Japanese Fiberglass Flyrods

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Japanese Fiberglass Flyrods

Some very fine fiberglass rods are now produced in Japan and Asia. Like the US made glass rods, the rod makers chose fiberglass for it's performance. If anything, there are even more choices than in the US. These fiberglass rod lines are available via Japanese tackle stores or Yahoo Japan (the Japanese equivalent of eBay). Currently, none have US importers. But if you got here, then you are an Internet junkie and something as mundane as international purchasing and shipping isn't going to stop you. I'll add websites and additional information as I can.


Tom's Fractured Guide to Japanese Websites

You should absolutely make use of Google Translation or Alta Vista Translation to get a rough idea what you are seeing. But some important website functions don't translate, particularly navigation buttons. And translating each and every Yahoo auction gets tedious. So here are a few things I look for when surfing Japanese sites or Yahoo Japan. Watch for the characters フライ ロッド which represent "fly rod" or フライ リール which indicates "fly reel". With respect to fly rods, look for グラス as this indicates "glass". Don't be put off if the translator program indicates this means "grass", the characters バンブー indicate a bamboo rod (often translated as Van Buu). Also watch for カーボン, indicating carbon fiber or for グラファ which indicates graphite (note the first two symbols are the same as for glass!). ロッドケース indicates a rod case. The characters ピース in conjunction with a number is the number of rod sections. The characters 新品 usually indicate brand new, but sometimes have a meaning similar to "new old stock", whereas ビンテージ will indicate "vintage".

The translation engines are helpful, but sometimes they will cough up some very peculiar phrases. For instance, the characters 仕舞寸法 will often translate into rather strange "Informal-Noh-dance (mask) size", but in reality this refers to the length of the rod packed in it's case. The characters 自重 get translated to "prudence", but often indicate weight, or line weight. Used item descriptions on Yahoo Japan often translate to "from Medival times" meaning an older item. Used items descriptions may include the word "crack", but the meaning here is closer to scrapes or scratches in the finish or other indications of use and handling.

Tiemco Fiberglass Fly Rods

Tiemco has held a licensing agreements with Fenwick and Orvis for years. Recently, Tiemco has produced a couple of different lines of Fenwick rods exclusively for the Japanese market, including a cool looking HMG line. In addition, they produce other fiberglass fly rods with their own model names.

Currently Available Tiemco Rods

Fenwick Yellow Glass Series II

There are 11 models in the product line. The rods have yellow blanks, spigot ferrules, and elegant hardware. The rods range from 3 weight to 7 weight.

  • FF663-2J, "Little Giant", a 6½ foot, 2 piece, 3 weight, Grip C (new rod and grip style for 2008);
  • FF694-2J, "Grateful Rod "(?!), a 6'9", 2 piece, 4 weight, Grip C (new rod and grip style for 2008);
  • FF633-3J, "Glass Midge", a 6'3", 3 piece, 3 weight, Grip A;
  • FF733-3J, "Triple Apple", a 7'3", 3 piece, 3 weight, Grip A;
  • FF694-3J, "De-Liar", a 6'9", 3 piece, 4 weight, Grip A;
  • FF765-3J, "Indian Summer", a 7½ foot, 3 piece, 5 weight, Grip A;
  • FF6117-3J, "Floater Bum", a 6'11", 3 piece, 7 weight, Grip B;
  • FF663-5J, "Shangri-La", a 6'3", 5 piece, 3 weight, Grip A;
  • FF703-5J, "Little Yellow", a 7 foot, 5 piece, 3 weight, Grip A;
  • FF734-5J, "Continental Tourer", a 7'3", 5 piece, 4 weight, Grip A;
  • FF795-5J, "FF79.5", a 7'9", 5 piece, 5 weight, Grip A.

These rods are available through the Blue Dun Fly shop in Toyko.

Yellow-Fenwick-1.jpg

Euflex Glassmaster

Two small stream glass rods.  Not cheap.  The rods have black blanks, spigot ferrules, and cork grips with sliding rings.  There are only two models:

  • NTF 604-3, "Dwarf", a 6 foot, 3 piece, 4 weight
  • NTF 733-3, "Midge Midge", a 7'3", 3 piece, 3 weight

Euflex Bushmaster

A long running series of short glass rods.  Still not cheap.  The rods have black blanks, spigot ferrules, and cork grips with cap and ring cork reelseats.  Currently there are three models:

  • BM 553-4, a 5'5", 4 piece, 3 weight
  • BM 6113-4, a 6'11", 4 piece, 3 weight
  • BM 654-4, a 6'5", 4 piece, 4 weight

