The covers are off, the gag order's been lifted and the world has seen the New Rods. For as many times as I read the phrase "Game Changers," my first thought was Game Changers? Really?
I'm not sure whether the word "hype" comes from hyperbole or hyperventilate, but in this case it could be either. Hyperbole in that the widely described triple zoom is actually a double zoom (it zooms once, and then it zooms twice, and then it ... stops). No one called the Shimano Mainstream a double zoom rod. Two positions, one zoom. A rod that can be fished in three positions would be a double zoom rod. Triple zoom? Not yet, at least not on these shores. Shimano has a rod that can be fished in 7 positions. Hexazoom? Heptazoom? I can think of one blogger who'd probably call it the Kama Sutra rod.
Hyperventilate in that, well if you follow anything tenkara on facebook you will understand.
Whether you want to call it a double zoom or a triple zoom, you shouldn't call it new. My first order of the Suntech Field Master, which can be fished in three positions - essentially the same three positions as the longer of the two New Rods was shipped from Japan exactly one year ago today. By the way, the Field Master is also lighter and it doesn't "approach the Japanese rods" it is a Japanese rod.
It also seems the word that the New Rods are light and looked a lot like Nissin Zerosums was correct after all. A light rod that "looks like" a Zerosum may be new to the US, but the first rods that were even lighter and actually were Zerosums got here last February.
I am also a bit perplexed at the people who said they'd been waiting for a short rod for the rhododendron choked streams of the Southeast. I sold the first sub-10' rods in March of 2011. As I recall (how could I forget) back then that was almost heresy. Tenkara rods were 11' and up - said so right there in Wikipedia.
Game changer or late to the game?
Daiwa Soyokaze 27SR - the original rod for Rhododendron-choked streams