T-Bum's Common Cents Data Base
At the top is a worded description of the Common Cents measurement of rod stiffness for making rod comparisons. Following below are Chris's measurements for how many pennys it takes to bend each rod model 1/3rd of its length, indicating the relative stiffness and the manufacturer's classification of the rod as being a Seiryu, Tenkara or Keiryu rod for 82 different fixed line rods so far. Here is the link: http://www.tenkarabum.com/common-cents-database.html
Comparing the penny rating between two different rods will tell you how stiff they are in comparison to one another, and the action index, whether the rods are rated 5:5, 6:4, 7:3 or 8:2 respectively, will give a good indication of whether two different rods are slow 5:5, medium 6:4, or fast action 7:3 & 8:2 rods, and where they are bending along their length. This is not everything you might like to know but it gives enough information to tell you if it is a rod you would want to consider buying or want to cast in the first place. Of course it helps greatly if you already own and fish one of the rods listed in the Data to compare a rod to you are thinking of buying.
Last edited by Golden; 03-20-2013 at 07:03 PM.
Thank you for posting this, Karl. I missed the list on Chris's blog. The numbers are very useful, and I'd also like to see the stats organized alphabetically by rod name. But I'm not kvetching -- the listing by pennyweight is very instructive as is. ~Paul
One of the unfortunate things for new people coming into Tenkara fly fishing is that you have no point of comparison in choosing which type of rod action you might prefer to use. But there are some objective things to be taken into account that can help you in making those kinds of decisions. For instance, slow action rods (5:5 rods) are primarily designed for casting level FC lines. Medium action (6:4) rods will generally cast either level or tapered Traditional Furled Tenkara lines well, so they are the most versatile rods to own and probably the most popular with the majority of Tenkara anglers. Fast action rods (7:3 and 8:2 rods) handle heavier tapered lines the best. But, of course, you can fish with any line that you please on any rod you like. But knowing what the rod maker had in mind when he designed the rod you are buying or fishing with is helpful in guiding you down the right line and rod path choices to make for the kind of fishing you will be doing.
The fishing environment is also a big factor to consider in making rod action choices. For instance if you are young, athletic and strong, fish big waters be they lakes or rivers, for big hard fighting fish with a lot of current to use against you, use big or several weighted flies, and or indicators, you will definitely need a long, fast action rod with a high penny count to adequately handle the conditions under which you will be fishing. If you tend to take your fishing more casually, fish smaller, quieter waters, with only a single unweighted fly, either wet or dry, then you will be well served with a shorter, lower penny count, slower action rod that is well suited for casting the lightest level Tenkara lines. But if you are not quite sure just which waters you will be fishing, or just what the conditions will be on those waters, what methods you will use and want to jeep the most options possible open, a medium penny count, medium length and action rod will cover the most different fishing conditions and divergent fishing methods and possibilities possible. True, it will not be the best rod to use in every situation. But it should do well enough under most conditions to give a great deal of satisfaction to almost any Tenkara angler.
Your physical and temperamental attributes will also govern how happy you will be with your rod choice. Sure, there are anglers out there who can pick up any rod and cast it well from the get go. Left Kreh can cast a 90 foot long fly line with out a fly rod, using just his hands and arms. But most of us are not like that. You will enjoy your fishing the most with a rod that is compatible with the physical fishing environment and its demands, and your individual temperamental quirks, physical timing, strengths and weaknesses. That means fast action rods for Type A personalities - the impatient hard chargers among us, fishing big rivers for big fish. Slow action rods are for the more contemplative angling types, who enjoy smelling the flowers along the smaller mountain streams with small to moderate sized fish living in them. And medium action rods for all of us that fall in between those two physical and temperamental angling types, fishing waters that also tend to be more toward the middle of the road, or for those of us who do not know yet just what kinds of waters or techniques we will be using in our fishing future, and because we want to be able to cover the widest range of angling possibilities possible, now an into the future. Using Chris's Penny Data, the rod action index, and taking the fishing environmental factors into account, along with our individual preferences and abilities, will allow us to make the most beneficial rod and line choices we can make. Because fixed line rods are relatively inexpensive, you may very well acquire a number of rods eventually that will be dedicated to specific different fishing conditions and situations for no other reason than it pleases you to have the best tool for the job on hand. Warning: Tenkara fly fishing can be very addictive....Golden.
Last edited by Golden; 03-21-2013 at 06:58 PM.