April 3, 2019

What a Great Rod!

This past January I did a dry review of the Daiwa Master Tenkara L LL36. I wasn't able to fish it at that time due to all the local streams being frozen over. However, over this past month I've been fishing it regularly. And all I have to say is WHAT A GREAT ROD!

I generally prefer rods that are a little faster in action, like the TenkaraBum 36, but I'm really liking the Daiwa Master Tenkara. It's hard to describe, but it's an amazing rod to fish. At first it seems pretty floppy, but after a few casts with a #3 fluorocarbon level line it comes to life. The rod loads beautifully and transfers that stored energy to the line with efficiency and grace. Most of the days I fished there was a breeze and I generally have a harder time casting full flex rods in a breeze. But not this rod. I had no trouble casting and hitting my targets despite the breeze.

Just the other day I fished the Master Tenkara L LL36 on a stretch of river that I normally don't fish. It's lower gradient than I like, being the classic pool-riffle-pool-riffle so common to many western streams. Because of this water topography I had to lengthen my line considerably, so not to scare the trout that were busily taking midges in the surface film. On my 13' of #3 level line I tied 4' of 6X tippet. To this I tied a #16 olive Klinkhammer. Off the bend of the Klinkhammer I tied another foot of 6X tippet and ended it with a #20 pheasant tail nymph. For a guy that normally fishes a line length so that the fly is at the butt of the rod handle, an 18' line is long.

The Master Tenkara L LL36 cast that line with no issues whatsoever. Each time, the flies laid out straight. It was easy keeping the line off the water as well; only the tippet was on the water surface. And for the record, every fish took the pheasant tail.

At one place in the stream I came across a large tree overhanging the water. Under the low hanging branches where numerous trout. I changed to my usual length of line (so that the fly hung right at the rod butt), changed to a #12 Ishigaki kebari, and cast under the branches. I took those trout (one had a corneal cataract).

I have enjoyed fishing this rod so much that I think I'll be using it as my primary rod for a while. It's so light in hand and has such excellent balance that it is a real joy to fish. The long collapsed length is not an issue for me. It's just not. I've fished a Nissin Air Stage Honryu 380 for years so I'm used to the long nested length. I just carry it my hand instead of my back pocket.

If you're one of those "I only fish with Japanese tenkara rods" kind of persons, then you owe it to yourself to check out this rod. It's the real deal. Yes, I think it's that good!

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.

1 comment:

  1. Hmmm... you've got the wheels turning in my head. Looks like a really sweet rod, and have to admit, I've had some interest since your initial dry review... Ugh!