are almost always moving in some way, current, waves, and tidal changes. These are light tough rods designed for water that moves! I am convinced that this is why they work so well in streams. Chris is on to something introducing them for fishing in freshwaters. So if you are looking for an exciting short spinning rod, I would encourage you to look hard at the Shimano Soare CI4+ Ajing S408UL-S.

Comments for The good new days!

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Jul 16, 2019
Good job !!!
by: RIng

Good job . I fish the same rod in Mt. Creeks and ponds .

Jul 17, 2019
Little big rod
by: Kelly Peterson

Yup have had this very same rod for over a year. It’s caught hundreds of perch, a few trout, crappies and many, many bluegills. Over the Fourth of July the boys came up for their annual fishing trip with dad. Youngest son, Rob wanted to use something "little" to have more fun so I gave him this rod.

We were lake fishing for mostly bluegills, crappie with the occasional walleye, bass and northern pike. Before the two days of fishing was over and with Rob using the rod almost exclusively the big fish to his credit were a 20" largemouth and a 27"+ northern pike and 17" walleye.

So it can handle almost any fish that gets on the line although that northern really taxed it. The Shimano Soare C14+ 500 size reel equipped with 5# Power Pro braid worked great. That combo allows me to throw really micro weight jigs and Lures with relative ease. Remember saying to Chris after purchasing it how I felt it was stiff for an ultralight rod but once you start to use it it no longer acts like a stiff rod. One of my favorite extra ultralight rods.

Jul 17, 2019
Great rod
by: Luke

This is a very over looked rod for fishing for trout (unless you have fished one) in my opinion. I got this rod for bass bluegill perch etc.. took it out one day just to see what it would do on a trout stream. It’s obviously capable of handling any trout you will find in most streams, landed an 18" wild brown just fine with the little rod and 500 shimano loaded with 2.5 lb line. I don’t fish with a net very often so I actually put 6lb tippet on the end just so when they get close I can grab the tippet and not worry about the lure breaking off. Everyone talks about how light of a lure it will cast but let me say it casts a 5gram plug minnow like it was made to do so. It’s like it knows what lure your using and then adjusts haha. All and all it’s an amazing all around do whatever you want, pond, lake, or trout stream rod. Chris will definitely have to keep these ones in stock bc it’s popularity is catching on

Jul 18, 2019
Magic
by: Les Albjerg

Thanks guys for sharing that you too have experienced the magic of this rod! Wow Kelly, I bet that Northern Pike was fun! One of the few fish I miss not living in the Mid-West. Luke you are right the rod seems to adjust to the weight of the lure fished! What a hidden gem in a long list of great rods for sale! I am also convinced that another key to the fishability of the Ajing rods are the quality hardware that the companies put on them. They have to endure the rigors of the salt water environment that they are intended for. The extra guides and the small eyes at the tip add to the sensitivity as well. My only complaint of the Shimano Soare Ajing S408UL-S is that it doesn't come with a rod sock or tube.

I'm really looking forward to fishing it in some of the smaller creeks next weekend up in the mountains.

I noticed that most of you are fishing the Shimano Soare CI4+ 500S. I am finding that it balances well with the Cardiff which is the next size bigger reel. Thanks for the reports and letting me know that I am not crazy in thinking that this rod has a certain amount of magic!

Jul 18, 2019
Long Rod Case
by: Chris Stewart

The Shimano Soare CI4+ S408UL-S fits in the Long Rod Case available on the Tenkara Accessories page of the TenkaraBum site (currently out of stock).

Jul 23, 2019
It had to happen!
by: Les Albjerg

I did a side by side comparison of the Tenryu Rayz Spectra RZS51LL and the Shimano Soare Ajing S408UL-S this morning. Both are simply awesome rods! In the end, I have to say I am glad that I have both. One of my favorite lures to fish with are the Forest Marshal Tournament spoons. At 0.9 grams they are pretty light. The Shimano does a much better job of casting them than the Tenryu. On the upper end of my fishing spectrum are several 6.5 - 8 gram plugs. Here the Tenryu really does a better job. At 2.5 grams, I found them to cast about equally up to 5 grams. So if you fish a lot of light lures I would recommend looking at the Shimano. If you want to push the limit on the upper end, I would go with the Tenryu. In between it is a wash!

