How Much do they cost? Here is the products page link: http://www.tenkarausa.com/index.php?cPath=22
How Much do they cost? Here is the products page link: http://www.tenkarausa.com/index.php?cPath=22
And here is what T-Bum has to say about these two new rods:
Dec 14, 2013
The covers are off, the gag order's been lifted and the world has seen the New Rods. For as many times as I read the phrase "Game Changers," my first thought was Game Changers? Really?
I'm not sure whether the word "hype" comes from hyperbole or hyperventilate, but in this case it could be either. Hyperbole in that the widely described triple zoom is actually a double zoom (it zooms once, and then it zooms twice, and then it ... stops). No one called the Shimano Mainstream a double zoom rod. Two positions, one zoom. A rod that can be fished in three positions would be a double zoom rod. Triple zoom? Not yet, at least not on these shores. Shimano has a rod that can be fished in 7 positions. Hexazoom? Heptazoom? I can think of one blogger who'd probably call it the Kama Sutra rod.
Hyperventilate in that, well if you follow anything tenkara on facebook you will understand.
Whether you want to call it a double zoom or a triple zoom, you shouldn't call it new. My first order of the Suntech Field Master, which can be fished in three positions - essentially the same three positions as the longer of the two New Rods was shipped from Japan exactly one year ago today. By the way, the Field Master is also lighter and it doesn't "approach the Japanese rods" it is a Japanese rod.
It also seems the word that the New Rods are light and looked a lot like Nissin Zerosums was correct after all. A light rod that "looks like" a Zerosum may be new to the US, but the first rods that were even lighter and actually were Zerosums got here last February.
I am also a bit perplexed at the people who said they'd been waiting for a short rod for the rhododendron choked streams of the Southeast. I sold the first sub-10' rods in March of 2011. As I recall (how could I forget) back then that was almost heresy. Tenkara rods were 11' and up - said so right there in Wikipedia.
Game changer or late to the game?
I agree wtih the bum. Fished, owned, currently own or have traded away numerous rods (including JDM 2/3 zooms) that serve the same purpose with similar configurations at the same or lower oz/grms and cost.
As I see it, there is no doubt that TUSA is upping their game by offering these new rod designs, and I believe as things pan out this will be good for everybody. I think it's in direct response to the current market offerings from competitors and from customer response. There is also no denying that TenkaraBum was way ahead of the game by choosing many high performance offerings, in single, double, and tri-length configurations, to answer those same requests. Two years ahead in fact.
IMO this puts Tenkara USA at an overall disadvantage in the American market. They sell their own rod designs and choose to keep their lineup simple and generally geared toward trout and only tenkara. I'm a trout bum so I admire and can relate to this approach. Dealers such as Tenkarabum, who will no doubt choose to sell a wide range of the best rods from several competitors on the market, have a larger customer base to market to. I call this "More Colors", and I have a shining admiration for this approach as well. Mostly because
I call my style "More Colors". This has been my stance from the beginning. I don't follow crowds. I don't fish one fly, and I don't subscribe to strict techniques or rules. My style is progressive, it's eclectic, and manic at times. A montage spawned by first hand experience and adoption. I make my own rules and make them up as I go. Freedom!
This doesn't mean that I feel TUSA's new rods are not good rods or even great rod's, or that they're not for me. I haven't tried them yet so I can't say, but they do look like they're competitors. It's just that there is a narrower selection from TUSA to choose from and that creates a smaller market for them. Less colors.
Personally, I like single length rods the best. I own a handful of the best one's on the planet. I own a couple of the best zoom's as well. I find that a multi-length rod comes with compromises. The compromises can be both good and bad depending on preference. However I'm still looking forward to testing the new Rhoto and Sato. I read somewhere, someone's description of the new Rhoto was like a multi tool or a good Swiss Army knife or something along those lines. I say, if that's the type of tool that you prefer, thats awesome, you found what you're looking for. There are some great multi-tools or Swiss Army knives out there, from several different manufacturers.
I agree the Rhodo and Sato (wasn't that the name of a character in Karate Kid 2) might be pretty good and useful to those who are about to buy one - just not innovative or anything to be made a big deal over. As Mr. Smith so clearly indicates in the foregoing post . . . . similar choice have been available for several years.
