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Ito Ayu choice

Discussion on tenkara rods

Ito Ayu choice

Postby tsegelke » Sat Jun 30, 2012 8:12 pm

I am in a predicament. I can only afford to purchase one rod at a time, so let me start by saying that I intend to acquire both of these rods in time.

I am taking a trip at the end July to spend a week fishing the Eastern Side of the Sierra's (CA). I currently have an Iwana 12', and love it. My goal is to only fish Tenkara rods this yea. I am finding that as I move to the medium to larger rivers during the progression of the year, I am desiring a longer rod to give me more control and longer drifts according to the size of the river. Along with that, the Eastern side of the Sierra's does have the potential to hook into some trophies. Since I have an Iwana 12', my initial thought is to go for the longest rod possible (Ito), but am conflicted by the potential of the chance of hooking into a brute.

I am looking into some feedback, experiences, input in comparing these two rods.

Thank you
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Re: Ito Ayu choice

Postby Tenkara Guides » Sat Jun 30, 2012 8:19 pm

The Ito will give you 2 rods for the price of one. 13ft and 14'7". Get some level line & you are set for just about anything.

The Ito and Ayu have a different flex and casting nature & I feel that each rod has it's own character. I prefer the balanced feel of the Ayu and it is my most used rod. Nothing beats the versatility of the Ito. It is a fun rod when you fully extend it and attach a 20ft line. It is amazingly easy to get the hang of casting the long line with that rod. The balance feels tip heavy when fully extended but it really doesn't really affect anything, it just feels different.

If you are fishing in an area with high potential of catching fish in the 20+inch range, get the Amago. It's 13'6" length and stronger backbone handle larger fish better than any of the other TUSA rods.

John
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Re: Ito Ayu choice

Postby tsegelke » Sat Jun 30, 2012 8:30 pm

That helps tremendously. Do you have any experience with the Amago? It does kind of split the difference of the length, but was figuring the ITO covers the Amago nicely since it has the same flex rating.

Thanks again.
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Re: Ito Ayu choice

Postby Jason Klass » Sat Jun 30, 2012 8:34 pm

I have to second John's suggestion. If I were in your situation, that's what I would get.
My blog: Tenkara Talk

Tenkara USA Rods: Amago, Ayu, Ayu Series II, Ebisu, Ito, Iwana 11', Iwana 12', Rhodo, Sato, Yamame.
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Re: Ito Ayu choice

Postby Tenkara Guides » Sat Jun 30, 2012 9:04 pm

tsegelke wrote:That helps tremendously. Do you have any experience with the Amago? It does kind of split the difference of the length, but was figuring the ITO covers the Amago nicely since it has the same flex rating.

Thanks again.

I do have a lot of time using the Amago. The flex ratings describe what sections of the rod are designed to flex. Backbone is how stiff the lower 4 sections are. Your Iwana is a true 6:4 flex. The Ito is a very soft 6:4 flex. The Amago is a little on the stiff side of the 6:4. It is the stiffer lower sections of the Amago that make it a better large fish rod. If you are going to be doing any hybrid tenkara techniques (euro nymphing), get the Amago. It handles the heaver Czech style/beadhead flies better.

Even though all of those rods are 6:4 flex, they all feel and cast differently.

John
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Re: Ito Ayu choice

Postby Karl Klavon » Sun Jul 01, 2012 1:48 pm

As someone who has a fair amount of experience fishing alpine lakes and streams in the high Sierra, I can almost promos you that you will experience considerable wind activity on the east side of the Sierra range, usually due to afternoon thermal heating and thunder cloud build up activity. Because of the added backbone and the ability to effectively cast heavier lines, the Amigo rod will prove to be a better choice for eastern Sierra Tenkara fly fishing than either the Ito or the Ayu rods would be.

As far as landing and controlling big fish goes, while more backbone in a rod can and does make some contributions to that activity, the primary limiting factor is tippet strength. 5X is the upper recommended maximum tippet strength for all of T-USA's rods, so there is not really all that much difference in what can and can not be done, big fish wise, with any of the different Tenkara rod models using that tippet strength. Your angling experience and skills are at least as important as the equipment you are or will be using.

That being said, it is probably best to choose to buy the rod that will meet the conditions you will be fishing under most of the time. But since you already have the 12 foot Iwana, which is arguably one of the best all around T-rods there is out there, the Amago would be a better choice and more backpacking friendly because of its ability to handle wind, bigger fish, and its shorter collapsed length than the ITO.
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Re: Ito Ayu choice

Postby jayfisher » Mon Jul 02, 2012 1:19 am

For what it's worth, I'd join the others who suggested the Amago. With the Ito at maximum length, you're only losing about 7.5% length with the Amago. The trade off for that relatively small loss in length in the Amago is gaining more backbone able to handle a wider range of fish and a much better rod for Euro nymphing. Whichever you choose, have fun!

- Jack
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Re: Ito Ayu choice

Postby tsegelke » Mon Jul 02, 2012 5:47 pm

Just got back from a great time on the East Side. Caught lots of fish, and the Iwana handled 18 inchers in the current with no problem. The fish I lost was due to my skill, not the rod.

Check Nymphing is not an issue since I fish everything Dry or Emerger. The two challenges which were most frustrating was needing to cast a 15' level line with the wind. I am hoping that the longer rod will be able to load the same length line easier, and the extra rod length will add the extra 2-4 feet of drift control.

It's all just a dilemma, even If I had each rod on the bank with me, I would still have to make the same choice.
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Re: Ito Ayu choice

Postby tsegelke » Tue Jul 03, 2012 5:34 pm

OK I've read through this again and believe most are arguing towards the Amago. I see good arguments for both the Amago and the Ito. I pride myself with being able to land large fish on small rods. So the size of the fish does not seem to bother me so much. I know if I I hook into something more than the rod can handle, I am comfortable breaking off the tippet to save the rest of the tackle.

So here is my delimma:
Ito is believed to be able too cast more line and the extra length will give me more control of the drift.

Amago is believed to have stiffer backbone for casting in wind.

With the factor of playing big fish out of the question (have landed 18" with Iwana no problems, and had to break off much heavier fish since I was going to lose that one anyway), I am wondering if anyone has any other insights to these two.

Thanks
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Re: Ito Ayu choice

Postby Tenkara Guides » Tue Jul 03, 2012 6:49 pm

Maybe you should just flip a coin. In the end only you can make the choice. They are both excellent rods. Each is different from the other. They are designed for two different specific needs. Just pick one and enjoy it. Opinions on rods are like butt holes, everybody has at one.

As far as casting in the wind goes get some 4.5 level line and run with a slightly shorter line. Sometimes the heavier mass of the 4.5 line helps punch it through wind better. The longer the line the more aerodynamic drag it has and the more the wind will screw things up. another good option is a Tenkara Bum hand tied tapered line. Wind just sucks with any tenkara rod. the lines are so light they just get pushed around.

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