Inspire the Soul

There are no shortcuts to the production of superior equipment.
We remain committed to our principles even as the times evolve.
We have become better today than we were yesterday, and will become better tomorrow than we are today.
We strive to always challenge our limits, breaking the mold, and pay meticulous attention to the details.
The evolution of fishing rods is only possible through the relentless pursuit of genuine excellence.
Only when the thoughts of the creator are conveyed can an item be regarded as the “genuine article.”
We are excited to share our values and joy as a manufacturer of fishing rods with our customers.
ZENAQ will continue to create rods that will inspire the soul.

Innovating as an angler

Our company has always been driven by the concept of incorporating on-site feedback from the field into our products.
We are proud that this mindset has allowed us to create fishing equipment that anglers can have tremendous faith in.

The Finest Quality, the Pride of Japanese

Since 1960, our company has assiduously produced each and every rod at our on-site factory in Japan,
from the origin of fishing rods bamboo rods to the current carbon rods.
By concentrating our factories in the same place,
we are able to constantly refine our skills and create superior rods that embody the unique sensibilities of Japanese people.
That is the pride of ZENAQ.
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1960  Bamboo rod 

Making Fishing Rods From Real Bamboo

“SASAKURA MFG Co., Ltd” was established in 1960.
Photo: founder Kazuya Sasakura (1930-2014) at his bamboo rod factory in the 60s.

1971  Fiberglass

Fiberglass Revolutionizes the Fishing Industry

Despite being the main material for fishing rods for many years, bamboo was very heavy and offered limited performance.
The appearance of fiberglass brought about a new generation of lighter, stronger, and more consistent rods.  
Photo: the latest machine for making a rod blank in the 70s.

1979  Carbon Fiber

Carbon Fiber Leads to a Paradigm Shift

By incorporating the most modern carbon fiber composites available into rod blanks,
we were able to build rods with unprecedented strength-to-weight ratios.
Even though rods were much more expensive to produce with this technology compared to fiberglass,
carbon fiber took the rod industry by storm and set the new gold standard for performance.
This marked the dawn of a new age of incredibly light and durable rods that would open doors to types of fishing scarcely imaginable with the rods of yesteryear.
Photo: The delivery truck for previous brand, APOLLO: a 1973 Volkswagen T2b

1996  Custom-Made Rods and Blanks

Design Your Own Unique Blank!

In 1996, ZENAQ broke new ground in the world of custom tackle by offering anglers the opportunity to design their own blanks and rods which would be hand-rolled and crafted in our on-site factory in Japan.  

1997  Rise of Boat Jigging 

Releasing “Jigger Trust”.

Few innovations changed the landscape of sport fishing like the introduction of PE lines in the 1990s.
Back when nylon monofilament was the only option available, fishing relatively light jigs on lightweight rods in deep water was but a pipe dream due to the line’s unavoidable stretch - it was like trying to set the hook using a rubber band!
When super strong, super thin, and super low-stretch PE lines began to proliferate, however, we pounced at the opportunity to build rods that would allow anglers to effectively fish the deep blue abyss.
In typical ZENAQ fashion, through trial and error, we forged our own path by pioneering jigging rod design and techniques. And so, Jigger Trust was born.  

1997  Double-Nut Ring

An Idea Born out of Real Experience

Especially on heavier casting and jigging rods, a reel seat with only a single looking ring can loosen through regular use.
Having recognized this common issue, ZENAQ designed and patented the Double-Nut Ring, which ensures that reel seats will never loosen on the water.
Although often overlooked, ideas derived from real field experience are always genuine and useful.
Today, the Double-Nut Ring has become an essential for all heavy jigging and casting tackle when targeting aggressive, powerful fish.

1999  FOKEETO Debut

“Handmade in Japan” Leads the World in Lure Fishing

In 1999, we developed the diversified FOKEETO family of rods to answer the calls for increasingly specialized jigging and casting techniques. Since then, numerous records have fallen to the FOKEETO, a name praised by anglers the world over that has come to encompass ZENAQ’s flagship line of rods for all boat game; truly, the epitome of what can be accomplished with equal parts inspiration and determination.
 

