Tanago Rods

These rods really are TANAGO rods, not all-purpose rods like the Soyokaze or Kiyotaki. There seems to be a misconception in the West about what tanago fishing really is. Tanago fishing is NOT fly fishing for trout with 7 or 8' telescopic rods on small streams. It is fishing for tanago (a type of fish). In Japan it is done with bait and with rods that could be as short as 20 or 30" although most are a bit longer. 

The tanago rods I have had in stock are well suited for micro fishing for species that are not skittish and where you can fish almost right under your rod tip. You can cast, but with a fixed line on a very short rod you are not going to cast very far.

But please, call it micro fishing, not tanago fishing. There are no tanago here. Tanago fishing in the US would be like shark fishing in Kansas - there aren't any there to catch.

Photos show alternate grips (rods are collapsed - they're short but not that short)

Tanago rods are truly lilliputian. Some collapse to just 10 1/4 inches. When you pick one up - once you get over how light and how small it is - and give it a test wiggle, it seems surprisingly stiff. However, that feeling is illusory. When you wiggle a rod (a normal rod, that is) you set up a harmonic wave that is caused by the rod's own inertia.

These rods weigh so little, and much of what they do weigh is in the grip rather than in the blank, that they have virtually no inertia. You cannot set up that harmonic wave. Suspend just one US penny (2.5 grams) in a little plastic bag tied to the lillian and the rod bends. If you move the rod at all, the rod tip bounces and wiggles like something alive.

I have commented in the past that a micro fishing rod should be able to handle a 9" brookie when fishing for dace, or a 10" largemouth when fishing for 3" sunnies.

Not these rods. These are diminutive rods for diminutive fish. They'll be fine with the dace, darters and baby bluegills, but large bluegills would be too much for the little rods, let alone a bass. The brookie below is maybe a 6 or 7 incher, hooked in quiet water. The Shimotsuke Miyako bent more than I had thought the rod could bend without breaking. I would not want to hook a 9 incher with one. For that matter, I don't want to hook another 6 incher!

Don't try this at home!

A guy I fish with a lot says I always underestimate the capability of rods, but that is not the case with these. These are wonderful little rods, but they really are for little fish. I've had a customer break two of the Shimotsuke tanago rods (which I no longer carry). One was when he hooked a large sunfish. The other was when the micro he caught was eaten by a 10" bullhead. If there's a good chance you might catch larger than expected fish, the  Nissin Sasuke tanago rod or the Air Stage Hakubai 190 would be a better choice.

For micro fishing, though, particularly close in sight fishing, tanago rods are a tremendous kick. For sitting on a dock and catching the little bluegills that live under it, these rods could be a tremendous amount of fun. If big bluegills or small bass live under the dock, though, use a different rod.

Part of the fun, of course, is that the rods are just so insanely small - and that they are specialty rods, specially designed for fish to which most anglers wouldn't give a second thought. They will definitely bring a smile to your face. Sure, you could use an old spinning rod, but it won't put a smile on your face like these will. Fishing with these rods is like fishing with Harry Potter's wand.

Nissin Gokoro

Nissin Gokoro Tanago Rod

The Nissin Gokoro tanago rod is a sweet little rod that is just for small fish. Don't even try to catch small trout or small bass with it (unless they'll fit in one of the Micro Photo Boxes!) The tip is extremely thin and extremely sensitive.

Nissin Sasuke

The Nissin Sasuke is a new Nissin tanago rod that is capable of handling somewhat larger fish: small trout, bass, sunfish or creek chubs in addition to the dace and darters. For that matter, it should be even better for darters because it will be substantial enough to fish with a split shot that can hold your bait in place in a riffle.

It is a little longer than the tanago rods described above, collapsing to about 15 inches, but still fits in a Small Rod Case.


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I think the Hinata is a great rod. Watching the bobber or sight fishing with this rod may be addictive for me...anticipation of the bobber going under or the bait disappearing because of the approaching shadow and knowing the rod will come alive in my hand...What more could a fisherman want?

Dennis W, Missouri




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Jeff R, Texas

I have been fishing most of my life since I was a kid. I can honestly tell you that micro fishing has brought back that child like joy I haven't felt in years.

Jeff R, Texas