A few months ago I did purchase a cheap second hand tenkara rod on the web; a Neo Tenkara LT39 SC from Daiwa and I think that the time has come to write the review about this rod.
This Daiwa rod is made in China and features these characteristics:
-Length: 391 cm
-Collapsed length: 41 cm
-Handle: 27.5 cm
-Weight: 3.88 oz
The tip has a diameter of 0.8mm which is really superior to what one can find for similar action rods in other brands, I am thinking of Nissin for example.
The blank of this rod being big, the tip and butt caps are really huge sized! The tip cap is made of wood with a rubber insert and perfectly stays in its place while the butt cap is made of metal with a tendency to unscrew by itself. As it has a coin slot with a slick surface the angler will have to use a coin or anything to keep it screwed. Note also that this cap has no drain hole.
The diameter of the blank is high and the rod is fat! At the handle winder the diameter is 16.55 millimeters! That is one the main thing I did not like with this rod. Because of this huge blank diameter handling the rod and fishing with it is really uncomfortable. Indeed every time I go fishing with this rod I have to carry a second rod because I get tired fast. If you are like me subject to metacarpal tendinitis do NOT purchase this rod!
Because of the high weight combined with a very stiff and thick blank the sensitivity of the rod is very low; and what I like with good tenkara rods is their very high sensitivity.
The "LT" in the reference means "tapered line" as this rod was designed to preferably cast this kind of lines. I did test this rod with a Fujino Tenkara Soft line and I must say that I obtained very decent casts with no effort. It was very different with light level lines. The rod is meant to cast pretty heavy lines. So if you only fish tapered or furled lines this rod is for you.
The rod is sold in a black velvet sock that includes a flyer with basic instructions about the using of the rod and basic security instructions.
To be honest, I have been disappointed by this rod. Perhaps was I expecting too much from this entry level Daiwa rod but based on my experience I would say that there is no major difference between the LT39 SC and 99.9% of the other chinese made tenkara rods on the market.