On January 17 and 18 I attended the Yokohama Fishing Show as a guest of Tenryu. My primary goal for the show was to visit with Tenryu Chairman Miyoshi Shiozawa, Fishing Tackle Division Manager Takuya Shiozawa and product development and sales personnel to discuss their new Rayz and Rayz Spectra rods. While at the show, I also wanted to visit a couple other booths to see some newly introduced spinning and baitcasting rods.
Tenryu has completely redesigned the Rayz series of spinning and baitcasting rods for 2020. The new Rayz rods, in features and design philosophy, are closer to the premium Rays Spectra rods.
The original Rayz spinning rods and baitcasters were designed for intermediate anglers, while the Spectra rods were designed for experts. The Rayz rods were softer, making it easier to feel the rod load and easier to feel the right time to release the line when casting. For the Spectra rods, with their faster tips and firmer butts, it was a bit harder for intermediate anglers to feel the optimal time to release the line. For experts, though, the Spectra rods were more accurate.
The new Rayz rods are in between the original Rayz and the Spectra rods. They have faster tips and firmer butts than the original Rayz, providing greater accuracy, but they remain easier to cast than the Spectra rods. 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.
There are a few other notable differences between the old Rayz and the new Rayz. The first guide on the new spinning rods is much higher and is narrower in diameter than on the old rods. Line comes off a spinning reel in coils, and the new guides provide a quicker transition from coils to a straight line - which goes through the remaining guides with much less resistance. That, in turn, increases casting distance.
The new Rayz rods have a rubber ring protecting the butt cap, which is a feature on the Rayz Spectra and Rayz Alter rods. The ring protects the metal cap from scratches, and also keeps the rod from sliding if you prop it up against a wall with the butt cap resting on a hard floor. It may seem like a small thing, but I definitely appreciate the rubber ring on my Spectra and Alter rods.
The lengths of the new Rayz rods are different than the old Rayz. The short 3'9" RZ39LL has been discontinued. The new UL rods are 4'10" rather than 5'3", and the L rods are 5'4" rather than 5'6".
I should have the new Rayz rods in stock within a week or two.
There are a couple big additions to the Rayz Spectra line as well. Tenryu will introduce a 5'1" baitcaster built on the same blank as the RZS51LL spinning rod. Additionally, there will be a 6'1" LL spinning rod, which will be a welcomed by anglers who would like a slightly longer rod than the 5'1" or 5'3" Spectra rods, or a rod for both streams and lakes that has more backbone than the 6'1" Rayz Alter rod designed specifically for fishing lakes.
I should have the new Rayz Spectra rods in late February.
There are some new rods for 2020 from other manufacturers that I saw at the show and plan to stock. I know from bitter experience that just mentioning a new rod or showing a photo of a new rod without even naming it will prompt some readers to track it down and buy it from one of my competitors before I have a chance to get the rod and get it on the website. Thus, I will hold off on any announcements until I have the new rods in stock and ready for immediate shipment.
The hooks are sharp.
The coffee's hot.
The fish are slippery when wet.