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High-quality fishing tackle directly from Japan to worldwide. All prices are in US$.

NOV 18 to JAN 8

How to read Japanese catalogs?

I know you'll be stunned by the letters and characters printed on the Japanese catalogs. They are not in English, but in JAPANESE. And you'll surely need some help to read the photograph loaded catalogs. Let me navigate through the Japanese catalogs.

Reels

You will be most pleased to see many fishing reels listed on the catalogs. Spinning reels, casting reels, trolling reels and etc. You may mostly identify them what they are without explanations. There are specialized reels, not much common outside of Japan. They are for example, lever brake spinning reels, long spool surf spinning reels without spool drag, motor powered multiplier reels, non-casting multiplier reels, Chinu drifting reels. These are specialized in Japanese traditional fishing styles, and they are not recommended for the rest of market unless you understand the functions very well. Details are following.

Lever brake spinning reels: They mostly don't have spool drag system, and you let lines go by allowing rotor re-rotate. Therefore they don't have rotor stoppers or infinite stoppers. You may apply brake by the lever to the re-rotating rotor. These reels are often used for ISO (off-rock) saltwater fishing to have more control in fighting and to use smaller lines. In the ISO fishing, we use around 5.3m 17ft very flexible rods.

 

Long spool surf spinning reels without spool drag: These are designed to cast long from shore. Most of these are designed for KISU or KISS fishing. Kiss grows up to 12 inches on sandy shore, and people are crazy to fish them to cast 150-200yds. One reason is that the Tempura of Kiss tastes the best, and another is that casting far itself is fun. Because target fish are not much large, some reels doesn't have spool drag and spool is rigid to spool shaft. Also, to cast such long distance with 100g sinkers, lines should not move on your finger or line will cut your finger and drag should not move. These reels have very shallow spools, to spool very thin PE braided main lines, 12-15lb test braid. Surf casting competition is another direction for these reels. After reaching more than 270yard of casting distance records in 1980's, now most competitions are under a strict rules of specific sinker weight, like 5/8oz. Rods matched up with are 4-4.5m or 13-15ft surf casting rods.

 

 Aed Non-casting multiplier reels: These are designed to fish from boat vertically, without casting. They look the same as bait casting reels, BUT they don't have spool brake system. Therefore, you will have all day long backlash if you cast rigs with them. Many of them share the same body as casting reels, and painted in different. Be careful, some tackle shops sell these non-casting reels without writing about the brake on its description. You may not add brake system easily afterwards. These reels are often used to fish for leather jacket fish, puffer fish, rock fish and etc with live baits. Shimano Stephano, Daiwa Aird are sample of these.

 

Motor powered multiplier reels: These are for deep fishing. How deep? Up to 500m or 1,700ft. Crazy? Oh, yeah Japanese anglers are also crazy as well as anglers in other area. If you understand that the average depth of ocean is about 3,000m or 10,000ft, what we are exploring with fishing tackle is just skin deep. Big fish are below the range you can search. hahaha   Most motor powered reels are used by rich, elder anglers for fishing good tasting fish at 100-300m depth (330-1000ft). Once you fish 100m depth with heavy 20oz sinker whole day, you'll appreciate the invention. These motor powered reels also have handles and you may reel in by hands, when fish strikes. 12V battery needed. Small ones are in the size of Calcutta 400. The largest motor reel is in the size of largest trolling reel, and it cranks at 80kgf or 178lb force of Daiwa Marine Power 3000 super deep reel. Got be careful or you'll be pulled into water!

 

Chinu drifting reels: Chinu is breams or snappers. They are very nervous, and catching the fish requires a lot of skills. Drifting baits like shellfish and crabs without sinker is one of the popular tactics. The drifting reels are used for the tactics to hold excess lines. In the fishing, we do not cast. Therefore, Chinu reels don't have spool brake like centrifugal system. These reels look like fly reels or casting reels, but you may not cast rigs or you may not hold much line as fly reels.

How to read reel Specs:  from left, model name, grear ratio, drag capacity(N)/(kg), weight(g), line capacities, line retrieve, # of ball bearings and roller bearing, MSRP(jpy), product code #

Model name: Chart above is from Shimano catalog P12, for Ultegra XT reel. If you may not read it Ultegra, please let me know by the far right code numbers, like 012388. There are three models in the series, 10000XT, 12000XT and 14000XT.

Gear ratio: 4.3:1

Drag capacity: 15kgf is about 33lb. 1kgf=2.2lb. For some long-casting spinning reels, drag is not equipped and the number tells the breaking load or guaranteed load. Shimano puts 20kgf for non-drag reel as breaking load. Daiwa puts 8kgf as guaranteed load. For lever brake reels, the capacity represents the max brake force by lever.

Weight: 690g is about 24.6oz. 1oz=28g For the Ultegra XT, all models are in the same weight, meaning the difference is only at spool size (depth).

Line capacity: 6-300 means 300m of #6 line. 1m=1.1yard.  #6 line is 17lb test line. Therefore it means 17lb-330yards. Here is the conversion chart for line # and lb tests.

Japanese line # US lb-test Japanese line # US lb-test
1 2 5 14
1.5 4 6 17
2 5 7 20
2.5 6 8 22
3 8 10 27
3.5 10 12 35
4 12

Retreive speed: It retrieves 103 cm or 40.6 inches per handle rotation. 2.54cm=1 inch

Ball/roller bearings: It has 4 ball bearings and one roller bearing

MSRP: 15,000jpy  if currency rate is 100jpy=1US$ it is $150. Tax and shipping are not included.

Product code: it helps to place an order for a product when you cannot read Japanese characters.

Rods

Rods are listed in 10 classifications on Daiwa catalogs. These are from ISO (off-rock saltwater), Fune (Boat), Surf (spinning only), Ayu (no-reel, freshwater), Keiryu (no-reel, freshwater, creek ), Hera (no-reel, freshwater, crappy like fish), Bass , Trout , Fly fishing, Saltwater (saltwater game fishing using lures, including jigging)

Among these rods, most rods are specifically designed for Japan local fishing tactics, and the tactics are not much popular overseas. I know Hera fishing is popular in Taiwan and Korea. Not sure for Keiryu fishing. Fune boat fishing using mince cargo, electric motored reels may not be considered as sport fishing in western culture, but it is surely a very popular leisure here in Japan. ISO off rock fishing targeting Mejina and Bream is one of the largest fishing category.