August 10, 2015

Tenkara Pyrenees Rando 360 6:4 Rod -- dry review, sort of

I have tested, if not fished, with most of the major brands of tenkara rod now. Sure, I've not fished all the "Bob's tenkara rod" rods, but they don't interest me at this point. I'm past the magic of their advertising and their price point. I now look for quality and uniqueness in the rods I explore. Even my son, a relative newbie to tenkara, can tell the difference in a quality rod and one of the "me too" rods. He has a "Bob's tenkara rod" but when I first placed a Nissin Air Stage Fujiryu in his hands he looked a me and grinned.

Recently, I saw a rod that I thought was unique. It appeared to be amazingly compact and could just be the most compact of any tenkara rod in the world. I had no idea of its quality but boy was it unique. With that, I just had to get one and try it out.

The rod is the Rando 360 6:4 offered by Tenkara Pyrenees. Here is what they say about this rod: "Especially created for hiker-fishermen, this Japanese Tenkara 3,6m long rod is unique in the world. Its weight and its size once folded (24,5 cm) are the main criteria which makes it ideal for hiking-fishing in the mountains. This rod has an action 6:4 (progressive) rather flexible as the number of strands does not exceed 20. It is perfect for fishing with wet and dry flies or light nymphs. Its length makes it a rod for mountain streams and narrow streams. It is rather adapted to small fishes up to 30 cm long. The handle is made in Portugal and the assembling is carefully made in France by us. The carbon used is high module carbon. The rod is manufactured in Japan, the handle is made in Portugal and the assembling is made in France.

360 cm unfolded
24.5 cm folded
59 grams
20 strands
Action : 6:4
Tube weight : 75 grammes
Tube length 29.5 cm
Colour shiny black, golden signature.
Japanese technology and manufacturing."

My Rando arrived in perfect condition. It comes in a very short rod tube, with a short but adequate rod sleeve. As I looked at the rod I was impressed with how short it really is when fully collapsed -- 9.5 inches. The handle is very good quality cork and it fit the rod perfectly.

As I extended the rod I begin to think that it looked familiar. Once full extended I was absolutely sure that I had seen this rod before. I went upstairs to my study and retrieved another rod for comparison. Once I extended it I could see that I had solved the mystery. What mystery is that? It is that the Tenkara Pyrenees Rando is none other than a Nissin Pocket Mini 360 with a custom cork handle added! It has been rebranded, but other than that it is the same. Same length, same tip plug, same butt cap, same lilian attachment, same accents, same segment wall thickness -- all the same. The parts are all interchangeable, as you'd expect.

Nissin Pocket Mini, Tenkara Pyrenees Rando, Nissin Zerosum 360 7:3 (for comparison)

Is this a problem? No. But it does further illustrate the point that Chris Stewart has been making for years, that is, the lines between tenkara, keiryu and seiryu rods are not lines at all, but zones with some major over lap. The Nissin Pocket Mini is a keiryu rod. Tenkara Pyrenees has put a cork handle on it and now it's suddenly a tenkara rod! It is a well executed cork handle, FWIW.

I will not go into details regarding the characteristics of the Rando since it's actually a cork handled Nissin Pocket Mini, and I've already done a review on that rod.  I liked the Pocket Mini. I like the Rando -- what a surprise!

Wow, that was an easy review!


  1. Did the addition of the cork and added weight do anything for the slight tip heaviness noted with the pocket mini?

    1. Hi Jim,

      The cork does shift the balance point a little closer to the butt, but it also increases the overall weight of the rod. Therefore, the increased weight cancels out the change in balance point so the rotational moment (numerical estimation of tip heaviness) is the same. For the Pocket Mini, the rotational moment is (92 cm) * (0.047 kg) = 4.3. For the Rando, the rotational moment is (80 cm) * (0.055 kg) = 4.4. See, essentially the same. They have the same tip heaviness, which is very slight.

  2. Cuanto cuesta Tenkara Pyrenees Rando 360 ? Y cuanto cuesta el envío a Argentina?