Teton Tenkara's Tenkara Rod Co's Saw Tooth Rod Kit Review - with out any Fishing yet
I appreciate Tom's candid review and suppose we should admire these young fellows for their sucessful Kickstarter project, unfortunately this is just another example of throwing a few thousand dollars (and in this case not even the importer's own money) at a Chinese manufacturer to produce a private label rod with nice cosmetics yet flawed in design/construction. Actually shocked me to see the close-up photo of a thin graphite tip section sticking out of the butt cap. I was consequently inspired to make this post and suggest that any "investors" in this start-up should encourage, uuuh demand that TRC produce and send a foam insert for the butt cap at no charge to buyers. And lillian epoxy in such excess that that section cannot be removed for cleaning (or more importantly for replacement if it breaks) is unacceptable. I hope the micro-swivel is at least decent quality as some are weak. Oh well, I promise this is the last time I am going to ramble on about another upstart-outsourced rod. I think my point has been made whether you agree with it or not. Looks like a redesign is in order here.
Danny, as far as I am concerned there should never be an end to the "rambling on about another upstart-outsourced rod company". I could have put up an earlier review that was much less critical but I chose to wait for a review that I felt was more accurate and to the point of what a T-rod review should be. Because, hopefully, a review ought to be a chance for prospective buyers to read about the merits and short comings of a rod they would like to consider buying.
Although it was very creative, I am also uncomfortable with any start up company that asks its customers to donate the money to fund its start up business, as was done in this case. But, perhaps that's just the old fashion musings of an old crank who is all wet for thinking that you ought to be able to pay your own way as you go, or stay at home.
Good cosmetic designs sure sell products. But here it is readily apparent that all that glitters is not gold. A rod rated by its maker as a 5:5 that is on the fast side of 6:4 doesn't speak well for the company on this effort. Sure a buyer could put his or her own foam cushion in the end cap easily enough, but they shouldn't have to do that in my view. TUSA didn't have that feature in their earlier rods and they sure haven't hit a home run with every rod they have released since then, either. Look at all the TUSA rods and handle designs that have gone by the wayside so far. Let the buyer beware still applies in Tenkara fly fishing as well as in the rest of life. Its just really tough when you can't look at and cast the rod you want to buy in advance of the purchase. But Teton Tenkara's and TenkaraBum's rod write ups (in spite of T-Bums vested interest because he sells fixed line rods) provide the most useful information prospective buyers have available to them at this time, other than actually being able to cast and fish with the rod you want to buy, which is impossible for most of us to date. Buyer reviews are also helpful but few buyers have enough experience with enough different fixed line rods to give an accurate and unbiased account of a rod's true potential. It is only human to want to believe that I, you, or we spent our money wisely and made a good purchase. So buyer reviews (although useful) probably ought to be taken with a grain of salt as well. So I guess we will all have to pay our money and take our chances as best we can for now and on into the future. I wish that it would be otherwise but it isn't. Perhaps someone will come up with a way to make buying rods a better experience in the future for all of us....Golden.
Last edited by Golden; 10-03-2013 at 10:54 PM.
TUSA does offer a 60 day rod return policy on their rods (which I have never used so I can't comment on how it works), but I assume a credit on another rod of your choice or a refund is given to you if you decide you don't like the rod you bought and you do not want to keep it or get another rod. The shipping costs add up quickly but that's better than having to eat the total cost of a rod you don't like and probably won't fish very much in the future, if at all. Which is where both of my TUSA rods are at present.
My first T-rod was the 12 Ft. Iwana rod. And since I had no previous Tenkara point of comparison experience, I was pretty well pleased with the rod and how it fished. But even the 11' 8" "12 Ft." Iwana rod felt tip heavy to me. My next rod was the 13.5 Ft. Amago rod, which was a disappoint of sorts for me. I liked the additional length and reach the Amago rod offered well enough, but I didn't care for the extra weight and tip heavy-ness that rod has at all. My rod had the old grip design and the announcement of the new grip came out right after I took delivery of my rod and that didn't make me happy at ll either, which has the straight cylinder type grip except for the end bulge, that I modified myself to make the rod more comfortable for me to fish. The new grips were supposed to be made available as a separate item but that never came to pass at TUSA.
I have also bought a number of other rods from TenkaraBum since then, and I have been well satisfied with all of them except for one, the Kiyotaki 24. Which is no fault of either the rod or Chris because that rod just has a little stiffer action than I like. Even with all the research I did on the rods I have bought to ensure that I would be happy with them, you are still left with the choice of paying your money and taking your chances in rod acquisitions. The three things that really stand out in the importance of the rod buying satisfaction for me are: 1. The lightest weight possible for the length of the rod youn are buying. 2. The least feeling of tip heavy-ness possible in the rod. 3. And all the sensitivity that a cork-less grip can provide in a fixed line rod. And, of course, a rod with a casting action that you really enjoy fishing. One of the things I would like to see is more mat finishes on the Japanese made rods, which seem to be the cream of the crop as far as fixed line rods go. But a lot of fish are still caught with out the dull finishes, so it isn't a deal breaker one way or the other for me.
People should probably cut them some slack on this one. In the first place, most people don't remember this, but the Iwana initially was labeled a 5:5 as well. Second, the 5:5, 6:4 scale is not a standard, and is not even close to being consistent from one manufacturer to the next. After all, the Iwana, currently rated as a 6:4, is on the fast side of a Nissin 7:3. Nissin has been rating rods much longer than TUSA has. Who is right? Since there is no standard they can all claim to being right, which is pretty much why I contend the whole 5:5, 6:4 system is so imprecise and potentially misleading that it is virtually useless.
Originally Posted by Golden
Here is a link to the Tenkara Company and their product information: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/...le-way-to-fish
While everybody deserves some slack on this issue as Chris has stated, I wonder how fast T-Co's other rod (the Teton - which is rated as a 6:4 rod) is going to be? More rod makers and sellers ought to adopt the Common Cents rod rating system so buyers would have a better way of comparing their products to the competition. Here is a link for the Common Cents System and Data- Base:http://www.tenkarabum.com/common-cents-database.html
Last edited by Golden; 10-04-2013 at 01:59 PM.
Tom is having some trouble getting cleared to contribute to this board, so in the mean time here is the fishing part of the above rod review: http://tetontenkara.blogspot.com/201...view-part.html
Here is Teton Tenkara's latest up date on the above rod and its parent company: http://tetontenkara.blogspot.com/201...ra-rod-co.html