Gyeonji is a centuries-old fishing Korean fishing method—still enjoyed by many Koreans in their local waters—employing effective gear of elegant simplicity; a short rod with an integrated rod-tip line winder. The fishing line is paid out and drawn in by simply spinning the Gyeonji rod around its long axis with the fingertips. While the compact dimensions of the Gyeonji setup might seem to limit its reach, this system is highly effective for presenting live bait and artificials in moving water, where the river or stream current carries the line + rig to cover a wide area of fish habitat.
Gyeonji Nearctic has adapted the traditional gear with a design enhancing its adaptability for North American fish species and habitat settings. Whereas Korean Gyeonji rods use a winder with a pair of vanes to manage the fishing line, the Gyeonji Nearctic rod has a three-vane winder. This design allows for a cast with the line and bait. By casting the rig, the angler can fish the Gyeonji Nearctic in still waters, or reach more areas of current to start a downstream drift.
We use these three guiding principles to guide our Gyeonji Nearctic design work:
Fun, Effective Gear & Techniques
A single piece with no moving parts, the Gyeonji Nearctic rod + winder expresses the bare essentials of effective, no-fuss fishing gear. While conventional rods & reels may better suit certain situations, such as casting with plugs, jigs or spinners, Gyeonji angling can adapt to a wide variety of conditions and fish species. Our favorite strategies include drifting artificial flies in streams and presenting live bait under floats in streams and still water.
Gyeonji Nearctics are so compact, lightweight and tough that is easy to pack and carry two or three rigged rods for varying conditions. Also tote a rigged Gyeonji Nearctic along with your casting, spinning or fly rod as a second line.
Connection with Fish
While Gyeonji angling can be as effective for catching fish as other approaches, it requires careful attention to fish habits and habitats. Use your powers of observation, your angling knowledge and your imagination—think like a fish—for the best success hooking and landing fish.
The Gyeonji rod connection with a hooked fish is not mediated by the machinery of a reel or very much rod action. A struggle with a hard-fighting fish on a Gyeonji Nearctic is thus much more direct in comparison with conventional gear, and lots of fun!
The Drift - Connection with Waters and outdoor places
An especially appealing aspect of Gyeonji fishing is the angler's engagement with flowing water to present enticements for waiting fish. Some of the techniques for downstream Gyeonji presentation of dry flies, streamers, poppers and nymphs overlap with fly fishing approaches, while the Gyeonji angler can also use the same water currents and principles with live bait for a wider variety of fish species. Humans have held fascination with flowing water for millennia and we find that watching and guiding the line and bait as they drift downstream to be as captivating as any part of the fishing experience.
We encourage practices that can lessen the ecological footprint of angling, such as lead-free sinkers, catch & release, habitat conservation and enjoyment of food fish in moderation.