Previous models show up on Yahoo Japan:

  • BM663
  • BM634
  • BM694
  • BM593-3
  • BM664-3

Euflex Excursion

Two more small glass rods, although these may have some graphite mixed in.  Still not cheap.  The rods have black blanks, spigot ferrules, and cork grips with sliding rings.  There are only two models:

  • 734-4, a 7'3", 4 piece, 4 weight
  • 795-4, a 7'9", 4 piece, 5 weight

Discontinued Tiemco Models

Fenwick Classic Glass

These rods were produced around 2000.  These are very retro looking Fenwicks with brown blanks, classic Fenwick cork grips, and the bakery twine butt wrap.  But the reelseats are bright hardware, skeleton down locking, with walnut inserts.  Fenwick never marketed 4 weight glass fly rods in the US. It's too bad, because these are smooth and soft rods, but very capable casting machines once you slow down your casting stroke. If Fenwick had included these 4 weights with the Fenglass rods marketed in the US in about 2000, the whole line would have sold much better.   There were three Classic Glass models:

  • FF764-2J, a 7½ foot, 2 piece, 4 weight
  • FF804-2J, an 8 foot, 2 piece, 4 weight
  • FF756-4J, a 7½ foot, 4 piece, 6 weight

Fenwick Yellow Glass (Series I)

These rods occasionally show up on Yahoo Japan.  They are similar to the current Series II rods, but have the classic Fenwick bakery twine butt wrap and classic Feralite ferrules. Some rods have white wraps with black tipping, others dark red with white bands.  One rod in the line that makes glass rod fans drool is the:

  • FF1106-3J, "Doublehand", an 11 foot, 3 piece, 6 weight, designed with a Spey style grip.  Other rods are the
  • FF666-3J, a 6'6", 3 piece, 6 weight with a tiny fighting butt
  • FF694-5J, a 6'9", 5 piece, 4 weight
  • FF733-3J, a 7'3", 3 piece, 3 weight


Yellow-Fenwick-Series-1.jpg

Norie

Makes four lines of glass rods, the Flex Taylor, Sleeve, Amberstar, and the Orifice (no kidding) one model of which is built on a stunning clear white blank (try THAT graphite makers!). The rods range from 5 to 8'6" and 2/3 weight to 7 weight.

Takeda

These rods are made as a sideline by a bamboo shop. The aestethics are elegant. The rods are a 6'6" and 7'3", both for 3 weight. The prices - if you have to ask you don't want to know.

North Country Angler

A line of two piece and three piece "Paraglass" fly rods. The rods are a 6'6", 7'0", and 7'6" all for 3 weight.

Studio Thin Line

For the fiberglass fanatic, these rods are eye candy. The pattern of fiberglass in the rod blank is so strong, it became a design element. The rest of the rod's cosmetics are equally strong. Expensive, but wow...

Quiet Loop

This is a recently discontinued line of glass rods. The rods range from 6'6" to 8 feet and 2/3 weight to 5 weight.

VF662, VF702, VF703, VF763, VF704, VF764, VF804, VF805 - in length and weight (VF 702 = 7'0" 2-wt); these are all two-piece rods with tipover ferrules. The VF805 has a downlocking reel seat, and the other models have sliding bands. 

Here is a link to a photogenic collection: blog.livedoor.jp/.../50959063.html

The manufacturer (Anglers Republic / Old Beech) also made a Spirit Loop line of blended graphite and S-glass rods, and currently makes a line of tournament casting graphite rods.

Axisco

Recognized first for their 6-pc and 10-pc. glass Pack rods in 2- and 3-wt, 6'6" to 7'6". They also make two piece glass in 6'6" to 8'6" and line weights 3 to 5. 

Here is a link to the pack rods at Blue Dun Fly Shop: www.bluedun.net/RodsandReels_pack_rod_english.htm

Here is a link to Axisco 2-pc. rods: jm.st70.arena.ne.jp/.../AIRRITE.GLASS.htm (use Google to translate)

Issac (IZCH)

Glass rods, 5 models in lengths 7'9" to 9'0" in line weights 3 to 6/7, all with parabolic taper. jm.st70.arena.ne.jp/.../IZ6.htm

nice photo here of the finish work www.kiroworld.co.jp/.../glass.html

Others

The vendor Navy Bass also lists the following makers and model names of glass rods: 

  • Kiraku Halcyone
  • CAPS Kids Fly
  • Coatac Crescent

www.navybass.com/.../navybass.FROD.GLASS.htm