Rhodo Review

IMG_4643In February at the Fly Fishing Show in Lynnwood I picked up the new Rhodo rod from the Tenkara USA booth.  I couldn’t wait to try this rod out but had to wait quite a while before the local rivers opened and then got low enough to fish.   Once I got out with it though the Rhodo quickly became my favorite tenkara rod and the one I have used the most this season so far.

The Rhodo is a Triple Zoom rod that was designed for small waters with tight casting situations. It would excel back in the rhododendron lined Smokey Mountain streams where it got its name from.   I live on a fairly small river in Western Washington, really a creek during the trout season and a real river when the rains and salmon show up in the fall.   The trout are small and there is a lot of brush to contend with so it was the perfect location for me to first fish the Rhodo.  It has since become the only rod I use on this stream and other small streams in the area.

The Rhodo has three lengths – 8’10”, 9’9″ and 10’6″.   On my little river I tend to fish them all on a given outing using a standard 10.5′ traditional line.   In short mode the rod feels like a feather in the hand and can make very accurate casts into tight places.   I like to fish it this way whenever I can and even a palm sized trout will put a bend in the rod.    As you lengthen the rod the action stays perfect, no top heavy feel like the Ito when fully extended.  The sections stick very well when collapsed and expand out with a quick pull.

At 2.1 oz the Rhodo weighs next to nothing.  To put that in perspective, the lightest Sage One I could find is 2.3 oz and the lightest reel I could find is about 3.5 oz.  The Rhodo weighs less than the rod alone, let alone rod, reel and line.   Once you fish the Rhodo everything else will feel heavy, even other tenkara rods.  The other day I was on a larger river and fished the Rhodo at my first spot in 9’9″ mode and got a handful of trout from the little run I was on.  I moved upstream to the big run above and couldn’t get enough reach because the fish were on the far side of a current seam.  I switched to the Ito for length and at 4.1 oz it felt like I was wielding a club in comparison and the Ito still weighs less than a very light traditional fly rod outfit.

IMG_4644Along with being Triple Zoom, the Rhodo has the new Keep your Plug™ system in the handle where the butt plug contains an extra tip plug so you’ll never be without.  Both tip plugs have attached lillian material so that if you need to make an on-stream repair you have material available.  Luckily I haven’t had to do an on stream repair yet but Daniel did recently in the North Cascades and it worked well. The Rhodo also has a smaller handle, only 9″ compared the the typical 11″ handle.  It fits the hand very well and feels natural with the light and short rod.

The Rhodo has definitely become my goto rod now on most days, even in places where I could get by with a longer rod just because I like it so much.  I always carry it with me if I’m carrying two or more rods so I can pull it out for small runs and tight situations.  I’m looking forward to getting a Sato when they are back in stock and I think between the two of them you would have most tenkara situations covered well.