2023 Daiwa Expert Tenkara 36LT

Anyone have one yet? If so lmk what you think. Interesting grip.

Either way, I just ordered one from Tenkara-ya. Haha.

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I have had the LT 33 for a few months now. I wanted the 36 but couldn’t find one in stock at the time. I have really been liking it. It’s stiff enough for good nymphing hooksets, but soft enough at the tip to cast weightless flies well. It doesn’t cast like an oni with a weighted fly… But nothing I’ve tried casts like an oni rod. It has a nice progressive bend to it. 6 inch fish are still fun.

I bought it expecting it to be a bigger fish rod like the old LT’s. They have made this model a little more refined and more fun with smaller fish. It wasn’t what I was expecting, but I’ve been liking it more the more I use it. The only gripe I have with it is the filler for the cork has been slowly coming out when the handle gets wet… Not sure how to go about stopping that.

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I have some modestly priced T-rods I like to fish that have had filler coming out leaving voids. A regional ff forum post mentioned sanding a stained cork handle that has voids with fine grit sandpaper, rubbing in and on a coating of light oak or ash wood filler, sanding off the excess and letting the filler cure. I gave it a try and it looked great! Takes maybe 10 minutes per rod + cure time. So every winter I’ll go through my rods and if they look like they need it, I give them a quick makeover.


Thank you for the report back. I will likely grab the 33 as well if I enjoy the 36LT. Lol

For the cork , I always seal my new rods with U-40 cork sealer before the first use. It keeps the feel of cork while adding a protective layer of thin polyurethane as a water proof barrier (also keeps cork from falling out as often). Be sure and lightly sand or wipe off the new rod before application. Great product I have used for years now.

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I almost impulse bought that rod but held back. How do you like the handle? I really like the balance and flex of all the Daiwa rods I’ve tried.

I really like it. I grip all tenkara rods with my index finger on the blank above the grip. With that hand position the bottom of my palm/wrist also touches the blank. I feel like like it increases sensitivity. The bottom cork isn’t really useful for anything other than resting it against your forearm when fighting a fish/casting if you want to. It’s really a one position grip. Gripping it any other way doesn’t work for me. If you like to grip your rods at the butt of the handle this is not the rod for you.

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Thanks for the info. Do you happen to know what brand and type you use? Seems like there are a lot of options.

Interesting. I usually grip the same as you but sometimes change for whatever reason. I don’t know if I’ll ever pull the trigger as I already have too many rods and even more that are on my list to someday buy, but it does seem like a nice rod. Can you compare the flex to anything you’ve used to give us some points if reference? If I remember right, it was around 5.0 RFI.

For those interested here is the cork sealer I was referring to.



I can only compare it to a mizuchi or 6:4 air stage fujiryu as far as tenkara rods go. It’s a little stiffer than the mizuchi on the tip half. I’d say it’s a little softer than the mizuchi on the bottom half. It has a much smoother overall flex though. Feels lighter in hand than the mizuchi.

The fujiryu feels stiffer overall and the Daiwa casts a little smoother. I’ve only seen a penny rating of 19.5 for the 36LT and an rfi around 5. I think the 33 would test close to that if not slightly below the penny rating. The older expert tenkaras were 3 or 4 pennies different between the 33 and 36LT.

I use Elmers Light Oak Wood Filler that was a popular recommendation on the local ff forum (that I cannot find now), a rod building forum and other repair websites. Ash is about the same color.


How to Fill Voids in Cork Fishing Grips.

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Good info. Thanks for sharing

My 2023 Daiwa Expert Tenkara 36LT is on the way from Japan!

I will post up pics and initial impression when it comes in.

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I’ve got one, fished it for the first time during a trip to the Black Hills this week and really enjoyed it. I’m a total tenkara newbie but I know I liked it way better than the Kimuraya Gunjo 380 that I also purchased from Japan.


Glad you are enjoying yours! Mine should be here tomorrow.

Mine came in ! I’ll try and get pics up soon.

Daiwa quality as expected.

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Was able to fish a few hours this morning in one of my favorite warm water Tenkara spots near me.

The quality of the rod is amazing. No blemishes and exudes quality. Very light in hand. I have no complaints on the handle. I like it ,and found myself using multiple hand positions during casting and fighting fish with out issue. Rod has great dampening and quickly recovers from cast. No regrets. I highly recommend the rod for anyone seeking a quality Tenkara rod.

Here are a few pics;



I am enjoying the 36LT so much I went ahead and got the 36LL ordered. I am a level line guy so it was a “must have” after seeing and fishing the 36LT. Just a light, great casting rod, with excellent Daiwa quality. Love the new look and handle so far in my fishing.

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Would love to hear some comparing thoughts after you fish both of them.