Rods

A Sortable & Searchable Teton Tenkara Rod Flex Index (RFI) Chart

From its introduction to the West, Tenkara has thrived in a mostly online eco-system. As such, unless you’re one of the lucky few who live near a fly shop or outdoor retailer that carries tenkara rods, you probably never got to try out a particular rod model prior to purchase.

One of the more valuable (and underrated) tools when it comes to evaluating the “feel” of a tenkara rod (without handling it) is the Rod Flex Index Chart compiled by Dr. Tom Davis of the Teton Tenkara blog.

Tom has handled, tested, and fished probably (or very close to) the most rods of anybody I’m familiar with. In doing such he compiled quite the chart, calculating the rod flex index (RFI) of each. According to Tom, the rod flex index is a simple rating that gives a person an estimate of how a rod’s character and flex might feel in comparison to other rods of any given length.

It’s also an offshoot of the common cents system “penny rating” he took from Chris Stewart and ran with (who also happened to borrow it from somebody else), so hopefully I’m spreading all the credit around where it’s due. For a heck of a lot more info on what goes into all this, Tom wrote the following “Treatise on Static Rod Testing” for those that really want to geek out.

Anyway…

Generally speaking, the smaller the rod flex index, the slower and more “full flex” the rod. Conversely, the higher the rod flex index, the faster and more “tip flex” the rod. This rating is becoming more and more helpful as companies are moving away from the often inaccurate 5:5, 6:4, 7:3, designations many have grown accustomed to.

As Tom has evaluated more and more rods over the years, the chart has become a bit more difficult to read, especially if you’re trying to locate one specific rod from the over 150 categorized. As such I’ve created a simple online table that can be used to sort and search the attributes of the cataloged rods.


