Common Cents Database

The Common Cents Database presents the "penny" measurements for a large number of tenkara, seiryu and keiryu rods. More rods will be added as I have time and as I either acquire or borrow rods to measure.

The system was designed to compare fly rods by measuring how much weight is required to load the rod without overloading it.

Each rod is clamped in a horizontal position and weight in the form of pennies in a light plastic bag is attached to the rod tip. Pennies (specifically, pennies minted after 1996) are added to the bag until the tip bends down from the horizontal by a distance equal to one third of the rod's length. For those of you outside of the US who don't have pennies or a sense for how much they weigh, ten pennies weigh 25 grams.

For example, clamp a 12' rod by the grip so that the rod is horizontal and the grip section of the rod is at a height of 5' above the floor. Pennies are added to a bag tied to the rod tip until the rod tip is 1' above the floor. The 4' deflection (from 5' to 1') is 1/3 of the rod's 12' length.

The system was developed by Dr. William Hanneman to compare fly rods, and the one third figure was chosen because it represents an amount that would fully "load" but not overload the rod. Even though you do not need to "load" a tenkara rod by that amount to get a good cast, there's no persuasive reason for changing the 1/3 figure for tenkara rods.

After all, the absolute number of pennies in the bag is not important. What is important is having a way to measure the relative stiffness from one rod to the next. The system does allow you to get a good idea of the relative stiffness of two different tenkara rods, and the one third deflection goes beyond the difference in the tips to measure the stiffness of the whole rod.

Please be aware that the photos throughout the site showing rods bent by pennies in a bag is not the Common Cents System. The bend photos show how different rods bend with a constant weight - always 10 pennies (25 grams) - and the rods are held at an angle rather than horizontally. The photos do provide a quick graphical comparison, but the Common Cents System, in one number, gives you a way to immediately compare the overall capability of a wide range of rods.

There is more to the Common Cents System than what I have presented above, and there are more measurements that can be taken. What I have chosen is the basic measure of stiffness. It doesn't tell you everything you'd want to know about a rod, but in one number it does give you a reasonable estimate of how stiff a rod is compared to other rods.

The measurements shown here are not scientifically rigorous. My floor is not level and I do not have a carpenter's level to make sure that a rod is clamped in a perfectly horizontal position. The results may not be perfectly accurate, but they are certainly accurate enough to allow you to compare rods.

