2018 New Rods

Just wanted to start a thread about the newest rods coming to market and everyone’s thoughts. So far I have come across the new Shimano stuff including; Pack Tenkara ZW, Maystone NW, and a new beginner rod package the Tenkara BB kit. Tenryu has come in strong with an amazingly beautiful Furaibo TF39 Betchou limited edition rod. Chris at Tenkarabum is taking reservations for the lucky few you may get one. I have been trying my hardest to justify why I “NEED” it. Hahaha. Any others ? Post your thoughts. I have posted my initial thoughts of the Pack Tenkara in the Rod section. Check it out.


I quit fly fishing because I got caught up in the consumerism in it. Having the newest and best rod, reel, fly line and exotic destination.

Now this is creeping (flying) into tenkara. I started tenkara because of the minimalism. I was headed that way when I started tenkara.

But I think I am confused, capitalism and consumerism run hand in hand.

I know that my tenkara will not improve because of the latest and greatest rod. It just won’t. What makes me better is fishing the rods that I have now, there is far more performance in them that what my skill is pulling out of them. The performance in a new rod? Is it really better than what I have now? Will I become better?

Tenryu makes excellent rods. I really like them. Will that new rod be that much better?

I would like to own one, I don’t break rods, it would be sweet, yeah!

But I’m not going to buy it.

That pull, I’m not going there, it’s the wrong thing for me.

Don’t be like me, be like you.

I’m going to continue to do what I do and fish the rods I have, get more familiar with them. Continue to learn with them.

I want to get better at the skill, not the equipment.

If you an buy one of the new rods, you should if you want to. Don’t listen to me, listen to yourself, do your own thing. If you aren’t, you are a follower.

I am interested in your experiences with new rods.

There are some people that I know have been consumers, buying new rods and a lot of them for years, listening to them tell us how much better these new rods are. Gees, these guys have gotten so much better at their tenkara…


I agree with Adam on this topic. I definitely like the new Shimano that Tom Davis recently reviewed and I am a fan of the Tenryu TF39TA. As a matter of fact, I would like to own one. The cost of the rod is not stopping me from purchasing one but the question to myself is, do I really need one? I can effectively catch fish on all of the rods I currently own and my skills are at a point in which I can cast with level, furled or hybrids lines of my choosing depending on conditions. . So will that new rod increase my enjoyment of the sport or will it be merely for reasons of aesthetics? I would have to conclude that the rod would not increase my appreciation of the sport because of it’s fish catching performance. Now there is a versatility aspect of this rod in the fact that it zooms and it collapses very compactly. That in itself is not enough for me to buy one. I have other zoom rods which behave quite admirably despite the fact that they don’t collapse quite as small as the TF39TA.

For now I think i will continue fishing, with great success, using my current rod quiver and not make any additions to it. I might have room for one more, however, the original TUSA Ebisu. I’ve watched a few pop up here and there for sale but was too slow on the “purchase button.”

1 Like

A high quality rod is more fun to cast, and to fish with than a poor quality rod. It’s worth upgrading if you have a low quality rod. A low quality rod may limit the growth of your skills. [Or otoh, a higher quality rod may let you make better cast with poor casting technique, while with a poor quality rod you will have to improve your casting technique in an effort to make a decent cast]. Yes I believe high quality rods are easier to cast well than poor quality rods.

A new different rod may be worth purchasing to get a rod that has different casting characteristics. For example. I believe, Nissin rods designed on the recommendations of Hiromichi Fuji cast differently from an Oni rod, which cast differently from a Shimano rod designed to please Dr Ishigaki, and they are different from a TUSA rod. With experience you might prefer a rod that more closely matches the casting style you prefer. Or maybe you’d just like a selection of rods that cast differently. Who wants to eat the same meal everyday?

A new rod probably wont increase your skill at catching fish. Maybe only if your present rod gives you poor hook sets. Just increase your pleasure using them. A high end rod might improve your casting / fishing only after you’ve developed your casting techniques to a very high level when you might be able to take advantage of subtle differences in the rod’s characteristics. My skill level is a long way from reaching the limits of the rods I have. Maybe the best way to increase your skill with a rod is to stick with the one you have, assuming it is a good quality rod, and continuously trying to push the limits of your skill and the rod’s characteristics? One rod many kebari might be a better motto. Along with learning where the fish are and what do they want.

otoh, if you’re a really casual angler who just wants to be on the river fishing, and doesn’t strive to make each next cast better than the previous cast, it probably doesn’t much matter what rod you have.

