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Sakura Kongo Review

by Todd W.

I just got a 3.6m Sakura Kongo and fished it for the first time yesterday. I thought I'd give you my impressions of it. I have to say it is a very beautiful rod and Sakura took attention to detail seriously in the finish and design.

What most impressed me though was its performance on the water. I would call it a fairly soft 7:3, it doesn't feel stiff at all in the usual stiff graphite sense. I attribute that to the fact they use quite a bit of fiberglass in the construction and just plain old good taper design. It's quite sensitive and light in the hand; I fished it 8 hours straight on a small spring creek and didn't get casting fatigue at all. Not bad for a 12 piece travel rod. It manages to be light and powerful at the same time. I wouldn't hesitate to tackle big fish with this rod, although my largest that day was a 13in brown.

Something else that stood out for me was the almost instantaneous dampening/recovery after a cast. The tip simply stopped where I placed it at the end of a cast. Very impressive and I think that had a lot to do with me being able to fish it all day without getting tired.

Is it worth 300+ bucks? I think it depends on what you're after. I've decided to have fewer rods and emphasize action and versatility over carrying a larger number of rods; of course that means compromising on the tools I have for each fishing situation. I've proven to myself that this Kongo will fill the small creek 12ft rod spot in my quiver and I have no doubts it will fill the large trout (possible Alaska trip this summer) and warmwater bass slots as well. Another big selling point for me was the travel size. The overall length of my homemade PVC case for the rod is 16 1/2 in. I have no buyer's remorse with this rod.

Comments for Sakura Kongo Review

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Apr 07, 2011
by: Brian Green

Great post, but you leave me desperate for a photo of the rod. Any chance you can add on to this so that we can all see exactly what it looks like? Thanks!

Apr 07, 2011
Thanks for the review
by: TenkaraBum


Thanks for the review. I have been curious about them.


I'll see what I can do about a photo. There are two models that look a bit different and I'm not sure which Todd has. I think the difference is just in the paint job, though, so the review should apply to either one.

Apr 07, 2011
re: Kongo
by: Todd W

I chose the classic finish for the Kongo. If you are familiar with the T-USA Iwana rods that is the kind of base finish...clear coat with the deep charcoal scrim visible underneath. If you google Sakura Kongo you will find some photos but pictures really don't do the rod justice.

Something I didn't mention is the somewhat unique handle configuration. There are carve-outs in the cork that conform to your finger positions when holding the rod. They work whether you are a thumb on top caster or index finger up top. It worked well for me but I mention it because it might not be for everyone. These are toward the front of the grip while the aft end has more traditional styling. I found myself holding the rod toward the back end quite often and the angle of the cork there was very comfortable. Very good quality cork rings BTW.

Dec 25, 2011
Where to buy....
by: fishingbenito

Hi there,

I have been looking everywhere for where to buy a Sakura Kongo. Can you pass one where you purchased it from?


Dec 25, 2011
Source for Kongo
by: TenkaraBum

You can buy it at

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“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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