The Tenryu Rayz RZ39LL was discontinued last year. It has now sold out and is no longer available.
Much of the following article applies also to the Daiwa Silver Creek Stream Twitcher 38UL. It is the same length (1" shorter, actually) and designed to be used in the same small streams to catch the little wild fish that live there.
Please read this page first, as it helps explain why you really do want a 38" spinning rod! Then read more about the Stream Twitcher 38UL here: https://www.finesse-fishing.com/daiwa-silver-creek-stream-twitcher.html
The RZ39LL is for the headwaters and for streams that are narrow and choked with brush. The design goal for this model was a rod that allowed quick pinpoint casts, often sidearm or underhand as conditions required. The rod was designed to cast small plugs in a wide range of weights, and to have sufficient power in the butt section to handle 12" trout despite having a very short, very slim blank. The LL designation is between light and ultralight.
I have to say that I am very, very impressed with the Tenryu Rayz RZ39LL. This has become my small stream rod! Actually, before seeing the RZ39LL I didn't realize there were rods specifically designed for really small streams.
You'll see a lot of recommendations for a 6' spinning rod for trout fishing. I guess those guys just fish lakes. If you fish (or want to fish) streams that are small enough that no one else fishes them (despite the fact that the fish are numerous and hungry) you know or will soon learn that a 6' rod is just too long to make the kind of casts you need to make on a small stream. For the smallest streams (which get the least pressure) there won't always be room for a 5' rod! You'll often have to cast under overhanging branches. An underhand cast with a short rod may be the only way to get your lure where it needs to go.
There are a few things going for the Tenryu Rayz RZ39LL: 1). The short length makes it easy to cast even in very close quarters. 2). The broken down length is short enough to fit in one of the Medium Rod Cases I offer on the TenkaraBum.com website - making it almost as convenient to carry when backpacking as the four-piece Tenryu Rayz Integral rods. 3). It can cast lures as light as 1 gram, the same as the RZI50UL-4. 4). It can cast as far as you would need to cast on a small stream. On a river you might want greater casting distance, but on a river you would have room for a longer rod. The RZ39LL is a small stream rod, but for a small stream it is just ideal!
A friend I fish with from time to time specializes in following the "thin blue lines" for little wild brook trout. This rod would be ideal for that! It is rated for lures as light as 1 gram. It turns out that with a light line, the rod can cast a bead head woolly bugger, which weighs considerably less than a gram. You cannot cast far, but on a small stream you can cast far enough. That's what took this brookie.
Most small streams have at least a few pools that are deep enough but also small enough that they would be easier to fish with a Cultiva JH-85 jighead and 1.3" pinworm (above) rather than spinner, spoon or even diving plug. Together, the jighead and pinworm weigh exactly a gram, which the RZ39LL will cast as far as needed on a small stream. Plus as I found out (Trip Report 4-22-17), the trout love them!
The RZ39LL also does very well with 1.2 gram micro spoons, which I think trout love even more than the micro jigs! The rod is rated for lures up to 8 grams, so if you would rather fish with the 50mm, 4.5 gram heavy minnow plugs so popular in Japan, the rod will do just fine with them. A 50mm sinking minnow is NOT too big for 6-8" trout, but I do think you will catch more with a micro spoon or a small spinner (like the 2 gram Smith AR-S single hook spinner).
The Tenryu Rayz RZ39LL was designed for small streams, where the average fish might be a 6" brookie or an 8" brown. If you happen to hook a much larger than expected fish, though, the rod can handle it. The Tenryu catalog says the rod is capable of handling 12 inch trout. I can tell you that I have caught much larger fish with the rod (and larger than the trout shown above) with no problem whatsoever. You do need a reel with a good drag, but the rod can handle any fish you'll hook in a stream small enough that you would want to fish a 3'9" rod!
The Tenryu Rayz RZ39LL has been discontinued. It has now sold out and is no longer available. For 2020, the shortest Rayz is 4'10", which is a nice length, but is not as convenient for really tight headwaters streams. If you need a shorter rod, please consider the Daiwa Stream Twitcher 38UL, Shimano Cardiff NS S42UL-3 or Smith Multiyouse TRMK-423UL.
The Tenryu Rayz rods have titanium frame K guides with SiC rings, cork grips and hardwood reel seat insert and accent spacer.
Type Wild (stream)
Breakdown Length 23 1/4"
Rod Weight 1.8 oz
Line Weight 1 - 5 lb
Lure Weight 1-8g (1/32-1/4oz)
Sold out. No longer available.
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The hooks are sharp.
The coffee's hot.
The fish are slippery when wet.