new rod

I've heard it said that there is as much fun to be had inside a tackle shop as there is on the riverbank. But I've also heard it said that money can't buy happiness. There again, whoever said that obviously never bought a new fishing rod.

It isn't a snap decision. I've done my research. And there is a distinct gap in my rod cabinet, which by many standards is quite minimalist anyway. I love my existing rods, they are perfect tools for the jobs intended.  What I lack though, what I want, is a tenkara rod with a classic Japanese action from a Japanese company.  Something with the finesse to cast a fine level line, even dare I say it a mono line

So I've looked at Nissin, Oni, Shimano and others. The excellent tenkarabum website and Anthony Naples' fine blog Casting Around has been very helpful in steering me towards considering tenkara rods by Daiwa, and specifically the Enshou LL 36 S-F. I have learned though that this rod has been discontinued so I am very pleased to find a supplier with heavily discounted stock. And just a few days later I have this little beauty in my eager grasp.

What Chris and Anthony say about this rod is all true: aesthetically it's elegant and understated, it has the feel of quality and is very light in the hand. What really sets this rod apart is its 'feel' when casting and fishing. So much tactile feedback when loading the rod and manipulating the fly.

I'm trying it with a 3.5m Fujino midi tapered mono line which grades down from a size 10 to a size 3 line. Then 6ft of 5X and the bushiest kebari I'm likely to want to fish with this rod. I'm keen to see how well I do on the windy 'practice' lake nearby to my office.    

The rod is a full flex 5:5 action which I expect to give a slow casting action. At first I'm struggling as on my first testing I'm into a stiff breeze. I try different strokes and soon discover though that I can cast off the tip with a very short stroke. I'm impressed how well I can flick  a straight line out under the breeze in this way - much more effectively than I expected with this rod and line. When the breeze drops I  change to a slower stroke which lands the tippet and fly like thistledown. 

From what I've read I wasn't sure if I would like the Fujino midi line but it seems ideally suited to the Enshou. I really like the chartreuse colour too - it is hi-viz but at the same time not out of place with the weeds and reeds. 

Some huge carp are patrolling the margins under my feet and one pauses and tips up to inspect my fly. I flick the fly back out of his reach - I really don't want my first hook up to be with one of these guys (I must revisit with the Hellbender). 

Change of direction casts are a snip too with this rod. With zero room for a back cast I can load the rod with a sideways flick and easily lay the line out straight in front of me with an elliptical forward cast. 

It's hard to explain but I feel that the rod is encouraging me to try to become a better caster. After an hour I have fallen in love. There is a little bit of tenkara magic in this blank - it really is a wizard's wand and I will enjoy learning some of its spells*.   

And I'm looking forward to to our first proper fishing trip (did I just say 'our'?!) Perhaps then I will find out if Enshou is that most prized of angler's possessions - a lucky rod.

*Adam Trahan tells me that Yuzo Sebata is the wizard behind the rod design at Daiwa. Here is a nice link about Sebata-san 



  1. Quite a shock to see a pike. Here was me expecting a nice gentle post about your new Daiwa rod and line! I bet that pulled your string!

  2. Variety is the spice of life.. but don't worry, normal service will be resumed shortly!

  3. Fredrik Mecklin21 June 2017 at 07:11

    I am using the Enshou LT44sf for pike myself and can highly recommend it for casting giant streamers if you should wish to expand on your Daiwa repertoire :) I use a 4.5# level line on it.

    1. I've heard a lot of good things about the LT for big fish Frederick :) What size pike are you catching?


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