Having been introduced only recently in the Western world, tenkara fishing has rapidly become popular thanks to its elegance and simplicity. Using only a rod, a line and a fly brings you back to basics and lets you enjoy the sport without having to bother with an excessive amount of gear. The best tenkara rods stand out because of their portability, with the telescoping design that allows them to be easily carried and packed away, coupled with a very light weight.

Despite the simplicity of the sport, numerous options have become available on the market for the limited amount of gear that is needed. In this article, we will present you the best tenkara fishing rods that you can take with you on your excursions. These items combine durability, flexibility and compactness to become an extremely effective tool you will want to bring along more and more. Join us as we take a look at what might well become your new favourite fishing rod.

How To Choose A Tenkara Rod – Buying Guide



While traditional tenkara rods are made of bamboo, which is abundant in the woods of Japan, modern manufacturers have taken a different approach. Today’s tenkara rods are made of high tech materials, such as graphite or carbon fiber. This allows brands to precisely control the amount of flex and rigidity they want their rods to have, so you, as a user, can benefit from the widest choice possible. Further control is achieved by making different lengths of the rod with different levels of toughness, so you can also select the right combination for the job you need to be done.

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The length of the rod you select will depend on what kind of fish you are setting out to catch. In general, even if much depends on the action of the rod and the power you apply to it, a longer rod will be best for bigger fish. This is because it provides more load and leverage when compared to shorter rods. These, on the other hand, can be very useful if casting precision is of the utmost importance to you, or if you find yourself in a tight space, without much space to maneuver.


Tenkara rod handles are usually coated with some sort of foam or cork, to make them more comfortable to hold in the hand. The feel they give is something you should take the time to consider carefully when you receive your purchase and return it immediately if something feels wrong. Your hold will greatly influence the confidence of your casting and, therefore, your precision and percentage of success. Some handles also come coated in black to prevent any possibility of the sun reflecting on them and giving away your position.


The action of a rod tells you how many segments are stiff and how many are flexible, out of the total number that makes up the rod. The more delicate the action, the harder it will be to cast precisely given the extra flexibility of the tip, but it will be easier to cast further away. For beginners, it is recommended to start with an action of 4 or 5 on the further end, to get the hang of it, while professionals can cast without problems even just with actions of 1 or 2. Be careful because not all brands use the same metrics and indications can vary between them.



Q: What Does Tenkara Mean?


The japanese word "Tenkara" literally translates to "fishing from the skies" or "fishing from heaven", and it gives a good idea of how the whole gesture might look like from a fish's perspective. The activity originated in the mountain streams of Japan as a simple but effective method of catching local fish. The word "tenkara" has a very narrow meaning and specifically indicates this type of sport.

Q: What Is Level Line Tenkara?


A level line is a specific type of fluorocarbon line that is used in tenkara fishing. It is better than a tapered line since it is denser, so when you are casting you can cast a lighter line. The higher density is also beneficial to fight wind resistance, since a level line can have a smaller diameter and therefore be less affected by sudden gusts.

Q: Is Tenkara A Fly Fishing?


Yes, tenkara fishing is the japanese equivalent of western fly fishing. The activity is thought to have originated at least 200 years ago but has only recently been popularized in the west. The technique and the gear used is significantly different from western fly fishing but the goal is the same.

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With our tenkara rod reviews we have given you a complete overview of the best options on the market today. While the sport may be simple, it pays off to take some time and examine them because not all will give you the desired results or match your skill set. However, by following our tips, we are confident you’ll be able to head to the creek and get results in no time.

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