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Help Selecting A Rod

Discussion on tenkara rods

Help Selecting A Rod

Postby patroutking » Sun Jan 06, 2013 8:09 pm

I've been looking for my first Tenkara rod but I'm having problems picking one. I think I going to pick a certain rod but then I see another one that I like and have second thoughts on the first rod. I been going back and forth like that with a few rods. So I decided to explain what type of fishing I would be doing and get some help picking a rod. Most of my fishing will be small streams. Maybe a couple of times I'd fish medium size streams. Almost all of the area I fish has a lot of cover so long rod could become a problem. Most of my fishing would be trout in the size of 7" to 12". Sometimes could get into some 14" to 15" trout. Being that this is my first Tenkara rod, I need something that is easy to work with and cast. I like to keep the price around the $175 area. A little bit less would be great but I will go a little bit over $175 if I have to. Thank you for your time and help.

BTW: I almost forgot to add one other thing. I don't have a lot of experience with western fly fishing either but I seem to do better with dry flies so I probably start off fishing dry flies.
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Re: Help Selecting A Rod

Postby Kuhlow » Mon Jan 07, 2013 6:40 am

My first TUSA rod was a Yamame, which I got for the extra backbone needed for some of the largemouth bass that I go after but I would recommend a 12ft Iwana (plus the other handle to shorten the rod for occasions that warrant it). I have the 11ft Iwana and it's my favorite rod. It casts beautifully and can handle any of the situations that you are interested in fishing. It is a great all around rod. To be honest, I do not own any other TUSA rods and have had little chance to cast others but from all of the reading I have done over the last few years the Iwana seems to be the best rod for a beginner. If you did not do most of your fishing in PA (or the Northeast) I might suggest one of the longer rods for more open waters like out west. But I don't think you will go wrong with an Iwana.
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Re: Help Selecting A Rod

Postby SonOfMartin » Mon Jan 07, 2013 8:17 am

Hello from Hershey...welcome to a wonderful forum and a great form of fly fishing!

I struggled with the same decision - as I use 6'6" rods on the streams in the area - my largest trout rod being 7'9" - so I figured no way a 12' rod will every work.

Boy was I wrong - I bought an Iwana and the shorter handle kit and have never used the shorter handle. I was amazed - literally surprised myself with how easy it is to cast, manuever, manipulate the fly, etc with a 12' rod. The only thing I've had to change is now I move from spot to spot - collapse the rod, move, extend the rod, cast.

I've caught small to larger trout on the Iwana and took it to Florida last month and caught pretty good size largemouth on it and had no problems.

Honestly I don't quite know what to make of folks who claim you can't (shouldn't?) fish for larger fish with an Iwana - the only thing I can imagine having a problem with is fly size.

I cast using a furled leader (traditional) and have cast up to size 8 wolly buggers and clousers by adjusting the tippet length (not size). - I use only 5x flouro and just vary the length.

My first couple of trout outings were quite eye openning. I used a flashback PT nymph and forced myself to fish in waters I would have past over using "western techniques" and yep - caught fish in those waters I would have just walked past.

To say I'm hooked on Tenkara is an understatement. Folks stop me on stream and wonder what I"m using, how it works..and then can't wait to go home and order one because it's so simple and yes the techniques work and produce.
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Re: Help Selecting A Rod

Postby Anthony » Mon Jan 07, 2013 11:38 am

In general I think going with the longest rod is best. But on some of the small brushy streams that I fish I use the Iwana with the 9'3" handle. There are some small streams that have a nice high canopy and on those I always go with a longer rod. But on those rhododendron tunnel type streams it's the 9'3" Iwana and bow and arrow casting.

So a 12' Iwana with a 9'3" handle could be a nice choice. Maybe you end up not needing it - but I've used mine quite a bit.

As far as action goes, for me personally I prefer the softer action of the Ebisu on small streams though. If the stream cover allows it, I usually use the Ebisu. I like the feel and I like the casting for light lines more than the Iwana.
Ebisu (now retired), Iwana 11'ft (with additional short handle - also retired), Amago, Ito, Ayu II, Rhodo, Sato
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Re: Help Selecting A Rod

Postby tnitz » Mon Jan 07, 2013 2:11 pm

I've found there are HUGE differences in what each angler considers a "small" stream or "dense canopy". So you may want to be more specific - it's really that important.

If what you mean is similar to what I mean by "small" stream, I would look for a relatively soft rod of 9-11' with a 6:4 profile. A soft rod will give you more action on the small fish you are going to run into, while a stiffer rod will work better when using a very short line to get into really tight places (something like "pole" fishing, I guess). Myself, I prefer the soft tips in order to maximize response to small fish.

These shorter rods will work fairly well on larger rivers - not ideal for that, but a darned sight better than trying to use a longer rod in a closed space. I've used a 10' rod on a river that is perhaps ideally fished with a 4.5m or longer rod. The problem with that is that the longer line/shorter rod equates to a shallower entry angle to the water which removes one of the benefits.

That's just me - others will heartily disagree.
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Re: Help Selecting A Rod

Postby patroutking » Tue Jan 08, 2013 7:53 pm

Thank you all for the replies. It was a big help.
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