February 18, 2012

Kasugo-4209 review; part 2

The first part of the Kasugo-4209 review gave an overview of the physical characteristics of the rod. Part 2 will review the on stream characteristics.

I fished the Kasugo-4209 on the Black Canyon of the Bear River near Grace, Idaho Friday February 17, 2012. The weather was partly cloudy, slight intermittent breeze of 1-4 mph from the south (blowing upstream). I used a 13.5 foot #3.5 Diawa fluorocarbon level line with a 3 foot 6x fluorocarbon tippet. The flies were a #16 olive Klinkhammer with a #18 olive clear glass bead RS2 as a dropper on 8 inches of 7x fluorocarbon off the Klinkhammer's hook bend. This is not true Tenkara fashion of fishing, but it is what the conditions called for. BTW, I rarely ever fish only one fly -- 90% of the time I fish two flies, one as a dropper. I find this increases my catch rate. Again, this is not "pure" Tenkara. I am working up to "pure" Tenkara. Today it was just too much of a temptation not to use the Tenkara one fly Sakasa Kebari when I knew what the fish were taking -- size, color, stage of Baetidae.

The Kasugo-4209 was a delight to use. Using the level line it's casts were delicate and spot on target. The rod did not fight the cast. There were no wild oscillations. Although I felt that a slightly heavier line would make the rod answer a little better, the #3.5 level line did well. The Diawa line that I used weighs 0.6g at 13.5 feet length. I did not try the rod with a furled line or a tapered, hand tied line. The long tippet turned over without slumping into a pile, despite having two flies.

I caught rainbows ranging from 6 inches to 13 inches. All sizes of fish invoked a nice response from the rod. Even with the smallest fish the fight was transmitting to my hand. The rod had a perfect gentle curve when resisting the fish and leverage was nice due to the rods length and adequate stiffness in the butt sections.

Smallest fish of the day: 6" rainbow
Largest fish of the day: 13" rainbow

The feel of the handle was nice as well. I have large-to-extra large hands so the grip is comfortable. A smaller hand may find the grip fatiguing.

Rod curve with 10" rainbow

The cantilever of the rod was not too heavy, but I did find on occasion my arm pulling back so to rest my shoulder and upper arm muscles. I would say that on the river the rod's cantilever feel pretty similar to the Tenkara USA Amago.

One problem was discovered after using the rod. When I was ready to collapse the rod after fishing I discovered that the butt section cap had unscrewed almost to the point of coming completely off. A few more turns and it would have fallen into the river. This of course may not have affected the rod while fishing, but it would have been readily apparent, and very inconvenient, when the rod needed to be collapsed. Some attention to the butt cap is therefore required during an outing.

Conclusion: The Kasugo-4209 is a nice rod for the money. Purchasing was easy and shipping promptness was excellent. Its materials are good-to-very good, with the exception of the cork which is poor-to-less than good. It's fit and finish are good-to-very good, excepting the loose butt cap. Its on-stream use is good-to-very good. Overall, I would recommend the Kasugo-4209 to anyone on a limited budget wanting a longer Tenkara rod.

Kasugo-4209 Overview (* poor, ***** excellent)

Ease of purchase                       ***** 
Quality of materials                   ***
Fit and Finish                           ***
Physical Characteristics            ****
Fishability                                  ****
Overall                                       ***' (3.5 stars)

Here is a video of me using the rod and some of the fish that I caught. In response to some readers suggestions, I placed the camera on my head to give a better angle of viewing and I narrowed the field of view to 127 degrees. this gives a better estimation of my fishing experience and less of a distorted fish-eye view. I think it looks better than my previous videos, although because the camera is on my head I don't always keep the caught fish in view! Let me know what you think. This video may be best viewed in YouTube.

An updated impression of this rod, and other rods I have used can be read HERE.


  1. Would you recommend the Kasugo-4209 for large trout up to 20+ inches in large rivers with current?

    1. Trout up to 16 inches using 5X tippet, yes. 20+ inches, not in current.