It’s always a thrill when there’s a new tenkara rod on the market, especially one designed by Masami (Tenkara-no-Oni) Sakkakibara.
This time round the new rod is the Nissin Zerosum ONI Honryu 395. The new rod is a 3.95m (13′) Honryu tenkara rod, designed to handle big fish on large water, but also have finesse and great feel for small fish too. Masami-San has related to me that he’s discovered that American tenkara anglers really seem to like fishing with weighted and bead-head nymphs – and he tells me that this new rod is great for that application.
The ONI Honryu 395 may just be that versatile, all-around, go-to tenkara rod you’ve been looking for. Read Tom Davis’ Teton Tenkara review of the Honryu 395.
As of this writing I do not yet have one in my grubby paws. But John Vetterli of Tenkara Guides LLC has fished with this new rod and he has been kind enough to write down some thoughts.
Here’s what John had to say about the new ONI Honryu 395
I got a couple of hours fishing time this morning and a few days during Oni School 2016 to use the Oni Honryu 395. Here’s a couple of notes for you.
1. If I was limited to owning only one tenkara rod, the Nissin Zerosum Oni Honryu 395 is what I would choose. It is light weight, superbly balanced, very easy to cast, it’s fun with small 4″ trout and large trout 20″-24″. It has plenty of power for warm water species like bass.
2. The build quality is superb. Nothing with Masami Sakakibara’s name on it will be sub par. He only accepts excellence from the manufacturer. No shortcuts have been taken.
3. This is perhaps one of the most well rounded rods on the market. Precise casting, delicate fly presentations, can be used with any type of tenkara line, furled, level, tapered monofilament. It has a lot of power in reserve for landing big fish. The Nissin Zerosum Oni Honryu 450 is a true powerhouse rod. The new 395 bridges the gap between finesse rods like the Oni Type 1, 2, and 3 and the big Honryu 450. It combines the best attributes of finesse and power. It is very refined and is a true performance machine. It’s like a formula 1 race car. It wants to go fast. If you like things that are the high end of the performance spectrum, and you fish waters that can handle 4m length rods that hold larger fish, this may be your holy grail tenkara rod.