Nissin Fine Mode Kosansui keiryu rods are similar to the Nissin 2Way 450ZX rods but they do not zoom. That makes them simpler - and less expensive. It also makes them a lot of rod for the money. And that makes them excellent choices as kids' rods. They may be keiryu rods, but they cast tenkara lines as well.
They're not just for kids, either. The Fine Mode kosansui 270 is an excellent rod for small streams as well as for small anglers. It's not to heavy for even a young child to manage, and not too long either. It's also not too long for those tiny overgrown streams where your standard tenkara rod is just too long.
The Fine Mode Kosansui 450 (soft) is also a good kid's rod, but in this case it's a two hander. It would be a great rod to introduce kids to keiryu fishing. The next step up from fishing with a bobber and worms in a pond for bluegills is fishing with a bobber and worms in a stream for trout. If you want to teach your child tenkara as well as keiryu, the 450 will cast a size 3.5 tenkara line nicely.
The Fine Mode Kosansui 270 in an inexpensive rod that will work well in small overgrown streams. It doesn't come with a fancy cork grip or a fancy zoom-zoom feature. (It doesn't come with a fancy price tag, either).
What it does have is a relatively soft tip that will allow you to cast a size 3 level line, with mid and butt sections stiff enough to handle any fish you're likely to hook in a stream small enough to want a 9' rod. The rod measures 19 pennies, the same as the Shimano LLS33NX or the Nissin Pro Square 390 7:3.
Watching some of Tom Davis' small stream videos on Teton Tenkara, though, it's pretty clear that not all the fish in small streams are 5 or 6" brookies. He noted the need for a rod with enough backbone to keep larger fish away from sticks and snags. The Kosansui 270 does well in that regard. Tom recently reviewed the Kosansui 270, concluding that "It's the perfect rod for small, tight streams."
However, if the fish in the stream are in fact the 5 and 6 inchers, because of the softer tip sections on the Fine Mode Kosansui they'll still make the rod dance.
If you have a child you'd like to start out, the Fine Mode Kosansui 270 comes in the Kids Tenkara Kit, along with some line, tippet, flies and a fly box.
I used to include this rod in the Small Stream Starter Kit, but I have replaced it with the Suntech Keiryu Special 27, which really is a much nicer rod.
The Fine Mode Kosansui 320 is a bit longer and a bit more capable. It is a 25 penny rod, which puts it one penny more than the Suntech Field Master at its shortest (3.2m) length, and two pennies more than a Tenkara USA 12' Iwana.
If you want the ability to land nice sized fish but don't have room for a longer rod, this is definitely one to consider.
On the penny scale, the Nissin Fine Mode Kosansui 450 (soft) is a 25, almost right in between the 450ZX (soft) and the 450ZX (medium). If you need the length but don't need the zoom capability, this is a rod that may definitely appeal to you. It is a bit stiffer than the average tenkara rod, and towards the lower end of keiryu rods. It should pretty easily handle larger waters but is not a rod for larger fish. It should be fine for trout into the teens (inches, not pounds), but I would not use tippet stronger than 6X.
The rod weighs in right at 3 ounces with the tip plug and 2.8 ounces without it. It is about as much rod as you can comfortably cast one handed but is a very light two hander. The last time I fished with one I used it as a two hander about half the time.
I see this rod as a great rod to introduce kids to keiryu fishing. It is light enough for a kid to cast two handed and just long enough to be effective for keiryu fishing. Owner has some keiryu rigs that come with a float,
which I am pretty sure kids would find easier to manage than yarn markers. It would also work as a two handed tenkara rod for kids, providing more casting distance than the Kosansui 270 I put in the Kids Tenkara Kit.
For tenkara fishing, the rod is quite happy with a 3.5 line. At $110, it provides a lot of versatility for a kid's fishing and won't break the bank.
The grip, as in all the keiryu rods I've seen, is just the rod blank itself with a very effective non-skid covering. I have come to prefer this style of grip to the cork found on tenkara rods. It is much better at transmitting the tactile information of what your rod is doing during the cast, what your fly is doing during the drift, and what the fish is doing during the fight.
Do not be concerned that the grip is too narrow to be effective, though. For the longer rods it is actually wider than the front part of the grip (cork grip, that is) on the Shimano LLS33NB tenkara rod.
The grip screw cap is plastic and is knurled for easy gripping. There is a rubber insert to make it quiet and a ventilation hole to help in drying out the rod. I would still recommend that the rod be completely disassembled to dry thoroughly between uses, though. Moisture does get inside during a day on the water, and it can ruin the finish of any telescopic rod if it is put away wet.
