Until now tenkara rods were designed for fishing in Japan but with the international development of tenkara appeared to manufacturers a new challenge which is to put on the market tenkara rods designed to catch fishes which are bigger than their Japanese counterparts . Masami Sakakibara has successfully met the challenge in cooperation with Nissin to design, once again, an exceptional rod: the Zerosum Oni Honryu 450.
Like all Japanese tenkara rods it is sold in a plastic box, the rod sock being in a pale purple velvet of good quality. The overall aesthetic is simple and very beautiful; the rod is glossy black, and only a woven carbon accent surrounded by fine chrome edging is visible at the tip of the handle section.
Like all the Nissin rods the Zerosum Oni Honryu is made in Japan and it shows with a very high quality work and perfect finishes.
The theoretical characteristics of this rod are as follow:
Length: 450 cm
Folded: 64 cm
Weight: 100 gr
Tip diameter: 0.65 m
Butt diameter: 13.3 mm
Butt diameter: 13.3 mm
Advised tippet: 号 0.8 to 号1.5 (from 0.148mm to 0.20mm)
Composition: 97% Graphite
The ZeroSum Oni Honryu reviewed here actually weighs 98.8 grams without the tip cap, so ready to fish, and has a length including the lilian of 448.5 cm. The collapsed length is 63.5 cm with the tip of cap. The handle, a foot long, is made of a high quality cork and a subtle camel shape that makes it particularly comfortable. The winding check is made of chromed aluminum and fits perfectly to the handle.
The tip cap is made of nylon, it fits tightly in. The butt cap is also made of nylon, it is rounded for comfort especially for fishermen who hold their rod in a very low position. It is knurled to facilitate tightening and loosening. It has no drain hole.
Upon receipt of the rod I disassembled it as I always do and could see that there was no dust inside the blank or in the threads of the butt cap which shows that great care has been given to the quality control during the production process.
As always with Nissin rods the connection of the lilian to the rod is perfectly executed.
This rod features no mention of its action, but it is a "6: 4" and I want to make a brief digression on the topic: this is not the rod that makes you cast "good" (even if a well balanced rod is a plus) it is oneself cast properly, by making the "back" and "front" casting strokes at the same speed and blocking at the right time which will allow the rod to load energy enough to get the correct deployment of the line.
During my stay with Masami-san I had the chance to test this rod when it was just available in Japan and I must say it pleasantly surprised me.
Balancing a rod of that length is particularly complex because you have to avoid the feeling of heaviness in the tip but it has to be powerful enough to transmit the energy of the casts and has to be strong enough to hold big fishes, with ZeroSum Oni Honryu these three aspects are gathered.
The rod is very pleasant, despite its length it does little effort to cast even if you fish with small diameter line level. As I have always thought and written on many occasions, a really good tenkara rod is versatile and gives the best results results with all types of lines and ZeroSum Oni Honryu is no exception to the rule. One can cast with accuracy and delicacy with level, tapered and furled lines with this rod.
I asked Masami-san describe briefly the ideas he had put into play in the design of this excellent rod and this is what he sent me:
-Fishing big fish with a really adapted rod to reduce the risk of losing beautiful specimens.
-Casting more accurately and with less effort than any other existing rod of that length.
-Get a better balance than the other rods of equal length. Most of 450 cm rods have too much weight in the tip.
Try this rod and you will enjoy it and take a lot of fun to fish with it. Bye!