My friend Luong Tam of Tenkara Tanuki rods has got a Kickstarter campaign going on for his new Tenkara Tanuki Ninja tenkara rod. I’ve been pretty impressed by all of the Tenkara Tanuki rods that I have cast over the last few years (I’ve cast most of them). When I saw that he had a new rod project headed to the Kickstarter platform I had to check it out. As of this writing there are rod packages starting at $140 still remaining (but they are limited). The Ninja will retail for $240 so by getting in on the Kickstarter campaign you can save up to $100.
Here’s the basic expected specifications for the Ninja
Extended Length = 11.6′
Closed Length = approx. 22.75″
Weight = approx. 2.2 oz / 63 grams
Number of Segments: 8
Q&A With Luong Tam
After chatting a little with Luong and checking out the Ninja Kickstarter Page I had a few simple questions for Luong so I figured I’d do a short Q&A and share them with all y’all just so we could learn a little more about the rod.
Casting Around (CA): Luong can you tell me what type of fishing the Ninja rod is designed for?
Luong Tam (LT):
It is a trout rod. It is designed for fishers who love to catch fish on top water or big ones in deeper water. For dry fly fishers, they want a rod which could help them delicately place a fly in front of the rising fish without much effort. For nymph fishers, I push the rod sensitivity up a notch. The sensitivity would help the fishers feel a subtle take from a big fish. Tyson, a tenkara fisher who lives in Bishop,CA, states that he caught at least twice as many fish with Tanuki rod because Tanuki rod have better sensitivity. Sensitivity is an additional feeling indicator to the rod. It makes the rod have a feeling personality.
CA: What aspects of the design make it good for nymphing and dry fly fishing?
LT: The rod is designed and built for both dry fly fishing and tactical nymphing, which are two opposite sides of fishing methods.
Let’s talk about dry fly fishing. Most of fishers believe that slow action rod is good for dry fly and faster is good for nymphing.
First, faster rods extracts more moisture in the air thus keeping the fly dryer. Second, slower action rods bend on lower sections and faster ones bend closer to the tip. When a fisher tries to mimic the fly with a lower section, it is more awkward; the rod bend creates less delicate movement on the dry fly than a fast rod. Thirdly, casting with a faster rod creates a tight loop, which helps with the accuracy.
For tactical nymphing, a faster action rod has more benefit than a slower one; it offers more sensitivity, ease of casting with heavier flies, better hook set and handles fish better in deeper pools. I decided to go up a notch on the action without turning the rod into a broomstick. Ninja rod has different tip set than other Tanuki rod. The new tip set is designed and built for improving the sensitivity and handling heavier fly better just for nymphing.
Ninja action rod is similar to Tanuki 275 action.
CA: I know it can be difficult to say absolutely but with a rod everybody always wants to know what size range of trout can it handle well?
LT: Fish don’t break the rod, fisher does. There are very few Tanuki rods that were broken over the last four years. The only three rods that were broken on fish were by fishers new to tenkara fishing. The Ninja rod makes a 12” fish feel like a trophy but it has no problem with 23” fish. Of course, bigger fish requires more experience. Testers have landed quite a number of fish about 23” in size and still have more power to go.
CA: What types of lines are going to work best with the Ninja?
LT: The Ninja rod is a fast rod and not a stiff rod. I cast with #2.5 and #3.0. Because the rod is not a stiff rod, speed is more important than power. Casters need to relax holding the grip.
I have a friend, she casts with 1X bicolor mono line for nymphing. Personally, I like fluorcarbon line better because it is better to detect a subtle bite.