However, I see nothing wrong with wanting a rod whose refinement would take a long time to fully appreciate and be able to fully use. That’s the kind of rod you could keep and use for years given proper care. Then there are the engineering types, like me, who are tempted to buy a refined or specialized rod well beyond our skill level just because we appreciate the design. And buy it if we can afford it. Want it but not need it. The ole, I’d really like to try one of those rods syndrome.

The biggest advantage I see for new rods coming to market is it indicates growth in the tenkara market has gained the attention of rod manufacturers. And they will invest in continuing providing tenkara rods, and in improving their tenkara rods. If they see the market as stagnant they may lose interest and invest their money developing other types of rods where the profit is better. Perhaps dropping tenkara rods from their line up if they don’t see growth in popularity and demand.

Anyway, for me the pleasure when fishing is being out on the river, making cast that please me. The same pleasure from some qigong taichi routines. Meditation in motion. Most days I don’t care if I only catch a few fish. As long as I catch at least one. It’s especially pleasing if at least one of them is from a spot where previously I think they should be laying, but I wasn’t having success getting them to rise and take. Or it was just a difficult place to cast in to, and I finally succeeded and hooked a fish. I have several very nice tenkara rods. Last summer I probably did 80% of my fishing with the same two 4m rods. 15% with a new rod I got late in the season. 5% when I fished a couple of places where a much shorter rod was needed. The rest stayed in their rod tubes. That’s my 2¢, it’s worth half as much. Maybe.


Appreciate this thread getting started, since I’m definitely shopping for at least one new rod this year, and since I hadn’t yet heard of the Furaibo TF39 Betchou limited edition. How cool is that! It’s definitely not for me, but I’m glad to see the growth in the market.

I’m curious if Tenkara Times will have anything new or updated coming out in 2018, since I enjoyed their rods so much last year, and they’re local for me.

I’m gonna side with David here. If you already have a solid rod, or quiver of them, no need to upgrade… but if you don’t have a rod that suits you, or you just don’t have a nice one period, a high quality rod is not hard to justify IMO.

1 Like

I can agree with everyone on this thread. To each their own. I do enjoy seeing the growth and selection in the Tenkara market. If anyone sees any new 2018 Tenkara Rods post the info here. It will help people like Evan make an informed decision on his next rod purchase. That new Maystone NW from Shimano looks interesting. The grip looks interesting. I can’t wait to see the actual rod photos and more description out of Japan.

1 Like

Those Tenryu rods especially the new one sound lovely indeed but I am happy with the rods I currently own. At this time I see no reason for any new acquisitions in 2018, still one may catch my fancy I have a lot of impressive rods from yesteryear, in fact a bit too many as it is.
I am glad Chris is offering the Betchou as it looks quite unique and if I was rolling in dough I might jump on it, but alas it is not to be.
But for those of you lusting after some new stuff, well it helps the economy and the dealers.

1 Like

Completely agree @JeffR. Again goes with my belief of this forum. 10 colors tenkara.

If we’re going to see tenkara grow and more people get hooked on it, we need businesses to grow (at least somewhat). None of us would be where we are today without Daniel G and then @CM_Stewart, their businesses were the first growth. I’m happy to see more people getting into tenkara.

1 Like

I would like to buy another rod this year …but will not as my budget has tightened. My beedie eyes are on an oni type 1. Might have to wait.

Adam touches on all points and I agree.

To further expand on this. Most rods have attributes that most anglers cannot pick up on, or cannot pick up on with low experience. I would say even though I have been fishing fixed line/tenkara going on my fourth season, I would say I am still in the low experience level. Consider anglers who have been fishing in this style for multiple decades.

I would feel its safe to say, if you own a $180 -$200 dollar rod you own a pretty damn good rod. Price does not always mean good, but the odds are they are pretty decent. They may not be designed with your style in mind, but how do you know what your style is when you have low experience?. I think its a good idea to come to a full conclusion of what the a rod shines at, and use it for that.

