I’ve got a question. What’s your take on zoom tenkara rods? Do you like them? Do you hate them? Are they part of your rod quiver, and if so, how do you prefer to use them?
I find “zoom” or multi-length rods helpful in two scenarios. The first is on small, tightly canopied creeks and streams. Since I use a short line on these waters, I find that a rod with variable lengths can help me adjust my presentation in areas where I can’t change my body position (trees or shrubs being in the way). Lengthening or shortening the rod can be useful in this situation. This is how I use the DRAGONtail Mizuchi on small streams and creeks.
The second scenario is on larger rivers when I desire more leverage to fight a fish. With longer multi-length rods, I find that I prefer casting the rod at a shorter length, but if I hook a large fish, and feel the need for more leverage, I lengthen the rod to aid the fight. I also find it helpful to extend the rod to its maximum length when bringing the large fish into the net. This is how I use the Gamakatsu Suimu 4.5 and 5.0 rods on larger streams and rivers.
Personally, I prefer fixed length tenkara rods in most all of my fishing situations, but in tight creeks I do find a “zoom” rod handy. Likewise, since I don’t have as much skill fighting large trout, a longer rod length and more leverage often helps me overcome my lack of skill.
All of that said, I don’t use multi-length rods as a “one rod tenkara multi-tool”. For example, if I can get away with using a fixed length 390 cm rod on a certain water, then I will. I’d rather not use a 330-360-390 cm multi-length rod in its 390 cm length, just because I have a “zoom” rod. With the exception of a few specific rods, most multi-length rods don’t feel optimally balanced in my hands, particularly when extended to their maximum length. Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t like to battle the rod when casting.
So, that’s my approach to “zoom” rods. 😊 What’s yours?
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