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Trekking with the Tenryu Rayz 68LML

by Craig
(Iowa )

As anyone who has seen my trips knows, I’m a huge short rod guy. I’ve owned many rods from 3’8” to 5’1” and really enjoying the rods in the 4’5” length. Though after many trips and many short rods, one of the things I’ve had trouble with is solid hook sets at distance.

After losing a couple of dandy fish recently I started my search for a longer rod as I equate most of my lost hookups due to a few things. Not enough backbone to set a hook in current, not enough backbone to control a fish in current, and not enough backbone to securely set a hook at distances over 30’.

In my quest I wanted a rod that was rated around 8g max, around 6’ long, something that would handle bigger fish but still be fun when I hooked into an average fish. I’ll be honest, the number of rods that that fit this bill is super small.

Most rods took me into the upper echelon JDM range at or above $650 for a rod. This is a level at which I’d love to handle one of those rods but I'm not willing to blindly purchase this level of rod.

This brings me to the Tenryu Rayz rods. There are several that fall into this range though several were overpowered for my target. I landed on the Rayz 68LML at 6’8”, Light Medium Light rated, 3-8lb line rating, 2-10g lure rating and made from 78% Carbon and 22% Glass. I took the leap. I own a Tenryu Rayz Spectra and have owned a couple of the casting rods from Tenryu so I knew I was getting quality plus fit and finish that I could expect.

A short few days and the rod arrived. That was a couple weeks ago, shortly after receiving another short rod that is now sitting in the corner. I spooled my Abu Revo MGXtreme with Sunline Small Game PE rated at 10lbs and use a Flourocarbon Leader at 8lbs. This allows me strength and great casting but gives the abrasion resistance for the rocks and wood I smack into.

Today was my 3rd trip out and I have logged over 14 miles on the water with this rod. It is everything I was expecting and more. It has plenty of backbone for those bigger fish and faster currents though has enough tip play that once you hook a fish the rod is an entirely new adventure.

I was able to pull fish from deep narrow currents where my short rods don’t excel and cover the small pockets with better angles and from further away - not spooking fish I had previously missed. Picking up 8” fish with ease and 16” fish with lots of fun and control, this rod covers a lot of area and is well worth its name Super Yamame.

I plan to fish this rod many more times and it may take an edge over my short rods for upcoming trips as it fills a niche that I have passed over time and time again.

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Sep 02, 2019
Nice Report - Great Research
by: Les Albjerg

Craig it is nice to hear that you found a rod that is meeting your needs. It is tough making rod decisions for sure. I noticed Angler Saito has gone to using a couple of different rods this year as well. It sounds like you put together a well thought out plan, and it came together well. One of the blessings of the work that Chris puts into this website is the ability to match rods to one's environment and/or desired experiences.

That said, I have had a big surprise this year and that is the Shimano Soare Ajing S408UL-S. At 4 foot 8 inches it is short, but powerful with a sensitivity that seems to defy the backbone that it has. I have landed 3 trout over 20 inches this summer in fairly swift current. I do believe the reason the Ajing and Mebaru rods do so well in streams is they are designed for the moving water of the tides and currents of the ocean. The rod is supposed to be fished with no more than 3 pound test line. I have found that to be adequate for my fishing thus far. Most of my other rods have been closet queens this summer! I have fished 0.6 gram to 7.8 gram lures with this rod, and it handles them well.

This Friday and Saturday I finally got down south to fish a desert stream that I have been wanting for fish for the past 2 years. The rod I used - the Shimano Soare Ajing S408UL-S. The biggest fish of the day was a 7 inch red-band rainbow. The smallest was about 3 inches. The battles were enjoyable. The setting of catching wild natives in a stunning setting was beyond words. Not all fishing has to be for monsters. Having light balanced equipment that makes you feel one with the fish makes it all the more enjoyable.

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