I can say that in other angling disciplines, I have come full circle on rods and did not appreciate or understand the benefits of certain attributes early on but have gravitated back to. This took me well over a decade and I am just finding my rythmn.

Sort of like the dawn of the digital age and compact disc and then the revival of vinyl.

To each their own, but I find it interesting certain anglers will cycle through rods in very short time. Buy rod X, tell everyone they are in love, then dump that poor rod in a half season.

Learning to master your rod, whatever it is. The founders of this technique used bamboo…and they made a living out of catching fish.

To put things in perspective. Just yesterday, I was speaking to a surfcasting sharpie the other day about fishing with him for trout. He is in his seventies and is considered a master striped bass fisherman and is held in high regard in the surfcasting community. I told him about tenkara and how fun the rods are a few years back. We ran into eachother and are gonna try to meet up soon to fish together. He told me the last time he went for wild brookies he just brought a length of line and a couple flies, hiked a couple miles to the brook, found a branch he could use as a pole, attached the line, and caught a few fish.

I will be meditating on that this year…


I have a friend who is a author of guide books and he has contributed to one of my web sites. He is an outstanding writer/fly fisher.

I wanted to introduce him to tenkara and offered to pay him a visit to do so and to fish for native trout.

He said come on over but I’m not interested in tenkara. If I was, I would just take my fly reel and put it in my pocket and cast the line with my hand.

If you literally want to do that, cut a piece of fly line with a nice short tapered leader and coil it up in your pocket and do it.

I’ve done it, exciting when you catch a fish, once and done.

Been there, done that, a long time ago. I suggest it for summer fun. Carry the coil in your pack and capitalize on the time where you know it will work. I just stripped out a bunch of line and placed my rod on the ground and cast.

I’ve done a lot of goofy stuff with a fly rod.

Here is a picture from a long time ago, I took off the tip of my fly rod and used it to cast to a little bucket for a beautiful little brook trout.




I know that you and others have made counter point that the right rod can make fishing so much more enjoyable, which is also true.

The notes I am trying to hit are more comparative and linked to necessity. What are the minimum attributes to be successful?

Also noting that getting to know a rod (a tool) is like getting to know a person. There are first impressions, then there is a long relationship that paints the rest of the picture. At least for me its the approach I like to take. More or less all my rods are guesses, and enjoy exploring what they can do. I would only sell them after having them for a long run and did not use them.

天龍 TF39「ベッチョウ」: Tenryū TF 39 `becchou’

Tenryu-magna TF39 “Beccho”

Blog Tenryu-magna TF 39 Becchou Limited Production
btw - the digital translation into English of the above blog post is fairly good.

The Nishijin Weave (fabric) in the finish is indeed beautiful.
Do an internet search for either 西陣織 or Nishijin weave to learn more about it.

Or maybe this webpage would satisfy your interest.
The Becchou rod is not the first or only rod Tenryu makes with the same finish.
As you will see the use of Nishijin weave fabric is another method to preserve traditional skills.

Tenryu Fishing Rod Covered with Nishijin Textile

But Wowzer. List price of ¥87,000 are a lot of pennies.
I think buying one of them is not so much driven by desire for the flex characteristics of the rod as by desire for the beauty of the rod and it’s deeper connection to Japanese traditional crafts.

1 Like

シマノ:『メイストーンNW』, Shimano Maystone NW


シマノ:テンカラBBキット , Shimano Tenkara BB Kit
Shimano Tenkara BB Kit PDF

I found the Shimano webpage for the Tenkara BB Kit.
I think the line spool that comes with the kit is pretty cool. Thus far I have been unable to find it listed as a stand alone product.

Shimano Tenkara BB Kit

1 Like

Can anyone translate these markings or recognize the maker?


剣心 竿 ・・・Website searching name



1 Like

This would be a keiryu rod, correct? Is it made in Japan or imported from China? Trying to gauge the overall quality of it.

I think that it is probably likely to be considered from the price

For small fish and versatile type

I am watching the response of the product but I can not find it

Thanks for the info. I’m searching also.

Thank you for your reply.

Japan is now 3:30 am now

Good nigth :sleeping_bed: