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What do you want in a Tenkara rod?

Discussion on tenkara rods

What do you want in a Tenkara rod?

Postby craigthor » Mon Jan 07, 2013 1:02 pm

I want a double zoom rod that goes from 3.0 - 3.6 - 4.2 M with a nice machined cork handle and light weight. Possible 6:4 or even 7:3 ratio

So what are you looking for in a your perfect rod?

Figured this would be a fun thread.
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Re: What do you want in a Tenkara rod?

Postby Anthony » Mon Jan 07, 2013 1:30 pm

For my fishing I'd want a double zoom too. Make mine go from 2.6m - 3.2 - 3.7. I haven't thought it out that much to know if those zoom lengths would work in a rod or not physically speaking. But I'd like to be able to go from min of 8'6" to 12 ft or so max. May not be feasible.

I'd prefer a soft action 5:5.

Also cork handle with a nice profile like an Iwana handle but with a thicker more exaggerated profile. Rod finish would be flat black with no other markings on it.

And I'd include a line keeping system that had a small hook at the butt-end of grip and and one at the top of first section for wrapping line.

The rod would also come with a rod tube/scabbard with belt loop. So the tube would also be an on-stream carrier that went on your belt.
Ebisu (now retired), Iwana 11'ft (with additional short handle - also retired), Amago, Ito, Ayu II, Rhodo, Sato
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Re: What do you want in a Tenkara rod?

Postby adventureR » Mon Jan 07, 2013 1:32 pm

I don't really know, I've fished the Yamame, 11' Iwana, & Ayu.
I really don't know what I like most.
They are all fun.
I usually grab for the Yamame being that I'm used to it.
Maybe a 15 footer, with several extra sections to make different power rods all in one.
I think it would be interesting to have custom rods made just to see.
It would be fun trying them out.
¿ <•,^~~<
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Re: What do you want in a Tenkara rod?

Postby Kuhlow » Mon Jan 07, 2013 2:39 pm

My perfect rod......it's the one that always has a 15" trout on the end of it :P .
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Re: What do you want in a Tenkara rod?

Postby CuriousLayman » Mon Jan 07, 2013 4:34 pm

A relatively soft action. Maybe close to the Ito. But way lighter. 2.8 ounces tops. I can't tell you the difference in casting a 13' rod that weighs under 3 ounces vs one that weighs almost 4.
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Re: What do you want in a Tenkara rod?

Postby GregM » Mon Jan 07, 2013 6:14 pm

CuriousLayman wrote:I can't tell you the difference in casting a 13' rod that weighs under 3 ounces vs one that weighs almost 4.


You don't notice any difference?

Or the difference is huge?

TIA
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Re: What do you want in a Tenkara rod?

Postby CuriousLayman » Mon Jan 07, 2013 6:30 pm

Yeah, that was poorly worded. To me, the difference is huge.
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Re: What do you want in a Tenkara rod?

Postby jd_smith » Mon Jan 07, 2013 7:48 pm

Good quality...inherent features...degree of excellence.

It's hard for me to nail it down any closer than that. My reasons are that I prefer to have rods each with it's own defining characteristics. My tenkara is constantly evolving because I'm learning and I'm not set on any particular action or length of rod. Ask me again in 2020. :D However I'll probably say the same things then. It's gonna be a long road.

Currently I mostly like 360cm to 411cm rods but with different flex and power. My favorite's so far are;
360cm 5.5
360cm 6.4
390cm 7.3
411cm 5.5

I know I definitely don't like short < 340cm powerful rods regardless of flex rating. I have a short tenkara rod that's a 300cm 6.4 rod, but it's not a powerful rod. I really like it a lot because it casts great, it's fast and accurate, soft and forgiving for small creek trout. The handle section, not the cork grip but the graphite, is the same diameter as a Bic medium point ink pen, the rod weighs 2.1oz.

Zoom rods are the same thing for me. I have found two that I like a lot and a few not so much. My favorites so far are;
345cm-390cm relative to 6:4
383cm-445cm relative to 7:3


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Re: What do you want in a Tenkara rod?

Postby tsegelke » Mon Jan 07, 2013 7:54 pm

I like the softer action. A well balanced rod doesn't seem heavy. It's the imbalance that make a rod feel top heavy and seems to tire me out.

Ideally I would like:
1) 3.7m just over 12 ft
2) 4.1m just under 13'6"
3) 4.6m just over 15'

My opinion is the Ito's telescoping feature affects the balance of the rod making it feel top heavy when fully extended. I also figure it has to effect the progressive/parabolic taper. Meaning that the more the rod is able to switch from one length to the other, the less natural of a bend the rod has (more reliance on the tip, instead of the progressing flex of the entire length of the rod). This is why I would like these three rods to be designed with the same feel or flex in mind. I would like a soft or 5:5 flex. Each rod being targeted for a progressively larger fish/river. This would also allow for potentially three sets of rods. One for soft 5:5, one for medium 6:4, and one for hard 7:3. I am using the flex ratings used here to describe the feel, but know that the longer the rod the softer it feels, even though they are no longer truly the same flex rating. The math makes it very difficult to make a well casting rod with a 5:5 flex rating at longer lengths.

When I fished either of these three rods, I would like to feel like I am using the same or very similar casting rhythms or feel (keeping in mind that the length of line is typically close to the same length as the rod). Currently I notice that when switching from one rod to another, each has a different character and feel, my preference does not always match what is available.

I don't see the math working out to be able to buy one rod to fish all year, but would love to be able to get a set of rods with similar/like souls. Granted I would end up buying more than one set to accommodate my change in moods/facies: so be it. We are talking ideal here.

Hope nothing but great fishing to everyone.
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Re: What do you want in a Tenkara rod?

Postby CuriousLayman » Tue Jan 08, 2013 3:45 pm

I think it's a fair point about the balance vs the weight. It's probably true that some extra weight is OK if it's balanced well. As it turns out, the lightest rods I've used are also the best balanced. Or at least they were less tip heavy.
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