Having dabbled with Tenkara quite a bit, there have been times when I've really struggled with the length of the rod on my local rivers. When fishing this water with a standard fly rod I occasionally fish right down to a 6ft marksman due to foliage and access. I really needed a Tenkara equivalent to keep me fishing in those spots.
I decided to try out the Tanago rods from Daiwa. These are telescopic carbon rods, just like the Tenkara cousins but shorter and lighter. These rods are really designed for micro fishing rigs which include a very tiny float around half the size of a small bite indicator and hooks of around #32… Having said that, I had seen reviews of people catching reasonable sized trout with them, so I decided to have a go.
I purchased a few sizes ranging from 6ft to 10ft and various ‘accessories’ that accompany the micro fishing style and set myself up for an afternoon experimenting!
I started with the Daiwa 24SR, which is 7’8” long, and attached a #2.5 level line of 10ft plus around 3ft of tippet. The rod was not the easiest to cast at first, it took a while to get the hang of it and I did get into a few tangles early on in the day! Once mastered, I could get the cast out fully and accurately into small spots, this was great for picking out the hard to reach fish.
Throughout the session I landed quite a few trout and out of season grayling to around a 1 ¼ lb in weight. This was pretty exciting on a rod of this type and I would definitely recommend people try it! On the downside, I did hook into quite a few larger fish that just ripped the line away downstream and the gear was just not capable of slowing the fish!
With the larger fish, the rod bent in two like I have never seen a rod bend before, I literally had to chase the fish downstream to try and stop either the tippet or the hook giving way.. It must have been hilarious for onlookers!
I have yet to try out the smallest rod I purchased, the Daiwa 20SR, which is 6’6”, but the 27SR 9’ version I tried was not a great deal different that the 24SR 7’8” in terms of casting and stopping power so I expect the 6’6” to be very similar? I will update you when we have had a little warmer weather and more fly life as I would ideally like to use these rods to specifically target those small brownies popping up to the surface for lunch!