Teton Tenkara's Rod Flex Index Chart

BrandModelRod TypeMFG RatingZoom RodLength (cm)CCSRFICategory
AllfishingbuyHirame ML 3909Tenkara7:3No390235.7Moderate / Mid Flex (6:4), RFI 4.5 - 6.5
AllfishingbuyKasugo 4206TenkaraNo420337.9Fast / Tip Flex (7:3), RFI 6.6 - 8.3
AllfishingbuyShibasu 3010TenkaraNo297237.6Fast / Tip Flex (7:3), RFI 6.6 - 8.3
AllfishingbuyWakata 270Tenkara6:4No270155.6Moderate / Mid Flex (6:4), RFI 4.5 - 6.5
Anglo & Co.Wasabi 36TenkaraNo360164.5Moderate / Mid Flex (6:4), RFI 4.5 - 6.5
Badger/TAOU.N.C.TenkaraNo270196.9Fast / Tip Flex (7:3), RFI 6.6 - 8.3
DaiwaEnshou LL36S-FTenkara5:5No360154.2Slow / Full Flex (5:5), RFI 3.5 - 4.4
DaiwaEnshou LL41S-FTenkara5:5No41016.54Slow / Full Flex (5:5), RFI 3.5 - 4.4
DaiwaEnshou LT36 S-FTenkaraNo360287.8Fast / Tip Flex (7:3), RFI 6.6 - 8.3
DaiwaEnshou LT39 S-FTenkaraNo39029.57.6Fast / Tip Flex (7:3), RFI 6.6 - 8.3
DaiwaEnshou LT44 S-FTenkaraNo450337.5Fast / Tip Flex (7:3), RFI 6.6 - 8.3
DaiwaExpert L LL36Tenkara6:4No36015.54Slow / Full Flex (5:5), RFI 3.5 - 4.4
DaiwaKeiryu-X 33KeiryuNo3304614Very Fast / Minimal Flex (8:2), RFI 8.4 - 13+
DaiwaKiyose 43 M-FKeiryuYes380287.4Fast / Tip Flex (7:3), RFI 6.6 - 8.3
DaiwaKiyose 43 M-FKeiryuYes430337.7Fast / Tip Flex (7:3), RFI 6.6 - 8.3
DaiwaMaster L LL36TenkaraNo360154.2Slow / Full Flex (5:5), RFI 3.5 - 4.4
DaiwaSagiri 39MCSeiryuYes340133.8Slow / Full Flex (5:5), RFI 3.5 - 4.4
DaiwaSagiri 39MCSeiryuYes390153.8Slow / Full Flex (5:5), RFI 3.5 - 4.4
DaiwaSagiri 45MCSeiryuYes400143.5Slow / Full Flex (5:5), RFI 3.5 - 4.4
DaiwaSagiri 45MCSeiryuYes450143.1Very Slow / Deep Flex (4:6), RFI < 3.5
DaiwaSekkei 320KeiryuNo3204313.4Very Fast / Minimal Flex (8:2), RFI 8.4 - 13+
DaiwaSekkei 360KeiryuNo3603610Very Fast / Minimal Flex (8:2), RFI 8.4 - 13+
DaiwaSoyokaze 24SRSeiryuNo240135.4Moderate / Mid Flex (6:4), RFI 4.5 - 6.5
DaiwaSoyokaze 27SRSeiryuNo27017.56.5Moderate / Mid Flex (6:4), RFI 4.5 - 6.5
DaiwaSoyokaze 31SRSeiryuNo310216.8Fast / Tip Flex (7:3), RFI 6.6 - 8.3
DaiwaTenkara RT 360TenkaraNo360308.3Fast / Tip Flex (7:3), RFI 6.6 - 8.3
Discover TenkaraKarasu 360TenkaraNo360185Moderate / Mid Flex (6:4), RFI 4.5 - 6.5
Discover TenkaraKarasu 400TenkaraNo40019.54.9Moderate / Mid Flex (6:4), RFI 4.5 - 6.5
DragontailHydra ZX390Tenkara6:4Yes360185Moderate / Mid Flex (6:4), RFI 4.5 - 6.5
DragontailHydra ZX390Tenkara6:4Yes390205Moderate / Mid Flex (6:4), RFI 4.5 - 6.5
DragontailKomodoTenkaraYes275238.3Fast / Tip Flex (7:3), RFI 6.6 - 8.3
DragontailKomodoTenkaraYes320257.8Fast / Tip Flex (7:3), RFI 6.6 - 8.3
DragontailMizuchi ZX340TenkaraYes240166.6Fast / Tip Flex (7:3), RFI 6.6 - 8.3
DragontailMizuchi ZX340TenkaraYes297175.8Moderate / Mid Flex (6:4), RFI 4.5 - 6.5
DragontailMizuchi ZX340TenkaraYes340185.3Moderate / Mid Flex (6:4), RFI 4.5 - 6.5
DragontailMutant ZX380TenkaraYes315123.8Slow / Full Flex (5:5), RFI 3.5 - 4.4
DragontailMutant ZX380TenkaraYes35012.53.6Slow / Full Flex (5:5), RFI 3.5 - 4.4
DragontailMutant ZX380TenkaraYes380133.4Very Slow / Deep Flex (4:6), RFI < 3.5
DragontailNirvana 370zTenkara6:4Yes330206Moderate / Mid Flex (6:4), RFI 4.5 - 6.5
DragontailNirvana 370zTenkara6:4Yes380205.7Moderate / Mid Flex (6:4), RFI 4.5 - 6.5
DragontailNirvana 400TenkaraNo40019.54.9Moderate / Mid Flex (6:4), RFI 4.5 - 6.5
