Suntech GM Suikei Keiryu Special 53

So I recently purchased one of these…
What a nice rod. The only other rod that I own in the class is the Nissin ZEROSUM ONI Honryu 450. I think I may like the Suntech GM Suikei better in a lot of ways. Obviously two totally different rods, but there is something delicate about the casting of the GM 53 at the 4.5 m length. At 49 its still is a perfectly enjoyable casting rod. I could fish that length all day. Casting at 53 one handed is decent as well although it starts getting a bit tip heavy…there is a noteable difference between the 49 and 53, but I am certain that I could cast the 53 all day one handed its just much more labor.

From tenkarabum:

Suntech GM Suikei Keiryu Special 53

Length (extended) - 14’10", 16’1", 17’2"
Length (collapsed) - 21 1/4"
Weight (with Fuji cap) - 4.0 oz
Weight (without Fuji cap) - 3.5 oz
Sections - 12
Tip Diameter - .6mm
Butt Diameter - 22.5 mm
Tippet recommendation - 9X - 6X
Pennies 26, 26.5, 26.5

the reach on the 53 is just sick. I took it out on the river for the last day of winter. We found trout early, but the air and water temps were reallly low. By mid day we found fish that would cooperate. My first fish on the rod was a 13" rainbow, followed by a 16" rainbow. I am really astounded by the rod’s ability to take these fish in current. Effortless. I suspect some of this may be attributed to the water temps, but even still I suspect this rod may be able to tame fish considerably larger.


I love small streams but I have one of these on the way from Tbum for several that leave me wanting more reach than I can get with my 390. Now to figure out what size lines and length(s) to use, and how to cast with two hands. Are there any videos that show two handed casting with a Keiryu rod?

You can cast that sucker with one hand…especially at 4.5m. I cast it one handed at the 5.3m…it is not a problem. I never watched a video so there might be something I am missing, but I do not like the two handed approach to casting. I would rather deal with the fatigue or just drop to a shorter rod or in this case shorter length.

The downside of the longer rod is it is more difficult to perform some manipulations. The combination of the weight and regulating movement to compensate for a larger arc makes it hard to tune/adjust from my normal touch/application. If you employ a lot of tenkara manips…you will see what I mean.

If you are a level line guy…use what you use. If you are a furled leader guy…then I would recommend looking at my posts on Spiderwire. I have been using it and even a tapered version…definitelty dominant over the furled…and in my prefs…better than the LL. Shoot me your address…I will make you a line for that rod.

This river leopard fell to that rod. Pretty amazing the fighting power these rods have. That brown had no chance…hahahhaha.

I caught the largest fish in over 10 years of angling a favorite mid-sized steam on a DT Hydra 390Z Tenkara rod using Gyaku-biki downstream sub-surface pulsing. Come to think of it, I caught the 2nd largest fish ever in a smaller stream with my Watershed 300Z doing the same thing, sub-surface and on the surface.

I am a LL guy. But I was watching the elegant and graceful Go Tenkara casting videos Todoroki-san posted and thinking maybe I should try a tapered line. That’s very gracious of you to offer to send a Spiderwire line. I’ll PM you. Does a Spiderwire line need to be girth-hitched to the lillian requiring a knot in the lillian?

Being a newb, for level line I’ll start with a #3.5 but what length(s) should I carry for the GM 53?

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Right on. Petty cool to have education convert fish.

My note was more about that it requires more effort to do the same with a longer wand. The need to have to dial back the motion and relearn ranges.

Compared to Todoroki-san and others seasoned tenkara angles we are all greenhorns.

Regarding the girth hitch. I do use a knot and a loop at the head of the line. If you dont like the knot…dont tighten it down…I can get them out with the point of a hook. Another option would be to run the lilian twice through the hitch. Sort of Like how you do with LL. I just tried it. Once you tighten down on that hitch…the double twist does not move at all…no slip.

Length is personal preference and for me will depend on how technical the water is. Tight quarters I opt for a line and tippet that puts the fly at the butt of the rod. Open casting, I will opt for quite a bit longer. Up to 1.5x the rod length, but lately I tend to stick between 1 and 1.2x as I am not a big fan of handlining. I like to bring fish to net quicker and handlining will delay landing a fish. I like to land fish fresh and green so I can release them hardy. The extra casting distance is insignificant in my mind to justify over working the trout. Again this is personal preference. I am gonna make you a line that is 4.3m…just a touch short of the shortest length of your rod. It is roughly how I would fish it… With tippet your length would be 1.2x at the shortest…and 1x length at the 5.3…if you fish a meter of tippet.

