Wasatch Tenkara Rods (WTR) has built a reputation on building nearly indestructible rods which almost universally have stiff actions and are heavy. But over the last couple years, they have introduced a couple rods that go against this modus operandi. One of these rods is the uniquely designed Darth Quattro.
The Darth Quattro 5:5 (DQ5:5) comes in two different action, 6:4 and 5:5. Of the DQ, WTR says: “The Darth Quattro is the first quadruple-zoom tenkara rod in the world! A rod like this allows you to cast precisely how, when, and where you want. If you are just getting into to fishing the thin blue lines, or have been doing it for years! If you love blue lining, this rod is for you. It is THE lightest zoomable rod on the market, casts like a dream and NEEDS to be in your quiver.” This review will be of the DQ5:5.
The DQ5:5 comes with a rod tube and sock. The rod’s overall coloration is dark charcoal with a matte, non-reflective finish. Most of the sections have silver accent rings. The tip section, however, is silver in coloration with a semi-gloss finish. I’m not sure of the reasoning for the color change other than for aesthetics. The rod designation and branding are well done, if not quite wordy for a tenkara rod.
The DQ5:5 has an unusual appearance, with its three zoom sections stacked inside of the handle section. There’s not much more to say, it’s a strange looking little rod.
The handle is short, but it fits the size of the rod. It has a subtle reverse half-wells shape and is made of good quality cork.
The tip plug is wood and is very small in diameter, due to the taper of the rod. It looks it it could be easily lost, due to its size. The butt cap is silver anodized metal. It is knurled to aid removal, but there is no coin slot or decompression hole. The zoom segment retention post is long, with each extendable segment being retained by two small rubber O-rings.
The lilian is dark brown and is attached to the tip section via a micro-swivel. The tip section can be removed through the second section (Japanese numbering convention has the tip section as #1), allowing the entire rod to be disassembled for cleaning and drying. This is an important feature.
|Extended Lengths||172 cm (5 ft. 7.7 in.)|
203.5 cm (6 ft. 8 in.)
233 cm (7 ft. 7.7 in.)
260.5 cm (8 ft. 6.6 in. )
|Nested (w/tip plug)||45 cm (17.7 in.)|
|Cork Grip Length||16 cm (6.3 in.)|
|Weight (w/o tip plug)||53.8 g (1.9 oz.)|
|RFI||6.4/ 6:4 Moderately Fast, Upper Mid Flex|
5.7/ 6:4 Moderately Fast, Upper Mid Flex
5.2/ 6:4 Moderately Fast, Upper Mid Flex
5.2/ 6:4 Moderately Fast, Upper Mid Flex
Casting the Darth Quattro 5:5 in all of its lengths can be challenging. Of note, bow and arrow or pendulum casting is not what I’m referring to when I say “casting”. I’m talking about a standard overhead 10 to 12 o’clock casting stroke. I found the shorter two lengths difficult to cast, but only due to their short lengths. Casting was much better in the longer two lengths, in fact, they were actually nice! But given that the DQ5:5 is designed for very tightly canopied creeks, a standard overhead cast is likely not what is usually required of this rod.
The rod actions in all lengths are pretty nice. I prefer the casting action of a rod to be in the moderately fast, upper mid flex RFI range, so the DQ5:5 felt good in my hands. I used a #3 fluorocarbon level line. I did not test the rod with a heavier line, such as furled or PVC.
The rod is very lightweight, and thus it is very easily maneuvered around the riparian vegetation that can easily steal your fly. The short handle was not a problem, given that the rod is so lightweight. Since the handle is so short, there is really only one hand position, although I guess you could choke up if you had to.
I fished the rod on a tight Rocky Mountain freestone creek that contains cutthroat and rainbow trout. I fished using a seven foot #3 fluorocarbon level line and I added about eighteen inches of tippet to this. I fished mainly in the 260 cm length and although the creek has a tight canopy, I only had to collapse to the 233 cm length once or twice. I never had to use the shorter two lengths. This was good, as I’m not sure those lengths are of any real value, unless you are micro-fishing (tanago).
I caught trout in the 5-14 inch range. Although the RFI for the DQ5:5 is in the range that I usually prefer, on the larger fish I found hook sets to be slower and fish control to be sloppier than I would have liked. For the small fish, these were not a problem. But that said, I also know that not everyone has 14 inch trout in their small creeks. So, the action of this rod might be very attractive to someone who routinely catches small fish and for those that prefer a moderately flexible rod.
Here’s a vlog of fishing the Wasatch Tenkara Rods Darth Quattro 5:5:
Overall, I found the Darth Quattro 5:5 tenkara rod to be fun to fish with. It’s a unique little lightweight rod that makes small trout feel like a worthy quarry. I particularly enjoyed the longest length, but I felt that for at least my fishing, the two shortest lengths were somewhat gimmicky and not very useful. I like its light weight and its relaxed flex action. I could see this little rod being of interest for those that routinely target small trout in tightly vegetated creeks. I could also see the Darth Quattro 5:5 to be a very fun micro-fishing rod or a rod for children.
Disclaimer: My opinion regarding this rod is just that, my opinion. Your opinion may differ. Also, your rod may not have the same length, issues, or functionality as my rod. There are variations between rods, even in the same production run. No description can fully tell you how a rod feels or fishes. For this, you must personally hold, cast, and fish the rod then make up your own mind. I was sent the rod from Wasatch Tenkara Rods. I have no formal affiliation with Wasatch Tenkara Rods and there was no expectation of a positive review.
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