The 3RT CONFLUENCE 2-Way Zoom!
I worked with Oleg Stryapunin of The Tenkara Times to design the 3RT Confluence rod. My goal with the Confluence is to provide a versatile rod to new tenkara anglers and more experienced alike – a rod that is durable yet also has good casting feel with the accurate easy casting that Tenkara Times rods are known for, along with a comfy functional grip. I wanted to develop a rod that would strike a balance between performance, versatility and cost. It can be a tough balancing act – but I think Oleg’s really nailed it with the blank design and construction. The longer grip gives the angler varied ways to hold and cast to meet various personal preferences and on stream casting conditions.
The Confluence is a 2-way zoom rod that can be fished at 12 feet and 10.5 feet. The idea behind this was to provide a rod that can transition from small streams to larger streams and even to that bluegill pond. On small streams the 10.5 length will help with tight an brushy casting conditions and you’ll find the Confluence can do a nice job of flick casting and roll casting shorter level lines and it also has the tip strength for good bow-and-arrow casting when needed.
Then when the canopy opens up from time to time or when you decide to hit the bigger creek that the small mountain stream feeds into you can transition to the 12 foot length for the extra reach and flexure.
People often want to know about what size fish are appropriate for various rods – well that’s a tricky question and it does depend on the angler’s skill to a large degree. The Confluence is not a “big fish” rod per se. But it’s got enough to handle decent sized trout and bass up to 13- 14 inches or so pretty handily – and then with proper technique larger fish can be landed of course. Do I recommend it for 5lb smallies ? No, not really – but if your creek smallmouth are like mine – maxing out at 13 inches or so and averaging more like 10-12 inches then you should be fine.
What about lines? Well I’ve been enjoying it with #3.5 level line myself. You can go lighter if you want – I’ve fished it with #2.5, but #3.5 seems to be a sweet spot. Furled lines (or the Fuji PALS line) can work nicely and my Ultralight Floating Tenkara lines are a joy to cast with it too.
I think you’ll find that the confluence can be fairly versatile as far as flies as well – kebari and wet flies and dries of course but Czech nymphs and small streamers and wooly buggers are not out of the question. Paired up with the Ultralight floating line you can tie on some poppers or hoppers and go after some big panfish and creek smallmouth.
Often the new tenkara angler wants one rod that can be pretty versatile – not a specialist rod. And also a rod that isn’t going to break the bank. But that rod needs to do the job well too – and I think the 3RT Confluence strikes that balance quite well (of course I am a bit biased). Also if you’ve been fishing tenkara for a while and simply want to add a zoom rod (or a 12 or 10.5 rod) – you’ll find the Confluence will step up to the job.