I have noticed Tenkara Rod Company has included Japanese made rods in their inventory recently. The Yari, Kita 330, and Kita 380 are he three I’m aware of at this time. Has anyone fished with these rods or tested them? They look promising and I hope they feel as good as they look on their website. If you don’t mind, please share your thoughts on the handling and feel of these rods. Since we are not getting anything presently from Japan maybe these rods would be an nice option.
I haven’t used any of them first hand. The Yari is likely made by Tenryu and the Kita by River Peak so the reviews on rods from those companies are likely similar.
I am hoping they are the same as the river peak rods. I like having the USA support option. I was going to pull the trigger on the River Peak set when these were announced. I emailed Tenkararodco to see if they would confirm any details for my upcoming decision. Looking forward to more reviews.
I know Adam posted in the 2021 review by Tom Davis that he purchased both River Peak rods. Maybe he can chime in?
I spoke with Tenkara Rod Co and they advised the new Kita rods are made by the same manufacturer as the river peak rods to their specs/colors. I went ahead and ordered both the 330 & 380 Kita. Excited to fish them!
Thanks for the info Jeff. I think I will do the same thing. I have never fished a River Peak rod before but from all the positive reviews from members of this forum I think this will turn out well.
Tenkara Adventure Outfitters sells the Kiwami rods and parts in the US.
Received the 330 and 380 at the end of the week. If you are a fan of traditional Japanese tenkara techniques the full flex casting action will put a smile on your face. The 330 is a feather! I enjoyed a short warm water trip switching between both the other day. Can’t wait to put in more time on the water!
Pics from Neches River in East Texas.
I have been interested in the river peak Kiwami. TAO has them on sale for considerably less than the repainted Kita.
I’ve been thinking about getting a river peak also. Not that I need yet another Tenkara rod. They do look like fun. In my current rods I don’t feel like I have any gaps. Maybe in the sub 27 range, but the mizuchi or foxfire work well for small stream stuff.
Since River Peak essentially offers the Kiwami on alibaba (and offers custom logo and custom colors with an order of 50 units), I’m guessing the Kiwami and Kita are twin brothers just in different clothing.
While I don’t have the Kitas, I have both Kiwami rods, these are my two cents.
330 - Super fun, light, and full flex. Kinda slow if you ask me, if you’re used to a crisp hookset, this is not the rod for you. But casts unweighed kebari on light level line like a dream.
380 - Not as fun or light, but still flexy. Honestly, I think this rod is a bit heavy. I don’t hate it, but there are other rods in the same length I’d prefer to fish.
Note: One common theme with both rods is the cylindrical grip is just too thin. It’s not so much of a deal with the 33, but with the 38 it’s noticable. These rods would be “home runs” with a more common (and larger) grip. Also for people that like to position their hand at times at the bottom of the grip, the rounded wooden plug is kinda annoying. I’d rather it be shallower, or just flat.
Overall, if you can get a deal on a Kita or Kiwami 33, it’s a sweet little rod.