I tested a new rod the past couple of weeks, and I like
Anthony Naples, who owns ThreeRivers Tenkara
, sent me a Tenkara Times Try 330 6:4
to wring out.
I have some cool friends!
Those of you who know me well know that I get
pretty set in my ways.
However, over the
past few months I’ve fished more rods than I ever have before and it’s been a
lot of fun as well as enlightening.
Tenkara USA 11' Iwana (top) and Tenkara Times TRY 330 6:4 (bottom). The Iwana comes in a really nice hard rod tube (sadly discontinued), and the TRY 330 comes in a cool stretchy rod sock.
Small streams like this semi-desert creek are where the TRY 330 shines!
The small line holders from Tenkara Bum fit nicely on the handle of the TRY 330.
An unexpected 12" rainbow caught in the canyons on the Tenkara Times TRY 300.
I took this little rod to two vastly different pieces of
While guiding Zen Fly Fishing Gear
owners, Karin Miller and Adam Omernick, on the Cimarron River tailwater in
the northern San Juan Mountains, I got a chance to try it on a comparatively
big section of water.
The Cimarron River
tailwater was running around 120 cfs, and was about 75 feet wide at the
It has countless washtub-size and
smaller pockets and lengthy edges against tall grass.
The 12-16” browns and rainbows there like to
hit dry-dropper rigs, so I wanted to see how a short, very lightweight rod
would handle a 12’ RIGS floating line, 5’ of 5X tippet, and a #12 Yeager’s
Neversink over a #16 purple Psycho Prince.
That’s a lot to ask from a 10’2” mid-flex rod that only weighs 2.2
I wanted to see just how much
the TRY 330 could handle.
I found that
it took some work to get it to cast the 12’ floating line, and that 17-foot
line is a little much for this rod.
was a little difficult to bring fish to net with such a short rod and long line
It’ll work, but I think effective
fishing on this size water is best left to 12’ or longer 6:4 rods, especially
6:4 rods on the stiff side of that rating.
The second place I took the TRY 330 6:4 was a local
semi-desert canyon, with a much smaller flow than the Cimarron River.
This was truly “small water” and from the rod
description on Three River’s website, it was “perfect for small headwater
streams that require precise casting in tight quarters”.
At 45 cfs and no more than 20’ across, this
little creek is a typical canyon country tributary.
A trophy trout in it will go no more than
16”, and most good fish are around 12.
Navigation upstream on this creek requires fishing around and ducking
through streamside narrowleaf cottonwoods and willows…lots of them.
I chose to go trad on this creek, and fished
the TRY 330 with a 3.5 level line from Tenkara USA, about 4’ of tippet, and
switched between an Amano Kebari and a Takayama Kebari, both size 12.
When I started fishing, I was using a 10’
medium presentation line, hand tied by Chris Stewart (and no longer available),
but I found that this rod liked casting the 3.5 level line better, perhaps
because it has stiffer tip sections than most mid-flex rods do.
This is a level line rod, and it performed
flawlessly in that role.
While on this
creek I also tried to cast a #10 Hale Bop Leech (think #10 bead head bugger),
and it was an ugly cast at best.
rod is best suited casting a 2.5-3.5 level line with 3-4 feet of tippet, with
It just so happens
that’s about 90% of what I fish when I’m fishing alone.
The TRY 330 cast this self-tied #12 Takayama Sakasa Kebari perfectly on a 3.5 level line.
I performed a lot of side-by-side comparison to the only
comparable rod I own, a Tenkara USA 11’ Iwana (rated by TUSA at 6:4).
This rod option is no longer available in the
11’ handle from Tenkara USA.
the Iwana A LOT, and the feel of it has become ingrained in my right hand and
I know it well.
Here’s my take on how the two rods compare…
The TRY 330 is a slightly lighter weight, whispier rod.
It’s also just a bit shorter, but not enough
to really become a factor in the negative.
The “feel” of a rod is a highly subjective thing, but I really like the
feel of the TRY 330 over the Iwana.
cast any tenkara rod with a rather quick, snappy cast and I like rods on the
stiffer side of the spectrum.
mid-flex rod with stiff tip sections gives me the best of both worlds…a
responsive and sensitive rod that likes my snappy cast.
Those stiffer tip sections also allowed me to
keep casting the TRY 330 in a moderate up-canyon breeze better than any 5:5
mid-flex rod I’ve used.
I prefer with the TRY 330 over the Iwana is the more deeply contoured, slightly
My hand migrated toward
the butt end of the rod, where it felt balanced and comfortable.
The bottom cap on the TRY 330 has a tool slot
for ease in removal, and although I do carry a couple of tools in my day pack
that could be used on it, it would require taking off my day pack to do
This rod could use an improved
bottom cap that has a knurled edge and no tool slot.
The two rods are similar in price, neither of
which are a burden on the wallet, and both are a bargain.
The Iwana is a prettier rod, and if there’s
one thing I would change on the TRY 330 (if I could) would be improved finish
and an upgrade in cork quality.
course, those things come at a price, and the $129.00-$139.00 price tag would
take a bit of a jump, I’m sure.
In all, the TRY 300 will spend a lot of time with me on the
little creeks I fish, both in semi-desert canyons and high alpine
I’ll send this rod back to
Anthony with an agreement that he sells me one immediately!
You’ve got a great little rod in your
inventory, Anthony, and I’ll bet Three Rivers Tenkara
will sell a bunch of
Tenkara Times TRY 330 6:4
Weight as tested:
$129.00 from Three Rivers Tenkara
Tenkara USA 11’ Iwana 6:4
Weight as tested: