The Daiwa Sagiri is a wonderfully light, delightfully soft, smooth casting rod that is just ideal for modest fish. I wouldn't recommend it for 20" trout or 16" river smallies, but for the size fish that most American tenkara anglers catch most of the time it will do just fine.
The Sagiri was not the first zoom rod sold in the US. The TenkaraUSA Ito was first. However, the Sagiri was the first that was light in the hand. Back in July of 2012, when I first introduced the Daiwa Sagiri 39MC to American tenkara anglers, people were shocked by how light it was.
At 2 ounces, the Sagiri 39MC weighed just a little over half as much as the Ito. The Sagiri 39MC weighed a little over half as much as an Ayu, which like the Sagiri, was a 13' rod.
Granted, the TUSA Ito is and the Ayu was a tenkara rod and the Daiwa Sagiri is a seiryu rod. Not to reignite the Tenkara Wars (some people seem to have done that already), but tenkara rods are designed for mountain streams and seiryu rods are designed for streams after they have come down from the mountains.
Of course, there are Japanese tenkara anglers who use seiryu rods in the mountains and American tenkara anglers who use tenkara rods on the plains. If that sounds like you could use either rod in either place, well, you can. Seiryu rods tend to have lower penny ratings than tenkara rods, as the streams for which they are designed are lower gradient and have less (to significantly less) current. If you plan to catch 18" trout in fast current, you would do better with a tenkara rod. If you plan to catch 8-12" trout in modest current, a seiryu rod would be an excellent choice (assuming you like a softer rod).
Seiryu rods do not have "grips" in the sense of a cork or wood or foam grip. The grip is just a nonskid coating on a widened out section of the blank. The nonskid coating is quite effective, wet or dry. The grip on the Sagiri is much wider than on some
other seiryu rods. I find it quite comfortable to use - and oh, so
sensitive. Of course, adding a grip, particularly a cork grip, adds a
surprising amount to the cost of the rod. That, really, is how the Sagiri can be such a nice rod for such a low price.
What gets lost when talking about the differences between tenkara rods and seiryu rods is the overwhelming similarity - particularly in how the rods can be used. The Sagiri will cast a light tenkara line so well you'd think that's what it was made for.
Want to cast nylon? Go for it. Long before the current buzz about nylon lines - my favorite line for the Sagiri 39MC (back in 2013 or so) was a size 3.5 nylon line! But can it cast a 3? Of course it can. If you prefer flurorocarbon - size 2.5 line casts just fine. If you are looking for delicate presentations, you need look no further.
For casting light lines and catching modest fish, there isn't a
difference between a full flex tenkara rod and the Sagiri seiryu rod
that actually matters. Most Japanese anglers would use a Sagiri when fishing for chubs or dace. I looked through all my Sagiri photos and couldn't find one chub or one dace. Lots of trout, though! Lots of trout.
The Daiwa Sagiri is a wonderful trout rod for fish up to about 16". Larger fish, particularly in fast current, will tend to break the 6X tippet. For American tenkara anglers, the tippet limitation may be the most significant difference between a seiryu rod and a tenkara rod. Tenkara anglers generally use 5X while most seiryu rods are limited to 6X or 6.5X.
Can you catch larger fish? Perhaps.
Can you break your rod trying? Yes.
If you hook a fish that is much larger than you expected, don't "horse" it, and remember that sometimes the fish wins the fight.
If you are fishing for fish that are not likely to break 6X tippet, then the Sagiri is a wonderful rod.
It is a truly superb panfish rod. A good sized bluegill will give you a tremendous fight, but isn't going to break the tippet, let alone the rod. You don't need a heavy, expensive rod and 4x tippet to catch a few 'gills! And if you are like thousands of American anglers and want to catch both sunfish and trout with the same rod, then the Daiwa Sagiri should be pretty high on your list.
The tip plug is wooden, as it is on the high end Daiwa tenkara rods, and like them it is fluted so you can insert the tip plug with the line still attached. The grip screw cap is plastic, , it is cushioned on the inside so the collapsed rod doesn't click as you walk to and from the stream. There is also a ventilation hole.
The "zooming" section is held very securely in both the 11'5" position and the 13' position for the Sagiri 39, and in both the 13' and 14'7" position for the Sagiri 45. It may be difficult to get the zooming section out when disassembling the rod after use. Because the grip section is flared much more than the zooming section, those two parts should have enough air to dry effectively, as long as the grip screw cap is removed. I would still recommend pulling out all the other sections, though.
Daiwa Sagiri 39MC
Length extended: 11'5" or 13'0"
Length collapsed: 23"
Weight (with tip plug): 2.0 ounces
Percent Carbon: 98%
Recommended Tippet: 6X
Pennies 13, 15
Made in Thailand
Daiwa Sagiri 45MC
Length extended: 13'0" or 14'7"
Length collapsed: 23"
Weight (with tip plug): 2.5 ounces
Percent Carbon: 98%
Recommended Tippet: 6X
Pennies 14, 14
Made in ThailandDaiwa Sagiri 45MC - $150
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I finally got some time to myself to go and give the Sagiri a good workout. What a great rod!
John V, Utah
Had a chance to fish the Sagiri on the Swift River, a tailwater in western MA. Caught some nice rainbows during a midge hatch on size 24 griffiths gnats and 7x tippet. Largest fish over 14" and easily handled on 7x by the Sagiri. Like the Soyokoze, you get to the stiff butt quickly and the 7x really worked in concert with the rod. Also fished some size 10 foam beetles earlier in the day on 6x with equal facility. Fished some long 2.5 line on a certain section and a 9' number 4 line on a tight stretch.
The Sagiri has a great casting vocabulary. I'm well pleased.
Stephen M, Massachusetts
I have really liked the Sagiri and am not bothered in the least that
it doesn't have a cork grip. It is the best casting of the 6 rods I
have and is far superior to the Ito, which is the closest rod I can
compare it to.
Steve C, Utah
Took the wife out trout fishing with my tenkara rods.....by the end of the day we were fighting over who got my Daiwa Sagiri!! So nice!!
People that question the grip on the Sagiri should shut their mouths and cast the rod. Wet/Dry same good non-slipping feel. Awesome rod in every respect.
Dave H, Wyoming
|I've been using my Sagiri up in the mountains and I absolutely love it. Did the whole one fly thing last weekend (Prince Nikko) and had a "many" day. What a great rod!
Jeff S, California