Here are my 1st impressions of the Kasugo 2706 from Allfishingbuy.com. I bought this rod on Dec 15 for $92.60 and it arrived on Dec 28. It was shipped in a cardboard mailer tube padded with air pillows and came with a hard rod tube and rod sock. @tvdavisid has reviewed a longer Kasugo rod here and his physical descriptions of the fit and finish of that rod syncs with what I received as well. In my opinion, the quality of the rod is pretty good. I also bought a Hirame M3909 at the same time and feel that the Kasugo is the nicer of the 2 rods.
In keeping with the excellent work Tom Davis did with capturing RFI values for all his rods, I jigged this rod up in a B&D Workmate table and did a Common Cents test. Below are the values I measured.
- Length = 258 cm (measured from butt-cap to stiff portion of lilian aka “true tip”)
- Weight = 60 grams (2.12 oz)
- CSS = 13
- RFI = 5.0
I then decided to do a few test casts in my back yard. I’m going to make a disclaimer here and say that I have zero previous Tenkara experience, so don’t crucify me for not being idiomatic enough in my approach. My setup consisted of the following:
- 550 cm (18 ft) of .559mm (.022") diameter mono level line (aka “30 lb Berkley Trilene Mono Leader”)
- 140 cm (4.5 ft) of 4 lb mono tippet
- 1/2" Airlock foam strike indicator as “fly”
I found the Kasugo easy to cast with this setup. I have no idea if my form was good, or not, but I had no problem casting the Airlock anywhere I wanted to put it. For my taste, the rod is a little soft, but this is likely due to both the heavy mono level line, as well as the foam Airlock. This soft feeling also dovetails with the RFI value of 5.0 that I measured. I suspect that with a #4 level line, light tippet and a kebari, the rod might feel perfect.
As I had never cast a Tenkara rod before, I also wanted to compare the stock Kasugo to the Hirame M 3909 and a couple of my standard fly rods. All in all, I tested the following rods with this mono-leader setup:
- Allfishingbuy Kasugo 2706
- Allfishingbuy Hirame M 3909
- Berkeley Spartan 8 ft Fiberglass fly rod
- TFO Pro 2 graphite 9 ft 5 wt
- Modded Kasugo 2706 (ML-3909 tip sections)
I found this exercise to be extremely useful. I have not calculated the RFI values for the fly rods yet, but I intend to do so. Unlike the author of this article, whom I like and admire, I find the ability to correlate what I like to a standard metric invaluable. Below are some “back of envelope” observations.
- Kasugo 2706: HOLY COW IS THIS THING LIGHT! A little limp, but generally pretty sweet.
- Hirame M 3909: Painfully heavy and stiff to fish for any length of time. Will happily sell at a loss, PM me.
- Spartan fiberglass: Heavy, but relatively easy to cast. I could see using this, if I didn’t have a Tenkara.
- TFO Pro 2: Takes more effort, but casts very well. Light enough to use for an extended session.
- Modded Kasugo 2706: Winner for me with this line setup. Has an RFI of 6.8 with the ML-3909 tip sections. For this heavier line and “fly”, works really well.
Overall, I think the Kasugo 2706 is a nice rod and a good value, especially for someone who wants a little shorter Tenkara rod to learn with. Assuming that the quality is essentially the same across the various lengths (which seems likely from similar reviews of 14 ft models), you could get an 11 or 12 foot version for around $100. I’m happy with the purchase and plan to fish the snot out of it in 2023, both in the 5.0 and homebrew 6.8 RFI configurations.