March 1, 2022

Wasatch Tenkara Hankyu Middle Fork Tenkara Rod

 I recently received the Wasatch Tenkara Hankyu Middle Fork 7:3 Tenkara rod from Ruben Garza. Wasatch Tenkara rods goal is to make tenkara rods that are nearly impossible to break under normal conditions. I've reviewed the Daikyu T-Hunter and the Maruki Sharpshooter in the past, and have found them to be robust and capable rods. With that, I expect the Hankyu Middle Fork will be the same. 

The Middle Fork came with a standard rod sleeve and tube. The rod was prestrung with nylon level line, tippet, a foam indicator and a #16 Tungsten Surveyor. Ruben said that the Middle Fork will be shipped to customers ready-to-fish. The line, tippet and fly were attached to the lilian via a slip knot and wound onto a snap-on line holder.

The rod coloration is light yellow with brown accent rings. The finish is glossy. It is a double zoom rod with fishable lengths at 9'/10' 6"/ 12'. The zoom action was smooth and repeatable. The handle is cork and has a mild gourd or camel shape that fits the hand well. The handle is 23 cm in length (9 1/16").

The tip plug is wood with rubber insert post. It fits into the rod snuggly. The butt cap is silver anodized metal and has a standard zoom post with O-rings. It is knurled for easy removal, but has no coin slot or decompression hole. 

The lilian is dark brown, is attached to the tip section via a micro-swivel, and has a pretied terminal knot. 

Here are some of my measurements:

Nested (with tip cap): 57 cm (22.5")

Fully extended: 278.5 cm (9' 1.6") / 321.5 cm (10' 6.6") / 362 cm (11' 10.5")

Weight (without tip plug): 97.3 g (3.4 oz.)

CCS: 28 / 29 / 29 pennies

RFI: 10 / 9 / 8

For full RFI Chart CLICK HERE

I found the Hankyu Middle Fork 7:3 to have a very fast action, on par with the Maruki Sharpshooter, and less so with the Daikyu T-Hunter. Whereas the T-Hunter has a pleasing and responsive action (RFI of 5.6-5.9), the Middle Fork is very fast (RFI of 8-10). This is more inline with 8:2 ratio rods than 7:3 rods. Because of this, casting a level line can be challenging unless it is cast using a weighted fly and indicator, as it is sold. Given the rod's fast action and tested materials, I suspect it meets Wasatch Tenkara's goal of being very robust and handling large fish. In fact, some folks in Pennsylvania are already using the Middle Fork to fish for and land Great Lakes Steelhead! That takes a tough rod!

Greg Shafer used the Middle Fork to land this steelhead. (Used with permission)

So, if you are in the market for a medium length zoom rod that is designed to be both robust and powerful, then the Hankyu Middle Fork 7:3 Tenkara rod could be just what you're looking for. It would not be a finesse rod, but it could probably handle anything your likely to come up against in small to moderate sized streams. 

Update: Ruben states that he has designed a 6:4 version of the rod and that it should be available this spring. I look forward to seeing that rod and others of his lineup. 

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 was loaned the rod from Wasatch Tenkara Rods, and returned it after the review. I have no formal affiliation with Wasatch Tenkara, Rods and there was no expectation of a positive review.


  1. Hi,
    Thanks for the review. I am a big fan of the T Hunter as my big fish rod. Quick question - do you know the rotational moment of the Middle Fork, I would be really interested in knowing how tip heavy it is?

    1. As 360 cm rods are too short for rotational moment to be useful, in my opinion, I didn't measure the RM for this rod. That said, subjectively, it is more tip heavy than my other 360 cm tenkara rods (and I have quite a few).

  2. It looks almost as stiff as the original Hane which Tenkara USA developed with Ryan Jordan at BPL.