DragontailShadowfire 365Tenkara6:4No360205.4Moderate / Mid Flex (6:4), RFI 4.5 - 6.5
DragontailTatsu 360TenkaraNo360287.9Fast / Tip Flex (7:3), RFI 6.6 - 8.3
GamakatsuMultiflex Tenkara SuimuTenkaraYes300217Fast / Tip Flex (7:3), RFI 6.6 - 8.3
GamakatsuMultiflex Tenkara SuimuTenkaraYes350267.4Fast / Tip Flex (7:3), RFI 6.6 - 8.3
GamakatsuMultiflex Tenkara SuimuTenkaraYes400287Fast / Tip Flex (7:3), RFI 6.6 - 8.3
GamakatsuRyokei 360SeiryuNo360195.3Moderate / Mid Flex (6:4), RFI 4.5 - 6.5
GamakatsuRyokei 390SeiryuNo390153.8Slow / Full Flex (5:5), RFI 3.5 - 4.4
NissinAir Stage Fujiryu 5:5Tenkara5:5No38012.53.4Very Slow / Deep Flex (4:6), RFI < 3.5
NissinAir Stage Honryu 380TenkaraNo380153.9Slow / Full Flex (5:5), RFI 3.5 - 4.4
NissinPocket Mini 360KeiryuNo360174.7Moderate / Mid Flex (6:4), RFI 4.5 - 6.5
NissinPro Spec 2-Way 320 7:3Tenkara7:3Yes27015.55.6Moderate / Mid Flex (6:4), RFI 4.5 - 6.5
NissinPro Spec 2-Way 320 7:3Tenkara7:3Yes32014.54.6Moderate / Mid Flex (6:4), RFI 4.5 - 6.5
NissinPro Spec 2-Way 360 6:4Tenkara6:4Yes300113.5Slow / Full Flex (5:5), RFI 3.5 - 4.4
NissinPro Spec 2-Way 360 6:4Tenkara6:4Yes36011.53.1Very Slow / Deep Flex (4:6), RFI < 3.5
NissinPro Spec 2-Way 360 7:3Tenkara7:3Yes300154.8Moderate / Mid Flex (6:4), RFI 4.5 - 6.5
NissinPro Spec 2-Way 360 7:3Tenkara7:3Yes36014.54Slow / Full Flex (5:5), RFI 3.5 - 4.4
NissinRoyal Stage 400TenkaraNo410204.9Moderate / Mid Flex (6:4), RFI 4.5 - 6.5
NissinTenkara Mini 32TenkaraNo330154.5Moderate / Mid Flex (6:4), RFI 4.5 - 6.5
NissinTenkara RamonTenkara7:3No360246.7Fast / Tip Flex (7:3), RFI 6.6 - 8.3
NissinYuyuzan ZX290 2-WayKeiryuYes240197.5Fast / Tip Flex (7:3), RFI 6.6 - 8.3
NissinYuyuzan ZX290 2-WayKeiryuYes297227.4Fast / Tip Flex (7:3), RFI 6.6 - 8.3
NissinZerosum 360Tenkara7:3No360185Moderate / Mid Flex (6:4), RFI 4.5 - 6.5
NissinZerosum 400Tenkara7:3No410184.5Moderate / Mid Flex (6:4), RFI 4.5 - 6.5
NissinZerosum 450Tenkara6:4No45015.53.4Very Slow / Deep Flex (4:6), RFI < 3.5
NissinZerosum Oni Honryu 395TenkaraNo40015.53.9Slow / Full Flex (5:5), RFI 3.5 - 4.4
NissinZerosum Oni Honryu 450TenkaraNo450204.4Slow / Full Flex (5:5), RFI 3.5 - 4.4
OniItoshiroTenkaraNo34010.53Very Slow / Deep Flex (4:6), RFI < 3.5
OniType ITenkaraNo39615.53.9Slow / Full Flex (5:5), RFI 3.5 - 4.4
OniType IITenkaraNo396133.3Very Slow / Deep Flex (4:6), RFI < 3.5
OniType IIITenkaraNo340123.5Slow / Full Flex (5:5), RFI 3.5 - 4.4
SakuraSeki Rei 3.3TenkaraNo330195.7Moderate / Mid Flex (6:4), RFI 4.5 - 6.5
SakuraSeki Rei 3.6TenkaraNo360236.4Moderate / Mid Flex (6:4), RFI 4.5 - 6.5
Shimano34-38 ZLTenkaraYes340195.5Moderate / Mid Flex (6:4), RFI 4.5 - 6.5
Shimano34-38 ZLTenkaraYes380143.7Slow / Full Flex (5:5), RFI 3.5 - 4.4
ShimanoHonryu 44 NPTenkaraNo45016.53.9Slow / Full Flex (5:5), RFI 3.5 - 4.4
ShimanoKeiho Tenkara 36 NRTenkara8:2No36019.55.4Moderate / Mid Flex (6:4), RFI 4.5 - 6.5
ShimanoKozuka 33 NTKeiryuNo330288.5Very Fast / Minimal Flex (8:2), RFI 8.4 - 13+
ShimanoKozuka 39 NTKeiryuNo390338.4Very Fast / Minimal Flex (8:2), RFI 8.4 - 13+
ShimanoLLS36NBTenkaraNo360226.1Moderate / Mid Flex (6:4), RFI 4.5 - 6.5
ShimanoLLS36NXTenkaraNo360215.8Moderate / Mid Flex (6:4), RFI 4.5 - 6.5