1999  DEFI Redge

Boundless Performance • Relentless Refinement

In the same year as the FOKEETO, we released the DEFI Redge: a truly specialized, cutting edge rod composed of extremely elastic carbon material.
Like a Formula 1 car, this was a tool that, in skilled hands, was lighter and more sensitive than any rod ever cast before.
This refinement came at the cost of fragility, which required an experienced user to extract every ounce of rod’s ability without risking breakage.
Nonetheless, for its sheer performance, and the DEFI Redge garnered a great reputation among experts, amateurs, and anglers of all skill levels in between.  

1999  Jigger Trust, the first 8-Strand Braided PE Line 

We Create What We Want if it’s Yet to Exist

Prior to our Jigger Trust line, the only braided PE line available consisted of 4 strands whose friction through the rod guides due to their coarseness generated awful noises.
Aside from potentially distracting the angler while fishing, this noise would also propagate through water and spook fish.
To create a rounder, smoother line, we designed and braided the first 8 carrier PE line.
Not only did this line slide through the guides in near silence, but it was also stronger than 4 carrier lines of the same diameter and demonstrated much improved abrasion resistance.
We also decided that we would make our braid in white, the color most invisible to fish, instead of metered colors that could spook wary predators.
Our release of Jigger Trust braided PE set the bar high for the many other 8 strand braided lines, most white in color, which have since come out of the woodwork.
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2001  Squid Game, “Eging”

ASSAUT: The Template for Today’s Eging Rods

Building what we believed to be the finest eging rod out of fragile highly elastic carbon, which would give the squid jigs the best possible action, proved to be a daunting task due to the hard jerking motions used when eging and the low-stretch of PE lines.
Many prototypes came and went from the factory to the field and back.
We also solved the issue of line tangling as a result of the use of super thin PE lines by outfitting our final rod with ultralight Iso rod guides, another industry first.
Finally, after much trial and error, the current version of the ASSAUT Shore S86 Accura was born, inspiring a huge trend of modern-day Eging rods and techniques.
 

2001  Slow Action Jigging, Whippy

The Tougher the Challenge, the Bigger the Results

The debut of the FOKEETO Whippy marked a complete departure from what conventional wisdom tells us a jigging rod should be: stiff and fast.
We designed the Whippy, with its softer, more flexible blank, to catch even the lightest bites in the toughest situations where other jigging rods would be simply too aggressive.
Once again, by channeling our core tenet - ”I’m an Angler” - by ingraining real world experience into our products, we created a new style of rod and expanded the world of jigging.  
 

2001  The New Seabass Rod Concept

Debut of the Fast Taper PLAISIR

Taking a whole new aggressive approach to seabass rods at the time of its release, the PLAISIR changed the concept of what a seabass rod can be and do.
Dialing in the exact actions and dimensions and all the characteristics that made the PLAISIR so ahead of its time took an incalculable number of prototypes and field tests; to be true, more than on any other rod we had designed to date.
With much of their feedback based on experience on the water with the DEFI Redge, the passion of our eager field testers and ZENAQ staff came to be realized in what will be known as one of the world’s greatest spinning rods.  
 

2002  ASTRA for Aggressive Mebaru Game

The Dawn of a Soft and Sensitive Tubular Tip 

Those who remember the days of the original Mebaru rods probably also remember fighting their tackle more than fighting fish.
Those rods’ solid tips and slow tapers had failed to evolve with the technique, and anglers missed many delicate bites as a result. Thanks to our collaboration with a carbon composite firm, we partnered to develop a very soft, very sensitive tubular tip section that retained full durability.
Thanks to this concept, the ASTRA initiated a new aggressive Mebaru game in which anglers could catch even the lightest of bites.
With a high-visibility yellow blank for fishing in the dark of night, anglers broke through the boundaries of old with the ASTRA.
 