There is nothing fancy about this line. the taper is just 2 lines connected. I was doing three…but found the knots would hang up, so recently I tried 2 and it casts really nicely. It might take me a few days to get it out, because I want to test it and make sure it casts well on the gm53.

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Exactly what I wanted to know.


This is what I do with the Invisibraid and do not have any problems. I don’t like putting knots in my lillian and this works great.

Yes I would prefer not to put a knot in the lillian and I did learn the hard way to double check the lillian has been put through the LL arbor knot twice :disappointed:.
So I understand you are saying that putting the lillian through a furled/Spiderwire/tapered line connection loop’s girth hitch twice does not require a knot in the lillian.

Thanks for all the help!

That happened to me too, the first time I did it. :face_with_symbols_over_mouth::man_facepalming: I’ve now been double checking every time.

I guess it really shows my novice abilities, I really like Lillian knot and a loop connection.

I think its safe to say we are mostly clumped in the novice category. Although, I do not consider a lilian knot or girth hitch an identifier.

Really the knot is only a safety measure and the girth hitch is just easier and more convenient in my mind. Pre level line…I wonder if it was the typical method. I suspect…probably…and bet that there may be expert level folk still employing it.

The preference of the knot is an inconvenience when it comes taking the rod apart for cleaning or drying. As I noted…not a big deal, if it is not tightened down too much. A hook or needle point can pull the knot and the world is correct again.

I sent and tested lines to Brian and was surprised by some findings.

It seems like these lines cast with less effort at 4.5 and 4.9.
I revisited the specs of this rod. 26 pennies.

The times I fished this rod I did use heavier furled tenkara lines. The stiffness of this rod may make it a requirement at 5.3m…heavier lines. Its not that I could not cast the line perfectly at 5.3m. I just had to use more effort to do it…more force. It was not the effortless thoughtless cast that one can perform with a simple small movement.

I was sort of reflecting on this and how important ease of loading a rod on cast is…relating to the enjoyment of fishing that rod. Some tenkara rods simply need heavier lines to load and turn over. I know this sounds obvious, but the insane trend to lighter and lighter lines may make people misunderstand a rod’s true capabilities and may have false opinion as a result. There is utility in stiffer rods…one of the benefits is punching through the wind…another is backbone for taming larger fish.

Line drape or otsuri is a factor but I do not feel it is as big of a deal as some folk make it. In dead drift…sure…but in most manipulations we are imposing drag and pull to the rod…so in those cases…I say no problem with heavier lines…and when I say heavier…we are often only talking slightly heavier.

Again the right tools for the right job.

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First off, Thank you so much for your kindness and generosity in helping a yearling novice.

+1! The extra effort expended by casting (and wading) at the 5.3 & 4.9, 4.5 meter lengths compared to my 3.9 and 3.0 meter zoom rods was definitely noticeable after several hours this week.

You are welcome. Everyone here is pretty generous. We are more or less all under the same umbrella. Be sure to post up some picture of your adventures.

Yes, you will get used to it…but I think you may also appreciate your shorter rods even more.
Hands down landing larger fish is just a pure joy with those long rods…leash em and land em!!!

I took my GM 53 to a (new to me) salt beach to fish for Sea Run Cutthroat and Resident Coho salmon. After a few casts I was able to cast a weighted streamer consistently fly first the full length of a 17’ 3.5 fluorocarbon line; about 30 feet out in (rare) calm winds.

The no-name streamer had similar color palate to one of my SRC goto flies; an unweighted Golden Pheasant Reverse Spider (orange chenille body) but got no love. I did bring my western 9 1/2 ft 6 weight beach rod too and did hook and land a SRC on a GPRS at about 45 ft away; while still stripping in the running line of an Airflow 40+ fast intermediate sink tip.

Since SRC can be schooled up I immediately tried one of my other SRC goto flies; a conehead Rolled Muddler on the GM53 but no response.

I’ve tied up some versions of my goto SRC flies with weight on the shank in hopes that I might be able to use them with the GM53. They would quickly get snagged on the bottom and be lost using the FI sink tip.