On the subjective side, I like the more traditional layout of the Tenyru. I really like the alignment dots between the two sections as well as the hook holder. Both rods are ergonomically excellent (feel good in the hand). The fit and fishing is great on both rods. The Shimano has a faster action, but is more than just a tip action rod! That said, the fight with a fish on is excellent with both rods! I couldn't pick a loser or winner so I guess I'll have to fish them more! LOL You can feel the head shakes, and the change of direction of the fish very well. Both of them handle current very well. The Shimano surprised me in that regard, since the Tenyru was designed for stream fishing. Fishing a couple of fairly narrow creeks with both rods, I didn't feel the extra few inches less on the Shimano was an advantage over the Tenyru. Nor did I feel the reverse. The biggest plus is that both rods have some of the most advanced graphite technology built into them as well as the highest quality hardware out there. You can't go wrong either way. I used the same reel on both, the Shimano Cardiff 1000 and 2.5 pound JDM line. The biggest difference was with the 0.9 gram spoons. I was able to cast accurately about 20 feet further with the Shimano. With the 7 gram plus I was able to cast more accurately with the Tenyru. You can't go wrong with either rod! You can check out the specs of each rod in the Spinning section. As you'll see they are pretty close. The Shimano does feel very light when you are just standing there, but I couldn't really detect a significant difference on the water.

Jul 23, 2019
1 lb line
by: James

Les, I’ve been trying to find some nice 1lb line for my ultralight (hair line at that point) angling. What line are you planning on using or what line would you recommend?

Jul 23, 2019
1 pound line
by: Les Albjerg

James,

I prefer to use 30 yards of 10x tippet material. It is usually higher quality than standard lines. I recently changed the 10x out for 9x as I was having too many break offs. So now I do have a spool rigged with 30 yards of the Varivas Super Tippet Master Spec in 9x. It is rated as 1.6 pound test. I did a test with this line and the 10x, and couldn't see much of a difference. I would rather fish with the 1.6 too because it is a lot stronger. I'll be using that spool up in the high mountains this weekend with the Vega 0.4 gram spoons. Chris is the one that suggested the 9x,

Jul 29, 2019
Humbled
by: Les Albjerg

I was able to get up to the mountains this weekend, and fish one of my favorite creeks. It is a large creek. I was thinking I would try to meet the "Frank Nale challenge" of 100 fish in a day. I was cocky, and I got humbled!

I began the day with the Smith D-Contact 50s and caught a nice brook trout on the third cast. Then the trout went silent for over an hour! Actually they didn't go totally silent. I've never had so many follows right up to my feet in my life. I saw a lot of fish! After 90 minutes I gave up on the Frank Nale challenge. I began working through my lures. The WooDreams brought follows, the Palms Thumbshad brought follows and also yielded 2 nice cutthroat trout. I finally switched to the Palms Spinwalk Clevis in yellow. I caught a nice rainbow. Spinners yielded another 2 very nice brook trout. So the final tally for the day was 1 rainbow, 2 cutthroat, and 3 brook trout. All of the fish were between 14 and 16 inches. I lost about a half dozen as well. I'm sure I had well over 150 follows right up to my feet.

I hit one of the deeper pools and had a monster follow within 5 feet of me, and he just slowly turned and went back to the deep. I put the Palms Thumbshad on, and drank a water to let the pool settle. With the Shimano Soare Ajing S408UL-S, I was able to drop the plug just where I wanted to. I worked it just in front of where I thought the fish was. I was right! He rose up, followed it for about 3 feet and slammed the lure! I don't understand why he wasn't hooked! It was a thrill! I then took my lunch break. I went back to the pool with the Smith D-Contact, and got him to follow again! Then the pool went silent. I'm not sure where that 20 inch plus fish went.

I was able to fish the Shimano Soare Ajing S408UL-S for a nice long session. I'm even more impressed with it. It is light, accurate, and powerful. When the plug action was killed by a weed on the hook, I knew right away. I'm almost as accurate with it as with a baitcaster. I was dropping the lure all day into 6 inch by 6 inch targets and hitting it well over 90% of the time. The real frustration is that you can feel the taps of a fish too that somehow hit the lure without being hooked! The rod works very well with the simple wrist cast that I learned from watching Japanese videos. By the way, if you want to see some awesome fishing videos "Shimano TV" on YouTube is worth watching. The cinematography is top notch even though it is in Japanese.

The Shimano Soare Ajing S408UL-S is so well balanced, my arm didn't get tired at all. I set my GPS to see how far I fished, and I waded a total of 8.3 miles! I can't say the same for my legs. The rod has a nice progression in the fight battling current as well. It protects the lure very well. I didn't lose a lure all day. I believe it is the quality of graphite, the balance of a solid tip, and the perfect spacing of high quality eyes that really bring this rod to a higher level.

My big mistake was leaving my box with small spoons on the kitchen table when I left home. The Forest Marshal Tournament spoons are deadly on the pressured waters that I fish near home. I keep thinking that those 0.9 gram spoons would have enticed those followers into striking! All in all, I realize I am spoiled and it was a great day of fishing. I enjoyed seeing several deer, a grouse family, and enjoyed a beautiful stretch of water! I wasn't skunked, so what more could I ask for!

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Warning:

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