Tenryu Rayz Baitcasting Rods

The Tenryu Rayz baitcasting rods are just beautiful rods, and to my eye are even nicer than their spinning rods. If there was ever a rod that just cried out for the Shimano Calucutta Conquest BFS reel, this is the rod that does!

Redesigned for 2020

The Tenryu Rayz baitcasting rods were redesigned for 2020. The new Rayz models are a step closer to the premium Spectra rods. The blanks are both firmer and faster than the original Rayz rods, which has made the rods more accurate. The carbon/glass percentage has been changed, with most of the old Rayz rods being 85% carbon and 15% glass and the new Rayz rods being 92 to 96% carbon, depending on the model.

Photo showing that the 2020 RZ542B-L grip is shorter than the 2019 RZ56L-BC grip.2020 RZ542B-L (top)
2019 RZ56L-BC (bottom)

The new Tenryu Rayz baitcasting rods are shorter than the comparable original Rayz models. The "Light" rod for 2020 is 5'4" compared to 5'6" in the original Rayz. As the photo above illustrates, most of the length reduction is in the grip behind the reel seat. You don't need a two-handed grip to cast a 5'4" rod, so you don't need much length behind the reel seat.

2020 Tenryu Rayz RZ4102B-UL2020 Tenryu Rayz RZ4102B-UL

The Ultralight rod for 2020 is 4'10", five inches shorter than last year's model. I think that will be welcomed by small stream anglers. It has the same shorter grip as the Light rod, but the business end is a few inches shorter also, which will make the rod a bit more convenient for narrow streams and for underhand flip casts.

Tenryu Rayz RZ53UL-BC, Shimano Calcutta Conquest, Rainbow TroutTenryu Rayz RZ53UL-BC
Calcutta Conquest BFS HG
Tenryu Rayz RZ53UL-BC and Shimano Aldebaran BFS XG with smallmouth bass on boat seatTenryu Rayz RZ53UL-BC
Aldebaran BFS XG
Tenryu Rayz RZ3UL-BC and Calcutta Conquest BFS HG and brown trout on net.Tenryu Rayz RZ3UL-BC
Calcutta Conquest BFS HG
Tenryu Rayz RZ53UL-BC, Daiwa Alphas Air Stream Custom, Northern Pike on back deck of a boat.Tenryu Rayz RZ53UL-BC
Alphas Air Stream Custom

The rod specs for the Ultralight and Light rods are unchanged from last year. As the photos above show, last year's Ultralight rods were not limited to tiny trout!

For the  new models, though, Tenryu gives a bit more information, suggesting that the Ultralight rod was optimized for 3 gram spoons and spinners, while the Light rod was optimized for sinking minnow plugs up to 5 grams or spoons up to 8 grams. I had kept an RZ53UL-BC for myself, and can attest that it worked very nicely with 2.5 and 3 gram spoons, but was not at all overburdened with 4.5g sinking minnow plugs.

I think I would key on the 4.5g weight to determine whether to get the UL or L rod. If you fish with lures of 4.5g and under, get the UL. If 4.5g and over, get the L.

For bigger water and bigger fish, there is also a 7'1" Medium Light Medium (between Light and Medium) optimized for 7 cm minnow plugs up to 10 grams, and spoons up to 14 grams.

Tenryu Rayz RZ542B-LTenryu Rayz RZ542B-L

Model
Type
Length
Sections
Breakdown
Length
Rod Weight
Line Weight
Lure Weight
Price

RZ4102B-UL
Wild (stream)
4'10"
2

30"
2.9 oz
Max 4 lb
Max 6 g (about 3/16 oz)
$465
Made in Japan

RZ542B-L
Wild (stream)
5'4"
2

33"
3.1 oz
Max 6 lb
Max 8 g (about 1/4 oz)
$470
Made in Japan


Model
Type
Length
Sections
Breakdown
Length
Rod Weight
Line Weight
Lure Weight
Price

RZ712B-MLM*
Wild (stream)
7’1"
2

43 3/4"
4.3 oz
Max 10 lb
Max 20 g (about 11/16 oz)
$535
Made in Japan


Tenryu Rayz Spectra RZS51LL-BC

Tenryu Rayz Spectra RZS51LL-BCTenryu Rayz Spectra RZS51LL-BC

Tenryu has introduced a baitcaster to its line of super premium Spectra rods. Built on the same blank as the widely acclaimed RZS51LL spinning rod, the Spectra baitcaster provides the same action and precision to BFS fans.

I have not fished the new rod. Tenryu rods have shrink wrap over their reel seats so I can't even make a few casts in the park unless I decide to keep the rod for myself and remove the shrink wrap. I had already decided to keep one of the Rayz RZ4102B-UL rods, and while I'd like to have both I can't really justify it.

Angler holding brown trout alongside Spectra RZS51LLTenryu Spectra and Shimano Calcutta Conquest. What a great combination!

To get a sense of what the Spectra baitcaster would be like, I did put one of my BFS reels on my RZS51LL spinning rod. Wow! What a nice rod. I have since gotten confirmation from a guy who may be as crazy as I am (he did the same with his Spectra spinning rod). He then ordered the Spectra baitcaster and confirmed that it is indeed as good as I thought it would be..."the accuracy is amazing and so smooth."

Tenryu says that the new Spectra RZ51LL-BC is a rod for experts. It is just a little bit stiffer and just a little bit faster than the 2020 Rayz models. The rod's designer told me that with the Rayz models it was a little easier to feel just when to release the lure but the Spectra would deliver more accuracy. For expert anglers fishing mountain stream bait finesse, accuracy is key.

Model
Type
Length
Sections
Breakdown Length
Rod Weight
Line Weight
Lure Weight
Price

RZS51LL-BC
Wild (stream)
5’1"
2
31 1/4"
2.5 oz
1 - 5 lb
1 - 8 g (about 1/32 - 1/4 oz)
$510
Made in Japan

One last point - when you put the two sections together there will be a gap as shown in the photo below. That is normal. Don't force it.

The gap between sections.There is supposed to be a gap. Don't force it.

Shipping

Domestic shipping is $10 via USPS Priority Mail (2-3 day delivery).

Please note: All packages are shipped via USPS. If you have a PO Box, please list ONLY the PO Box in your address, not the PO Box and your street address.

The charge for international shipping depends on the destination country, the weight of the package, the overall length of the package and the value of the package. Packages under 24" long and under $400 in value will go via USPS First Class International. Packages over 24" or over $400 will go via USPS Priority Mail International. The International shipping charge will be calculated at checkout.

Import Duties and Taxes

International purchases may be subject to import duties and taxes. I cannot keep track of all import regulations in all countries written in all languages. Understanding and paying import duties and taxes is the responsibility of the buyer.

Finesse-Fishing.com no longer ships to the UK. The new VAT regulations are too onerous for a one-man shop that rarely ships anything to the UK anyway. I apologize.

*Domestic shipping charge for the RZ712B-MLM and RZ75M-BC is $20.


Warning:

The hooks are sharp.
The coffee's hot.
The fish are slippery when wet.