2017 New Rod Chatter #tenkara #flyfishing

In Jason Klass’ Tenkara Talk following the Denver Fly Fishing Show, he alluded that Tenkara USA was working on a new rod for 2017, (which was subsequentially confirmed in the latest Tenkara Cast podcast).

Regardless to if you like/use Tenkara USA rods (I do, I’m a loyal customer), I’m curious, what would you like to see in a new rod offering from them, or perhaps other suppliers?

Truthfully, I’m quite content with my selection of rods, although I do wish the Tenkara USA Ebisu would be re-released. I own one, but it’s a very nice rod, (almost has a cult status) that I think a lot of people would enjoy.

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First off, the hash tags in the topic title worked in the twitter push! Great observation on that. Hopefully other will use them too.

Personally, I’ve never even held a TUSA rod and don’t know if I’d like one or not. On top of that, I’ve only used a small selection of rods thus far and am still learning what things I like in my rods.

I’m rather interested in the new Daiwa Seiryu X right now and am also considering a Nissin. With that, I’d have what I feel I need to cover all of the water I fish regularly. Okay, I am replacing my Suntech that I broke last summer but that’s not a new interest.

Would like to see any American rod maker come out with a cork less handle rod.


It’s funny you say that. I’m in the opposite camp. Never really took to the naked handle. Different strokes for different folks, but agree that there are plenty of advocates and it’s somewhat conspicuous by its absence in the marketplace.

Since we’re talking tactile, I’d like to see a rod maker start using Winn Grips in their rods. Right now the only option is aftermarket, or to build your own rod. Have noticed the Winn Grips becoming more commonplace, not only with fly fishing companies like Redington, but with bass fishing as well. Was flipping through Bass Pro Shop’s 2017 catalog the other day, their two top private label casting rods for 2017 both use Winn Grips. Right in the very front of the catalog. Johnny Morris must be a fan. :grinning:

I built one a while back on a Tenkara Customs blank, which was a fun project. Just think there could be more opportunity here, it’s really nice in hand and doesn’t dampen “feel” like you’d think it would.

I have a friend that uses a Voyant fly rod with a Winn grip and I really like the feel of it not a fan of the rod but the grip is nice, and true it does not dampen the “feel” at all. So I agree seeing some variation in grips would be nice to see.

I would like to see an American seiryu rod. Could either be targeted at headwaters trout, or panfish and small bass that a lot of us have access to.
But realistically, I don’t see the point. I am not a customer lol.
The only T-USA rod I’ve held was the rhodo, and I prefer my nissin pro spec.

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Thinking about this topic a little further today, it would be great to see (whether from a US company or elsewhere - frankly don’t care) a bare handle rod with an action something akin to how @CM_Stewart describes his Suntech T-bum rods. In other words, not quite seiryu and not quite keiryu. Oh and with a slightly larger diameter handle. I’d probably buy those in multiple lengths.

It already exists. It is the Suntech GM Suikei Keiryu Special. It comes in 27 (single length) and in 39, 44 and 53 (3 position zoom rods). The action is similar to the TenkaraBum 36. They don’t have the larger diameter grip, though. The Gamakatsu Ryokei is stiffer, but still tip flex, and does have a larger diameter grip. More expensive and hard to buy. Gamakatsu rarely has them in stock.


I want Tenkara USA to come out with a non-zoom, full flex rod designed for small fish. Something along the lines of 6-10" target size, lightweight, with a cork grip.


What do you consider an American rod maker? Aside from the not-yet-on-the-market Zen rod, none of the tenkara, keiryu, seiryu etc fixed line rods are made in the USA. If it is just an American company importing foreign-made rods, there are quite a few corkless handled rods available already. Does it really matter if it is made by a Chinese company you’ve never heard of with an American company’s logo painted on it or if it is made by a company you’ve actually heard of before with their own logo painted on it? I don’t understand the distinction.


I guess I should have said a American company, TUSA, Dragontail,etc.etc. Offer one of there name brand rods with out a cork grip, I understand that these rods are not manufactured in the USA. Also I am well aware of the many non cork handle rods currently available. I would just like to see a little variety in there rods as far as it goes for grip options.

[quote=“CM_Stewart, post:8, topic:63”]
It already exists [/quote]

Well, okay then. That changes everything… this is awesome to hear. I love learning new things. I love my other Suntech too.

Just out of curiosity @CM_Stewart, do you have any clue (you may well not) as to why Suntech doesn’t have them on their website? Unless I’m just missing them.

YES, that! :arrow_up: :arrow_up: :arrow_up: :arrow_up:

I’ve often pined for the original 11’ Iwana to come back, slightly re-invented as you described. It was my first tenkara rod, and logged a ton of stream time, but as I fished more rods became less “fun” to actually fish. I want that rod to be fun again!

They don’t have them on their website because they had been discontinued and Suntech brought them back at my request. I buy their entire production run of the Keiryu Special rods, so I am the only source worldwide - if someone from Japan wants one, he’ll have to import it from the US ;-). The 27 is a new model (not previously discontinued) but it is still solely a TenkaraBum model.


I have got to say that’s pretty awesome! Way to go @CM_Stewart! I believe my rod search has now rapidly narrowed.

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Right now I don’t don’t have any fantasy lust for a new rod with new features or specifications.
Sure. There are some rods I would like to try just because they look cool, well made, or are just different from what I now have.
Maybe over the winter someone will come out with something that would make me respond like the people in that insurance commercial running on tv, " I just gotta have it". But for now I’m more focused on learning more about fish behavior, stream current dynamics, or how to increase my skills at using the rods I have now.

I love not owning a TV. But it also makes me completely ignorant when people make sociocultural references such as here.

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There is an American tenkara rod company with a cork-less rod. Tenkara Rod Co has two compact rods that don’t have cork. Mini Teton and Mini Sawtooth. I don’t care for their flex actions, I just put it out there for information.



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To answer the original question I got both my wishes in the last month. The new Suntech Keiryu 27 and the Daiwa Seiryu X 45 were exactly what I was looking for at either end of the length spectrum. So I’m not wishing for anything at this point except for opportunities and places to fish them.

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Oh yeah, I forgot about their Mini rods. Prob because everything I read about them was negative lol.