August 5, 2018

Tenkara USA Hane -- dry review

When Tenkara USA (TUSA) introduced it's new rod, the Hane, I was somewhat curious to see how it would be. This is the second iteration of the Hane, with the first one being designed for and released under the Backpacking Light (BPL) brand. As I said, I was curious to see the new rod, but not curious enough to buy one. I had heard that the BPL Hane was pretty stiff, and I was worried that this new iteration would be similar. However, recently I was in FB communication with Daniel Pierce who kindly offered to lend me his TUSA Hane. I took him up on his offer. Thanks, Daniel!

Here's what TUSA says about the Hane, "The Hane (pronounced like "huh - nay") is a super compact all-around tenkara rod that will quickly become your favorite adventure rod. Measuring just under 15 inches when collapsed, but extending to 10ft 10in (330cm), the Hane fits nicely inside a small day pack, making this a superb tenkara rod for backpacking, bikefishing and other adventures. Whether you are targeting trout or bass, the Hane was designed to work well in your mountain streams as well as your urban fishing outings. It's a rod that can tag along in a variety of conditions without compromising durability. 
We decided to make this rod white, a unique color among our lineup. Part of the reason for that is the idea of having a rod that will blend in well with open skies above. Whereas a black rod does a good job blending in with canopy, its movement tends to stand out when fishing ponds and open meadow streams. The tip of the rod is black."

The rod comes with a handsome rod tube and sock, and as the advertisement says, it predominantly white/pearl in coloration. The top two segments are black, however. The total number of segments is twelve. The rod designation is silver. The winding check is well done. The handle segment (TUSA segment #1) is rather large diameter when compared to most "newer design" tenkara rods.

The handle is two-tone EVA foam with the ends being black and the mid-section being grey. There is a sakasa kebari and TUSA logo imprinted on the black sections. The overall shape is the classic camel shape, but it is less aggressive that many other rods.  The handle is 20.5 cm long.

The tip plug is wood with rubber insert post. It has been drilled and has a loop of lilian material attached. The tip plug is massive, when compared to those of most other tenkara rods. The butt cap is metal, has a knurled edge and a coin slot, and has a tiny air hole. There is an ample rubber bumper as well.

Left to right: TUSA Hane, Nissin Zerosum 360, TUSA Rhodo

The lilian is bright red, is moderately long and has a stopper knot in the end. The glue joint is very well done and the tip section would be able to pass through the second segment if it weren't for the stopper knot. Since this was not my own person rod, I did not untie the knot, but without the knot the rod could be easily completely disassembled for drying and cleaning.

Here are some of my measurements:

Fully nested (with tip plug): 38 cm
Fully extended: 330 cm
Weight (without tip plug): 93.4 g
CCS: 26 pennies
RFI: 7.9

As far as casting the rod, this rod is stiff. One would anticipate this since the rod has an RFI of nearly 8. I used a fluorocarbon level line, and the rod cast better with a #4 than it did with a #2.5. Duh! I didn't cast the rod with a furled line, but I'm sure it would do better than it did with even the #4 LL.

TUSA states in their advertising that the rod is multi-use in function (Whether you are targeting trout or bass...) and has been designed to be robust (...without compromising durability).  Since these are the intended goals of the Hane I can't really complain. But that said, this rod would likely not be that much fun in catching 4-6 inch trout! I bet upon hook set the little trout would go flying!

The other thing I noticed about the Hane is that it is remarkably tip heavy for a 330 cm rod. The balance is not at all what one would expect with such short of a rod. I calculated a rotational moment of 6, which is quite high for a 330 cm rod. Remember, anything over about 5.5 and the rod begins to feel tip heavy.  As a point of comparison, the TenkaraBum 40 has a rotational moment of 5.5, and it's a 400 cm rod! I'm guessing that the new Hane is built for durability, as TUSA says, and that is why it is so heavy (93 g) and subsequently tip heavy. I noticed that the BPL Hane was only 76.5 g (2.7 oz), but the TUSA Hane is much more heavy.

Length comparison between "pack"rods: Tenryu TF39TA, TUSA Hane, Nissin Ramon 320. Sorry, I didn't have a Shimano Pack Tenkara handy. 

The TUSA Hane has a thick handle section. 

Conclusion: Is this rod for me? No. It's too stiff and too heavy for my personal preference. As for the color, I'm not convinced that white is any more stealthy again the open sky than a black rod is. It might be, I'm just not convinced. Heck, I have a Tenryu Furaibo TF39TA which is bright red, and it seems to catch trout just fine despite an open sky -- talk about not stealthy!

Is there any I do like? Yes. I really like it's nested length. I also like that its 330 cm advertised length is exactly what is measured. TUSA should be commended for this. It's hard to manufacture a rod with 12 segments and end up with the exact advertised length. They've had problems with this in the past with the Rhodo and the Sato.

So, for me, this would not be my pack rod of choice, unless I was backpacking for bass. Since I am of the level line tribe of tenkara fishing, I prefer a rod with a little more flex and some life to it. This rod does not fit those requirements. But if you are in the market for a compact tenkara rod that can travel pretty much anywhere, and you're not married to using a #2.5-3 LL, then this might be the rod for you!

Disclaimer: My opinion regarding this rod is just that, my opinion. Your opinion may differ.  Also, your rod may not have the same length, issues, or functionality as my rod. There are variations between rods, even in the same production run. No description can fully tell you how a rod feels or fishes. For this, you must personally hold, cast, and fish the rod then make up your own mind. 
I borrowed this rod and returned it after the review. Thanks again, Daniel, for letting me borrow the rod!


  1. Since TUSA launched this "new" Hane i (don't know exsctly why) imediatly associated it with the Daiwa RT that you reviewed... Seems like my feeling about it was not that wrong.

    1. Hi Carlos. Yes, I didn't care for the Daiwa RT either, but if I had to chose between purchasing the Hane or the RT I'd but the Hane. They are both too stiff for my personal preference, but the Hane is a better rod.


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