The tip plug is rubber, and like many of the Nissin plugs has aggressive fluting. This not only allows you to keep the line attached when you collapse the rod, it also insures that the tip plug is not going to fall out when you least expect it. You will find that it helps to screw the plug in rather than trying to push it straight in. When taking the plug off, be careful not to pull it to the side. The part that is inserted into the rod is hollow, and the tip and lillian will occasionally come out with the plug. If you pull the plug straight out, though, it will never be a problem.
Please note that the Nissin Fine Mode Kosansui rods do not come with a rod sock. The medium rod case fits the Kosansui rods.
Rods made in Japan.
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|I have the greatest wife. She got me the Nissin Fine Mode Kosansui 450 (soft) for my birthday. I felt like a kid on Christmas morning taking the rod out of the package and extending it. This feeling hasn't gone away.
I got out the next day and tried the rod w/ 15' of 3.5 LL and a weighted fly. The cast was fly first every cast and so easy to control. The rod casts every line from the 2.5 LL to heavy homemade furled lines with either dry or heavily weighted flies easily and keeps the lines off the water. A 24' size three line has been my favorite so far, but lines the same length of the rod can be controlled superbly while manipulating the fly.
I've so far only caught small fish around 6 to 10" with the Kosansui. The bend placed on the rod is very nice, it really does feel as though there is a tremendous power reserve. Also every fish has made the rod sing. I can't say enough good things. Thanks for finding great rods and products!
Jeremy C, Tennessee
|The soft tip on the Nissin Fine Mode Kosansui [450 soft] makes pulsing the fly almost instinctual so I was pulsing away. The first fish I hooked was a hand size Crappie and I have big hands. Let me tell you with the soft tip section on the Kosansui even pan sized fish make you feel like you're on Mr. Toad's Wild Ride. There were a couple guys fishing across the bank from me and later they swore I was catching giant bass, they must have seen the rod bend like I had hooked a whopper.
Never overpowering the rod I caught quite a few decent sized fish. Between the length of the Kosansui and that tip every fish seems like the catch of a lifetime. The Killer Bug in one outing has made its way into my top three GO TO flies list and I've fallen in love with giant soft rods. Sing line, Sing!
Jimi H, Missouri
|What a fun lil' rod! 
Cheryll F, Colorado
|My son loves his Kosansui 270! He is 6 and it's such a joy to see how much fun he has with Tenkara. Creating memories one Bluegill at a time. Just wanted to say thanks again for all you do.
Jeff R, Texas
| This [Fine Mode Kosansui 320] is a superb rod at its price point ($110). If you wanted to try tenkara on small streams, it would be a vastly better starting point than any of the similarly priced me-too Chinese rods.
The light weight and the backbone make it a great rod for a youngster.
Marginal Tenkara blog
|Had a chance to introduce micro and tenkara to my cousin today. He loved it!! It's awesome to see the face when someone catches their first micro. Lol. We caught bluegill, longear, and hybrid sunfish with a few 5-10 inch bass. Awesome trip hooking another person on tenkara. Pic is of an awesome colored Longear.
Jeff R, Texas
|We just got some rain here and was able to take the Nissin 270 out to some local creeks. Many redbreast sunfish were brought to hand, all in fast current. The rod casts great and downright performs with a fish on!
Have to say that I am really blown away by how sensitive this rod is! Puts my "lightweight" 4wt fly rod to shame when fighting small fish. BTW used a Ishigaki fly today from the "one fly" tying kit. The sunfish were not complaining.
Thanks for the rod and the help.
Greg B, Texas
| I just wanted to send along a positive report on the Nissin Fine Mode 270 that I bought from you a couple of months ago. I finally had the opportunity to use it at a place where there are some larger-than-average bluegills and green sunfish. What fun! I think Nissin nailed this one for a small stream rod. The Fine Mode is sensitive and smooth-casting, with just enough backbone for decent-sized fish. An 8-inch bluegill on this rod is about as much fun as a fellow can stand! Thanks for the wonderful service.
John E, Texas
| I wanted to let you know how happy I am with the Fine Mode 270 I recently got. I bought it for my daughter to use and to use on small creeks here in NC. Well, this afternoon I went out with a couple of buddies who were using longer rods, and I have to say, the Fine Mode really did shine. They were constantly hung up but I had no issues ( I also caught more fish). I was able to cast into those tight spots and I generally just had a blast. Thanks again for all the info on your site and all the good gear.
Hugh C, North Carolina