2003  MUTHOS: Shore Jigging 

For The Passionate Who Pursue Their Dreams

A natural metamorphosis of the DEFI casting rods, our beloved MUTHOS series was our nod of affirmation to the founders of shore jigging.
For those in the know when the sport was in its infancy, we developed gear that could help passionate field testers realize their dreams as they pushed the envelope in the most rugged marine environments at the ends of the Earth.
In this way, it’s no stretch to say that the tools of modern shore jigging, and perhaps even contemporary rock fishing as we know it, all trace their roots back to our MUTHOS.
 

2004  ROUF

Establishing Our New Workshop, “ROUF”

At ZENAQ, we’re anything but ordinary.
Thinking outside of the box to spawn novel ideas, all of the creations we dream up carry a profound specialty and radiate a mystique that mass production will never come close to replicating.
This is why we established our ROUF workshop: to realize our dreams not because they’re easy, but because they’re hard; not to pump out products for the mass market, but to furnish the finest fishing instruments.
The RG guide system, among many other original concepts, could have only been born from this workshop.  

2006 Bamboo Work

Satisfy Your Soul

ZENAQ super blanks emblazoned with the textures of our traditional Japanese legacy, our Bamboo Work masterpieces meld the apex of modern technology and emblems of a grand heritage for every magical moment spent satisfying your soul.
 

2009  RG Guide System

The World can be Changed Only by a Completely Novel Idea

ZENAQ’s RG guide system was the first of its kind: a layout capable of bringing out the fullest potential in spinning rods used in conjunction with PE line.
Unafraid to challenge the only wisdom there was, we set out to create the highest performing guideset and discovered that a small butt guide with a tall frame yielded unequivocally superior performance.
Since nothing remotely similar existed, we simply decided to produce our own perfect guides. What’s more, we equipped this system with more than twice the number of guides as conventional layouts, and this boosted performance further.
At the sight of prototype rods equipped with RG, even our own field testers thought we’d gone completely mad!
But all it took was one cast - one cast, and by their facial expressions, we knew we had created something truly special that would, in its own way, change the world.  
 

2011  High-Spec Compact rod

Absolute Reliability on Every Expedition

As much as we would all love to, there are some adventures, whether by jet, Cessna, helicopter, canoe, boat, bike, horse, or all of the above that just can’t accommodate your cutting edge 1 or 2 piece rod.
These kinds of trips are also usually the kind where tackle failure simply isn’t an option - you’ve worked too hard, trekked too far only to be let down by inferior gear.
We’ve been there, so for you, we developed the Expedition: the compact culmination of all of our knowledge and experience, a distillation of high-tech design with no sacrifice of durability, the same rod you know and love in a portable package.
Wanderlusting angler, journey on.
 

2014  MUTHOS Accura

The New Gold Standard for Shore Jigging Evolution

15 years after our release of the original shore jigging rod, our MUTHOS, a decade and a half of relentless field testing and the refinement of shore jigging technique have driven us to usher in a new age of rod for the next generation of anglers. Immediately, the Accura’s greatness was displayed when a bluefin tuna of 55kg fell to an angler fishing in hellish conditions from shore.
The MUTHOS Accura is one of the many reasons our believers say, “Just try it once.” As great as our products look on paper, online, or in store, it’s only on the water - the fire from which they were forged - that our rods truly come to life.
 

2017  Tobizo

Tobizo: The World’s Greatest Offshore Casting Rod

It’s as simple as that. A difference in casting distance is a difference in results. 
We pulled out all the stops and invested all of ZENAQ, including our 60 years of rod manufacturing, 20 years of offshore casting experience, and TORAY T1100G, the most advanced carbon composite on the face of the Earth, into the one goal of creating the world’s greatest offshore casting rod.
And so we did.  
 

2018  FOKEETO  IKARI

Breaking The Mold: A New Generation of Jigging Rods

20 years have passed since we released an offshore jigging rod that changed the name of the game.
Our latest innovation, the “IKARI BLANK,” which combines an extremely highly   elastic carbon blank with a seamlessly integrated carbon core, will create a new generation of offshore jigging once again.
For all of those who live to say, “I’m an Angler,” we have developed a rod that amplifies the true visceral pleasure of fishing.
 
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