Maybe this is a dumb question but any ideas for a line that would cast out to 15 meters or slightly more and be able to somewhat hold the line off the water in a 1.5 to 2 knot tidal current with a GM53?

At those lengths and conditions I think it may be hard to expect to use a flyline light enough to cast a heavier fly and to keep line off the water. If you are swinging flies in current you are already imposing drag so the light line thing might only prove to minimize mending.

In the salt I still stick to the 1.5 length limit as handlining anything longer is just not fun to me. I consider the short line a challenge to find spots appropriate or conditions appropriate. I would dig seeing some photos of your fish. That sounds like fun!!!

My SRC - Jack Chinook (Blackmouth) - Resident Coho beach fishing is flats fishing, with blind casting.

I wait for days with an eight foot or greater tidal rise and/or fall that creates a 1.5 to 2.5 knot current. I like beaches near a point with cobble up to about egg-sized. The edges of eel grass beds can be good but tends to foul my hook too often so I prefer cobble. Sandy with clam or oyster beds can be productive too when Sand Lance are hatching out of the mud.

I arrive a couple of hours before high tide and look for rips (riffles) caused by structure where small bait fish, arthropods, and cephalopods can find cover.

SRC are generally a shallow water fish. When seals are porpoising - feeding offshore I think the forage fish head into near shore shallow water.

With a western rod I am casting 60’ to 70’ roughly 90° across current and stripping as the fly swings down to an angle of about 30° below me. My hookups are generally 35’ to 50’ away in 2 1/2 to 4 feet deep water. I have seen SRC follow my fly to within 20 feet, but it’s rare. However getting to within 30’ is at least possible.

So I would like to know if there is a line that the GM53 will cast with a weighted fly 35 to 40+ feet for swinging the fly with a raised rod tip holding some-most-all of the line off the water and using manipulation.

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That is awesome. Thank you. So cool. It sounds like a lot of fun!

I was thinking the cutthroat color would intensify but they seem to become more silver.

What is the longest line you have tried to cast on that rod?

without significant mass to the line I would suspect that it might be hard to turn over those bigger flies.
I would experiment with making a tapered line. Heavier flouro to lighter flouro.

@Adam_Trahan may have some suggestions as he throws flies on longrods at longer lengths, but I do not think he throws big flies like those. I am a bit out of my element and would have to actually build some lines to experiement with.

If you solve the riddle, please share the results!!!

I cast larger bead head wooly boogers on a 5m rod with a 10m line. The line is about a #4 as I am crafting my own lines. They are completely clear as I cast present in ultra clear water.

That being said, I don’t even think about it.

I just do it.

When I think about it, all I hear in my head is the commercialism and the manufacturers saying how tip heavy other rods are. And how tired they get using those rods.

My 5m rod and long line are not kind to my skinny arms but it’s not a problem to fish hard intermittently for a couple of days.

I practice cast a lot in my front lawn. I balance my kit ever before I hit the water. If I don’t like it, I won’t use it.

Practice with your gear first.

Heavier lines are easier to cast. Accurate casting gets you fish. Practice sets muscle memory.

Do not practice bad habits.

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If I’m reading you write, you like the longest single hand rod long line system you can manage. Me too. 5m rod, 10m Line is about it for me. At that length, physics are huge. Air resistance on the rod sweeping through its stroke becomes an issue in wind…

I started at two hand rods first, just dove in and started doing it. I tried emulating my European (Scandinavian training) lessons when I was sponsored by Loop. Fixed line fishing is different, physics are physics but trying to adapt the fishing a dynamic casting length to a fixed length frustrated me.

So I stopped.

I went back to single hand and learned that tenkara is tenkara and fly fishing is fly fishing.

There are people that can fly fish with a tenkara rod. I can do it but I suck at it. I do better catching wise with tenkara techniques.

In a couple of seasons, when I have a good education and grasp at honryu tenkara, I will buy a proper two hand rod. Not adapting a keiryu rod, a two hand, long cork grip 6m rod and start over using a nicely designed Japanese made rod.

There is no reason why one could not figure this out on their own doing it as they please. This is fishing, it isn’t a martial art.

I’m just methodical in my approach and do not believe in reinventing and rebranding the wheel. There is far too much of that coming out of America right now and I’m not selling anything.