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Tenkara Rod/Western Rod Equivalency Question

PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2014 7:17 am
by Ron_Giesecke
So, without saying too much . . .

I'm going to be buying a Tenkara rod for an very well known fly-fishing Jedi and fly tier. He is bending over backwards for me and my daughter, and will be responsible for her nailing her first large trout. Ever. Because of his graciousness.

This will all be on Western gear, and that part IS great, because Clara has a brand-new 5-weight rod she wants to christen with this man, whom she loves like a dear, dear uncle.

Now, since he is my friend, he steadfastly refuses remuneration. I wont become offensively insistent on paying him for what would amount to hundreds of dollars in merchant value. But he has been keeping track of my Tenkara dimension vis-a-vis my blog, and general conversational tracks about "which method I used" on a particular day, etc.

So what I AM going to do is present him with his first Tenkara rod. I happen to know that, in the midst of all the HUGE and VARIED trout the man lands in his life, and after the myriad of flies that bear his nomenclature, his favorite thing to do IN LIFE--is fish the small streams in Montana with a 3-weight.

Of all the Tenkara rods (and I own two from T-USA, a Yamame and an Ito), is there an equivalent that would at any rate not present a shocking and clubby contrast to a 3-weight, with the short lines and leader?

I could've simply set up my question generically, but I wanted to underscore the personal importance to me and my daughter, as well as solidify this as a geniune opportunity for a man of his stature in the Western FF world to take his curiosity and perhaps find it to be a fortifying step in his world.

Tenkara would benefit greatly from his input. I know I would. And since I know him, I believe he would love it as well.


Re: Tenkara Rod/Western Rod Equivalency Question

PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2014 10:13 am
by GregM
I believe he would be more comfortable with the Yamame than the Ito. You know the Yamame, and can provide feedback to any questions he will have.

If he takes the plunge into tenkara, he can then compare the Yamame to the Ito, and extrapolate to what next rod will feel best for the fishing he intends to do.

And if you'll define the characteristics of a "small steam in Montana", you'll get even better answers.

Re: Tenkara Rod/Western Rod Equivalency Question

PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2014 10:42 am
by Ron_Giesecke

I'm thinking that as well. I guess what I'm thinking is: Is the Ayu even lighter?

I know the Yamame has landed me a few significant fish. But since I know the Montana selections HE's after are comparatively small, I'm thinking that perhaps the Yamame would displace the "fight" I know he goes for in a 3 weight.

Thank you, sir!


Re: Tenkara Rod/Western Rod Equivalency Question

PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2014 11:39 am
by TJ @ Tenkara USA
Nice of you getting him his 1st rod.

Have you considered an Iwana?

To me this might be a good all-around rod.... same length as the Yamame, just not as stiff so will be less "club"like as you mentioned, and not as soft as the Ito.

The Iwana might be that happy medium between both rods you now own and a good all-around fit for your friend.

You be surprised how universal the Iwana 12' is. We have seen numerous 20"+ landed with Iwana yet it is quite adaptable to smaller streams and smaller trout too. Great for panfish and is quite a popular model. They are pretty solid.

Just my 2 cents....

Of course remember your friend has 60 days to try and if he thinks a different model would be better, he can work out and exchange with us.


Re: Tenkara Rod/Western Rod Equivalency Question

PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2014 12:29 pm
by Ron_Giesecke
I think getting him a Tenkara rod both assuages my desire to be in gratitude for the masterful guidance he will employ to bring the magic to my 13 year old--but also, I think having him experience Tenkara first hand will have an impact on diplomacy and acceptance by osmosis.

Thank you for your input, gentlemen.


Re: Tenkara Rod/Western Rod Equivalency Question

PostPosted: Sun May 25, 2014 9:22 am
by Ron_Giesecke
Apparently, I don't listen very well.

Turns out, the nuanced fishing trip in Montana requires a TWO-weight rod.

I'll go ahead an ask for amended thoughts, if anyone wouldn't mind :)


Re: Tenkara Rod/Western Rod Equivalency Question

PostPosted: Sun May 25, 2014 6:11 pm
by jd_smith
Since a tenkara rod is by design already an ultra ultra light rod, you almost couldn't go wrong with any of the rods. However I'm going to go about my recommendation from a different direction than the others have.

First by eliminating two rods from the line up. Being that your aforementioned friend has a serious fly fishing background and a 2 wt fly rod is the rod of choice for friend, small beautiful trout are likely the target. And with a 13" fish probably being the trophy. Lets take away the Yamame and the Amago. These two rods were designed with bigger fish in mind.

With the remaining choices all being well suited for average trout, (Rhoto, Sato, Ito and Iwana) you can now focus on first, the length of the rod. Length is possibly the most important aspect while choosing the rod and price being the least important. I think action is also very important but since TUSA has disregarded rod action as a rod quality, I can't effectively comment on it. :roll:....So my recommendation...I agree with TJ. I think the Iwana, hands down, is the best choice of all the TUSA rods ever offered. It still hasn't been outdone (in house) by any of the previous or successive offerings.

Re: Tenkara Rod/Western Rod Equivalency Question

PostPosted: Sun May 25, 2014 9:10 pm
by tsegelke
I would go with the Sato, or the Iwana, both have much more feel and action that would equate more to a two weight. Before Tenkara, I fished 00 to 4 weights, and I love how you get more control and feel out of the Sato and Iwana on small streams. They both also have more backbone than expected. I have landed fish up to 18" on both of them.

For what it is worth.

Re: Tenkara Rod/Western Rod Equivalency Question

PostPosted: Mon May 26, 2014 6:10 am
by Ron_Giesecke
I am truly grateful for all input.

Thank you!


Re: Tenkara Rod/Western Rod Equivalency Question

PostPosted: Tue May 27, 2014 2:23 pm
by Karl Klavon
While I agree with all the other anglers who have rightly recommended the Iwana rod as being the best all around rod choice, since you specified small streams and a Western 2 Wt. rod as a bench mark comparison or equivalent, I believe the Rhodo rod deserves some very serious consideration as well. You get 3 different rod lengths to meet many different small stream fishing situations, the lightest in the hand feeling rod that TUSA makes, and a very pleasing supple action that is not club-like in the least and is nearly the perfect match to the smaller, wild stream trout of any species.