A few weeks ago Masami Sakakibara-san, aka Tenkara-no-Oni, announced the release of a new range of tenkara rods and after several visits on his blog in a few days I did decide to purchase a "Type III" model.
After a few em-mails my order was recorded and the only thing I had left to do was wait for the parcel to be delivered. I do not know how it is for you, my fellow readers, but when I wait for a parcel the wait always seems endless...Finally the receipt is signed and the rod in my hand!
Theoretical characteristics are:
Length: 11.15 ft
Closed Length: 23.6 in
Weight: 60 gr
Handle Length: 11.8 in
Handle: camouflage foam
Made in Japan
Like most Japanese rods the Oni rod is sold without a tube, you can chose between two different patterns for the sock. The one I have chosen is simple and beautiful. Exactly what I like.
The rod is sent in a PVC tube that allows it to travel safely, the tube is so well closed you will need a sharp boxcutter to open it.
The rod I did receive perfectly matches the theoretical characteristics except for the weight of my rod that is 61,5 grams.
The butt cap is golden. It is knurled and has a coin slot, that is the first time I see the both features on the same cap. The foam handle has a camouflage pattern, that is also a one of a kind feature of this rod.
I really like this uncommon appearance which is enhanced by the metallic purple winding check.
The blank inscriptions are clear and simple; Tenkara-no-Oni's hanko, Tenkara written in katakana followed by the model's name "Type III 3.4". These inscriptions are simple, clear and discrete.
The lilian is short (1.57 inches) and its ligature on the blank is impeccably done. Each of the seven segments is finished by a thin golden border. As I expected the achievement of these small details is impeccable.
The taste of well done work is really palpable.
The parcel I did receive also contained a letter, a small box with three of the flies used by Masami-san and a fabric pouch with a level line; once you have opened the package you are ready to go fishing. I have to say that it is extremely rare in Europe to receive a tackle order that contains anything more than the invoice.
This is a good point for the Oni Shop to add a bit of relationship in a business transaction.
After the unpacking euphoria I decided to take advantage of a sunny moment to go testing the casting ability of this superb rod. I could not expect catching anything because of the chocolate milk color of the stream but I could not bring myself to put the rod back in its sock before I had tried it.
As soon as I had the rod ready to cast I realized that this rod had one more thing I like about her; the handle has not only an uncommon look but is also incredibly comfortable and offers three different grip options. This detail is very important for me.
The sensations provided by this rod are incredible! Imagine your fly is remote and you can cast it wherever you want...This 5:5 action rod is quite powerful and does not need any false casting if it is used with a well balanced line and fly ensemble.
I tested it with the 4 号 line I did receive with the rod and a size 10 Takayama kebari, the balance was perfect and the light breeze did not necessitate any false casting. As soon as the weather and water level conditions get better I will do a complete field test of this great rod.