April 18, 2019

Anglo & Company Wasabi 36 tenkara rod - review

When it comes to the tenkara rods that I own there are some that stand out because of craftsmanship and quality. Some that I can think of are the Sakura Seki Rei, Shimotsuke Ten, and the Wasabi 36 by Anglo & Company. What sets these rods apart is that they are small batch, handmade, non-industrial production rods where quality and craftsmanship are the top goal.

Anglo & Company is a small Japanese fishing rod company is located in Setagaya-ku, Tokyo, Japan. It is ran by Keijiro Suganuma, who makes rods on demand with modern materials and ultra-high craftsmanship. Their rods are handmade in Japan and are finished one at a time at the Setagaya workshop. They produce blanks and other major parts in Japan and aim for the best quality. They are best known in Japan for their high quality fly and spinning rods.

Anglo & Company shop in Tokyo. 


One of Anglo & Company spinning rods for genryu adventures. 
Anglo & Co. mainstream and tenkara rods from 6.3 m to 2.7 m. 


The Wasabi 36 is a beautiful rod that comes with an equally handsome rod sleeve. The sleeve is made of material with a corduroy pattern that is soft and compliments the rod. The rod blank is a very dark olive, which appears black in indoor lighting. The finish is glossy on all segments. The rod designation is simple and unadorned, with a hand written inscription of the company name, rod name, and length in meters/feet/inches. A few simply accents consisting of thin gold rings is all the "bling" this rod has, but it doesn't need "bling", this rod's beauty speaks for itself!






The handle is high quality cork. It is a thing of beauty! In a day of impersonal foam handles, this cork handle really stands out. The shape is the classic camel or gourd shape, but much less aggressive than most tenkara rods. The front of the handle has a slight taper to it. This makes the handle a little narrower in diameter than most of the rods I have. The handle is 24 cm in length.

There is no winding check! There doesn't need to be one as the place where the cork handle meets the blank is perfect - no gaps, no cork defects, nothing but perfect!


No winding check.

The tip plug is black nylon plastic, but it too has the artist touch. It has a shape that is easy to grasp and hold. The butt cap is black anodized metal, has knurling and a decompression hole. The statement on the butt cap says it all and demonstrates the pride the maker has in this rod.





The lilian is dark brown and is joined to the tip section with a perfectly executed glue joint. There is a small stopper knot in the lilian, which I removed. The tip section can be extracted through the second section making the rod easy to disassemble for cleaning and drying.





Here are some of my measurements:

Extended: 359 cm
Nested (with tip plug): 58 cm
Weight (without tip plug): 65 g
CCS/RFI: 16 pennies/4.5






Casting the Wasabi 36 is fantastic! The rod is very light in the hand and perfectly balanced. The handle fits your hand well, although the upper end is a little thin for my size XL hands. To me, the action feels like a 6:4 rather than the 7:3 that the rod is advertised to be. If it's a 7:3 then it's more like a "Nissin 7:3" than a "Daiwa 7:3", if you know what I mean. The RFI number is lower than would be expected because the top two segments are more flexible than the other segments. This lowers the RFI number artificially by increasing the tip-ward curve of the rod. This rod is not a full flex rod, rather it's tip flex; it stiffens up in the middle making the rod feel "faster" than an RFI of 4.5.

The linear and rotational dampening is fantastic. There is no overshoot when forcing the cast. Also, at 359 cm there is no appreciable air resistance when swing it through it's casting arc.

I used a #2.5-3 fluorocarbon level line in both 10' and 14' lengths, each with 4' 6X tippets. The fly lands first every time with an easy casting effort. This rod is a joy to cast!

Fishing the rod is also fantastic. It feels a little like my old Zerosum 360 7:3, only better. Most all my streams are blown out right now with record snow melt, so I only had one creek that I could fish it on. That creek has gin clear spring water and small but very wary rainbows. I ended up using a 13' #3 fluorocarbon line with 3.5' of 6X tippet. I caught dozens of rainbows, but nothing in the size that even got close to taxing the rod.

Casts were very accurate and easy to control, and hooks sets were quick with just the right amount of force needed.








Conclusion: I really like this rod! The Wasabi 36 is a beautiful rod with an incredible action that is a true joy to cast.  Jason Klass of Tenkara Talk says on his blog: "
Anglo & Company is a Japanese company specializing in ultra-premium tenkara and custom fly rods". He is absolutely right! The Wasabi 36 is an ultra-premium tenkara rod and is, IMO, among the very best tenkara rods I have ever seen. How many tenkara rods have I seen, cast, fished with? Look at the RFI table above. That's about 90% of the rods I've personally used. Yeah, I've tested/used a few rods!

This is a true Japanese tenkara rod. It doesn't get more Japanese than this. Although it's not full flex (like some think real Japanese tenkara rods should be), it's a handmade, one at a time, Japanese thoroughbred.

If you are in the market for one of the most refined tenkara rods in the world, consider the Wasabi 36 from Anglo & Company! I don't think you'll be disappointed!

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. Don't just take my word for it.
I have no affiliation with Anglo & Company. I purchased the rod at full retail price. 







5 comments:

  1. Sounds like quite a beautiful rod!

    How does one acquire replacement parts if needed?

    Thsmk you Tom,

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm sure you'd just contact the company through their "Contact Us" email link and purchase the replacement part.

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    2. Thank you Tom. My question was way too vague. I was making the assumption that each of these handmade rods was a bit different in the sense that rod sections are a different size. I thought possibly that would make it tough to 'craft' a replacement part. I'm now figuring that is not the case. Thanks again

      Delete
  2. Is it possible to order one for Europe?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't know, Mario. You should contact them directly and see what they say.

      Delete

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