5 tanago rods recommended by Japanese anglers

Swimming gracefully in clear streams, Tanago (bitterling) are small freshwater fish that captivate anglers with their delicate bites and stunning appearance. In recent years, Tanago fishing has gained popularity among people of all ages and genders, gaining recognition as an easily accessible outdoor activity.

However, embarking on Tanago fishing requires the right equipment. In particular, the Tanago rod plays a crucial role in determining fishing success. Therefore, we've compiled a list of the top 5 Tanago fishing rods recommended by Japanese anglers. These rods are easy to handle for beginners and allow you to fully experience the thrill of Tanago fishing.

Tanago Ecology and Japanese Tanago Fishing Culture

Tanago belong to the genus Tanago in the Cyprinidae family and are small freshwater fish. They are widely distributed throughout Japan, inhabiting various water bodies such as rivers, ponds, and lakes. Their bodies are typically 5 to 10 cm long, characterized by a row of black spots along their lateral line.


Tanago fishing is a traditional fishing culture that dates back to the Edo period. During that time, Tanago were often kept as ornamental fish, and there were many enthusiasts. In recent years, the allure of Tanago fishing has been rediscovered, and it has gained popularity as an easy-to-enjoy fishing activity.

Choosing a Tanago Rod

When selecting a Tanago rod, consider the following factors:

Length: Generally, rods within the range of 90 to 120 cm are recommended. Shorter rods offer better maneuverability, while longer rods excel in casting distance.

The unit of length for tanago rods in Japan is called "shaku(尺)" or "sun(寸),'' and is often included in the rod's name.

1 shaku ≒ 30.303cm
1 size ≒ 3.0303cm

Action: This refers to the rod's flexibility. Stiffer rods provide higher sensitivity, while softer rods make it easier to detect bites. For beginners, softer rods are generally recommended.

Material: Various materials are available, including carbon, glass, and bamboo. Each material has its own advantages and disadvantages, so choose one that suits your fishing style.

Number of Sections: Rods with more sections are more portable but have lower sensitivity. For beginners, 2-piece to 3-piece rods are recommended.


Top 5 Recommended Tanago Rods

  1. Kouchou Ni-san-yon (Timco)

Length: 3 shaku 6 sun (approx. 108 cm)
Action: 7:3
Material: Carbon
Number of Sections: 2-piece

¥6,138 (2024/04/18 20:26時点 | 楽天市場調べ)

Reason for Selection: Lightweight and easy to handle, making it an ideal choice for beginners. The 7:3 action provides good bite detection and versatility for various fish species.

  1. HINATA 4syaku (Daiwa)

Length: 4 shaku (approx. 120 cm)
Action: 6:4
Material: Glass
Number of Sections: 3-piece

¥9,279 (2024/04/18 20:28時点 | 楽天市場調べ)

Reason for Selection: The glass material offers a supple and user-friendly experience, allowing you to enjoy a variety of fish species. The 6:4 action provides a responsive bite and reduces the likelihood of losing fish.

  1. Edogawa Tanago Zao 60 (Sakurai Fishing Tackle)

Length: 60 cm
Action: 5:5
Material: grass
Number of Sections: 2-piece

¥11,800 (2024/04/18 20:36時点 | Yahooショッピング調べ)

Reason for Selection: This traditional bamboo rod boasts a beautiful appearance and exceptional sensitivity. The 5:5 action makes it suitable for a wide range of fish species.

  1. Edo-fuji Tanago Zao 3shaku3sun (Sakurai Fishing Tackle)

Length: 3 shaku 3 sun (approx. 100 cm)
Action: 6:4
Material: Carbon
Number of Sections: 2-piece

Reason for Selection: Lightweight and portable, making it perfect for Tanago fishing in streams. The 6:4 action provides a responsive bite and reduces the likelihood of losing fish.

  1. Kofunatan Jin 6 shaku (Uzaki Nisshin)

Length: 6 shaku (approx. 180 cm)
Action: 7:3
Material: Carbon
Number of Sections: 3-piece

¥19,965 (2024/04/18 20:40時点 | Yahooショッピング調べ)

Reason for Selection: Excels in casting distance, making it ideal for fishing in wide areas. The 7:3 action provides good bite detection and versatility for various fish species.

6. Conclusion

Tanago fishing is an enjoyable activity that can be enjoyed by anglers of all skill levels. With the Tanago rods introduced in this article as a reference, find the perfect rod that suits your preferences and fully immerse yourself in the captivating world of Tanago fishing.