Covid-19 Announcement

Some shipments are still delayed. If you are planning a trip, please order well in advance.

Shimano Keiho Tenkara

The new Shimano Keiho Tenkara rods are unique. They are 8:2 rods designed for level line. Until now, most rods designed specifically for fishing level lines were 5:5 rods, which are slow, full flex rods. Until now, the few 8:2 tenkara rods that exist were designed for heavy lines, primarily tapered lines.

The new rods perfectly illustrate my comment that the 5:5, 6:4, 7:3, 8:2 rating system does NOT tell you how stiff a rod is, it tells you where the rod bends. People who do not understand the rating system will expect the new 8:2 rods to be extremely stiff. They're not. They are tip flex rods, not stiff rods! The Shimano Keiho Tenkara 33NR is an 18 penny rod. That's a penny softer than the Shimano Keiryu Tenkara 34-38.

The rod was designed for people who want to fish the headwaters with a level line. The headwaters in Japan, as in the US, are smaller streams, and smaller streams means smaller targets. Pinpoint casting is critical.

For some (many? most?) tenkara anglers, a tip flex rod is more accurate than a full flex rod. Greater line speed can be achieved, which makes the line less susceptible to being blown off target if there is a cross breeze. Also, the cast can be executed with a shorter, quicker casting stroke - little more than a "snap of the wrist," as Dr. Ishigaki described it.

That is NOT how Tenkara no Oni teaches casting, but the muscles that move the wrist are smaller and capable of more delicate, precise motion than the larger muscles that move the arm. Less movement means less to go wrong so your cast is less likely to drift off the intended line. Casting primarily with the wrist works with a 3.3m rod and a relatively short line. You would not want to try it with long rod and a line longer than the rod.

Please understand that I am NOT saying Tenkara no Oni is wrong and Dr. Ishigaki is right (or vice versa). All I am saying is that is one of the reasons the rod was designed as an 8:2.

Designed for headwaters, but not limited to headwaters. Jeff R photo.

A tip flex rod with a firm midsection also gives you more positive hook sets. The Shimano website mentions "quick response" - and those little headwaters trout are indeed quick, so your response, and your rod's response have to be quick also!

I am confident that Shimano did not design the rod for fishing weighted nymphs, but this is one case where the "unintended consequences" aren't negative! A firmer midsection does give you better hooksets when fishing weighted nymphs. As it turns out, the rod's action is reminiscent of the TenkaraBum Traveler 39 at its shortest length. The Traveler 39 does very nicely with weighted nymphs and I am sure that Shimano Keiho Tenkara will also.

Shimano Keiho Tenkara Stats

Length Extended
Length Collapsed
Weight (w/o plug)
Tip Diameter

33 NR
2.6 oz

Shimano Keiho Tenkara 33 NR - $245


Domestic shipping is $10 via USPS Priority Mail (2-3 day delivery).

Please note: All packages are shipped via USPS. If you have a PO Box, please list ONLY the PO Box in your address, not the PO Box and your street address.

If you live in an apartment, please put the apartment number in the same box as the street address (as in 123 Main St. Apt 45).

The charge for international shipping depends on the destination country, the weight of the package, the overall length of the package and the value of the package. Packages under 24" long and under $400 in value will go via USPS First Class International. Packages over 24" or over $400 will go via USPS Priority Mail International. The international shipping charge will be calculated at checkout.

International purchases may be subject to import duties and taxes. I cannot keep track of all import regulations in all countries written in all languages. Understanding and paying import duties and taxes are the responsibility of the buyer.

TenkaraBum Home > Tenkara Rods > Shimano Keiho 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.

Beware of the Dogma

Currently processing orders that were received Sep 25.

Back in Stock Notification

To be notified when a specific item is back in stock, please use the Back in Stock Notification form.

To be notified when new items are added to the shop and when out-of-stock items are back in stock please use the
This Just In... Signup