Did I screw up?

Rod in question: Suntech GM Suikei Keiryu Special 39

Issue: My nymph got snagged on a submerged log. The snag was too far away from me to fully collapse the rod. When I pulled (straight back into the rod, no bend at all in the tip), the glue holding the lillian on failed before my 6x tippet broke. Lillian, line, fly, etc. all gone to the depths.

This is the second time with this rod where the lillian pulled off…the first time I was pretty sure it was user error, but I think I did everything right this time. If that’s the case, I certainly consider this a design/engineering/build failure, but before I resign myself to finding a completely different rod I wanted to tap into the collective wisdom here.


I have the same rod and got my nymph caught as well, last week (I was using 6x also). I was casting in a very difficult location and my arm was fully stretched out. I did the same as you did, but did not have any issues. My 6x snapped cleanly.

I collapsed the rod and examined everything and all seemed well. I continued fishing for a few hours and had no problems. Have you contacted @CM_Stewart and asked him?

Peder scooped me. I was also going to suggest you contact the Tenkarabum, and ask if Suntech has a recommendation.

There is a link, bottom right corner, of the next web page, to email Suntech. Maybe worth a try.
It’s 1:40 a.m. Saturday in Japan already. Don’t know if they’d reply before next week.
Couldn’t hurt to deliver some constructive feedback on product failure.

As a book on QA I read years ago advised - if you run a restaurant, your biggest problem is a customer who eats a sandwich he hated, yet told you it was good when asked. And then they never came back, and told their friends - Don’t go there, the food sucks. :zipper_mouth_face:


Chris will have the best answer. :grin:

Just to be clear for other responders, I am not looking to repair this myself…and I did not repair it the first time it happened. I’m trying to decide if I should buy a replacement part (which I also did from Chris the first time this happened) or if I should just forget about this rod and look for something entirely new.

I am sorry you have had a bad experience with the rod. That is not a common problem and I would not characterize it as a design failure.

If you change your mind, it is an easy repair. If you decide you do not want to repair it and do not want to replace the tip, it should be easy to sell the rod on ebay, as they are out of stock until mid to late next month.Take a look at Tom Davis’ comparison of the GM Suikei Keiryu Special 39 with the Tenkara USA Sato, which I believe is the closest rod from another manufacturer. You can find his review here: Teton Tenkara: Multi-zoom rod Shootout - TUSA Sato v. Suntech Suikei GM 39

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I broke the swivel off on mine in Montana last year. I noticed you aren’t looking to fix it but you should consider it. I fixed mine and it’s better now without the swivel and the bond between Lilian and the rod is stronger than the original.

as CM_Stewart and R_Ruff note. Repair is common practice and some folk carry replacement and repair stuff in the field. I think their are youtube videos on how to.

I have a gm 53. I love that rod.

The things I would note.

  1. I have not had that happen to me…but I tend to resist that sort of full extention. Every once in a while I will have a full extended snag. More often up in a tree behind me… after a failed hookset. Its rare that I will use the rod to free it.

Consider shorter drifts within your rod’s reach. The reason why I suggest this is because at full extention, you may result in a rod failure if you get into a decent fish. I know its hard to resist reaching for water, but more often I will just daydream about that water out of reach and target the closer stuff.

  1. The suntech rods seem to all have a fine tip. I did break one recently…my tenkara bum 36. My fault…not the rods.

  2. The reason it was my fault is because I was treating it like I do my sato. The sato was my first rod and I sort of become accustom to the type of abuse it can take. On a few occasions, I have had some accidents that surprisingly did not end up in a broken rod. I am not sure if it is the same with the 39 but the sato has a stouter tip than my 53. CM_Stewart may be able to confirm if the 39 is the same.
    gm53 on top
    sato on bottom
    with far less surface area to glue on…your situations may have found to much for the design. Its not to say its a bad design, as I think lillian failure is far better than a rod failure and I would consider that a safety feature, even if unintended.

I am not saying to go buy a sato. If it were me, I would repair the gm. My gm53 is my favorite rod. I am sure the gm39 has the same attributes.

If you just want a different rod and something robust. Go with the Sato. That rod is a beast and it is pretty much my goto for 90% of my fishing. If I roached my sato it would be a tough call to get another one or the gm39.


I’m going to try and do a repair and see how that goes.

I think I’ll probably also buy a Sato though. I have the Rhodo and love it…and you’re right, it’s much more robust than the suntech.

I refuse to believe this isn’t a flaw though…if the rod fails before 6x tippet breaks, that’s just not right. I really like how the rod fishes, but it’s not worth the pain in the neck to deal with this fragility.

I’ll also say that if anyone is interested in buying my suntech they can PM and we can discuss a price and whether you want to do the repair yourself.

You could try posting something in the marketplace category.

The subject of what to do if the line snagged high on a tree limb to high to reach the line after collapsing the rod as much as possible came up on the TUSA forum a couple of years ago.

Seeking ideas on how to solve the problem without risking jamming the rod sections so tight the rod couldn’t be collapsed.

I don’t recall if there was any conclusion about the ranking of the the better ideas. And they ranged from the practical to the off the wall brain storming ideas.

My serious suggestion was to look about for a long thin tree branch with a fork on the end that could perhaps reach the line and the line could be twisted around the end of the limb. Pull on the branch to break the tippet and not pull the line with the rod.

If you said how the Lillian failed I’ve missed seeing it.
Did only the fiber string part pull off. Or did the the adhesive fail that binds the rotating metal part [ aka 回転式リリアン or からまない穂先 ] to the tip of the rod section?
Just curious about what part was the weak link in the failure. :confused:

Anyway, this evening while tracking down some information about what I think might be some interesting Sunline.
Another post in the blog about the Sunline - described how the blogger prepared two rods for the coming Salmon fishing season.

Cleaned his rod using Tenkara no Oni’s procedure, and he reinforced the attachment of the Lillian. Strengthening the attachment of the Lillian string onto the metal part. By over wrapping and gluing it. They were not tenkara rods, they were low cost 8m keiryu rods. Maybe his idea would be useful to try. As long as you keep the diameter of the reinforced area small enough that the first section can be pulled through the second section.

赤い部分が強化糸 Red thread is reinforcement part. Wrapped tight and glued.

Picture is from this blog post:
鮭釣りの準備(タックル編 竿)
Preparation for salmon fishing (tackle knitting (modified) rod)


Anyway, your misfortune has provided a lesson for the rest of us about what to avoid if possible. :grimacing:

As an aside topic - he also made an interesting observation about the prices of rods.

Seems he attended the Osaka Fishing Show, and was able to hold in his own hands a new Shimano rod, the 「鱒之介2」Masunosake 2, [ Masu Salmon 2] rod. Would like to have one, but reasoned he could purchase 5 lower cost rods for the same price. And would do the best he can with his 2 lower priced rods. Another example showing that rods sold for the same purpose are available over a wide price margin.

Both times, the glue holding the metal swivel failed and the entire swivel (plus Lillian) came off the rod tip.

I quite agree. :wink: