April 27, 2015

Tenkara Times Watershed 360 tenkara rod -- review

I recently received a new rod from Oleg Stryapunin of Tenkara Times. This rod is the latest in a long line of very good rods which Tenkara Times provides for the tenkara fishing community. I have fished with the Try 360 and 390 rods, 1st Step rod, as well as the (now discontinued) NEXT 360 5:5. I have enjoyed each of these rods and so, with anticipation, looked forward to fishing the Watershed 360 6:4.

The Watershed 360 comes in a carbon fiber rod tube with metal ends that unscrew. A black elastic stretch fabric rod sock is also provided. The rod's finish is charcoal matte, except for the part of the rod that has the designation, it is black, with a glossy finish.  There is a short blue highlight in the designation area that has the Tenkara Times logo. The rod name and logo are all very well done and without defect. All of the sections have a fine silver accent ring on their tip, except the first (tip section) and second.

The handle is cork of good quality and is 27 cm in length. There is the expected amount of filler. Each end of the handle has a cork composite ring for accent. The handle is similar to those on the Try rods. It is a modified camel or gourd shape, with the butt end being very much larger in diameter than the tip end of the handle. It is a very pleasing handle shape that allows numerous different hand holds without causing palm or forearm muscle fatigue. The winding check is metal and fits to the handle pretty well, although there is a little gap.

The tip plug is wood with a rubber insert. It fits into the rod snugly. The butt cap is metal, is slightly knurled, and has a coin slot. The coin slot is absolutely necessary because without it the butt cap can not be removed or tightened. It also has a rubber bumper to dampen the collapsed rod section's rattle. It does not have a air hole.

The lilian is red and is glued to the tip section with a tight glue joint. The first section can be withdrawn through the second using a little force, due to the size of the glue joint.

Here are some specifications:
Collapsed length with tip: 58 cm
Extended length: 362 cm
Weight without tip plug: 68.7 g
Common Cents System / Rod Flex Index: 14 pennies / 3.8

For definitions of the Common Cents System, Rod Flex Index and Rotational Moment, please see my article on Tenkara-Fisher.com.

Casting the rod is very nice. This rod is slightly more tip flex than the Try series, and while the penny rating and RFI are low it is because of the flexible tip sections. The mid sections are a little stiffer than the Try series, but not by much.

This rod casts a level line, such as a #3.5 nicely, and furled lines work very with it as well. My rod has a little click when casting -- I haven't been able to locate the source -- but all in all it casts smoothly. Because the tip section is very flexible but the mid and lower sections are slightly stiffer, it casts a little differently than the Try series.  It loads less readily than the Try series. That's not bad, it just has different characteristics.

The Watershed 360 easily handles trout in the usual tenkara size range, up to 14 inches. Control over the fish is good and there is no griping from the rod.

Conclusion: I like this rod. I have been impressed with all of Tenkara Times rods.  I like their weight, balance and casting characteristics. The Watershed 360 is no exception.  It is a very nice rod and would give any tenkara fisher outstanding performance.

Disclaimer: My opinion regarding this rod is just that, my opinion. Your opinion may differ.  Also, your rod may not have the same characteristics 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.


  1. Again, nice done!
    Looking at the RFI table i notice it has identical numbers as the Next 360...
    I love the next, a soft tip rod with good backbone... But it is a bit tip heavy...
    Do you think the water shed would a good substitute for the Next?
    Ah, just in time, there's a vid coming?

    1. Thanks, Carlos. It's not tip heavy. It's rotational moment is about 5. That's pretty good. It's feel less tip heavy to me than the NEXT 5:5. No video at this time. I'm starting to take less video and more still pictures.

    2. Tanks Tom.
      I know you're a busy guy so i really apreciate you taking your time to answer me.