ShimanoMainstream ZETenkaraYes400225.5Moderate / Mid Flex (6:4), RFI 4.5 - 6.5
ShimanoMainstream ZETenkaraYes450225.5Moderate / Mid Flex (6:4), RFI 4.5 - 6.5
ShimanoMaystone 36 NWTenkaraNo360143.9Slow / Full Flex (5:5), RFI 3.5 - 4.4
ShimanoPack TenkaraTenkaraYes300165.3Moderate / Mid Flex (6:4), RFI 4.5 - 6.5
ShimanoPack TenkaraTenkaraYes340164.8Moderate / Mid Flex (6:4), RFI 4.5 - 6.5
ShimotsukeBrother 3.6TenkaraNo360256.9Fast / Tip Flex (7:3), RFI 6.6 - 8.3
ShimotsukeKiyotaki 24KeiryuNo240156.3Moderate / Mid Flex (6:4), RFI 4.5 - 6.5
ShimotsukeKiyotaki 27KeiryuNo270197Fast / Tip Flex (7:3), RFI 6.6 - 8.3
ShimotsukeKiyotaki 33KeiryuNo330267.8Fast / Tip Flex (7:3), RFI 6.6 - 8.3
ShimotsukeKiyotaki 39KeiryuNo390389.8Very Fast / Minimal Flex (8:2), RFI 8.4 - 13+
ShimotsukeKyodai 3.6TenkaraNo360256.9Fast / Tip Flex (7:3), RFI 6.6 - 8.3
ShimotsukeTenTenkaraNo390205.2Moderate / Mid Flex (6:4), RFI 4.5 - 6.5
ShimotsukeTenkara Gen 240TenkaraNo24013.55.5Moderate / Mid Flex (6:4), RFI 4.5 - 6.5
SuntechField Master 320KeiryuNo320247.5Fast / Tip Flex (7:3), RFI 6.6 - 8.3
SuntechField Master 360KeiryuNo360267.2Fast / Tip Flex (7:3), RFI 6.6 - 8.3
SuntechField Master 390KeiryuNo390287.2Fast / Tip Flex (7:3), RFI 6.6 - 8.3
SuntechGM Suikei 27KeiryuNo27013.54.9Moderate / Mid Flex (6:4), RFI 4.5 - 6.5
SuntechGM Suikei 39KeiryuYes32018.55.8Moderate / Mid Flex (6:4), RFI 4.5 - 6.5
SuntechGM Suikei 39KeiryuYes360215.8Moderate / Mid Flex (6:4), RFI 4.5 - 6.5
SuntechGM Suikei 39KeiryuYes39021.55.5Moderate / Mid Flex (6:4), RFI 4.5 - 6.5
SuntechGM-R Special 36NTSeiryuNo350236.6Fast / Tip Flex (7:3), RFI 6.6 - 8.3
SuntechGM-R Special 36NTSeiryuNo360185Moderate / Mid Flex (6:4), RFI 4.5 - 6.5
SuntechKurenai HM33SeiryuNo33012.53.7Slow / Full Flex (5:5), RFI 3.5 - 4.4
SuntechTenkaraBum 33TenkaraYes330236.9Fast / Tip Flex (7:3), RFI 6.6 - 8.3
SuntechTenkaraBum 36TenkaraNo36018.55.1Moderate / Mid Flex (6:4), RFI 4.5 - 6.5
SuntechTenkaraBum 40TenkaraNo400194.75Moderate / Mid Flex (6:4), RFI 4.5 - 6.5
Tanuki 275TenkaraNo270155.6Moderate / Mid Flex (6:4), RFI 4.5 - 6.5
Tanuki375TenkaraNo380164.3Slow / Full Flex (5:5), RFI 3.5 - 4.4
TanukiGolden TroutTenkaraYes2009.54.75Moderate / Mid Flex (6:4), RFI 4.5 - 6.5
TanukiGolden TroutTenkaraYes240125Moderate / Mid Flex (6:4), RFI 4.5 - 6.5
TanukiXL-1TenkaraNo400163.9Slow / Full Flex (5:5), RFI 3.5 - 4.4
Tenkara Rod Co.CascadeTenkaraNo240239.6Very Fast / Minimal Flex (8:2), RFI 8.4 - 13+
Tenkara Rod Co.OwyheeTenkaraNo390205.2Moderate / Mid Flex (6:4), RFI 4.5 - 6.5
Tenkara Rod Co.SawtoothTenkaraNo360226.3Moderate / Mid Flex (6:4), RFI 4.5 - 6.5
Tenkara Times1st Step 360TenkaraNo360174.7Moderate / Mid Flex (6:4), RFI 4.5 - 6.5
Tenkara TimesNext 360TenkaraNo360143.8Slow / Full Flex (5:5), RFI 3.5 - 4.4
Tenkara TimesTry 330TenkaraNo330144.5Moderate / Mid Flex (6:4), RFI 4.5 - 6.5
Tenkara TimesTry 360Tenkara6:4No360133.6Slow / Full Flex (5:5), RFI 3.5 - 4.4
Tenkara TimesTry 390Tenkara7:3No390194.8Moderate / Mid Flex (6:4), RFI 4.5 - 6.5
Tenkara TimesWatershed 330Tenkara6:4Yes27011.54.3Slow / Full Flex (5:5), RFI 3.5 - 4.4
Tenkara TimesWatershed 330Tenkara6:4Yes30012.54Slow / Full Flex (5:5), RFI 3.5 - 4.4
Tenkara TimesWatershed 360Tenkara6:4No360143.8Slow / Full Flex (5:5), RFI 3.5 - 4.4
