Royal Stage Tenkara

I no longer import Nissin rods. This page is provided for educational purposes.

The Nissin Royal Stage Tenkara rods are very reminiscent of the premium Nissin Zerosum rods, which may be the most popular rods in Japan right now. The Royal Stages are mid-priced rods, though, making them accessible to a lot more people.

Nissin Royal Stage Tenkara Grip

The most obvious difference between the Royal Stage rods and the Zerosum rods is the longer grip on the Royal Stage rods. Personally, I like the longer grips. On smaller streams I like to hold the rod at the very front of the grip, with my index finger on the blank. With a longer grip you can choke up a bit more, effectively shortening the rod.

Nissin Royal Stage Tenkara rod and Brown Trout

The 7:3 320 is a wonderful small stream rod. It will give you the precision and feel that up until now was available only in a Zerosum.

Royal Stage Tenkara Rod Features

Royal Stage Tenkara 7:3 360 written on side of rod

Beside the longer grip, the other obvious difference is the much plainer graphic design of the Royal Stage rods compared to the Zerosums. The Zerosum rods are really sharp looking with bright crimson paint at the ends of the sections and the bold, gold Zerosum logo. The graphics on the Royal Stage rods are still attractive, but are much more subdued.

Part of the grip section has clear coat, part has clear coat with blue specksDividing line between clear coat and clear coat with blue specks.

In the middle of the grip section, the rod name, action and length are on a section that is a fairly subtle blue. Subtle to the point that it is fairly easy to see but difficult to photograph (at least with my modest skills). The blue color is from very minute blue specks in the clear coat. You can easily see the weave of the carbon fibers, which I think adds to the attractiveness of the rod.

Nissin Royal Stage tenkara rod section ends

There is band with the blue specks at the end of the grip section. The ends of the other sections have just a thin gold band. It's not as fancy as the Zerosum, but it is a classy look.

Nissin Royal Stage tip plug
Royal Stage grip screw cap

The tip plug and the grip screw cap are exactly the same as those on the Zerosum rods. The grips are very good quality cork.

I've spent so much time on the cosmetics because that might in fact be the biggest difference between the Zerosum Tenkara rods and the Royal Stage Tenkara rods. When you wiggle the Royal Stage rods they feel a lot like their Zerosum counterparts. They are close enough that if you were blindfolded and someone handed you one of the rods, you might not be able to tell which it was.

The first time I had a chance to fish with the Royal Stage Tenkara rods I brought along the comparable Zerosums so I could fish them back to back. They are not quite the same, but they are close. The penny ratings of the rods are very similar to those of the Zerosums with the same length and action.

A Royal Stage Tenkara rod doesn't look like a Zerosum but feels very much the same. That is in stark contrast to the rods that copied the look of the Zerosum but feel very different.

Length extended - 12'0"
Length collapsed - 22.25"
Weight without tip plug - 2.5 oz
Sections - 8
Tip Diameter - .95mm
Recommended tippet* - 6x-5x
Pennies - 18

Rod made in Japan.

TenkaraBum Home > Tenkara Rods > Royal Stage Tenkara

“The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten” - Benjamin Franklin

"Be sure in casting, that your fly fall first into the water, for if the line fall first, it scares or frightens the fish..." -
Col. Robert Venables 1662

As age slows my pace, I will become more like the heron.


The hooks are sharp.
The coffee's hot.
The fish are slippery when wet.

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Nissin Royal Stage tenkara rod

The Royal Stage has the same feel as the Zerosums just a little less expensive and about a 1.5" longer grip. The emerald green color is gorgeous. This rod is going to be a slam dunk winner for Nissin this upcoming year.
John V, Utah

Angler holding Royal Stage Tenkara rod                                                                        bent by a fish on the line

I really like this rod. It has a wonderfully shaped handle that allows multiple grip positions. The tip heaviness is very respectable for such a long rod (410 cm). The casting stroke is relaxed yet accurate. It handles tenkara sized trout very easily, even in fast gradient streams. Finally, it has wonderful aesthetics. What more can you ask of a 400+ cm tenkara rod!

 Tom D, Idaho

Teton Tenkara blog

I just received the Nissin Royal Stage and I am at a lost for words what a beautiful rod. I honestly have never felt a tenkara rod that nice before. It blows my other rods [Rhodo and Sato] out of the water.

 Luke B, Pennsylvania

Angler holding rainbow trout and Royal Stage

Chris, I put the rod to good use the same week it arrived.  Please see attached from last week in eastern Idaho.  This is a really effective way to fish small water.  Thanks again.

 Matt B, Idaho