top of page

Tanuki XL-1 Development

Lifting test on Tanuki XL-1 prototype

Building bamboo rods is my hobby. I made my first hand-crafted fixed line 4 ft bamboo rod when I was 9. Many years later, I built my first bamboo fly rod in 2001. I love to land fish with bamboo rods. I like to fish with a rod less than 7’3”. I rarely fish with bamboo rod longer than 8 ft because it feels heavy.

Tenkara rod is a fixed line rod like a bamboo rod. In order to cover more water, we use a longer rod. A longer rod put more pressure on the wrist. Tanuki XL-1's length is 13’3”. it is considered a honryu rod (honryu means main stream in Japanese; in this case it means long). Making a long rod that is 13 ft (4m) or longer makes demands on rod maker’s skills. The most import things of a long rod are ergonomics, casting accuracy, balance and handling of fish.

The new Tanuki XL-1 was designed to fill in the length gap between Tanuki 375 and Tanuki 425. Initially, I wanted the XL-1 to have similar actions and feeling of something between those two but I changed my mind later during the development of Tanuki 275. I wanted it to be a little lighter and softer than other Tanuki rods. The modern rod today is about using materials. A rod made with a higher module carbon fiber would be lighter and offers faster action. Higher module carbon is less flexible and brittle than a lower module. Making a long lighter and more flexible rod requires careful balance between two different directions. I worked closely with a rod engineer from the manufacture and built several prototypes. I took the initial prototype to Oni-School in June 2016, the feedback was that it was too soft except for Frank Nadell. Finally, I took a trip to the factory to work on site with the rod engineer for about 10 days to build more prototypes. I took two prototypes to Tenkara Jam 2016 in North Carolina, to get feedbacks from the tenkara community there. It got overwhelming positive feedbacks, I continued to test at many fly fishing trade shows and other fishing related events all over the US for many months and even took it to Italy to test.

Featured Posts
Recent Posts
Search By Tags
Follow Us
  • Facebook Basic Square
  • Twitter Basic Square
  • Google+ Basic Square
bottom of page