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Thread: Rod Action for a Novice

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
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    Elida, Ohio
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    1,495

    Default Rod Action for a Novice

    Thinking about taking the plunge off the deep end into Tenkara. What action would make a good starter rod?

    TIA,

    Brad
    "A woman drove me to drink and I didn't even have the decency to thank her."
    -W.C. Fields

  2. #2

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    Hi Brad,
    I too am a relative novice at Tenkara, I started last summer. Go to http://tenkaraflyfish.webs.com/apps/webstore/ . They have a nice selection of relatively inexpensive Tenkara rods and leaders. I purchased the 12 foot Caddis and the 12 foot combo leader kit, which is a 12 ft mono leader, and a 12 ft furled leader to which you add a 3 to 4 ft. tippet and fly. It is a 6:4 action and 3.4 oz. in weight. It's very easy to cast especially for a first timer and a whole lot of fun to fish with! The mono leader requires a bit of stretching to straighten, the furled leader not so much. The furled leader is easer to cast, but with practice the mono leader will become almost as easy. So for a small outlay ( $75.00 to $80.00) you can see if Tenkara is for you.
    Bill.
    Last edited by digipixer; 04-07-2013 at 10:33 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Greenwood, Indiana
    Posts
    102

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    Brad,

    That is a very good question, but also very hard to answer. All rod manufactures have there own way to rate a rod. Not every 6:4, 5:5, or 7:3 is going to be the same. Some are softer and some stiffer than others in the same class. Chris Stewart sells some nice rods at decent prices. The Shimotsuke Tenkara 3.3 and 3.6 seem to be a good all around starting rod. If we knew what you are fishing for and where it could help allot. If your fishing the smoky mountains streams with tight cover the shorter rod might be your best bet. This may reduce the range of rod actions available. What type of action do you like when western fly fishing? Are you looking for the same action or different? If you could provide some more info we could better help.

    Mike P.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Elida, Ohio
    Posts
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    Mike

    I like the slower action rods, especially bamboo. I will be fishing for trout and panfish with the rod on medium size midwestern rivers and a few farm ponds.

    Hope that helps

    Brad
    "A woman drove me to drink and I didn't even have the decency to thank her."
    -W.C. Fields

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Greenwood, Indiana
    Posts
    102

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    Brad

    I really love my Nissin Super ProSquare 6:4 4510. I would classify this as a slower 6:4 compared to the faster TUSA Amago 6:4. My Nissin is also the only rod I have broken. Both times due to stupidity and carelessness. This is the rod I used to test your lines at the derby show. It is 14'7" in length and weighs about 2.8 ounces. I ordered it through PLAT fishing in Japan. I have been able to fish this in all the retention ponds and most streams with very few problems. Just need to be aware of overhangs. All but one of my rods is rated as 6:4 yet each is a little different. The next set of questions would be a price point and length of rod. Chris Stewart or another more experienced Tenkara Angler may be able to recommend a better choice.

    Mike P.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    NYC
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    422

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaboom1 View Post
    Mike

    I like the slower action rods, especially bamboo. I will be fishing for trout and panfish with the rod on medium size midwestern rivers and a few farm ponds.

    Hope that helps

    Brad
    scorpion1971 asked the key question with his "what action do you like..."? There is a lot of choice with respect to both action and stiffness of the rods. Saying you like slower action, especially bamboo takes a lot of the rods that you wouldn't like off the table. To help narrow it further, how large are the trout you expect to catch, and when fishing for panfish do you also catch good sized bass? (There are rods that are sheer joy for panfish and small trout, but not really suitable for large trout or big bass).

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Fresno, California
    Posts
    397

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    If you are a novice, chances are you do not know what rod action or actions you may prefer now and in the future. With Tenkara fly fishing, even if you are an experienced Western fly fishing angler with a lot of years of fly fishing under your belt as I was, there will be an initial learning phase and adjustment period that we all (more or less) have to go through. So any rod you choose to buy will be pretty user friendly after you get used to fishing with it. So, especially in the beginning, you do not need to be too overly concerned about picking the "perfect" rod. What ever rod you choose to buy will be fun and enjoyable for you.

    That isn't to say that in some situations and under some conditions some rod actions will work considerably better than others will. Things like big waters to be fished, big fish to be caught, lots of wind to be fought, large and heavy flies to be cast in all of the above listed conditions would argue for a long, fast action rod with a sturdy tip to be used. On the other hand small waters, small fish, fishing with smaller unweighted flies, all point in the direction of a shorter, soft action 5:5 rod. If you do not yet know just what your fishing conditions will be, big or small streams, big or small fish, what flies you will need to cast, then a more middle of the road approach is probably the best one to take, which would indicate a 6:4 action rod of about 12 feet in length. Such an out fit will cover the widest range of conditions reasonably well for almost anyone, which is why Orvis decided to sell the 12 foot long T-USA Iwana rod as their only Tenkara rod offering at present. After you learn more about the kind of fishing you have to do and like doing the best, there will be plenty of time to get more specialized equipment if you need it. And the best advise I have seen so far is to really learn your rod and how to use it to its best advantage well before buying a second or a third rod. It is not the rod that catches the fish, but the angler and his polished fishing technique.

    I believe your temperament is also an important consideration in making a rod choice and purchase. Are you a hard driving, competitive, impatient kind of fisherman? If so, you will tend to prefer the 7:3 and 8:2 faster action rods. Or are you more the kind of angler who is in no hurry to get anywhere and who enjoys smelling the flowers along the way to catching his fish. If you tend toward the contemplative side of angling, then you will be better served with a slower action rod in the 5:5 action range. Most of us fall somewhere in between those two personality types, so we need a more middle of the road action rod to accommodate our faster and slower reaction times in relation to the two above mentioned personality types, with middle of the road casting rhythms and such. A 6:4 action rod will work well for the largest number of fishermen out there in most cases. We can all adjust to an individual rod's demands but, our fishing is so much more enjoyable and productive when the rod fits us like it is a natural extension of our bodies, so the fly goes where you desire with no effort or thought being required on your part. Hopefully this information will make your decision making process a little easier, especially if you can not cast any rods before buying to get an idea of just what you like.

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