The Daiwa NEO Tenkara Rods are Daiwa's lower priced series of tenkara rods. Anyone who has wanted a Daiwa tenkara rod but found the price of
the Enshou rods to be a bit steep now has a very reasonable alternative.
The Daiwa NEO tenkara rods come in a 5:5 model (LL) for fishing level lines and a 7:3 model (LT) for fishing either level or tapered lines. The LL rods come in a 320cm length and a 360cm length. The LT rods come in 330, 360 and 390cm lengths. At least for now, I only have the LL320 and LT330 rods in stock, but I could certainly order one of the longer ones for you.
The 5:5 model is a relatively soft, full flex rod. As with the much higher priced Dawia Enshou level line rods, the rods spread the bend over much of the rod while having a somewhat firmer tip section than the more common 5:5 rods available in the US. It will do very nicely with a size 3 or 3.5 line.
I understand that "relatively soft" is pretty nebulous. To be a bit more precise, the LL32SC is a 16 penny rod. (For an explanation of what that means please see the sidebar.) That is softer than most tenkara rods. By way of comparison, the Ayu, Ebisu and Sagiri are all 13 penny rods, the Ito is a 15 penny rod, and the 11' Iwana and 10'2" Soyokaze 31SR are both 21 penny rods.
The LT33SC 7:3 model is a 31 penny rod. That's a bit stiffer than most tenkara rods. By way of comparison, the Yamame is a 30 penny rod, the Amago is a 31 penny rod and the Daiwa Kiyose 33SF is a 34 penny rod.
Being a little stiffer, it does very well with a furled tenkara line, a horsehair line or one of the twisted fluorocarbon lines that Eddie Yamakawa demonstrated at the TenkaraUSA Summit in Salt Lake City. For those who prefer level lines, it will also cast a size 4 or 4.5.
Of the two rods, I prefer the silkly smooth 5:5 level line rod because I like to use the lightest line possible and generally fish unweighted or very lightly weighted flies. I know that many tenkara anglers will prefer the 7:3 rod.
The stiffer rod does open up more options for various lines, has sufficient stiffness to effectively fish weighted nymphs or hoppers, and collapses to a relatively short 16.5" for slipping into a daypack. I recently borrowed a keiryu rod that Tom Davis of Teton Tenkara had purchased for Czech Nymphing. It was a fairly stiff rod, which is better for transmitting the little "ticks" when the fly hits a rock or a fish hits the fly. Nice rod. I compared it to the NEO LT33SC and the bend characteristics were almost identical. If you want a cork gripped, actual "tenkara" rod but intend to use it for Czech nymphing, the Daiwa NEO LT33SC is the best I've found for the purpose!
The tip plug is virtually identical to the plugs on the high end Enshou series - a wood and rubber plug with sufficient fluting to easily insert the plug for safety while keeping your line attached to the rod. With these rods, there isn't any need for one of the bulky "universal plugs."
The rods are a finished in a very nice green color, with just enough accents to be classy without being gaudy. The Lillian is glued onto the rod tip rather than being attached with the swivel used on the Enshou rods.
The grip cap is metal and has a coin slot for tightening or loosening the cap. When tightened, the outside flange of the cap butts up against the cork of the grip, which should keep it from loosening while you are on the stream. The cap also has a rubber insert to keep the rod from making the clacking noise some rods do collapsed. There is no ventilation hole but I recommend fully disassembling any rod after use so it can dry completely.
The ends of the sections do not have the rings milled into them like the rods in the more expensive Enshou series. Although the rods do lack that feature, I have yet to get a stuck section in my Daiwa NEO tenkara rods.
As with other Daiwa rods, replacement parts are available.
|Line||Level||Level or Tapered|
|Length collapsed||19 3/8"||16 1/2"|
|Weight||2.8 oz||3.1 oz|
Although the Daiwa NEO Tenkara rods do not have all the features of the more expensive Daiwa Enshou series, they are very nice, cork gripped reasonably priced tenkara rods from a company with decades of rod making experience. I think you'd like either one.
Daiwa NEO Tenkara LL32SC and LT33SC are in stock and available for immediate shipment. LL36SC, LT36SC and LT39SF available by special order.
Rods made in China.
$10 from every sale will go to fisheries conservation.
Payment is through Paypal but you don't need to have a PayPal account. You can use your credit card. PayPal payments will be made to chris at tenkarabum dot com. Credit card statements will read CM Stewart.
Domestic shipping is $8 via priority mail (2-3 day delivery).
International shipping requires an additional $5 to Canada or $11 to other countries for the rod alone. Additional items add weight to the order and may thus require additional postage. International orders of two or more rods, or any order totalling over $400 including shipping will be sent express mail. Please request a quote before ordering.
|Hi Chris ..had a chance to fish the Neo [LL32SC] on a small stream. Love it. Pairs nicely with the 330 enshou [LT33SF]...kind of an all terrain brace of rods.
Stephen M, Massachusetts
16 penny rod - an introduction to the Common Cents System for comparing rods.
The system compares 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 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, like the one on this page, 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.