October 1, 2015

Nissin Air Stage Fujiryu 5:5 360 tenkara rod. A rod that nears perfection.

I've had this rod for a while now but I've never got around to writing down my impressions. You may have seen that I fish with it quite frequently, my last few videos have been done with the Fujiryu 5:5 360. Why I haven't done a formal review is unclear, but possibly it's because I'm a little tired of doing rod reviews. I've done a lot.

Nevertheless, this rod needs more press, I think. If tenkara is perfect for mountain stream fishing, then the Nissin Air Stage Fujiryu just might be the perfect rod for tenkara. I'm not talking ponds, lakes, and slow moving rivers, rather, I'm talking higher gradient mountain creeks and streams with trout in them. This is where this rod excels.

The rod comes in the usual plastic carton and with a simple rod sock. The Fujiryu comes in various lengths, 330, 360, and 410 cm, and in two different flex profiles, 5:5 and 6:4. What I'll be describing is the 5:5 360 cm version. I can't help you with the others.

The coloration is a dark red wine color that really shows up in the sun. Most of the sections also have terra cotta colored accents that are tastefully done.

The handle is made from cypress (some sources say cedar), and is unfinished. It has a slightly tapered shape and is relativity short at 18 cm.  Despite this it is very comfortable to hold, especially if you use a light grip. If you have a tight grip you might get a numb spot or two on your fingers. The cypress is not as soft as cork or foam.

The winding check is stainless and fits tightly against the handle.

Don't worry, no slivers.

The tip cap is a Fuji KTC-16 universal cap, which I prefer over the tip plug type. The butt cap is stainless metal, is aggressively knurled has a rubber bumper on the inside and a very adequate air hole.

The lilian is red and is attached to the tip section with a perfectly executed glue joint. Section 1 (the tip section) can be removed through the second section for complete disassembly of the rod.

Here are some measurements:

Extended length: 373 cm.
Collapsed length (with tip cap): 52 cm.
Weight (without tip cap): 76.4 g.
CCS: 12.5 pennies.
RFI: 3.4.

Rod Flex Index comparison chart

As far as casting, this rod excels at casting. There are not enough superlatives to describe the smooth, easy, and effortless action of this rod. I use a #3.5 level line with this rod, mainly because I can't reliably see anything smaller, but it will cast a #3 or lighter line beautifully. Recently while I was fishing with my son (who was using a 390 cm rod of a different, non Japanese, maker) I handed him this rod to try out. After the first cast he just looked at me and grinned! The rod he was fishing was a really nice rod, but this rod excelled it easily.

I have not caught anything over 14 inches on this rod, but the trout I have caught, in pretty fast pocket water, were easily controlled. Its extra length is nice -- a little longer than the usual 360 cm rod, but not as long as a 380 cm rod. It hits a sweet spot for small streams.

Conclusion: I really, really like this rod. In my hand, with the way I cast, this rod is about perfect for 8-14 inch trout fished for with unweighted flies. If the trout are consistently small, I usually use the Daiwa Sagiri 39MC. If the stream has shorter casting requirements, I've been using a Daiwa LL36SF (another amazing rod).  But if the stream is not too open (calling for a longer rod), or if I'm not going to fish weighed flies, I find myself reaching more and more for the Nissin Air Stage Fujiryu 5:5 360. I've had a lot of fun with it as of late.

I got mine from Dragontail Tenkara, here in Idaho. But you can also get one from Chris at Tenkara Bum.


  1. I love the rod reviews you do on this site. Every tenkara rod I have was purchased after reading the reviews I found here. It looks like this rod would be perfect to go with my 39MC. Thanks!

  2. I decided to purchase this rod in consideration of your response to my question in a previous post. I fish in conditions much the same as you. I am excited to have it in my quiver now.

  3. Is it possible to justify having this rod and the 39MC?

    1. That's a good question. They are similar in action. Possibly the Fujiryu could handle a slightly larger trout, but I'm not even sure about that since the Sagiri is surprisingly robust for how delicate it looks. I think is would be a personal choice, not that either rod is better than the other.

    2. Thanks. It is a pretty subjective thing. Might be nice to have a rod with a wood handle too. The casting should be a little different. Same size streams, I believe.

  4. I love this rod and your impressions match mine. It's just sublime.

  5. Nice review at a good time. I recently bought a Nissan Pro Spec 2 Way 360 7:3 and love it! I do think this will be my next rod. Dale

  6. I really like this rod. In the past I have only bought stiffer rods because to be able to handle bigger fish when needed. This time I took a chance on the 5:5 and it has turned into my favorite rod. The Handle is comfortable in my hand and it casts nicely. I have even caught some nice fish in the 18" range and the rod handled them no problem. I am tempted to buy another in a different size and perhaps weight.