In what seems to be an increasingly complex world, sometimes it is very refreshing to take a step back and simplify. To many people, that is one of the primary attractions of tenkara. Reduced to the necessities, it is elegantly simple.
Not only is simplicity very hard to attain, it is very hard to maintain. We are drawn to add this and that, and soon the elegance is... well it isn't what it once was.
It has been a while since I have written about the Nissin Pro Square rods, but they were recently brought to mind. They are simple. Because there is nothing there you don't need, they are remarkably light. They are also remarkably inexpensive - at least for what you get and in comparison to what else is available.
I like light rods. I'm not sure who doesn't. As much as you've heard about the latest, greatest, lightest, these are lighter. They cast light lines wonderfully. Given a light rod and a light line, I may not be in heaven, but you can find me knee deep in fun.
I was a bit surprised by some comments to a recent blog post complaining that new rods have gotten so expensive. Everything a manufacturer adds to a rod adds to the cost. There's really no way around that. Complexity is expensive. Simplicity isn't. There's really no way around that, either.
Nissin Pro Square rods for smaller streams sell for $150. For that price you don't get a lot of complexity. You do get a very light, very responsive rod designed for the Japanese domestic market and made in Japan. It doesn't get more authentic. If you've never fished with one of the real Japanese tenkara rods, you owe it to yourself to try one.
You won't read a lot of reviews for them because other fancier, more complex rods have been more popular. One thing you can be sure of, though, is that every review you read was written by someone who actually bought the rod and reviewed it only because he liked it.
Each and every testimonial you read on TenkaraBum.com and I think except for two, every review of a TenkaraBum rod you read anywhere was written by a guy who bought the rod (just like you) and liked it. Whether written by a blogger or by any other customer, not one review was written by someone who got a free rod in the hope of a positive review in exchange or in order to create a media buzz. I think two were written about borrowed rods, but in both cases the understanding going in was that the rod would be purchased or returned.
At TenkaraBum.com everybody gets freebies, maybe a bit of yarn or a couple feathers, but that's it.
Read more about the elegantly simple Nissin Pro Square rods.