Daiwa Master Tenkara L 3.6m rods introduced Nov 2018

Last time round Daiwa introduced the Expert Tenkara L & Expert Tenkara LT [エキスパート テンカラ L & エキスパート テンカラ LT ] rods.

The Master Tenkara L [ マスター テンカラ L ] rods are now listed on their webpage this time round, with release date of Nov 2018 [2018.11 デビュー]. Two rods, both 3.6m in length. The LL 36 & LT 36.

The rods only have 4 segments. Thus a longer collapsed length of 99.2 cm, about 1m. Weight 78g and 80g.

Pricey rods, both list for 46,000 JPY ~ $408. I did not find them listed yet on any commercial websites. Maybe retailers will list them at lower than Daiwa’s list price.

Developed by Katayama Etsuji-san tester [片山悦二さんテスター ]. Who calls it a “中継テンカラ竿”, Which I am guessing means a mid flex (middle segment) rod. The same 中継 term is used in the description of the Expert L tenkara rods.

Each rod has a different type of tip. First segment. LL 36 (Tubular tip), LT 36 (mega top tip). Which from the description indicates the difference is to enhance the use of light level line or tapered line, and why they should work better.

Daiwa Master Tenkara L rod

Also listed on their new products list for release in Feb. 2019, is a kebari set.


One brown and one white. I doubt I would order them. But I would reproduce a clone. Actually I already tie kebari that are pretty similar. I might try tying ones that are a closer copy.

Daiwa Tenkara Standard All Season Kebari Set


David, thank you for all the information and for sharing it with us. The price seems a jump from previous rods but they do make some awesome tenkara rods. I just hope we don’t see prices continue to rise like Winston, Sage, Scott, and Orvis fly rods. You have to refinance your home to purchase them. That was one of the things that turned me off to western fly fishing. It used to be $225-275 would get you the top of the line rod and bamboo was about $500-600.

There are a few other high end tenkara rods in that same price range. The Tenryu Furaibo TF39TA, the DT Karasu rods. I think the Shimano Honryu rods were in that same price range when first released.

Daiwa had a tenkara rod that was in that, if I recall correctly, was in the same price range six or so years ago when it was discontinued.
Direct Sensor Grip. DSG=ダイレクトセンサーのグリップ。「ダイワ 飛仙翔DSG」


And you may recall the custom 天龍 TF39「ベッチョウ」:
Tenryū TF 39 `becchou’ rod from last year that was 87,000 JPY.



The market, aka buyers, for higher priced rods maybe a small group, but there are always a few people willing to pay a higher price for a rod that is special in some way.

The Daiwa Master Tenkara L rods also only has 4 segments which I believe does a couple of useful things due to having fewer joints.

The rods seem to take on a smoother bend casting a little nicer, and with fewer joints I have found them to be a little quicker to deploy - extend and collapse. But at the price of being longer when collapsed. The Nissin Air Stage Honryu (aka NASH) or Nissin Air Stage Honryu (I own both) & the Shimano Honryu Tenkara 44 NP , with 5 segments, rods for example.


I hope I can try out one of these new Daiwa rods, they sound really interesting. I have 2 older daiwa rods which I enjoy very much along with Suntech “Trout Bum” rods.

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Tenkarabum added this rod to his website Christmas Day, with an update 4 days later stating it cast a #2 line just fine.


The Daiwa Master tenkara rod only has 4 sections and the collapsed length of the is 39.75 inches (101cm). I have a couple of Nissian rods that have 4 sections with long collapsed lengths.

The Nissin Royal Stage Honryu 390. Collapsed length 44 inches (112cm) with 4 sections. And the NASH 450. Collapsed length 40.75 in (104cm) with 5 sections. I don’t have the NASH 380 but its collapsed length is 43.75 inches (111cm) with 4 sections.

About 2x the collapsed lengths of most rods that have 7 or 8 sections or some up to 10 sections. The longer collapsed length is only slightly inconvenient. I think the 4 sections rods do cast very nicely. But what I like best about them is they are a little quicker to extend or collapse than rods that have twice as many sections.

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Tom I read your nice review of the Daiwa Master rod last week.

This post from your blog also has information appropriate for this rod and the Nissin Mini rod mentioned in the other thread about the Level Line tenkara rod.

Tom -

Thanks for another informative review. How does casting it compare to the Expert Tenkara? I appreciate in some ways they are very different and yet are related. I also appreciate there are physical differences between them. Just curious what the difference is between the two as far as feel.

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Although both rods are very similar is CCS penny rating, the Master feels a little stiffer through the mid and lower sections. This makes the Master rod feel less “wobbly” than the Expert. It may the the lack of joints that causes this affect, I’m not sure. Also, the Master dampens better than the Expert. The Master is a very nice rod. I didn’t have any intent of buying one, but after using one I bought it!


Thanks for your thoughts. Appreciated.

The new Daiwa Master rod is their first tenkara rod made in Japan that I can recall in my short five seasons anyway, probably just one of the reasons for the price. Daiwa rods seem pretty special no matter where they’re made, just picked up the Seiryu X 35 and it cast light lines fantastically, it is kind of a poor mans Oni Itoshiro, I have both and there isn’t a lot of difference between them. The LT rods made in China are great rods too they have a robust feel and cast smoothly, I see they have an LL and LT rod in the new Master series, I may end up with both someday, or not. You would think twelve is enough, but a rod that gives ya that special tingle and puts a grin on your face is hard to pass up. I’ll probably at least spring for the LL when the funds are there, I’ll have to consult my benevolent banker when the tax return shows up.:grin:


Not going to lie… this is on my list… that list won’t stop growing ! LOL

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So I’ve been eyeballing this rod for sometime and I’ve communicated with Tenbum and Teton Tenkara (along with reading their written reviews/articles), as well. I’m curious if others have any experience with the rod? The long collapsed length isn’t really an issue since I have other rods I use for serious backpacking. I’m assuming the length and/or cost have limited the number of people that have bought it, but I’d love to hear from others before I take the plunge.