 
RodPenniesZoomedZoomedClass
Shimotsuke Oikawa III 2906  Seiryu
Nissin Tsuzumi 330 硬調6  Seiryu
Nissin Zerosum 39 Seiryu6  Seiryu
Nissin Fine Mode Nagare 330 硬調7.5  Seiryu
Suntech HM30R7.5   Seiryu
Nissin Royal Stage 3308   Seiryu
Nissin SP 3908   Seiryu
Nissin SP 4508.25   Seiryu
Shimotsuke Oikawa III 3408.25  Seiryu
Nissin Fine Mode Nagare 2 way 390 硬硬調910 Seiryu
Nissin Royal Stage 3909  Seiryu
Suntech HM33R9  Seiryu
Nissin Fine Mode Nagare 360 中調10  Seiryu
Nissin Royal Stage 45010  Seiryu
Nissin Air Stage 290 硬調10.5  Seiryu
Nissin Pro Square 320 Level Line10.5  Tenkara
Nissin Air Stage 390 硬中硬11  Seiryu
Nissin Pro Square 320 6:411  Tenkara
Nissin Fine Mode Nagare 360 硬調11.5  Seiryu
Nissin Pro Spec 2-Way 6:411.511 Tenkara
AllFishingBuy Wakata 270612  Tenkara
Nissin Air Stage 340 硬調12  Seiryu
Nissin Zerosum 320 6:412  Tenkara
Suntech Kurenai HM3912  Seiryu
Nissin Air Stage 390 硬調12.5  Seiryu
Nissin ProSquare 390 6:412.5  Tenkara
Daiwa Rinfu 3513  Seiryu
Daiwa Sagiri 39MC 1315 Seiryu
Nissin Air Stage 290 硬硬調13  Seiryu
Oni Rod13  Tenkara
TenkaraUSA Ebisu13  Tenkara
TenkaraUSA Ayu 1st generation 6:413.5  Tenkara
Daiwa Sagiri 45MC 1414 Seiryu
Nissin Zerosum 360 6:4 14  Tenkara
Tenkara Times Try 360 6:414  Tenkara
Tenryu Furaibo TF3914   Tenkara
Daiwa Rinfu 4514.5  Seiryu
Suntech Kurenai H3914.5  Seiryu
AllFishingBuy Motsugo 270614.5  Tenkara
Nissin Pro Square 320 7:314.5   Tenkara
Daiwa Enshou LL36SF15  Tenkara
Gamakatsu Ryokei 39015  Seiryu
Shimotsuke Kiyotaki 2415  Keiryu
Nissin Air Stage 450 硬調15 Seiryu
Nissin Pro Spec 2-Way 7:31514.5 Tenkara
TenkaraUSA Ito1515 Tenkara
Nissin Air Stage Honryu 38015.5  Tenkara
Nissin Zerosum 400 6:415.5  Tenkara
Daiwa NEO LL32SC16  Tenkara
Nissin Zerosum 320 7:316  Tenkara
Daiwa Enshou LL41SF16.5  Tenkara
Shimotsuke Tenkara Mai17  Tenkara
Daiwa NEO LL36SC17  Tenkara
Daiwa Soyokaze 27SR17.5  All Purpose
Nissin ProSquare 360 7:318  Tenkara
Nissin Zerosum 360 7:318  Tenkara
Nissin Zerosum 400 7:318  Tenkara
Tenkara USA Iwana 9'18  Tenkara
Suntech GMR Special II 36NP18Seiryu
Suntech Suikei 39 硬中硬18.52121.5Keiryu
Gamakatsu Ryokei 36019  Seiryu
Nissin Fine Mode Kosansui 27019  Keiryu
Nissin Pro Square 390 7:319  Tenkara
Shimano Keiryu Tenkara 34-38 ZL1914 Tenkara
Shimano LLS33NX19  Tenkara
Fountainhead Caddis Fly 33019  Tenkara
Shimotsuke Kiyotaki 2720  Keiryu
Shimotsuke Tenkara 3.320  Tenkara
Shimotsuke Tenkara Ten20  Tenkara
Fountainhead Caddis Fly 36020  Tenkara
Fountainhead Stone Fly 33020.5  Tenkara
Nissin Air Stage Honryu 45020.5  Tenkara
Nissin 2-Way 450 ZX (soft)2122 Keiryu
Shimano LLS36NX21  Tenkara
Shimano LLS33NB21  Tenkara
Sakura Seki Rei 3.321  Tenkara
TenkaraUSA Iwana 11' 21  Tenkara
Daiwa Soyokaze 31SR21  All Purpose
Shimano LLS36NB22  Tenkara
Shimano Mainstream ZE2221 Tenkara
Daiwa Hinata 822  Tanago
Suntech GMR Special 36NP (with 35 tip)23Seiryu
TenkaraUSA Iwana 12'23  Tenkara
Fountainhead Stone Fly 36024  Tenkara
Suntech Fieldmaster 39242628Keiryu
Nissin Fine Mode Kosansui 32025  Keiryu
Nissin Fine Mode Kosansui 450 (soft)25  Keiryu
Shimano Kozuka 27NT25  Keiryu
Shimotsuke Tenkara 3.625  Tenkara
Shimotsuke Kiyotaki 3025  Keiryu
Shimotsuke Kosasa 21025  Keiryu
Nissin Nuki Muso 45 (medium)262626Kieryu
Shimotsuke Kiyotaki 3326  Kieryu
Sakura Kongo 3326  Tenkara
Daiwa Kiyose 24SF27  Keiryu
Sakura Kongo 3027  Tenkara
Daiwa Kiyose 43M2831 Keiryu
Daiwa Kiyose 43MF2833 Keiryu
Daiwa Enshou LT36SF28  Tenkara
Daiwa NEO LT33SC28  Tenkara
Nissin Fine Mode Kosansui 360 28  Keiryu
Shimano Kozuka 30NT28  Kieryu
Shimano Kozuka 33NT28  Kieryu
Suntech Suikei 39 硬調283132Keiryu
Daiwa NEO LT36SC29  Tenkara
Fountainhead Stone Fly 39029  Tenkara
Shimotsuke Kiyotaki 3629  Keiryu
Daiwa Enshou LT39SF29.5  Tenkara
Nissin 2-Way 330 ZX 硬調3031 Keiryu
Nissin 2-Way 380 ZX 硬調3032 Keiryu
Shimano Kozuka 36NT30  Keiryu
TenkaraUSA Yamame30  Tenkara
Nissin 2-Way 450 ZX (medium)30.530.5 Keiryu
TFO Soft Hackle31  Tenkara
TenkaraUSA Amago31  Tenkara
Nissin Fine Mode Kosansui 39032  Keiryu
Daiwa Enshou LT44SF33  Tenkara
Shimano Kozuka 39NT33  Keiryu
Daiwa Kiyose 30SF33  Keiryu
Carbotech 36034  Tenkara
Daiwa Kiyose 33SF34  Keiryu
AllFishingBuy Unagi 450936  Universal
Daiwa Kiyose 36SF36  Keiryu
Nissin Sensui 3336  Keiryu
Shimotsuke Kiyotaki 3936  Keiryu
Nissin 2-Way 450ZX 硬調(stiff) 3741 Keiryu
Nissin ProSquare 3909 8:237   Tenkara
Daiwa Kiyose 39SF38   Tenkara
Suntech Genryuko 3639 Keiryu
Daiwa Kiyose 42SF41 Keiryu
Daiwa Kiyose 45SF42 Keiryu
Daiwa Sekkei 36M4347 Keiryu
BackpackingLight Hane46  Tenkara

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Tenkara has no strict rules. Enjoy tenkara in your own way.
- Eiji Yamakawa