Rigged and Ready Tenkara travel fishing rod.
I’d never heard of Tenkara fishing until this Tenkara rod turned up on my doorstep by Rigged and Ready.
What is Tenkara Fishing?
Tenkara fishing originated in Japan more than 400 years ago and originated with professional fishermen in the mountain streams of Japan who found it an effective method of catching fish.
The original rod was just simply a bamboo/cane rod. Unlike contemporary western bamboo rods, they were not split and glued back together.
Japanese anglers always used bamboo, which is readily available and very light. Because it is light weight, Japanese anglers were able to use very long bamboo rods and reach as far as needed without the need to develop reels for the short rods developed in the west.
Tenkara fishing remained the fish snatching method until the early 1900s. In the 1950s, it started seeing a slow resurgence in interest in a few pockets throughout Japan.
In 2009, Daniel Galhardo founded Tenkara USA with the purpose of introducing Tenkara outside of Japan.
Nowadays Tenkara fishing is well know across the USA and is venturing further afield.
Tenkara Fishing Equipment.
Only a rod, tenkara line and fly are necessary for tenkara fishing there is no reel. Similar to fishing with a whip.
The appeal of tenkara is its elegant simplicity. There are also other advantages of using the long tenkara rods when fishing in mountain streams, primarily the lightness of the line and delicate presentation. A long rod allows for precise placement of the fly on small pools and allows for holding the fly in place on the other side of a current. The other main advantage of using the long tenkara rod is precise control for manipulation of the fly.
Tenkara rods today.
A very long and flexible rod normally made from Carbon, each rod is designed for a specific style of fishing. Although these rods are strong, they are also very delicate due to the thinness of the tip.
You need to be very careful when you are rigging the rod or traveling.
The Tenkara rods also have handles similar to fly-fishing rods. That can be made of wood (the more prized rods) or cork.
As most Tenkara rods are made from carbon, they a light, strong and perfect for the adventurist / travel fisherman.
If you are like me and enjoying hiking in the mountains and you like the idea of fishing in streams and lakes that hardly ever get fished, then this is the rod to pack in your backpack.
A tenkara rod’s length has the distinct advantage of reaching across currents.
Although these rods
As in fly-fishing, it is the tenkara line that propels the weightless fly forward.
In tenkara, the traditional and most commonly used line is a tapered furled line (braided monofilament / silk) which is normally the same length or slightly shorter than the rod.
The main advantage of tapered lines is the delicate presentation and ease of casting.
Level lines are made from a specially formulated fluorocarbon, which is adjusted to the desired length.
Tapered lines are typically easier to cast and are preferred by people getting started with tenkara. Level lines tend to be lighter (slightly harder to cast), but can be kept off the water more easily.
The traditional tenkara line has a loop of braided line at its thicker end. This is used to tie the tenkara line directly to the tip of the rod (The lillian) by using a cow hitch knot.
The line at the rod’s tip needs to have a stopper knot, which will hold the cow hitch in place. It is a very secure method to attach the line.
Normal fly fishing tippet is suitable for Tenkara fishing.
Artificial flies are used in tenkara fly-fishing, these are tied traditionally a special reverse hackle wet-fly is used.
In Japan these flies are known as Kebari. Tenkara flies differ from most Western flies as the hackle is tied facing forward.
Rigged and Ready Tenkara Rod.
10KARA. SUPER COMPACT 3.25M – 10’ 6” TENKARA FLY FISHING ROD
This is a super slow-soft action, high quality, lightweight Tenkara fly fishing rod.
It will fit into any backpacks and is perfect for travel fishing. Collapsed length at 34cm and weights only 60g.
As well as fly fishing the rod can be used to float fish or present small baits at a distance just like a traditional fishing whip.
The Tenkara rod comes in a soft neoprene case, stored in a solid plastic tube. A spare tip included (please be careful with the spare tip as once the neoprene case is out of the tube it doesn’t offer much protection to the spare tip).
- Length 325cm 10 6”
- Collapse Length 34cm 13.5″ (with cap)
- Weight 60g 2.1 oz without end cap
- Slow Action
- Hi module carbon, incredibly light
- 2 tips, with a soft smooth action
- Japanese style flared butt handle
- Padded bag protector & clear plastic travel tube
- Guaranteed 2 years of parts or replacement
After watching a few videos of youtube and doing a little research, I could see that this method was going to be something else for me to become fixated on.
Once I had purchased the furled leader (I did’t bother ordering specific Tenkara flies) and setup a rig, I headed out to a small local still water to have ago.
I found casting was slightly different to casting a small pole float on a whip, you need to stop the power in the cast whilst at about 12 o’clock otherwise there’s to much energy in the line.
I found it difficult to find the fish on the still water as most weren’t feeding in the margins and weren’t feeding on the surface.
Swapping flies over to a weighted montana, I started to jig the fly which resulted in a few takes. A few fish where lost (one absolute leviathan shot off snapping the tippet).
I wouldn’t like to accidentally hook something big on this rod, as it is basically a fine tipped pole, furled leader, tippet and you. There’s no give like the internal elastic in a pole.
What did I think of the Rigged and Ready Tenkara rod?
I love it!! its a great style of fishing and being into my hiking and wild camping, this is the perfect travel rod to have with you (if you are heading up into the mountains).