Tenkara USAAmagoTenkaraNo410317.6Fast / Tip Flex (7:3), RFI 6.6 - 8.3
Tenkara USAAyu ITenkaraNo39013.53.5Slow / Full Flex (5:5), RFI 3.5 - 4.4
Tenkara USAAyu IITenkaraNo390297.4Fast / Tip Flex (7:3), RFI 6.6 - 8.3
Tenkara USAEbisu (Original)TenkaraNo360133.6Slow / Full Flex (5:5), RFI 3.5 - 4.4
Tenkara USAHaneTenkaraNo330267.9Fast / Tip Flex (7:3), RFI 6.6 - 8.3
Tenkara USAItoTenkaraYes390153.8Slow / Full Flex (5:5), RFI 3.5 - 4.4
Tenkara USAItoTenkaraYes450153.3Very Slow / Deep Flex (4:6), RFI < 3.5
Tenkara USAIwana 9'TenkaraNo285186.3Moderate / Mid Flex (6:4), RFI 4.5 - 6.5
Tenkara USAIwana 11'TenkaraNo330216.3Moderate / Mid Flex (6:4), RFI 4.5 - 6.5
Tenkara USAIwana 12'TenkaraNo360236.4Moderate / Mid Flex (6:4), RFI 4.5 - 6.5
Tenkara USARhodoTenkaraYes270155.6Moderate / Mid Flex (6:4), RFI 4.5 - 6.5
Tenkara USARhodoTenkaraYes29715.55.2Moderate / Mid Flex (6:4), RFI 4.5 - 6.5
Tenkara USARhodoTenkaraYes320154.3Slow / Full Flex (5:5), RFI 3.5 - 4.4
Tenkara USASatoTenkaraYes330195.7Moderate / Mid Flex (6:4), RFI 4.5 - 6.5
Tenkara USASatoTenkaraYes360205.5Moderate / Mid Flex (6:4), RFI 4.5 - 6.5
Tenkara USASatoTenkaraYes390215.4Moderate / Mid Flex (6:4), RFI 4.5 - 6.5
Tenkara-Fishing350TenkaraNo350247Fast / Tip Flex (7:3), RFI 6.6 - 8.3
TenkaraworldRiver MasterTenkaraNo360256.4Moderate / Mid Flex (6:4), RFI 4.5 - 6.5
TenryuFuraibo TF39TATenkaraYes330185.4Moderate / Mid Flex (6:4), RFI 4.5 - 6.5
TenryuFuraibo TF39TATenkaraYes360205.6Moderate / Mid Flex (6:4), RFI 4.5 - 6.5
TenryuFuraibo TF39TATenkaraYes380205.3Moderate / Mid Flex (6:4), RFI 4.5 - 6.5
TFOSoft Hackle 105TenkaraNo320319.7Very Fast / Minimal Flex (8:2), RFI 8.4 - 13+
TFOSoft Hackle 116TenkaraNo360318.8Very Fast / Minimal Flex (8:2), RFI 8.4 - 13+
Three RiversConfluenceTenkaraYes320185.6Moderate / Mid Flex (6:4), RFI 4.5 - 6.5
Three RiversConfluenceTenkaraYes360205.4Moderate / Mid Flex (6:4), RFI 4.5 - 6.5
Zen TenkaraSuzumeTenkaraYes247135.3Moderate / Mid Flex (6:4), RFI 4.5 - 6.5
Zen TenkaraSuzumeTenkaraYes288165.6Moderate / Mid Flex (6:4), RFI 4.5 - 6.5
Zen TenkaraSuzumeTenkaraYes330185.5Moderate / Mid Flex (6:4), RFI 4.5 - 6.5
All data compiled by Dr. Tom Davis
http://tetontenkara.blogspot.com/p/rod-flex-index-chart.html

I’m not 100% done updating the chart, (I’d still like to add all of the Manufacturer’s ratings as well as links to either Tom’s review and/or the manufacturer’s website), but it’s a start. And with Tom taking a bit of a hiatus from tenkara rod testing, I probably have a little more time to make these updates.

In the meantime, I hope you find this helpful, and if you have any comments on how to make this table better, feel free to reply in the comment section of this post.

Note: The translation of this chart to a sortable table was an unsolicited and quirky little side project I brainstormed at an odd hour of the night, much like the idea of this magazine itself. It is presented in goodwill to the tenkara community without any commercial interest to Tenkara Angler. All data contained in the chart should be attributed and credited with great appreciation to the extensive work and research of Tom Davis & Teton Tenkara. 

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