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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Lakeville, Conn.
    Posts
    870

    Default Dragontail zx 340 zoom review

    Last week I got an email offering the Dragontail Mizuchi zx340 zoom rod for $100. I bit. It arrived today.

    I took it to the Blackberry River at Beckley Furnace in North Canaan, Conn. This is a medium-sized stream at this point, with a lot of pockets and weirdness from a) limestone formations and b) relics of the iron industry. It's primarily a put and take trib of the Housatonic; occasionally some wild fish show up, and smallmouth, and suckers, and bluegills, and alligators...

    It's a good place to go if you want to test out a new rod. Barring unusually bad luck, something will bite your fly.

    The rod goes from 240 cm (8 ft) to 290 cm (9 1/2 ft) to 340 cm (11 ft). Since I have fished the stream with fly rods ranging from 5 1/2 ft to 10 ft, this is right in the wheelhouse.

    I attached a Bushi 9 foot line, about two feet of 3x nylon, and a panfish popper. To the hook of the popper I attached about three feet of 4x nylon and a size 12 Bread and Butter nymph that's quite heavy.

    This was a bit more line than the rod could handle at 8 feet, so I fished at the 9 1/2 and 11 ft positions.

    At one point I noticed the tip was bending a lot and I thought, this is a very noodly rod. Then I thought this line must be too heavy.

    Then I noticed the ice on the line. Eureka. When I de-iced the rod performed just fine.

    I fiddled around with different rigs but the bottom line was I nymphed up eight or nine rainbows in the 12-16 inch range without any difficulty other than those I created for myself.

    The rod comes with a tube and a sock. The cork grip is long so you can choke up if needed. It also comes with a plug and a universal cap, which is a nice touch.

    It's not a particularly fast rod. It's not especially slow either. I like it.

    Weather permitting, I will test it out on a little blue line in the next few days. But I can tell already it's going to be a good rod for the purpose.

    Here's the link -- not at the sale price, incidentally.

    Mizuchi zx340 Zoom Tenkara Rod | DRAGONtail Tenkara

  2. Thanks bushak thanked for this post
  3. #2

    Default Re: Dragontail zx 340 zoom review

    My wife ordered me this rod for Christmas. It should be here today. This will be my first Tenkara rod.

    Thanks for the post. I think the rod will be perfect for my intentions. Probably beyond.
    Hayden

  4. #3

    Default Re: Dragontail zx 340 zoom review

    I have now fished this rod on 4 different types of water.
    Devil Creek, a tiny spring creek.
    Williams Creek, a small tailwater.
    San Juan below the dam, a world class tailwater.
    Animas River through the town of Durango.

    As a beginner at Tenkara my ability to compare and contrast this rod to others is non existent. On the other hand my 50 years of tossing flies western style gives me the background to know what I like in gear and has facilitated a fairly easy transition to Tenkara techniques.

    My impressions so far:
    Versatility of the zoom feature was something that drew me to this rod as a beginner kit. When shortening the rod sections feel securely locked into the grip. As I mentioned in another thread the rod seems a little stiff at the 8' length but that could be typical of zoom rods or a lack of experience on my part with setup. Time will tell.

    Accuracy is excellent at all lengths. Playing and landing fish up to 20 inches has been easy as the tip is sensitive enough to protect tippets so far down to 6x while maintaining enough muscle through the rod to turn and control larger fish. Handled a brown on the Juan that was maybe 24 inches with no problem. Sloppy technique on my part while bringing the fish to net let him go. Or he threw the barbless fly. Either way the rod performed fine.

    Quality seems high to me. No frills (something I like in a rod) but very clean finish. Handle has a very comfortable shape for my hand with very little filler in the cork.

    For a beginner or someone looking for a zoom rod at a great price I feel the Mizuchi is a solid option. At $179.00 for the kit (rod, level line, tippet, 2 line spools, 3 flies, tube and sock) a great quality value.
    I wanted this rod for a specific reason (devil creek) but it has proven to be much more versatile than I expected. Solved a problem and received added benefits. Sure glad I decided to pursue Tenkara.
    Hayden
    Last edited by Hayden Creek; 01-19-2020 at 06:58 PM.

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  6. #4

    Default Re: Dragontail zx 340 zoom review

    Just returned from a week on the Green with my good friend Chris. We have with a few exceptions made this trip at this time of year for 28 years. As usual we float a few days and wade for one of two. First time with a Tenkara setup.

    Wading with the rod was lots of fun while sneaking up the bank. Fished at full length, 11' 6" tapered leader from Tenkara USA or a lightweight furled leader from Moonlit.
    Usually 3' to 5' of tippet.
    Being fairly compact the rod was easy to carry along. Both days we waded I fished this rod exclusively when the midge were coming off, putting away my Sage 390 SP I usually carry while wading there.
    That happens just about everyday this time of year on the Green. This rod will now always be my choice fishing this scenario.

    Floating I preferred western fishing but did some shallow nymphing and dry as well and found it comfortable but limiting from the boat. Chris felt the same from the boat when I was in the oars. I enjoyed fishing the rod so much while wading he didn't get much time with it but of course caught the biggest fish on it. He'll be buying one this week.

    Hayden
    Last edited by Hayden Creek; 03-07-2020 at 11:12 PM.

  7. #5
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Lakeville, Conn.
    Posts
    870

    Default Re: Dragontail zx 340 zoom review

    Good report.

    I suggest you buy a cheap-o like a 13 foot Maxcatch for experiments, such as two weighted Woolies on six pound fluoro and getting a smallie double.

    I take a certain amount of satisfaction (if not actual glee) in ignoring those strict admonitions about tippet sizes and fixed-line rods. And the only rod I broke doing it was the Maxcatch, which at $45-$65 is infinitely replaceable.

  8. #6
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Lakeville, Conn.
    Posts
    870

    Default Re: Dragontail zx 340 zoom review

    The more I use this rod the better I like it. Supremely versatile, and once you get used to the extra length, very good in small streams (as opposed to the arsenal of shorter Tenkara rods, or fly rods for that matter, I have assembled over the years).

  9. #7

    Default Re: Dragontail zx 340 zoom review

    Earlier in this review I mentioned the rod felt a little stiff in the 8' length but I just sped up the backcast and this feeling went away. FWIW I like a slower action rod so this is no surprise. I fish a lot of bamboo.

    I committed the last week to this rod on the Piedra while practicing social distancing. It's a 20 minute drive from the house. Saw one other person fishing. We kept our distance.

    Definitely one of the best presents my wife has ever given me and a superb rod for someone checking out the Tenkara approach.

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