Essence of Tenkara Rod - Part I Fundamental of Rod Action

October 30, 2017

I was giving a presentation titled "The Essence of Tenkara Rod" at Tenkara JAM 2017 in Boone, NC on Sep 30. Tenkara JAM is the largest gathering of tenkara enthusiasts in the South and East Coast. Fishers came from around the country. 


What is a Tenkara Rod?
Today modern tenkara rod is a fixed-line telescopic rod that is mostly made with high module carbon fiber like a fly rod. A tenkara rod can be extended up to 15' long and is extremely light and compact. Connecting the line to tenkara rod is quite simple

Rod Action - The Basic:
Action is an expression of time (T), fast, average and slow. With different rods, tips travel the same distance and come back to the original state in different speed. The one that recovers first is a fast rod and the last is the slow one. Cause of the action is dependent on two major factors - rod taper and materials used for blanks.

 

The rod taper determines how and where the rod bends. Rod with steeper taper will bend closer to the tip (rod A). Rod A's action will be faster then rod B where the rod bend starts farther from the tip.


Other major factors that determine the rod action is material and how blank is constructed. A newer material like higher density carbon fiber is lighter and less flexible than the lower density one. A rod made with higher density carbon fiber module will be lighter and provides faster action than a rod made with lower density carbon fiber. For example, if two rods are different with the same taper and length, one built with higher module carbon fiber is lighter and its action will be faster. Action is also dependent on thickness of rod blank wall is built with multi-layer of carbon fiber fabric. The weave of the fabric arrangement between the layer would effect the stiffness and flexibility of the rod bank.

 

Each rod action has its own pros and cons.

Reference: Toray Carbon Fiber, Calfee Design

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