The Game Changer comment, as I see it, means it is a game changer as far as TUSA is concerned, and a step in the right direction compared to their past offerings, which is probably true enough to some extent as far as it goes.
Some people have complained about the price as well, but if you are willing to accept a Swiss Army Knife (jack of all trades) Tenkara rod for your fishing (and apparently a lot of people are), the 215 dollar price tag is probably cheaper than what it would cost to buy 3 separate fair quality rods in each of the lengths that you desire. Most of us do not want to carry 3 rods around in 3 different lengths while we are fishing. Although 2 rods in two different lengths (a very short rod that's usually shorter than the range most zoom rods can provide and a much longer one) will usually effectively cover most of your bases in small to moderately small stream fishing. Using a 3 position zoom rod also requires being willing to put up with the inherent compromises such rods usually come with. I only own one zoom rod, which I like well enough for what it is, but I also like single length rods a lot better for my fishing. Because they are usually lighter for the same rod length, better balanced, and are simpler and less likely to have things go wrong with them. For my money, the fewer moving parts the better.
However that may be, I believe that the Rhodo rod will have appeal for a lot of T-anglers who fish small, brushy streams, with a lot of overhead tree cover. Chris offers better rods for doing that in my opinion, but for some reason that baffells me there seems to be a lot of T-anglers out there who are only willing to accept and try TUSA's rods. You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink it, which is their loss. If TUSA's rods rock your boat, well that's your decision and its your money that's being spent. I hope you find the satisfaction in your rod purchases that you are looking for, no matter whose rods you end up buying....Golden.
Gamechangers?... Well technically this may be true.
I don't know of any other double zoom "TENKARA" rods on the market. I'm probably wrong about this, I just haven't seen any others. I have seen some Seiryu and keiryu double zoom rods though, so if this is true technically they are unique but not a new concept. Unless you think adding a cork handle is a new concept.
Oh my goodness! They have gone against Japanese Seiryu and Keiryu tradition by adding cork grips. The circle of tenkara life. First we were admonished for calling a corkless telescoping rod "tenkara". Now that same Seiryu/Keiryu configuration is corked and touted as an innovative tenkara rod. It figures. That's the magic of marketing.
I'm not sure who came up with the "game changers" label, but there is always the possibility that it was someone who has never fished with one of the Japanese tenkara rods or with any of the double zoom rods. There is definitely a critical mass of TUSA adherents on facebook and Twitter singing praises of the company's rods but for most they're the only rods they know.
I know there are dedicated Nissin fans and Shimano fans and Daiwa fans, and Suntech fans as well, but for some reason they are not nearly as vocal. I know people self censor on that other forum. Perhaps they do on facebook and twitter as well. Perhaps they are an independent lot and not active on social media - and perhaps they are afraid of being shunned for blasphemy. Who knows? I'm sure that will change as more people experience the Japanese rods and share their views on social media.
I guess I'm one of those guys that is just not interested in the whole social media frenzy. I guess I just don't get it, don't want to. Just last month I finally got my first smart phone and only because my old phone was dead, and I got a great deal on the new one. I guess the social media calls it a phablet (phone/tablet). The only reason I know that is because my kids told me so. Half of the time I don't even carry it with me out the door. It is pretty cool, does all kinds of techie stuff too. Maybe I should join Facebook and....no! I can fish well but I can't debate well. Boy I've fished with some real talkers though man. They talk about locations and gear and techniques and they can hold a fishing conversation with the best guides out there. Come to find out after fishing with some of these jackalopes, they can hardly form a loop for 30'. Armchair fisherman, book smart anglers I tell ya! The internet is full of them. I got a few of these jokers so pissed at me by calling their bluff, that they left the TUSA forum for good. Wahoooo.
I'm definitely one of the fans for the Japanese designed rods though. My Daiwa's, yeah somebody's gonna have to off me and pry those out of my hands. Not to mention my other premium rods. Rods don't get any better at these levels, they just get different is the best way that I can describe it. Enshou LL36SF super silky rod! This rod definitely isn't getting enough press. It's better than the ONI rod. That's right guys. Yeah! I just said that! Don't take me wrong, the Oni rod is a Great rod, but if you want to split hairs, the LL36SF is better. Baazing!